The Most Beautiful Towns in Yorkshire

Saltaire | © Markj 87 / WikiCommons
Photo of Emma Lavelle
21 June 2018

Yorkshire is a vast county, filled with beautiful small towns. There are various picturesque towns and villages nestled in national parks, by the sea and in the middle of green valleys, all waiting to be discovered. If you’re planning on visiting Yorkshire for the first time and you’re seeking the prettiest towns to add to your itinerary, read on.


Located in the North York Moors, the small town of Osmotherley is somewhat of a tourist hot-spot thanks to its beautiful old buildings and scenic surroundings. Flanked by the Cleveland Hills and Hambleton Hills, the town’s traditional charm is heightened by this dramatic scenery. Head to Lady Chapel for the best views and Sheepwash for a picturesque picnic spot.

Osmotherley | © Hermann Luyken / WikiCommons

Robin Hood’s Bay

Leave the busy tourist streets of Whitby behind and head a few miles south to admire the postcard views of Robin Hood’s Bay. The small village, built on a steep cliff, appears to be lost in time with its red-roofed fishermen’s cottages and cosy inns. Admire the windswept views of the coastline before wandering down the steep path to the sandy beach below, popping into traditional shops along the way.


One of the most handsome towns in Yorkshire, Harrogate is surrounded by historical buildings, castles, abbeys and parks, making it the ideal location for discovering all that Yorkshire has to offer. There are many sights to see in the town itself, with Betty’s tearoom, the Turkish Baths and the Valley Gardens providing the perfect settings for a picturesque day out.

Harrogate | © George Hodan / Public Domain Pictures


Located in the Ryedale valley, Helmsley is a traditional market town surrounded by the beautiful countryside of the North York Moors. The pretty streets are lined with traditional stone cottages, with many inns, tearooms and gift shops to discover. Wander along the river, swim in the open-air pool, visit the bustling market and admire the ancient castle.


Another Yorkshire market town that shouldn’t be missed is Richmond. Located on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, on the banks of the River Swale, Richmond boasts one of England’s largest cobbled market squares. It’s an incredibly pretty town to wander around, complete with a Norman castle, a Georgian theatre and dramatic ruins.

Richmond | © Dr Ivan Hall / WikiCommons


One of the most picturesque seaside resorts in the UK, Saltburn is brimming with Victorian charm. Stroll along Yorkshire’s last remaining pier, and watch surfers tackle the waves. Take a ride on the cliff lift, before wandering through the Italian gardens, discovering the woodland and admiring the coastal views from the top of the cliffs.

Hebden Bridge

Yorkshire’s quirkiest town is also one of its most charming. Hebden Bridge boasts both a river and a canal, with many spots to sit or walk and admire the water. In the town itself, you will find plenty of artisan shops, galleries, cafés and quaint pubs, but the real beauty is to be found in the woods, moors and fields surrounding the town. Venture to Hardcastle Crags to explore the woods and wander along a tranquil stream.

Hebden Bridge | © Poliphilo / WikiCommons


This picture-perfect model village, located on the edge of Bradford, is one of the prettiest small towns in the whole of Yorkshire. Named after its founder, Sir Titus Salt, and the River Aire that runs through the village, Saltaire may be tiny, but it’s home to a spectacular mill building and various independent shops and cafés. Visit Salts Mill to view the largest permanent collection of David Hockney’s work in the UK, and wander along the Leeds-Liverpool canal. Or take the Shipley Glen Tramway through the surrounding woodland.