Yorkshire Travel Tips

Posted: 2009-06-22

Yorkshire Travel Tips

I love Yorkshire. There's so much to see and experience, and so much variety of natural beauty and so many historic attractions to visit. Here are my top travel tips for visiting Yorkshire, gleaned from quite a few visits over the past several years.

York - this is a no brainer choice; if you enjoy historic Britain, York must be on your short-list of places to see. I'll do a tips list for York on its own shortly, but in the meantime let me just say that its well worth an extended visit. For great views of the glorious York Minster, try a walk around the old medieval city walls.

Castle Howard - Sir John Vanbrugh's Baroque masterpiece of a stately home, set in glorious gardens by Capability Brown. One of the truly great stately homes of England. I have had the pleasure of photographing the wonderful dome while lying flat on the floor beneath, and all the time marvelling at the fabulous architecture.

North York Moors around Young Ralph Cross
- certainly less grand than Castle Howard, Young Ralph Cross is the symbol of the North York Moors National Park. It is a medieval cross that stands at a crossroads above Rosedale. At first glance, it is not imposing, but try coming up onto the moors at sunset and see if you don't appreciate how lovely it is, and how beautiful the stark moors are about it.

Malham Cove (external link) - the popular village of Malham stands at the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales. A walk along a lovely path leads from the village to Malham Cove, a semi-circular cliff face where the water emerges from the ground, having descended underground from the high lands above. You can climb a steep path beside the Cove to reach a striking area of limestone pavement above, with stunning views over classic Yorkshire Dales countryside below.

Whitby Abbey - the historic port of Whitby is worth visiting in its own right; the old streets and alleys near the harbour are full of colourful old buildings, including some associated with Captain James Cook, who sailed from here. A step stair leads from the harbour area to the cliffs above, where the ruins of Whitby Abbey stand in a stunning location. This was the site of a pivotal event in English history, when in 664 AD a synod here decided in favour of adopting the Roman Catholic model of Christianity over the Celtic approach.

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal - although Fountains is one of the most heavily visited attractions in Yorkshire, it is well worth braving the summer crowds and visiting this wonderful abbey. A lovely walk leads from the abbey ruins to Studley Royal Water Garden, an 18th-century garden famed for its curving pools and excellent views back to the abbey.

These are my top tips for places to visit in Yorkshire, but golly, there is so much more. If you want a few extra historic attractions, how about Rievaulx Abbey, Helmsley Castle, or Jervaulx Abbey? For scenic beauty, try Aysgarth Falls, near Hawes, or the stunning Gordale Scar, near Malham.

Help! Stop me from typing more, or I'll keep going forever!

Yorkshire Travel Guide on Britain Express
Yorkshire Tourist Board website

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