Readers Write - Freya Hartley decides her future is in Yorkshire
PUBLISHED: 16:24 20 July 2011 | UPDATED: 19:44 20 February 2013
Freya Hartley describes her arrival in Yorkshire and has, she says, no intention of moving back South
It was December 21st, 2010. The country was white and frozen from top to bottom. The next day I was due to move house from South Somerset to North Yorkshire. I was plagued by doubt and anxiety. Should I postpone the van my son was going to drive? Would we get through? Was this all foolish not to say dangerous?
My new partner in the far North telephoned to say he would be winching us up all the way, and also that a client had brought us a home-made Christmas cake. I immediately thought, well then, we must indeed be there for Christmas, and as the forecast was only predicting worse later in the week, I decided to go for it if my son was game... and he was.
I shall never forget the moment when we sank down eventually by a roaring fire in the little Dales village of Dalton, near Richmond, that was to be home, and a glass of champagne was put in my hand. I have barely been North before, I have to confess. But I was blown away by it when I first visited in the late summer and I am still.
They are powerful stuff, these Ridings. Just the name evokes grandeur, vastness, solidity and soul. And Yorkshire is all heart. This is what has so captured me. This is a land of castles, abbeys, crags, great rivers, dramatic and idyllic wooded becks and immense high spaces.
I especially love the rivers and the high tops because Somerset has none of either to speak of. It is all breathtaking and I know I have barely scratched the surface of all that there is to experience.
Everywhere I go I find genuine interest and welcome. People go out of their way to help. They love to ask how I am finding it here and to listen attentively to my responses.
It is all so different from the South. I have of course heard about the legendary friendliness of Northerners but to be honest I had no idea of what that felt like in reality, and I can only say it is a revelation. I also relish the directness and earthiness of the women I meet as well as their humour.
Yorkshire feels wealthy, indeed was very wealthy, with its history and towns and great houses.
It is not crowded, cluttered, pressured or confined. Every incomer I have met has, it seems, responded to Gods own country as I have.
When I read your magazine and saw that you invited responses to your county, I really wanted to take the chance to say thank you to the people of Yorkshire for their unfailing warmth and to try to express my awe at the sublime beauty of the Yorkshire Dales.
We would love to know what Yorkshire means to you. Share your thoughts as one of our reader columnists. Email the editor, email@example.com