1 Apr 2016

The Place That Holds The Key To My Heart

There are some places in the world which just steal your heart away and capture your imagination and there is nothing you can do about it. The places that fill your camera roll with pictures that even though you have no storage left you cannot bring yourself to delete. The places that during Pilates or Yoga you go to because it's 'your happy place'. The places that on your death bed you dream about visiting one last time but never get the chance to.

For most people that place is probably a paradise island in the Caribbean, the coral reef where they once swam with a turtle or the top of the snowy french alps where they first put on a pair of skis. I haven't seen much of the world because a) flying scares the crap out of me and b) my poor bank balance just cannot deal with travelling for the sake of Instagram pics right now.

However, for me the landscape which I think will forever hold the key to my heart is the North Yorkshire Moors, a mere six hour drive from my hometown of Essex. And I'm probably the only person in history to say this but I actually...possibly...really do secretly like traffic jam so car journeys especially when you are the one in the passenger seat reading Harry Potter for the billionth time aren't even that bad.

All you can think about the whole time is those rolling hills of heather which seem to stretch on forever and ever, the fields of every shade of green you can imagine, the chirping of the birds that you didn't even know existed in the morning, the ewes and their spring lambs leaping over dry stone walls much to the Shepherd horror and the local legends from hundreds of years ago that my Dad and Grandad told me about which excited my eight year old brain so much that I can't even begin to explain.

I spent more than my far share of holidays up north as a kid. When all my friends were jet setting the globe, I was running across moors chasing crows away from corn in a pair of green wellies discovering the little villages like Lealholm, eating at glorious pubs and trekking down public footpaths which led us on adventures past fields of racehorses and rivers only crossable by old arched bridges surrounded by folklore and stepping stones and waterfalls which looked as though they had jumped right out of a fairy tale story.

I remember walking up Roseberry Topping that to my little eight year old legs was like climbing Everest. I remember riding horses across the top of the hills for hours on end. I remember petting pigs and collecting chicken eggs at farms. I remember climbing up and counting every single one of those one hundred and ninety nine steps leading to Whitby Abby, said to be the setting of Dracula's first appearance in England. And I remember walking alongside beautiful rivers and houses that I NEEDED to live in Great Ayton and just being so amazed by this country life when I had been so used to busy motorways and cities my whole entire life.

In other words Yorkshire was, is and will always be my sexy bae.

It has a landscape just as Instagramable as a Barbadian beach, as many animal and plant species as the Amazonian rain forest and a rich history that will give the Pyramids of Giza a run for their money. Not to the mention the fact that it's in England- practically next door if you don't get travel sick...otherwise your screwed!

I realise I often jump around with content and consistency on this blog more than a kangaroo jumps around in Australia but this is my blog, my place and you guys are technically my guests. If I spend hours slaving over a hot oven to cook you a meal and you don't like it, just shove it down your gob or hide it in the plant pot behind you and I'll be none wiser!

Yorkshire is part of me. My dad's side of the family grew up there farming the land for generations. It's in my bones. It's where I spent those precious childhood years and where I made most of my family memories. It was never about money. It was about doing small, in expensive things together and snapping photos and making memories which would last a lifetime. I love it and I hope you love it too.

Stuff the fancy holiday aboard, jump in your car or a train with nothing but a suitcase and a SatNav and see where you end up. It might just be on the North Yorkshire Moors. Who knows...

Love Beth xx

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