Offered as a great all year round destination this bustling market town is a walker’s haven and has stunning views of the surrounding countryside. With a good range of amenities, the town has a weekly market, large antiques centre and auction house. Pop by The Little Chocolate Shop which offers tours of the factory and chocolate making process, plus a café for a treat afterwards. A great local walk is the Leyburn Shawl, said to be the route Mary Queen of Scots used when fleeing, and her dropped shawl on this hill giving her direction away to pursuers.
Nearby Bolton Castle is a great family day out with historical tours of the keep and fun outdoor activities for the younger ones. Middleham Castle is another impressive fortress, once the home of Richard III and today the exhibitions and viewing platforms are open to visitors. Further notable places to visit within the Yorkshire Dales include Jervaulx Abbey and the gardens at Constable Burton Hall.
No trip to the area is complete without stopping by the dramatic Aysgarth Falls, and the River Ure is a popular site for fly fishing. The Old School House hosts a range of art exhibitions, musical and drama performances. For a totally unique experience visit the Forbidden Corner, a quirky garden full of secret underground tunnels, spooky statues and a temple to discover.
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.