The author Adelle Stripe on the North’s decent boozers, live music and hidden Cold War bunkers.
Adelle Stripe’s Guide to North England
Vocation & Co in Hebden Bridge serves tacos made from local produce, and its own beer brewed in the area. It’s the place I always take guests.
The Moorcock Inn at Norland has some of the highest quality bar food in the north. The chef, Alisdair Brooke-Taylor, not only creates and grows half of the menu, he also makes the ceramics it’s all served on.
Spurn Point is a childhood favourite. It’s on the tip of the Humber Estuary, facing out towards the wild North Sea. It feels like the edge of the earth.
There are many great boozers up here. When in Manchester, I always head to the Peveril of the Peak. When in York, a pint of Timothy Taylor in the Blue Bell is unbeatable.
It’s off the beaten track, but RAF Holmpton in East Riding is worth the journey. It’s a Cold War bunker: 36 acres built underground, with all the original fittings including maps, communication walls, sirens, radar equipment and a hospital. It’s astonishing to think what lies beneath the soil.
Liverpool is always a delight. Stay in the Georgian Quarter and wander around the Tate, the RC Cathedral, aka ‘Paddy’s Wigwam’, that resembles a spaceship, or visit the International Slavery Museum.
From the madding crowd?
Barter Books in Alnwick is a Mecca for bookworms. It has a miniature railway running through the shop and is built in the old train station. The shop has a café, an open fire, lots of space – plus rare first editions and the latest titles.
Ted Hughes used to catch salmon in the Borders, chuck the fish into his boot and drive to Mytholmroyd to see his Aunt Hilda on the way back. As he owned Lumb Bank (where the Arvon Foundation is located), he’d sometimes drop the fish off in the middle of the night to feed the students. They never knew who had supplied the fish that fed them.
‘You can always tell a Yorkshireman, but you can never tell him owt’ – seems to sum up the (to me) unbearable aspects of a certain type of Yorkshireman, exemplified by such figures as Geoffrey Boycott and Bernard Ingham. Thankfully, he is a dying breed!
You absolutely must…
Visit the Trades Club. It’s an institution: a celebrated live music venue with a sprung dance floor, owned by its members. It was described as ‘the hippest venue in the North’ by The Guardian. I couldn’t agree more.
The locals wouldn’t like it if you…
Litter. Seeing the piles of rubbish left in the countryside over lockdown is infuriating.
In Todmorden you can buy Sad Cakes, which were made for people working the mills with currants and leftover pastry. They go down a treat with a mug of Yorkshire Tea.
Shop till you drop?
I head to Manchester’s Northern Quarter for second-hand clothes and independent record shops.
The York Gate Garden is considered to be one of the UK’s best small gardens and was designed as a series of beautifully crafted outdoor rooms.
Back to nature?
I try and visit Robin Hood’s Bay at least once a year. Walking on the beach at low tide is always magical.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park at Bretton Hall is a breath-taking place, with works by Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Andy Goldsworthy.