Writer Matt Haig reveals his favourite things about Yorkshire

Writer Matt Haig

Writer Matt Haig - Credit: Archant

Since the release of his bestselling 2015 memoir Reasons to Stay Alive, in which he detailed his mental health struggles, Matt Haig has become a prolific author and mental health campaigner.  Haig was born in Sheffield, and spent much of his adult life moving between Hull, Leeds, and York. He now lives in Sussex with his wife, Andrea, and their two children. 

Something in Yorkshire that makes you smile
Just that feeling of coming home. Even though I’ve moved down south, I feel like I’m home when I’m in Yorkshire. I think it’s a very diverse county in lots of ways. It’s like a microcosm of England in terms of the culture and restaurants and pubs. I love Yorkshire and the people.

A place you love to eat
I might be biased but I think Yorkshire’s got the best pubs in the world. One of my favourites is The Star Inn at Harome. It’s great pub with lovely food and atmosphere. I also enjoy The Star Inn The City in York, owned by the same people.

The Gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey with the suns rays producing a star. Sea mist held back by the cli

'Whitby Abbey has to be one of the most spectacular sites in England', says Matt - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A place to take friends
There are so many places, but one of my favourites is Whitby. Whitby Abbey has to be one of the most spectacular sites in England.

READ MORE: Beautiful Whitby named one of UK's top seaside towns

Inspiration outdoors
One of my favourite things when I lived in York was running by the river, which I used to do every single day. I’d run along one side, go over the bridge and then come back the other side.

An enduring memory
In the depths of depression, I’d go out on a clear night in Yorkshire and just take a few minutes to look at the stars. It was so important at that time in my life to be reminded of beauty, of life. 

READ MORE: How to view the Milky Way in Yorkshire

The Deep, Hull

The Deep, Hull - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A cultural go-to
We always like aquariums, so you’ve got The Deep in Hull, which is great. There’s also Brontë Country. I love the Brontë Parsonage as I’ve been a Brontë fan since my university days, and I love Haworth.

A dramatic sunset over a bend in the River Ouse in York. A path runs alongside a tree-lined river b

'One of my favourite things when I lived in York was running by the river', says Matt - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto


Inspiration outdoors
One of my favourite things when I lived in York was running by the river, which I used to do every single day. I’d run along one side, go over the bridge and then come back the other side.

Natural geology in countryside with clints and grykes in limestone paving

Malham Cove is one of Matt's places for inspiration - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A Yorkshire view that inspires 
Malham Cove is amazing. My wife and I love walking there. When you’re at the top, it feels like you’re on the surface of the moon or something because of the rock formations. It’s like a brain made out of rock. It’s also supposed to be the ultimate rock climbing spot, but I’m bad with heights.

I’m never happier than when… 
I’m getting outside, going running, swimming, cooking, it has to be an activity. I’m very bad at sitting still because my brain just whirs. It sounds corny but I find writing therapeutic, just embracing the simple thing, having a veggie BBQ with the family, swimming in the sea.

Three words that sum up Yorkshire 
Authentic. Diverse. Cultural

A performance of Matt Haig's best selling book Reasons to Stay Alive is being staged at Leeds Playhouse in October.  It is his true story of his journey out of depression crisis; a profoundly uplifting exploration of living and loving better. It is the first theatrical adaptation of Matt Haig’s frank and funny bestseller. This play with music and movement, imagined for the stage and directed by Jonathan Watkins, celebrates what it means to be alive.

Follow Matt on twitter at @MattHaig1