Welcome To Yorkshire…. Barnsley Style.

According to my Facebook news feed, yesterday was ‘National Yorkshire Day’ and as a result folk around the UK were saying such hilarious things as; “Let’s all eat pies, Yorkshire Puddings and play cricket.” Excellent.

Only, that’s not what Yorkshire is about isn’t it? It’s just like assuming all French people wear black and white striped tops, ride around on bikes with garlic around their necks whilst eating a baguette. Over the weekend I got an eye opening experience about what Yorkshire can be like, if you turn off Jeremy Kyle and actually go out exploring.

With a rare weekend which didn’t involve marshalling, I spent Sunday exploring the Yorkshire countryside with a hangover, fruit pot and a Barbie mobile. First stop was Weeton Show, which, I’ve got to be honest, I imagined would be about as exciting as watching paint dry, after all, I did everything I could to try and get out of visiting the Yorkshire Show a few months ago, so a far less extravagant version was sure to be far less appealing.

Cider alert

Anyway, upon arrival, after almost having my leg chewed off by a drooling, panting fat, killer dog, I discovered there were lots of screaming children running around with their faces painted, dripping ice cream all over the floor, not to mention the fact that it was boiling, to be honest, I thought I was actually going to throw up.

After being handed a Peroni (hair of the dog and all that) I started to feel a little better and wandered off to see the various animals that were knocking about; I made friends with a goat, who loved nuzzling my hand, then I talked to a pig for a bit, who wasn’t really much fun, before moving on to the ‘Poultry tent’ to look at some birds that had been awarded prizes. Personally, if I was judging them, I would have given the rosette to the prettiest birds, I don’t really know what they were judged on, but I completely disagreed with the results anyway.

Following that, I ventured over to the ‘main arena’ to check out some Vultures which this bloke had brought along to fly around. I didn’t think Vultures really existed outside The Lion King, so to see them swooping around was pretty exciting, especially when there were little kids dressed up in princess costumes swanning about, to be quite honest, I could have been on some crazy drugs and hallucinating that I was in some mashed up Lion Princess fairytale.

Decorating....

After that, we decided to go and explore more of our great Yorkshire countryside, and ventured to Bolton Abbey where there was a nice little river you could walk alongside and admire. After spending 15 minutes admiring the car park – we got lost amongst the cars –  we made it to the grassed area where there were families cooking on BBQ’s, playing bat and ball and smoking hash pipes. Yes, really. Apparently they just had things such as bubblegum smoke pouring out, but as someone who has never dabbled with any sort of substance abuse, I am no authority on that.

Once we had gotten as far away from children as humanly possible, we started to notice two little inflatable boats sailing down the river towards us… inside were a family who were obviously looking for the fastest way to their local Working Mans Club, with some larger than life daughter bobbing about, fully clothed, behind them. Whilst I prayed their boats would capsize and throw them all into the water, I wasn’t so lucky, until, BRILLIANTLY, the mother and daughter appeared half a hour later and proceeded to try and cross the fast-flowing river ON FOOT. Hilarious.

I couldn’t take my eyes off the pair of them, to walk the long way back to our side of the river would have taken them about 20 minutes, but instead they opted to take the short cut directly across the water. Only, it didn’t turn out to be a short cut, taking them around 40 minutes to wobble, slip and slide across the bed of rocks, before they both, rather unceremoniously flopped into the water and were carried downstream like Primark-wearing seals.

Once the leather leggings had blobbed off to eat some burgers or something, it was time to visit another Yorkshire landmark, this time the ‘Cow and Calf Rock’ (I might have made that name up) which is in the middle of nowhere, and seems to have been the site for an Indian Pilgrimage on Sunday, with all manner of brightly coloured, sari-wearing women pottering around and rambling on in a language I couldn’t understand. On top of that, David Guetta seemed to be taking a day out from hanging out with Snoop Dogg and making people sweat, to climb up the face of a giant rock with just a bit of chalk on his hands. Amazing.

That said, the view from up there was breathtaking, even if there were flying ants everywhere and spots of rain falling from the sky. It’s most certainly a place you should visit at least once, although, leaving a line of breadcrumbs would be a wise idea, as it’s easy to find your way up, but clamouring down again is a very different story; especially in a dress and brogues.

Our final stop of the day took us to the runway at Leeds Bradford airport. Anyone who knows me is well aware of my love for sitting outside the pub at the end of the Manchester Airport runway and watching planes fly over my head, but  Leeds Bradford was one I’d never seen. So, up to the top of another hill we climbed, a sharp right into a car park full of chavs with bodykits on their 1991 Vauxhall Corsa’s and it was time to have a butchers at some Easyjets coming into land. Personally, I don’t know why most of the ragamuffins weren’t in some Halfords car park doing doughnuts and listening to 50 Cent, but here they were, sharing in our fun and making me feel just a little bit like a self-conscious school girl once again.

So, aside from the baby whale family, a bunch of Adidas-wearing low lives and a banging hangover, Sunday afternoon showed me that not only are there wonderful things to see and do in Yorkshire, but sharing them with someone who appreciates it all just as much as you, is heart-warming.

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