England’s biggest county, Yorkshire holds a special place in the hearts of many Brits. Home to some of the most picturesque little towns, most of which are surrounded by rolling green hills, babbling brooks and cobbled streets, it’s little wonder Yorkshire is known as God’s own country. Jam-packed with character, friendly folk and plenty of opportunities for a cream tea, here are some of the best places to experience Yorkshire at its most charming.
A Victorian spa town that is almost big enough to constitute a small city, Harrogate has it all going on and is just a short journey from Leeds on the train. A great gateway into the Yorkshire Dales, spend a day or two here soaking in the Turkish Baths or Royal Pump Rooms before taking a stroll around Valley Gardens.
The town centre also has plenty of architectural beauty with Victorian town houses lining the high street. And if you’re after a cup of tea and a scone, you couldn’t do better than Betty’s Teahouse, an upmarket teashop and bakery that’s unique to Yorkshire!
A gem in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, Grassington is the epitome of a charming, old market town. With the Yorkshire Dales on the doorstep and plenty of lovely walks to do nearby, take in the rolling green hills before enjoying a pub lunch at any of Grassington’s family-owned and operated eateries.
Then, take to the quaint, cobbled streets and browse the little shops. If you’re there over Christmas time, be sure to check out the Grassington Dickensian Festival or Christmas market.
Voted the prettiest village in the whole of Britain, you’re in for a real treat at Thornton-le-Dale. Picturesque, thatched cottages stand behind perfectly manicured lawns whilst a stream bobs along mere metres away. Packed with Grade II listed Back Isle Cottages, this village is like something out of a calendar or postcard.
Venture a little further and you’ll come across Dalby Forest where you can enjoy plenty of walking paths and biking trails.
One stop on from Harrogate and you have Knaresborough. Known for its towering bridge over the River Nidd, visitors can hire a rowing boat and paddle up and down the river, taking in the Victorian houses that line the banks and posing for a snap with the bridge in the background.
There’s plenty to see on foot too! As well as the Victorian viaduct, there are medieval houses, Knaresborough Castle and, of course, the town centre that has all the Yorkshire charm you could hope for. Whilst you’re there, you could drive further to Ripley where more monuments, cobbled streets and ancient cathedrals await!
If you enjoy history, then you’ll know that this town is the famous for being the home of the Brontë sisters. The Bronte Parsonage Museum is a must if you’re a fan of these literary sisters. Not only is the town brimmed with history, but with the rolling green hills and the classic West Yorkshire building style, it’s certainly a location that is another great place to visit if you’re nearby.
Continuing to North Yorkshire you’ll end up in the scenic town of Whitby which is well known throughout the UK. It is one of the most beautiful fishing towns that Yorkshire and England has to offer, whilst also providing some great places to explore.
One of the most prominent structures you’ll see as you enter Whitby is the Abbey ruins which are supposed to be one of the main inspirations behind Dracula (hence why there is also a Dracula experience!). Not only that but there are plenty of small boutique and independent shops, and the beaches which are perfect, especially during Spring or Summer. See if you can find some of the famous Whitby jet whilst you’re wandering on the beach.
If you’ve been watching Happy Valley, this is one that should absolutely be on the list to visit. Hebden Bridge is a fantastic quirky town that has a lot to offer for visitors.
Surrounded by the hills from every angle it boasts some great trails for those who enjoy long walks and for those who don’t, it has a huge number of great restaurants, bars and pubs that are all well worth visiting. It’s well located for exploring the wider region too which is good news if you want to enjoy a day trip or two.
If you find yourself on the East coast and entering East Yorkshire, then the market town of Beverley is a fantastic place to stop and visit. It has been voted as one of the best places to live and has a lot of different activities that appeal to different people.
For families, there are a lot of activities in and around Beverley, from Williams Den to a family walk over the Westwood. If you’re with your friends, you’ve got all of the historic attractions as well like Beverley Minster, St Marys and North Bar, or for activities there’s always Beverley Racecourse!
The above is a list of just a few of the best towns that Yorkshire has to offer, we haven’t even mentioned Malton, Richmond or Skipton. There’s so much to see and do in all of these towns so plan ahead, decide where you want to visit and enjoy!