Saturday in Haworth, Yorkshire

Despite having been born in Yorkshire and having lived here for 21 of my 27 years, I still love exploring the county. Although there are still lots of places that I haven’t been to yet, I like re-visiting some old favourites; hence, this week’s trip to Haworth, West Yorkshire. If you are interested in Victorian literature, then chances are that you’d heard of this place: it is the town in which the Brontë sisters lived and wrote their novels. The last time I visited this place (according to my mum), it was in 1992 and I cried because I was scared of the steam trains! This time there were no tears in sight, it was a lovely day trip.

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First we stopped off for lunch at the Haworth Old Hall (it was quite busy so book in advance). It is a beautiful seventeenth-century building and the period features make this place cozy and special. The menu was good pub food: I had the burger and chunky chips, my boyfriend had beetroot and squash wellington, and we shared some halloumi fries. I washed this all down with a pint of cider whilst we chatted about our favourite Victorian books (and least favourite, I’m looking at you The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman!).

Old Haworth hall Lisabeth Westwood

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Then it was off to the Brontë Parsonage museum! The entrance fee was £8.50 but this gives you unlimited access for a year! I didn’t take any pictures in the parsonage itself, but it was such a pretty buiding. It was so interesting to see where the sisters wrote, look at their letters and childhood drawings. I learnt so much, they led such interesting, but sadly short, lives.

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We had a little look around Haworth, the gardens, churches, and even saw some very fancy chickens strutting around. It would have been nice to stay for a cuppa and a scone in one of the cafés or look round the heritage railway station, but it was getting late. Haworth is such a pretty town and set in some beautiful countryside less than an hour’s drive from Leeds. A perfect spot for the Brontë enthusiast (you can definitely the inspiration for Heathcliff’s moody wanderings on the moors), but interesting for anyone wanting a day trip to somewhere with some fascinating history. Highly recommend!

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for fun day trips out!

 

 

 

 

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5 Reasons Why You Should Do a Languages Degree!

I spent four years doing a modern languages degree and I loved it! Here’s why you should consider doing one too.

1. It isn’t just learning vocabulary

Despite the title photo, a languages degree isn’t just grammar and practicing your accent. Most programmes will have literature, film, art, linguistics modules (and more!) so you can fully immerse yourself into another culture. Literature is what I love and I got to read books written from 1170 to 2008 – often at the same time!

2. You get to travel

Most languages degrees require students to spend their 3rd year abroad and then come back for the final 4th year. This is such an incredible opportunity. I went to university in Paris and then taught English in Austria but some of my friends went as far as Argentina, La Réunion, and Canada! The point of the year is to build up your fluency but also to experience life in that country and culture and this usually ends us meaning doing lots of eating – be it baguettes, paella, or pasta.

3. You become fluent in another language

This might sound obvious (and it is!) but being able to rock up to your holiday destination and chat to the locals is such an incredible feeling. You might later want to move countries and another language is a brilliant tool to make that transition so much easier. Also, once you have learnt one language then other (similar) languages become easier to learn. Lots ofprogrammes let you take up a new language – I did this and took German: it was hard but so interesting.

4. It is useful for SO many career paths

Just because you have a languages degree does not mean you can only become a languages teacher. Being a teacher is a brilliant, difficult, rewarding job but there are other things you can do with a languages degree. The obvious ones are directly related, such as translator or interpreter, but the skills you learn are transferable: for example, I have friends who now work in fashion, banking, publishing, and retail management. Languages degrees are also a bonus if you work at an international company!

5. Access to another culture

A languages degree means that you will have an understanding of a different country’s history, politics, literature, music, film industry and so much more. That knowledge is great to help you get a deeper understanding of your own culture but on a more superficial level it means that you have more books, films, poetry, theatre, music all at your finger tips. It also makes you look like an intellectual when you are reading some high brow German literature on the bus!

I absolutely loved my languages degree and tbis is the second in a series of posts all about applying to higher education, the experience at university, and then moving on to masters or doctoral level too!

You can find out more about my PhD experience here.