Vive le tour – Fun facts about Yorkshire

The Tour de France is here and the Grand Depart has left from Yorkshire! So whether you’ll be watching the Tour on the TV or heading out to see the cyclists powering past, here’s some fun Yorkshire facts to impress the people you’re with.


  • Sheffield in South Yorkshire is recognized by FIFA and UEFA as the birth place of club football!  And Sheffield FC, which is formed in 1857, is the oldest association football club in the world.
  • The St. Leger, held at Doncaster Racecourse, is the world’s oldest and longest classic horse race and is run over a total distance of 1 mile, 6 furlongs and 132 yards. And in case you don’t know, 1 furlong = 200 metres. It’s not quite as long as the Tour, but that’s still a long race!

The great outdoors

  • Yorkshire has nearly a third of the total area of National Parks in England  which includes the North York Moors, most of the Yorkshire Dales and part of the Peak District, and covers a fifth of the region’s land area.
  • The Yorkshire Dales is home to England’s largest single drop waterfall, Hardraw Force which has a 100 foot drop. It also has Britain’s highest pub, the Tan Hill Inn which is 1,732ft above sea level.

Who says the French are the best for food?

  • There are 5 Michelin Star restaurants in Yorkshire, more than any other region in England, outside of London.
  • You might know that Yorkshire is the birthplace of Yorkshire puddings but did you know that Yorkshire’s also responsible for Wensleydale cheese, ginger beer, liquorice and rhubarb!

Major Achievements

  • Bradford trumped Los Angeles, Cannes and Venice to achieve UNESCO City of Film status.
  • If Yorkshire were an independent country is would have finished an incredible twelfth on the league table in the 2012 Olympics, gaining 7 Golds, 2 Silvers and 3 Bronze. Athletes include Jessica Ennis, who competed in the Heptathlon, boxer Nicola Adams and cyclist Ed Clancy.

Final Random Fact

Thomas Crapper (born in Yorkshire in 1836) didn’t actually invent the flushing toilet but he did invent a spring-loaded toilet seat that caused the toilet to flush when the user stood up. Unfortunately, due to a problem with the rubber buffers, the springy seat would stick down for a few seconds before springing back to slap the poor user on the bum. Unsurprisingly, this ‘Bottom Slapper’ wasn’t a success.