Day 6  Manchester to Newcastle 

Wow, long day!  Pointless run for a bus (I had ample minutage) and Huddersfield here I come. I was very happy enroute to see a sign for something called Oldham Mumps. Google tells me that Mumps is a roundabout in Oldham and there was formerly a railway bridge there emblazoned with the words “Seton welcomes you to Oldham: home of the tubular bandage”.  You learn something new every day. 

At Huddersfield, I changed for Leeds. Y’all might know how I have a thing for language and linguistics so I was interested to hear how much the accent had changed. There was a very patient mum helping her young daughter with her sums. “No, Sophie, you’ve already added the four” sounded to me like “Nerrr, Serfeh, yerve allreadeh added the fa.” I’m not mocking, I’m just genuinely interested in how people speak. 

I had time in Leeds to stretch my legs so I had a quick walk around the markets and a very posh shopping centre. 

My third bus of the day was to Whitby. The driver had to look the ticket price up, at around 3 hours 20 mins long, I don’t suppose many make the journey. As you might have seen on a previous post, I was excited to pass through York.  Not only is it a beautiful city, it’s also the most northerly place I’ve been to before, so hereinafter everything was new. I was hoping to have a few minutes to say hello to my friend Publisher Lee* who lives there, but alas the connections didn’t work that way. He did wave as I went past, which would have been wonderful if I’d have been looking out of the correct side of the bus. Grr. 

Not long past York, everything started to get very countryside-y. We passed a place called Kirby Misperton Protection Camp where a number of people are peacefully protesting fracking. Past a town called Pickering, and then onto a small village called Goathland, in the middle of the North York Moors National Park. So many sheep!  They were in people’s front gardens, wandering along the side of the road…one crossed the road and another sat on a garden bench. 

I was thrilled when I could see the sea as we approached Whitby. Last spotted in Land’s End, it marked my journey from west to east. 

Changed bus at Whitby, then again in Middlesbrough and finally there was Newcastle. It took over 11 hours, my longest day so far, so I was a bit tired to say the least. I found a great veggie restaurant nearby and had an amazing vegan calzone, filled with a flavoursome bean and hot dog chilli and cheese, yum yum. 

I had a little walk around, saw Chinatown, the old city walls and the football stadium. Headed back to the hotel and noticed that it was clearly previously a grand old shop, some info inside revealed it to have been a huge old Co-op. I worked in an old Co-op for 12 years, which was also once a beautiful deco building, now it’s mostly demolished. I pondered about this briefly, but sleep was soon on its way. 

Today, Edinburgh!

*I have two friends called Lee and I use their places of work to distinguish between them. Publisher Lee is not his real name.  It’s actually Senior Editor at Publishing and Hugo Award nominee Lee Harris. 

Some statistics for yesterday to end this post:

No. of times I saw Ant and Dec: 0

No. of times I saw Gazza singing ‘The Fog on the Tyne is all mine’: 0

No. of times I heard anyone say “Wy Aye pet”: 0

No. of new first cousins twice removed I gained: 1 Welcome to the world, young Noah! 

Manchester – Huddersfield – Leeds – Whitby – Middlesbrough – Newcastle Depart 8.26 Arrived 19.30

Grey’s Monument
Tyne bridge
Football club
First place I see in Chinatown is the Irish Centre
Old city wall


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