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Hidden Yorkshire Gems: Ewe's Best Kept Secrets

July 2022
Jodie Soulsby

As any proud Yorkshire dweller will tell you, it really is God’s own county. We boast some of the best countryside, coasts, cities of culture, cities of amazing growth, charming towns and rural idylls. We grow and produce world famous foods and world beating sportspeople. We gave the world Marks & Spencers, Cluedo, cat’s eyes, the Bronte sisters, sparkling water, stainless steel, Jelly Tots, amazing tea, Sooty and Sweep and, of course, the revered Yorkshire pudding to name but a few.

But there’s also plenty more to discover. The ewe team have been sharing their favourite hidden gems from their own stomping ground.

Mike, our Creative Director’s little gem is a walk up the Beacon.

“Like all the best walks, this one ends in a pub. My ‘gem’ is a 4km amble that takes you from Addingham’s suspension bridge, uphill to Langbar and then higher still to the top of Beamsley Beacon. On a clear day the summit yields panoramic views of the Wharfedale Valley and an amazing sunset if you time it right… Once you’ve had your fill of the vistas and drained your thermos, about turn and it’s downhill all the way to the taproom of The Fleece for a well-earned pint. You’re welcome.”

Kate, Account Manager extraordinaire, suggests exploring a very specific area of the river Aire in Leeds city centre.

“Brewery Wharf and The Calls is such an underrated area of Leeds. It’s more laid back and a calmer pace, perfect for grabbing a riverside drink and watching the sun go down. Why not have an Aperol Spritz at Calls Landing, then tapas at Ambiente.”

Home restaurant, which features in the Michelin Guide and is headed up by chef Liz Cottam, has recently relocated there too if you want to eat locally sourced tasting plates with views of the Aire.

Client Services Director, Vicki has picked a restaurant as her hidden gem.

“Mine is a gorgeous little restaurant in Sowerby Bridge called Engine Social Dining. They serve Michelin class food at everyday restaurant prices. We get the train over and go for a walk in the surrounding countryside to build up an appetite then share a few of their small tasting plates. Heaven.”

Jodie, our Digital Project Manager, has stuck very close to home.

“My hidden gem is Rawdon Billing, right on my back doorstep. It’s a green hill with a copse on top surrounded by fields and a little lake with a model boat club on and is only really frequented by locals so it’s pretty quiet. It’s perfect for a little walk when you just want to stretch your legs. You can walk through the fields and then up one of the tracks into the wooded area and explore the little fairy garden, go across to the trig point and take in the views of Leeds’ changing skyline and Emley Moor mast. Then feed the few ducks and swans that live by the pond on your way back down. I’m told you can even see York Minster on a clear day but I’ve yet to take my binoculars!”

Our Social Media Manager, Liz, discovered her hidden gem thanks to a global pandemic (every cloud!) and it’s still one of her favourite places.

“My hidden gem is a favourite local spot where I live in Menston. I first got to know it over lockdown as it became a place to meet friends for a socially distanced beverage or two! At the edge of Burley Moor by Burley Woodhead there’s a beautiful area with a pond, not far from a selection of Bronze Age stone formations. The highlight of this picturesque spot is the resident trio of Highland Cows. Known as “the Single Ladies,” they are named Beyoncé, Gaga and Tina (after Tina Turner, of course). Always brings a smile to my face to see these gentle ginger giants relaxing along the footpath or enjoying a dip in the pond.”

Lucy, Motion Design Queen, has also picked the great outdoors as her hidden gem.

“My hidden gem is Up'T Dale between Kilsney and Arncliffe there’s a beautiful, picturesque picnic spot just on the river Skirfair. It's also a nice, scenic (but hilly) cycle route through to Malham”

Frontend Dev, Charlie’s gem is so hidden you need a secret code to access it.

“There’s a rooftop bar in the centre of Leeds that’s hidden in plain sight. The entrance is tucked down a side street and you need an access code that changes daily to get in through the unassuming black door, but once you’re in you get great views of the Town Hall and across the city to accompany your drink. It’s entirely outdoors so if the weather’s not good, you’re not coming in.”

Duncan, Senior Designer here at ewe, has picked an entire village.

“My maybe not so hidden Yorkshire gem is Saltaire. It houses all my favourite things: there is Salts Mill with a whole floor or art and art books, half a floor of books of all varieties, half a floor of homewares, including a vintage Hornsea Pottery display at the back. It has multiple restaurants, a well-stocked antique centre, then outside of the mill you have a large bike shop. On the Main Street you have a few small, amazing gift shops, a great little bakery with some of the biggest buns ever! And not forgetting the river and park area, which also contains a lovely little cafe and ice cream parlour, the only points deducted are for a not well-thought-out skatepark, otherwise a solid 10/10 for Saltaire. As I said, it literally houses all my favourite things, something for everyone, and the whole family.”

Phil, our MD, never one to miss a trick, suggested ewe agency is his hidden gem!

“As a Yorkshire agency that have been operating for over 30 years from our office in a field in Guiseley, we have quietly been building brands and transforming businesses, so you could say we know a thing or two about hidden Yorkshire gems. Like all best kept secrets, we’re off the beaten track, but those in the know keep coming back and we have some excellent longstanding relationships… Maybe it’s time to start shouting about ourselves a bit more.”