Leeds – Thursday 13th July 2017

Our holiday continued with a visit to Leeds by train from Bradford. We visited Leeds in 2012 but didn’t really explore the city in depth.  This time we did quite a bit of walking – the art gallery we wanted to go into was closed for refurbishment, but as the weather was so lovely we decided to stay mostly outside.  We visited the wonderful Kirkgate Market (it recently featured on the news as one of the stalls was selling an item of pork that might be more suited to a bush-tucker trial…) and also the Marks and Spencer Archive which is free and well worth a visit.  It’s a little way out of the town, being situated in part of the University campus, but very interesting and worth the walk.

The Waterstones in Leeds is a large store set over three floors and according to their website is Yorkshire’s largest book shop.  I left Peter having a coffee here whilst I went to snap some shots and buy some postcards.  I know it’s a bit old-fashioned now but I love sending them! 

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The photographs below are from the County Arcade in the Victoria Quarter and the Kirkgate Market.




Manchester Deansgate – Wednesday 12th July 2017

The second store in Manchester is much larger than the one in the Arndale – and much grander!   The store’s website informs me that Deansgate is “the biggest bookshop in the North of England”.  It has rooms off the main building with sign-boards above the door and stocks over 80,000 books!  I particularly loved the colourful children’s department and the funky cafe (sadly no time for a cuppa). 

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Side View
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Children’s Department (isn’t it funky?!)
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The Cafe’s quite funky too!

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We were going to have a meal in the Printworks which is, as the name suggests, the site of a former newspaper publisher, but as our friend couldn’t make it we went back to our hotel.   It’s an area we love though, so here’s a photo from our visit in 2014!


Manchester Arndale – 12th July 2017

We went to Manchester to meet up with a friend for dinner.  Unfortunately she was poorly, but it did give us the opportunity to snap the two Waterstones in the city!  This one is in the Arndale Shopping Centre

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On our way to Manchester we visited the World Heritage Site of Saltaire. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in this part of the world.  Businessman Titus Salt purchased land to move his five factories and build a village for his workers to live in.  Completed in 1851 the village was designed with the health and welfare of his staff in mind. Nowadays the mill building houses a David Hockney exhibition and several shops plus a cafe.  Although not a Waterstones, I did buy a copy of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens to add to my collection from the book shop there!


We also stopped at the Baitings Reservoir near Sowerby Bridge where we walked across the dam.  A great spot for a picnic!

Baitings Dam

We continued listening to The Lewis Man by Peter May on audio book in the car and I started reading Cowboy Song: The Authorised Biography of Philip Lynott by Graeme Thomson

Bradford Pop-up Store – Sunday 9th July 2017

We arrived in Bradford during the last couple of hours of their Literature Festival – quite by chance we stumbled upon a pop-up Waterstones.  It was a beautiful day and the City Park (definitely worth a visit) was packed with people enjoying the sunshine by splashing in the Mirror Pool!

The outside of the pop-up shop was covered with book quotes from authors including William Goldman, J M Barrie, Neil Gaiman, P L Travers, C S Lewis and J B Priestley to name but a few.  The inside was very hot!

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Obviously this pop-up store isn’t there any more, but it’s worth visiting the park anyway!

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Bradford – Sunday 9th July 2017

After leaving Swansea on the Sunday, I met Peter at Bristol Parkway where we headed off to Bradford for the start of our holiday in Yorkshire. We weren’t sure what to expect of Bradford, but it was the perfect base for the areas we wanted to visit (including the Brontë Parsonage at Haworth and Oakworth Station which featured in the 1970s adaptation of The Railway Children) and we were pleasantly surprised with the city.

The Waterstones here is in the Wool Exchange – a stunning gothic-style building, completed in 1867. 

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Isn’t it wonderful?!

I took loads of pictures at Haworth and Oakworth, but I will resist posting them all! 

Here are three – the first is the parsonage where Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne lived with their father. 


The second relates to a project to recreate the missing manuscript of Wuthering Heights – each visitor who chooses to participate gets to write one line from the book – mine, from chapter 18, reads ” ‘Come, come!’ I repeated. ‘I’ll tie the ribbon. Now, let…” – and to keep the pencil used.  Eventually the book will be bound and displayed at the museum.


The final one shows Oakworth Station.  Daddy!  My daddy…!


Still reading Spectacles by Sue Perkins and also listening to an audio version of The Lewis Man by Peter May in the car. This is the second book in the Lewis Trilogy – we really enjoyed the first. 

Swansea – Friday 7th July 2017

I had a weekend away in Swansea meeting up with friends from different parts of the country and had mentioned my quest to one of them who told me that the Waterstones here was a cinema between 1914 and 1977.  Waterstones restored the building around 2007 and a great job they did of it too.  I would like to visit this one again some time and visit the coffee shop there!

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I didn’t buy anything, but one of my friends bought this Sherlock Holmes card game which we played a couple of times that evening.  It was good, and I’m sure it’ll be even better next time when we play it by the correct rules…!

I started reading Spectacles by Sue Perkins on the train to Swansea.  It was a good read – lovely and chatty as you’d expect from Sue.  I hope she writes more.

Newport, Gwent – Sunday 2nd July 2017

We went to Newport in Gwent specifically to climb the transporter bridge!  Last September we walked across the one in Middlesbrough (as recommended by Stuart Maconie in his book Pies and Prejudice) so thought we’d try this one nearer to home and it seemed the perfect opportunity to visit another Waterstones!  I don’t actually like heights, so wasn’t sure if I’d manage, but was determined to try.

The Waterstones is in a beautiful building.  According to the member of staff on duty this branch used to be an Ottakar’s book shop.  It has a gorgeous dragon mural behind the cash desk from those days. It’s not a very big store but has a really nice feel about it.  I have contacted the store and they told me that the dragon was done by Chris Burke.

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As for the bridge climb…

I managed it!  It was pretty scary as the platform is not filled in like the one in Middlesbrough  I was quite proud of myself at the end!

Still reading the same books as the previous day’s trip to Southampton.