My Chevening month: Exploring Yorkshire in February
It’s February! Days are getting longer and the sun spends more time with us. It’s also my fifth month here in the UK and my spotlight month (it’s scary how time passes really quickly).
It has been an enormous month with an intense amount of activities, networking, attending conferences, and above all of that keeping up with studies and trying to maintain the good results of my first semester.
Luckily I live in a city where travelling to most of the UK counties is made easy, not only this but my city belongs to ‘God’s own country’ – Yorkshire! Bradford is in the west of Yorkshire, and one cannot talk about Yorkshire without saying that it has been named ‘Europe’s leading destination’ in 2013, and you will understand why in my blog post.
First thing I did and, as a solo traveller, this month I wanted to try something new. I wanted to travel and explore with local people to get the best out of my travelling journey, because who knows a place better than its own people? So, I booked my journey to Addingham for a ‘social photography walk’.
The journey to Addingham was pretty long from Bradford as it was a Sunday. I set my alarm early, found it very hard to wake up, but promised to myself to never waste a day without learning something new, travelling to a new place, or just studying hard – and this gave me the motivation to go. I arrived at my destination to find myself meeting an award-winning photographer who has been around different extraordinary places in the Yorkshire and documented them, and three ladies who love photography as much as I do.
We started our walking journey looking at the beautiful places while learning more about my camera. And to my big surprise, while chit-chatting with the ladies, among them was a lady who studied international business and management at my school, and later on worked in Dubai as a consultant. For someone who has been struggling with their dissertation topic, this was fortunate serendipity as I could talk to her about my research on my area of interest. This was most fruitful as she gave me more insight into what could be an interesting research subject in an upcoming area.
After the walk, we engaged in a British cultural thing. Can you guess what? Yes! We went to a pub where we could rest and socialise, talk about the pictures we have taken, and share our contact details. And, who knows, we may meet again on other social walks.
Among the other things that I wanted to do in my month was to go hiking as it’s a sport I always wanted to try. My first hike was a solo hike. It was totally random as I went out from home with the idea of going out to do grocery shopping, but I ended up taking the train randomly to discover a new place (no kidding). I stopped in Ilkley and the weather was cold and raining. I started by looking at the touristic information and found Ilkley Moor which is well known as an inspiring part of Yorkshire.
My second hiking activity, with my friend from Leeds who is also a Chevening Scholar, was Otley Chevin. Here we found a Roman road at the top of the Chevin.
For someone who has read my blog post about HostUK they will know what a huge fan of Yorkshire I am. I knew from the first day I chose to study in Bradford that I had chosen a strategic place to travel all around, including Yorkshire. And one thing I love to do in Yorkshire is to travel to small towns, taste Yorkshirian food and talk to local people. Knaresborough was another unplanned trip where I found myself in a fairy-tale place (that’s how I like to describe it) and tasted a local ice cream.
After this trip there were many others around Yorkshire, including Ilkley, Skipton, Addingham, Leeds, Thirsk, Shipley, Bolton, Otley, Keighley, Bingley, Saltaire, and the capital, York.
Places around Yorkshire:
I have decided to create an Instagram hashtag for all my travel around Yorkshire: #yorkshirewanderer.
As February has come to an end, I attended Chevening’s ‘Big data and innovation’ workshop at the University of Liverpool, where I have learnt from speakers like Moh Hussain, digital journalist from BBC Arabic, that big data is for everyone, and we don’t need to be data scientists to be able to analyse it and use it.
I also travelled around Liverpool, saw the Beatles, and tasted some of the best seafood in the place.
And as a last thing to do in February, us Bradford scholars brought the blue Chevening Relay baton from Liverpool to Bradford.
It was a brilliant month indeed, and I have learnt so many things about myself and the British culture, and, most importantly, how to enjoy every single moment because time passes really quickly!
Other activities I did around the month:
- Visited the world’s largest railway museum in York:
- Visited Leeds Art Gallery: