North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire is a largely rural county with rolling moorland, valleys, wide open spaces and coastline of outstanding beauty.

Packed with history, a Roman past and national parks to explore, visitors can explore the pretty villages, historic castles and stately homes in England’s largest county.

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North Yorkshire Overview

Welcome to North Yorkshire

Covering over 3,200 square miles, North Yorkshire is England’s largest county and is bordered by East Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, Durham marked by the River Tees and the North Sea on its eastern coast.

North Yorkshire has a population of around 1,100,000 people. The county town is North Allerton, with other large towns at historic York, Middlesbrough, Harrogate, Scarborough and Redcar.

Around 40% of North Yorkshire is covered by the national parks of the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, whilst the Pennine Hills, the Vale of Mowbray and the Vale of York contribute to a rolling rural landscape dotted with pretty villages where farming has been historically important. The city of York is a Roman walled city through which the River Ouse flows, with visitor attractions including York Minster and various galleries and museums.


History

Yorkshire’s history is littered with tales of invasion and uprising, which belies the castles and fortifications across the county. Roman settlement is evident in the county, with York an historically important city and tourist destination.

Manufacturing and industry was important through the ages, though nowadays tourism is a major part of the North Yorkshire economy with the county welcoming millions of visitors a year keen to explore the countryside and enjoy the stunning scenery.


Places to Visit in North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire’s jewel is the Roman city of York. Visitors flock to the city to take in the stunning York Minster, historic towns walls and Victorian cobbled street museum and the impressive Jorvik Viking centre. Visitors can also enjoy the Yorkshire Museum, St. Mary’s Abbey, York Castle and The Treasurer’s House amongst a host of visitor attractions.

North Yorkshire is packed with a number of days out – with the Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo, the ruins of Yorkshire Air Museum, North Yorkshire Moors Railway and the National Railway Museum at York providing great fun for all the family. Gardens include Breezy Knees Gardens, RHS Garden Harlow Carr at Harrogate, Scampston Hall and Gardens, whilst the Yorkshire Arboretum provides a display of colour all year round. The cathedral city of Ripon and the spa town of Harrogate are worth exploring.

The castles of North Yorkshire provide a great opportunity to the revisit history. 14th century Castle Bolton near Leyburn is a great visitor experience where you can try your hand at archery. Richmond Castle dominates a town full of places to visit. Skipton Castle is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Britain where you can explore the Watch Tower, dungeons and chapel before relaxing on the Chapel Terrace. Ripley Castle is home to over 700 years of history whilst outside the gardens include a tropical plant collection set in a hothouse. Scarborough Castle built on the site of a Roman fortress overlooks the North Sea, giving tremendous views – though not many come to invade these days!

North Yorkshire has a large number of stately homes for open for visitors to enjoy. Castle Howard in the Howardian Hills outside York is perhaps one of the finest houses in the country – the 18th century house complete with renowned art collections occupies a place in the 1,000 acre estate of gardens, temples, lakes and fountains. Situated between York and Harrogate, Beningbrough Hall & Gardens dates back to the 18th century and allows the visitors to explore both the house and the gardens – where you will find walks and a walled garden. Fairfax House in York provides the visitor with a window on Georgian life in York where a collection of furniture and furnishings are set against a backdrop of stunning interior architecture. Constable Burton Hall Gardens near Leyburn, Goddard’s House, Newby Hall, Nunnington Hall and the stunning Kiplin Hall at Richmond are other houses worthy of a visit in North Yorkshire.

The landscape of North Yorkshire attracts thousands of visitors every year. The North York Moors national park includes rolling moorland, forest, and stunning coastline including the old fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay where you can visit the Robin Hood Bay Museum and the Old Coastguard Station and the Georgian cobbled streets of Whitby Bay overlooked by the 7th century abbey ruins on the clifftop above. Visit the Captain James Cook Museum and don’t forget to try the fish and chips.

North Yorkshire’s famous names include the great explorer Captain James Cook, Guy Fawkes, actress Dame Judi Dench, football manager Brian Clough and entertainers Frankie Howerd and Paul Daniels.

North Yorkshire has a large range of annual events and given the rural setting of the county many have a rural or agricultural theme. The Wakefield Rhubarb Festival – full of rhubarb food and drink, Kirbymoorside – traditionally the first country show of the summer, Staithes Festival of Arts and Heritage, Parkfest at Danby and the Whitby Regatta are amongst a host of attractions for visitors.

The county is famous for a range of food and drink including the famous Yorkshire Tea, Liquorice from Pontefract, Wensleydale Cheese, historic beer from the Tadcastle brewery, Whitby fish and chips and Sunday lunch just wouldn’t be the same without a Yorkshire pudding!


Getting There

The A1(M) cuts through the centre of North Yorkshire meaning it is readily accessible by road from both the North and the South.

The East Coast Mainline operates regular services from London, Newcastle and Scotland into York.



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