At 850 feet above sea level, this is Englands highest town and home to the famous Wensleydale Cheese. Aptly named as a pass between mountains, this pretty market town is tucked between Buttertubs Pass and Fleet Moss so there is a vast choice of walking opportunities across the nearby dales. The visitor centre at the Wensleydale Creamery has a great museum which shows the cheese making process and historical dairy equipment.
Just outside the town is the Hardraw Force, the country’s largest single drop waterfall with lovely riverside walks and a small heritage centre. The Mosaic Trail consists of four short walks around the town or visitors may wish to stroll along the River Ure. This river eventually leads to the iconic Aysgarth Falls, a popular spot with viewing platforms to make the most of the impressive views. Focusing on the social history of the area, Dales Countryside Museum is worth a visit and in the nearby village of Reeth is the Swaledale Museum with fascinating collections of mining tools and prehistoric discoveries.
The medieval Castle Bolton offers historical tours and daily family friendly events such as falconry displays, archery and wild boar feeding. The restored Gayle Mill has interesting workshops on glass making and ceramics, with tours showing the original 19th century machinery in action.
By far the largest county in the UK, Yorkshire is extremely popular for its countryside retreats as well as the bright lights of some busy cities like Harrogate, Sheffield and Leeds. Scarborough is the oldest seaside resort in Britain.
Whitby has been voted the country's best beach and has a beautiful harbour and a Dracula museum to boot (the town is featured in the Bram Stoker vampire story of the same name, as well as some of its many movie adaptations).
Yorkshire has always had a great and not always friendly rivalry with the neighbouring county of Lancashire. Some of the bloodiest battles in English history took place in these shires, as the opposing Plantagenet houses of York and Lancaster fought a bitter civil conflict commonly known as the Wars of the Roses. Nowadays the competition takes place mostly on the cricket pitch.
The two counties are among the most famous teams in this oh so important English summer game. Yorkshire has the nickname “God's own county”, a reference to the beauty of its countryside, with several National Parks formed to protect its moors and dales and rugged coastline. Cliffs of limestone, chalk and jet guard its coast against the sea. Because of its considerable size, Yorkshire is often regarded as three distinct administrative areas called “ridings” (North, West and East Riding), a Scandinavian concept thought to derive from the Viking occupation in the first century AD.