Monday, 24 January 2011

Romantic Yorkshire (and no, it's not a contradiction in terms)

Finally managed to get hold of the February 2011 edition of Yorkshire Ridings Magazine which has an interesting piece by Christina Surdhar on Yorkshire and how it has been used as the romantic backdrop in films.   

I’m always intrigued by vivid settings, especially ones which can become a character in themselves.  Lots of people think of Yorkshire as bleak, and Yorkshiremen certainly don’t have a very romantic reputation, but it is the most beautiful county, and even those bits of it that are grimmer than others have a strong identity.  There are some places that you can imagine very clearly even if you’ve never been there – think the Scottish Highlands or the Australian outback, or Paris or Venice or New York – and Yorkshire is one of them.  And when you get to those places, and they’re just as you pictured them … well, that’s romantic in my book. 

And funnily enough, that’s what I say in Christina’s piece, because, yes, I got to be interviewed, and some of the glamour of the earlier piece on romantic films rubbed off on me.  I particularly liked the photo of me channelling J.K. Rowling at one of my favourite York haunts, the bar at City Screen, where so much of my plotting takes place over a bottle of wine.  I am not generally very photogenic, so hiding behind sunglasses and not looking at the camera works for me, I think, and a cup of coffee has replaced the bottle and glasses, which looks so much cooler.  Must try it more often. 

Copyright Christina Surdhar

Which places do YOU think make romantic settings? 

If Yorkshire does it for you too, Yorkshire Ridings Magazine are running a short story competition and offering a prize of £200 plus publication in the magazine.  Your story can be based on true love experiences or fictional ones, but it must be set in Yorkshire and be no more than 1,000 words. See the website or this month’s magazine for details.


  1. I've been to Yorkshire and I thought it was very beautiful. I have no trouble thinking of it as romantic, either. I suspect I was predisposed to love it because of the books I'd read in my youth that were set there, not just the Brontes, but also Winifred Holtby and James Herriot.
    Love the pic of you at work - very glam.

  2. I've never been a Bronte fan, Anne, but you've reminded me of how much I enjoyed 'South Riding' when I read it a few years ago. I must get it out and read it again. Had forgotten about James Herriot too!

  3. Great photo Jessica! I think I'll have to get myself to Yorkshire one day.

  4. Now, if only I'd put up some photos of beautiful Yorkshire instead of one of me,me,me you could have seen that it would definitely be worth the trip, Lacey. Let me know if you ever make it!

  5. You can come stay with me, Lacey, I'm in Yorkshire! Though, sadly, not in the pretty part. There's nothing pretty about the Humber Bridge or the River Humber!!

    But Jessica is right, some parts are absolutely gorgeous.