Yorkshire is the largest county in the UK, spanning 2.9 million acres. The region is often split into four geographical areas; North, the East Riding and South and West. The North and East Riding of Yorkshire are more rural areas, whilst the West Riding is much more urbanised.
The three largest cities in Yorkshire (with a population of over half a million) are Leeds, Sheffield, and Bradford. The economy is worth an astonishing £110 billion per year, which is twice the size of Wales and larger than 11 EU countries.
Living in Yorkshire is considerably cheaper than living in the South of England, with savings on everything from the price of a meal to the average house price. The lifestyle in Yorkshire is also a little different to what you will find in the South. Even in the busy cities of Leeds and Sheffield, the pace is a lot more relaxed than you will find in the capital and the people can be a lot friendlier too.
Typically, Yorkshire residents enjoy everything from extreme sports on the edge of the Peaks to fantastic shopping in Trinity shopping centre in Leeds or even fish and chips at Scarborough Castle on the popular East Coast. With the city, sea, and dales all within easy reach – you will be spoiled for weekend activities.
Diversity in Yorkshire
After London, Yorkshire has the third largest representation of ethnic minority population in the UK. Of the 21 districts in Yorkshire, Bradford has the largest concentration of ethnic minority people. The district has the largest proportion of Pakistani ethnic origin (20.3%) in England. Furthermore, 1 in 4 pupils in primary school education in Bradford is from an ethnic minority background.
This district is vast and largely unspoiled, North Yorkshire is blessed with natural beauty as it contains two national parks – the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, and a breath-taking English coastline. The area will offer you traditional seaside resorts, rural communities and some of the oldest market towns in the country. North Yorkshire stretches from the North Sea coastal town of Scarborough and Whitby in the East, to the walled city of York in the south.
Getting to and from North Yorkshire is very easy as the East Coast mainline has direct services to London King’s Cross and to Edinburgh – from York, it is about two hours to both. The Durham Tees Valley Airport flies both nationally and internationally to various locations such as New York and Tokyo.
Reasons to live in North Yorkshire
Lower than average property prices
Excellent transport links
Green hills and a spectacular coastline
Traditional Yorkshire afternoon tea
East Riding of Yorkshire
The East Riding of Yorkshire is renowned for its rural and coastal character, although predominately rural, the area has become increasingly known as a hotspot for
culture. The East Riding sits next to the North Sea and borders North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
So, if you are a person who loves natural beauty, you will be spoilt for choice between the North Riding Forest Park and the North York Moors National Park.
Reasons to live in East Riding of Yorkshire
Big open spaces
Low house prices
Excellent quality schools
This part of the county has rugged and breath-taking countryside to lively cities, you can enjoy the best of both worlds in South Yorkshire. If you enjoy living in the buzz of a city, you will no doubt love South Yorkshire’s city Sheffield and other busy towns such as Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham. But if you prefer the quieter life, there are plenty of market towns or villages to choose from.
West Yorkshire is comprised of five metropolitan boroughs, being Calderdale, Kirklees and the major cities of Leeds, Bradford, and Wakefield. West Yorkshire is described as a thriving metropolitan county. Due to its location, at the very heart of North England, bordered by Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and North and South Yorkshire, also permits easy access to and from many other counties. Living in this county, you will benefit from easy access to beautiful natural surroundings, heritage, and a rich culture and history.
This district also possesses Leeds Bradford Airport, located 7 miles North West of Leeds city centre and 9 miles from Bradford City Centre. The airport is international and can take you to Canada, UAE, the United States and endless European countries.
Reasons to live in West Yorkshire
The middle ground between city and country life
Leeds is the UK’s top university city
Growing economic powerhouse
Over the centuries, Leeds has grown from a small market town to the UK’s fourth largest city. The city is the UK’s most successful business, financial and legal hub outside of London. It has a population of 715, 404, and the larger area of West Yorkshire makes up approximately 1.8 million.
Furthermore, Leeds is now home to three universities, two of which are based right in the city centre. Leeds University is one of the top higher education institutions in the country and produces some of the most skilled academics in the world.
Fun Facts about Leeds
Hippos once roamed the city – confirmed by archaeologists
Their shopping quarter is bigger than Heathrow – The city’s shopping space is enormous and if you laid it all out it would fit Heathrow Airport inside with room to spare
100,000 people pass through per day – An enormous statistic, but over 100,000 people use Leeds Train station every single day. That includes 900 trains and makes it the busiest UK train station outside of London
Leeds economy is bigger than New Zealand’s – According to the Guardian, Leeds’ GDP is estimated to be around £55bn, which is higher than New Zealand’s, three times the size of Turkey’s and over ten times the size of Barbados’
Sheffield is a city set on the edge of the Peak District offering something for everyone. It is within close proximity to the Peak District National Park, excellent for those who enjoy the outdoor lifestyle.
Sheffield is a similar size to Leeds with a smaller population of around 500,000 people. However, its larger region of South Yorkshire has approximately 1.3 million people.
Sheffield is also famous for its music scene. Over the years the city has delivered some of the finest acts in rock, pop and folk music.
Fun facts about Sheffield
Around a third of the city is inside the Peak District National Park – no other UK city has part of a National Park within its boundaries. And the Peak District was the first area in the UK to gain National Park status in 1951 and is spread across areas of Derbyshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Yorkshire and Staffordshire
It hosts the world’s oldest football club in the world that plays association football. Sheffield FC was founded in 1857
Sheffield has four trees for every person and is home to more than two million trees – the highest ratio of threes to people for any city in Europe. The city has 250 parks, woodland areas, and gardens
Bradford sits in the foothills of the Pennines and is known as Britain’s Curry Capital. Bradford is found in West Yorkshire, just a 45-minute drive from Leeds and an hour’s drive from Manchester. Its proximity to big cities means it also acts as an affordable commuter base.
Living in Bradford also means you can enjoy a wide range of cultures. The city has more than 200 ethnic restaurants and hosts annual multi-cultural festivals such as the Bradford Festival, which includes street theatre, music, and dance.
Fun facts about Bradford
Curry Capital of Britain – Every year a national competition is held to see who makes the best curries in Britain. Judges score four restaurants selected by the local council that are then judged on many different specific features about the dish itself and its presentation. Bradford has been named Curry Capital for Britain for a record-breaking five years in a row.
It’s a large city – Bradford is experiencing the biggest population boom in the country (excluding London). It has the largest proportion of under-fives, under nineteen-year-olds, and holds the biggest average household size.
The City of Film – In 2009 Bradford beat Los Angeles, Cannes and Venice to become the world’s first UNESCO City of Film. The city has been named as a ‘Creative Hub’ promoting socio-economic and cultural development both in the developed and the developing world. Also for creating ‘socio-cultural clusters’ connecting socio-culturally diverse communities to create a healthy urban environment.
York is a compact city which is loved by retirees, students, and families. It has been named as the UK’s most beautiful city by the Daily Mail while The Time put Clementhorpe – a suburb of York – within the top 10 coolest places to live in the UK.
York’s residents benefit from the vibrant calendar of cultural events, a range of restaurants, and activities to families.
Average Living Costs in Yorkshire
One-bedroom apartment in a City Centre
One-bedroom apartment outside of a City Centre
Meal for 1, Inexpensive Restaurant
Meal for 2 people, mid-range restaurant, three courses
Pint of Beer
Bottle of Water
One-way bus ticket
Monthly bus ticket
Fun Facts about Yorkshire as a county
If Yorkshire was its own independent country they would have finished 12th in the 2012 Olympics
Yorkshire’s three National Parks: The North York Moors, the Yorkshire Dales, and the Peak District – account for nearly a third of the total area of National Parks in the UK
Leeds, York, and Scarborough are among the top ten most visited English towns by UK residents.
The debut album of Sheffield band the Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, is the fastest-selling debut album in British music history.
Yorkshire has six Michelin-starred restaurants, more than any other region outside London
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Miller, A. (2018). 20 bizarre facts every local should know about Leeds. [online] WOW247. Available at: http://www.wow247.co.uk/2016/01/22/20-facts-about-leeds/
Lawson, N. (2018) 10 bizarre facts you probably didn’t know about Sheffield [online] iNews. Available at: https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/travel/10-bizarre-facts-probably-didnt-know-sheffield/
Walker, N. (2018) YEN Top 10 – Facts About Bradford | Yorkshire Enterprise Network. [online] Yorkshire Enterprise Network. Available at: https://www.yorkshirenetwork.co.uk/top-10/facts-about-bradford/
BuzzFeed. (2018). 47 Things You Might Not Know About Yorkshire. [online] Available at: https://www.buzzfeed.com/danieldalton/yorkshire-facts?utm_term=.agz2BAQP1D#.kf1JrKdwGq
Race.bitc.org.uk. (2018). [online] Available at: https://race.bitc.org.uk/sites/default/files/kcfinder/files/RaceforOpportunity/YORKSHIRE_HUMBER%20Factsheet.pdf