The sprawling northern county of Yorkshire is of the most diverse in England. With its breathtaking natural landscapes and historical and cultural heritage that dates all the way back to the Vikings, there are countless interesting things to do in Yorkshire. From ancient abbeys and awe-inspiring castles to waterfalls and mountains, here are the top things you must do in Yorkshire:
Ancient Churches and Abbeys
There are lots of intriguing churches and abbeys dotted throughout Yorkshire, both standing and in ruins. The most celebrated is the Gothic-style York Minster, the biggest of its kind in northern Europe, and one that dates back to 627 AD. Also, visit riverside remains of the Augustinian Bolton Abbey; the eerie ruins of Whitby Abbey, and Fountains Abbey just outside Ripon which also has a water garden and a deer park.
The Many National Parks
There are three National Parks in Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors and parts of the Peak District. All have excellent opportunities for hiking, exploring, and more.
In the Yorkshire Dales are Malham Cove and the famous Malham Limestone Pavement (which was featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One); the mesmerising Ingleton Waterfalls, including the dramatic 14-metre high Thornton Force; the Aysgarth Falls in Wensleydale, and the imposing Hardraw Force. Also don’t miss the gigantic Gaping Gill cave below Ingleborough. You can even take on the Three Peaks Challenge by climbing Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-Ghent – the three highest mountains in the Yorkshire Dales.
Museums and Arts Scene
Yorkshire is home to many fascinating museums. In York, you can visit the York Castle Museum which showcases hundreds of years of military and social history, or the famous Jorvik Viking experience, where you will find a rebuilt Viking village that stood at York over 1,000 years ago. You can also see the National Railway Museum and its collection of railway memorabilia.
Yorkshire is also known for its vibrant arts scene, with an array of art galleries, including the Leeds Art Gallery and Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery; as well as sculpture collections in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Henry Moore Institute.
Other Natural Beauty
There are lots of other natural wonders in Yorkshire, such as the White Scar Caves, known for being the longest show caves in Britain and filled with impressive waterfalls and rock formations. There are also Bempton Cliffs are home to many impressive seabird colonies; Ilkley Moor which is covered in sprawling purple heather in late summer/early autumn; the rustic sands of Runswick Bay, and wonderful limestone formations at Stump Cross Caverns among others.
Cities and Market Towns
From cosmopolitan cities with thriving nightlife and cool cafes to historic ones with intriguing architecture, you’ll find it all. Leeds is filled with quirky music venues, hip bars and interesting eateries; while in York you can walk along the medieval city walls, or amongst the historic shops in the Shambles.
Yorkshire is also full of picturesque traditional market towns such as Staithes, Skipton, Malton, and Kirkby Lonsdale. Also don’t miss the chance to visit the perfectly preserved Victorian village of Saltaire.
The Delicious Food
From the beautiful market halls and farmers markets in small towns to the many cosy, traditional pubs serving pints of local ale and hearty food, Yorkshire is the place to go for comfort food. After all, it was the county where the Yorkshire pudding (an essential component of the traditional English roast dinner) was invented! So, if you’re visiting, you can’t not sample a traditional Sunday roast.
So do you think we’ve missed any of the top things to do in Yorkshire? Or do you want to share your experiences? Either way, let us know in the comments below!