What's not to love about Yorkshire?
The county of Yorkshire offers a little bit of just about everything. You have coast, countryside, National Parks, historic monuments, stunning views, great wildlife, subterranean wonders, castles and much much more. So what are the very best bits? … Here are some of our ideas.
The Yorkshire Dales
The Yorkshire Dales National Park is famous for its incredible geography. It is an undulating landscape of gentle valleys and hills interspersed with traditional stone-built villages and dry stone walls. A myriad of different habitats makes this a landscape of many moods; sometimes wild, sometimes tranquil. The Dales boasts waterfalls, ancient woodland, open farmland, scraggy limestone pavements with heather-clad moorland and an underground network of caves. Here is their What's On Calendar.
Stay in Yorkshire yourself and explore the landscape.
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Fountains Abbey is one not to miss. It is the largest remaining monastic ruin in Britain. It was originally built by Benedictine monks and is now part of the Studley Royal Park UNESCO World Heritage Site. This magnificent ruin sits in the parkland of 17th century Fountains Hall Castle in Ripon in North Yorkshire. While here you can visit the Cistercian corn mill and wander the amongst the follies and statues of an incredible water garden which was designed in the 18th century. This is a National Trust property, so if you're a member remember to bring your card. Here's the website.
For history buffs, Saltaire is Yorkshire's second UNESCO World Heritage Site. This one is located in west Yorkshire and is a complete Victorian industrial village of the 19th century. This well-preserved village includes textile mills, public buildings and workers' housing. The village is located on the river Aire and, according to UNESCO, is an incredible example of philanthropic paternalism, built in a harmonious style that was used as a model for other developments and industrial urban planning. One of the main attractions in the town now is Salt's Mill which houses a gallery, places to eat and shops. Take a look at the Salt's Mill Website.
If history is your thing, Branwell is a romantic little retreat for two in nearby Hawoth which is the pretty town rich in Brontë associations. This 18th century weaver's cottage is great for exploring the beautiful area this famous literary family loved so much and is just half an hour from Saltaire.
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North York Moors
The North York Moors are Yorkshire's second National Park. A fifth of the landscape is made up of woodland and forest and here you will find a host of walks and paths to explore. As the name suggests, the most important habitat is the moorland. Heather moorland is really rare and roughly 70% of the world's supply is in the UK. Of this, the largest continuous expanse is found in the North York Moors. This habitat, as well as the plants and animals it supports is nationally and internationally important. Discover the area for yourself: here is a list of the North York Moors National Park Authority's Six Best Walks.
A trip to the Beach
Yorkshire is lucky enough to boast a great stretch of coastline and depending on what you're after, dramatic cliffs, quaint fishing villages or smooth sandy beaches are all at your disposal.
Scarborough, on the east coast of North Yorkshire has a popular open air theatre and a busy seafront which overlooks the long stretch of sandy beach. The beach is split into two bays by a promontory that supports the 11th century ruins of Scarborough Castle. Visit the Scarborough website.
Whitby is another favourite. Slightly further up the coast, this has a more traditional 'seaside town' feel to it. Sit along the pier with fish and chips, or spend the day on one of its blue flag beaches. Whitby is home to the famous North Yorkshire Moors steam railway and the fantastic ruins of Whitby Abbey. Visit the Whitby website.
Stay in one of our stunning Lighthouse Cottages at Whitby Lighthouse.
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Richmond Castle is considered one of the greatest Norman fortresses in Britain. Building work commenced during the 11th century in order to tame the unruly North of England. The castle sits above the River Swale and visitors can see the large outer walls, wander the courtyards and admire the keep, which is the best preserved part of the castle and retains its original gate arch. An Exhibition on site outlines 900 years worth of history and there is a lovely garden too. You can read a little more about the castle on the English Heritage website.
East Lodge is a modern barn conversion in Bedale that is situated in 30 acres of its own land and enjoys far-reaching country views. This 8-guest property is roughly half an hour equidistant from Richmond Castle and Fountains Abbey.
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York Bird of Prey Centre
For animal lovers the York Bird of Prey Centre provides you with a great opportunity to handle different kinds of raptors. This is a good one for families and you can get up close and personal to these beautiful creatures; friendly staff really know their stuff and there are flying demonstrations to watch too. The centre is located in the walled garden of Burn Hall in Huby and is home to around 70 birds with 45 different species. Here is their website.
White Scar Cave
Explore the longest show cave in England! The White Scar Caves are located to the west of the Yorkshire Dales and are hugely popular with those interested in experiencing Yorkshire's magnificent subterranean landscape. Due to the predominately limestone rock of this National Park, the Yorkshire Dales are famous for their cave systems which have been formed by erosion over thousands of years. Many people come to try their hand at caving, but if you don't much fancy the idea of scrambling up and down these deep spaces on the end of a rope, then there are plenty of show caves to enjoy, with steps and easy-to-walk pathways leading you down into beautiful caverns studded with stalagmites and stalactites. The White Scar Caves are a popular example of these and you can find out all about them on the website.
Masongill Lodge is a charming cottage for 8 located close to the White Scar Caves. It dates from the 18th century and is situated within its own grounds close to Ingleton and Kirkby.
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