Yorkshire is vast and there are so many things to see and do that it’s often hard to know where to begin. Compiling a list of our top 10 things to do in Yorkshire was tricky, but here are our favourites that comprise both the best things to do across the Yorkshire Dales and the best things to do in North Yorkshire.
If you like getting out in the fresh air, this is arguably one of the best walks (and there are many) in the Yorkshire Dales to help you do so. Starting from the small village of Malham, this circular walk of just under five miles takes in a stunning waterfall, a cliff and a gorge.
Follow Malham beck and Gordale beck before venturing into the woodland to visit enchanting Janet’s Foss waterfall. Legend has it that it’s home to Janet, Queen of the Fairies.
Then, marvel at the gorge and limestone cliffs around Gordale Scar and Malham Cove. Amongst these natural wonders there is a wealth of birdlife, and Peregrine Falcons can sometimes be seen here.Luxury Cottages Yorkshire
The Yorkshire Dales is full of beautiful waterfalls, but Aysgarth Falls is one of the best known. Comprising three stepped waterfalls on the River Ure, this natural gem is especially spectacular after heavy rainfall.
Surrounded by forest and farmland, the water flows on its merry way down to Wensleydale. The setting is sublime, perfect for those who love stunning views, so don’t forget your camera. The relaxing sound of the water makes this the perfect spot for a moment of peace.
Beside the falls is a local nature reserve where you can enjoy walks and look out for wildlife including roe deer.Luxury Cottages Yorkshire
The Yorkshire Dales is renowned for its limestone scenery, but much of it is underground amidst the cavernous chambers, stalactites and stalagmites. Home to one of the longest cave systems in the UK – The Three Counties system and Gaping Gill – the area is legendary for caving.
For a glimpse into this subterranean world, there are three show caves open for visits. White Scar (the longest), Ingleborough Cave and Stump Cross Caverns all offer a different, and fascinating, take on the Dales.Luxury Cottages Yorkshire
The Ribblehead Viaduct is a highlight of the famous scenic rail journey from Settle to Carlisle. Comprising 24 huge stone arches, each stretching up 32 metres above the moorland floor, the viaduct is an incredible feat of engineering and architecturally splendid.
However, this dramatic landmark is tinged with sadness, as many of the railway builders lost their lives constructing the tracks. Therefore, memorials – including at St Mary’s Church Outhgill – are placed along the line.
Still today, the view of the viaduct and the surrounding scenery doesn’t fail to impress.Luxury Cottages Yorkshire
Bolton Castle (not to be mistaken for Bolton Abbey in Wharfdale) is a stunning and very well-preserved medieval castle in Wensleydale. When it was built, it was no doubt one of the finest homes in England. It still stands today and offers over 600 years of history to explore.
With gardens, a maze, a vineyard and amazing views over Wensleydale, along with plenty of activities to get involved in, Bolton Castle is a great day out for the whole family.
From falconry displays and archery demonstrations to wild boar feeding sessions and a visit to the resident Wensleydale sheep, there is something to interest history lovers of all ages.Luxury Cottages Yorkshire
The city of York has many attractions, but the York Minster is one of the finest. This magnificent cathedral has origins dating to the 7th century and has many beautiful features.
One of the highlights is the Great East Window, which is the largest single piece of medieval stained glass in the country. However, there are many more stunning stained glass windows and intricately carved areas of stonework around the minster that are worthy of a closer look.
Take a guided tour for the full experience, or climb the steps to the cathedral’s central tower where you will be rewarded with views over York and beyond.Luxury Cottages Yorkshire
In the seaside town of Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast, there is one very striking landmark that draws visitors from far and wide. Whitby Abbey, long associated with Count Dracula, is a haunting and intriguing sight.
There are 199 steps to climb up to the abbey and St Mary’s Church – thankfully with some benches along the way. Once at the top you can walk through the gothic ruins of the abbey and admire breathtaking sea views.Luxury Cottages Yorkshire
A walk along the beach from Whitby to Sandsend Beach and back is beautiful, particularly on a warm summer’s day.
Sandsend is a pretty village on Yorkshire’s heritage coastline and has a lovely clean, sandy beach. In the summer there is a designated area for swimmers, but it’s also popular with families. Sandsend is fantastic for children, and the low tide reveals rock pools with all sorts of sea creatures, from crabs to starfish. It’s also a great place for searching for fossils.
Refuel at the cafe before heading back and admire the views of Whitby Abbey as you go.Luxury Cottages Yorkshire
The National Trust’s Brimham Rocks in North Yorkshire is a fantastic collection of giant rock formations. There are plenty of short walks to take in the area so that you can see them in all their glory from every angle.
The rocks were sculpted by nature, through ice, rain and wind, and their origins predate dinosaurs by about 100 million years. Among the formations are the Dancing Bear, the Gorilla and the Eagle, all of which have some resemblance to their namesake.
Brimham Rocks and the heather moorland around them are a big attraction for walkers, climbers, geologists, budding explorers and nature lovers alike.Luxury Cottages Yorkshire
RHS Garden, Harlow Carr in the Harrogate countryside is a must for anyone who has, or aspires to have, green fingers. A variety of different areas await, including woodlands, wildflower meadows and lakes.
Highlights include the well-stocked main borders that brim with an array of prairie-style plants, the streamside area where a host of water loving blooms grow and the sub-tropicana garden, which is a tropical paradise.
There’s also a branch of the famous Betty’s Tea Room at RHS Harlow Carr where you can indulge in something sweet after you’ve strolled through the grounds.Luxury Cottages Yorkshire
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