Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

A Great Weekend in Yorkshire

Anne, my wife, and I recently spent a great weekend in Yorkshire.

We are both very busy in different ways, so it is not very often that we are able to go away together, but this weekend we managed it. It was at the invitation of Leeds (Yorkshire) and Pennine Yorkshire.

We did miss the first couple of visits on the Friday, to Saltaire and the National Media Museum at Bradford, but we knew that we were going to miss these.

We had something even better to do - going to Sheffield for our son Kevin`s gradulation from Sheffield Hallam University. We were very proud parents, as not only did he receive his degree, he also won some prizes as well.

When we arrived at Bradford Interchange Station, we were very pleased to find that the Great Victoria Hotel was just across the road. So once we had settled into our room at this sumptous old railway hotel, we joined the others in our party for drinks.

There were nine invited guests in the party, from such places as Flamborough, Henley-in-Arden, Lincoln and Worcester, as well as our enthusiastic young host James Anderson.

Our dinner was taken at the excellent Chino Thai restaurant, in the City Centre but only a few minutes walk from the hotel.

On the Saturday morning, after breakfast, we set out by minibus to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park at West Bretton, where we were given an interesting tour and shown the current exhibition of work by the eminent Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. Over coffee and biscuits we were able to chat to the management of the park.

Then it was off to Kirkstall Abbey, where we had an excellent lunch at the Abbey Gatehouse, before looking around the extensive remains of the abbey itself.

The next stop was Leeds City Centre, where we were let loose to have a little wander. We visited the City Gallery and had coffee in their elegant tea room, and paid a quick visit to the Henry Moore Institute next door. We had a peep inside the Catholic Cathedral and admired the wonderful Edwardian shopping arcades, the magnificent Market Hall and the lovely Corn Exchange, which is being refurbished at the moment.

From the City Centre, we were taken to the shiny new Village Hotel in what is known as South Leeds, a few miles out at a place called Tingley. It was at this hotel that we spent the night. Before going out in the evening we had dinner, and then got back into the minibus.

Our destination was the West Yorkshire Playhouse, where we watched a performance of the hilarious comedy "Spyski!" It was great, even though (being still quite naive) I was sucked into believing it was going to be Oscar Wilde`s "The Importance of Being Earnest". Do go and watch it if you get the chance.

On the Sunday morning, after breakfast, it was back onto the minibus for a visit to Temple Newsam, a historic house set in a most attractive parkland. We were given a tour of the cellars and also a tour of the Rare Breeds Farm with its hugely knowledgeable manager. We were treated to a buffet at the house, and sampled sausages made from the farm`s own livestock.

From there, we moved on to Holmfirth, where we transferred onto another minibus for a tour around the Last of the Summer Wine country on narrow roads which are inaccessible with an ordinary sized coach.

Then it was time to say goodbye, and we all went our various ways home.

It was an excellent weekend, and we thank Leeds and Pennine Yorkshire and in particular James Anderson for giving us such a useful and enjoyable series of visits.