books · romance · yorkshire

Celebrating the county of Yorkshire on Yorkshire Day, and a Yorkshire-set #romance

August 1st is Yorkshire Day, when we in Yorkshire celebrate everything that’s great about our county. We Yorkshire folk don’t need much excuse to show our pride in our home, and in fact we take a lot of ribbing for it, with plenty of jokes from other parts of the country at our expense, eg “How can you tell when someone’s from Yorkshire?” Answer: “You don’t have to – they’ll tell you within three minutes.”

Haha! I’ve lived in Yorkshire for forty years now, off and on, and I don’t mind having the mickey taken when I’m surrounded by such beautiful sights. Here are some photos that show why Yorkshire people love it here so much:

helena fairfax, yorkshire
Fountains Abbey


helena fairfax, yorkshire
Inside the old Corn Exchange, Leeds


helena fairfax, yorkshire
The Shambles, York, looking on to York Minster


helena fairfax, yorkshire
The sea at Whitby


helena fairfax, yorkshire
The ruins at Rievaulx Abbey


helena fairfax
The Leeds-Liverpool Canal, Leeds



Helena Fairfax, Haworth, Brontës, Jackie Kay
Inside the Brontë sisters’ home, The Parsonage, Haworth
The bandstand, Roberts Park, Saltaire
    The bandstand, Roberts Park, Saltaire


Inside Whitelocks - a Victorian pub in Leeds
Inside Whitelocks – a Victorian pub in Leeds


The Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield
   The Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield
helena fairfax
  My dog, Lexi, on the Yorkshire Moors

In my novel A Way from Heart to Heart, the heroine, Kate, visits Yorkshire for the first time with a group of disadvantaged teenage girls from London. The hero, Paul, is a journalist who comes with them on the trip. They stay in a hostel on the Yorkshire moors, and the contrast with London – which has been in the middle of a stifling heatwave – and the open country of the moors, leads to an openness between Paul and Kate that changes their relationship.

Here’s an extract set on the moors:

Kate pulled herself up to stand beside Paul on one of the large grey boulders that lay scattered on the moorland. They had reached the crest of the hill. Below them the gentle sweep of the hillside dipped away, and the moors extended mile upon mile in soft shades of greens and lilac. Here and there dark green trees dotted the fields like the bobbles on a woolly jumper. The sky was a glorious shade of blue, streaked with airplane trails. Kate spread her arms and turned slowly.

‘This is heaven. All this space. And the glorious smell. Heather, and grass, and ferns.’ She took in a deep breath, closing her eyes. ‘And listen.’ She tilted her head. ‘Do you hear it? There’s just … the breeze. And birds calling. And the weird sounds of Countryside.’

She opened her eyes with an exalted laugh, to find Paul had climbed right to the pinnacle of the boulder, and was helena fairfax, a way from heart to heartgazing down at her. The sun was behind him, casting a bright glow around his head, and she had to crinkle her eyes to make out his features. He reached a hand to her, pulling her up easily to stand beside him, and her heart swelled with the pleasure of the moment.

‘When I tried to come up here yesterday evening, I found it so spooky.’ She gazed down on the peaceful scene below them. ‘I think I must have been over-tired. It feels so good to be out here, away from everything – all the stresses and strains of work and home. It’s like they’ve all been left behind in London.’ She looked at Paul with a delighted laugh. ‘And we’re free.’

I hope you’ve enjoyed my photos of Yorkshire, and the taster of all the wonderful sights there are to see in the county.

If you can’t make it here to visit, A Way from Heart to Heart makes the perfect feel-good summer read! It’s available in print and in ebook format from Amazon in the UK , and from Amazon US and CA and  B&N.

And if you’d like to see more photos of the setting of the Yorkshire moors, you can check out my Pinterest board, or follow me on Facebook (see sidebar), where I post photos of Yorkshire most days :)

* * *

Does your part of the world have a special day to celebrate? Is there a part of your neighbourhood that you love to visit, and do you feel homesick when you leave?

If you have any questions or comments at all, I’d love to hear from you!

10 thoughts on “Celebrating the county of Yorkshire on Yorkshire Day, and a Yorkshire-set #romance

  1. Hi Helena, As you know, I enjoyed reading your novel A Way From Heart To Heart, very much. The scenes in Yorkshire were beautifully written, as was the rest of the book. Anne and I loved Yorkshire when we visited England and your striking photographs have revived some of those memories and given us a few more places we must see. Thanks for a great post.


    1. Hi Ken, thanks for dropping in. I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip to Yorkshire. For a long time the county was looked on as a poor relation to the rest of the country, and the sights here were overlooked. There are still many areas here that are run down but in recent years people are starting to remember just how magnificent and vibrant a lot of Yorkshire is. I could have added a lot more photos. I do hope you get to come back and see more.
      Thanks for your great comment!


  2. I didn’t know you had a special day, Helena – what a lovely idea, and great photos! As I’ve mentioned before, Yorkshire is one of my favourite counties and I still want to explore more. Loved Whitby when we visited one year while staying at Pickering.


    1. Whitby is a really lovely town. I love Scarborough, too, and have many happy memories of visits to the seaside as a child. I hope you get to explore more of Yorkshire, Rosemary. Perhaps there’ll be another RNA tea in York – that would be great!
      Thanks very much for dropping in!


  3. What fantastic scenes of your beloved Yorkshire. I think you pronounce that as york-sheer, correct? The name of the county I live in is Newaygo in Michigan. We don’t have a Newaygo day, but we do have the county fair every August and our town has the National Baby Food Festival and the Harvest Festival. I love the harvest festival in the fall–it feels like such a celebration of the harvest. Love seeing the farmers driving their old tractors, fancy new ones, combines, and other field equipment on Main St during the parade. I believe From Heart to Heart is my favorite novel–maybe because it did include a trip to Yorkshire!!


    1. Hi JQ, it must be wonderful at your harvest festival. I’d love to see it. There isn’t so much crop-growing round where I live, because it’s too hilly and barren. There is a lot of sheep-farming, though, and there is a big agricultural fair (the Yorkshire Show) quite near me every year. The emphasis is on “York” – YORK-sher – for the pronunciation.
      Thanks for your kind words about A Way from Heart to Heart. I have another novel finished now and am trying to find an agent/publisher. Fingers crossed.
      I hope you’re own writing is going well. Thanks so much for dropping in, and for your great comment!


  4. Hey, Helena. Like JQ, I too, love your novel, A Way From Heart to Heart. Love the descriptions of Yorkshire, and your pictures show awesome scenes. Don’t know if we’ll get to Great Britain again, but if we do, I’ll make a point of getting up your way. Your pictures remind me of rolling plains in the Panhandle of Texas, mainly the way the land just rolls out for ever. My friend, Jerrie Alexander, says in Texas, the sky comes all the way down to the ground. So glad you’re highlighting this book, Helena. Good luck with finding a publisher for your latest, but you know it’s really easy to be an Indie Publisher today. I’ve shared. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Marsha, I would love to see those plains in Texas. Our moors here are tiny in comparison and you don’t have to walk all that far to reach a farmhouse or a major road. Seeing the land stretch out forever must be an amazing sight.
    I do hope you get over to the north of England one day. There is so much to see here, and so much variety in the landscape.
    Thank you so much for dropping in, and for sharing. I really appreciate it!


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