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What do you mean, you haven’t visited Yorkshire? The sprawling northern county is one of the most diverse and beautiful regions in the United Kingdom; home to cosmopolitan cities, rolling hills and breath-taking coastlines. Need more convincing? Here are 12 reasons why you should add Yorkshire to your bucket list.
Anyone who loves the outdoors will instantly feel at home in Yorkshire. One of the greenest counties in England, it’s filled with beautiful moorland, towering peaks and intriguing limestone pavements. You could go hiking every day for a year and find a different spot each time. Head to the moors in late summer to witness a riot of vibrant heather or to the picturesque Yorkshire Dales during spring to admire new-born lambs and scatterings of wild flowers.
Every small village in Yorkshire has at least one cosy, traditional pub serving up pints of local ale and hearty food. In summer, everyone sits outside to soak up the fresh air, but come the colder months, log burners make these cosy inns the perfect place to warm up after a long walk. Make sure you fit in a visit to the Tan Hill Inn, the highest pub in England, located in the Yorkshire Dales.
Nowhere else in England is the connection to classic literature so present. From the moors of Wuthering Heights to Whitby Abbey’s link to Stoker’s Dracula, it’s possible to visit famous locations from a selection of iconic stories. Pay your respects to your literary greats in Heptonstall (Sylvia Plath) and Haworth (the Bronte sisters).
Any self-respecting foodie will tell you to head to Yorkshire to sample the best Yorkshire puddings in the UK. A classic Sunday roast isn’t the same without a light and fluffy Yorkshire pud on the plate, and where else to sample the very best than the county that they were invented in?
Rather than white sand and clear water, Yorkshire’s beaches aim to impress with their dramatic cliffs and staggering views. From the rustic sands of Runswick Bay to the unparalleled views from Bempton Cliffs and the quintessentially British Bridlington beach huts, Yorkshire’s coastline can be enjoyed at any time of year.
If you’re seeking a cosmopolitan city filled with independent shops, quirky music venues, hip bars and interesting eateries, make a beeline for Leeds. This thriving Yorkshire city is filled with young people, creating a cool ambiance that radiates from its centre to its achingly hip suburbs. Be sure you catch a gig at the Brudenell and check out Belgrave Music Hall’s tasty street food.
If you’re looking to absorb the local history, head to York to admire the intriguing architecture that lurks within the city walls. The Dungeons and Viking centre are great for captivating the attention of kids, as are the nightly ghost walks that spin spooky tales around the city’s history. Don’t miss a visit to York Minster and a wander down the Shambles.
Yorkshire is a hotbed for arts and culture, boasting a surprising array of art galleries, museums and sculpture collections. The Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle takes in the outstanding Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery and The Hepworth Wakefield — all located just a 30-minute journey from each other. There’s also the National Media Museum in Bradford and Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery alongside a variety of independent spaces.
Whitby Abbey isn’t the only attraction in Yorkshire for those interested in ancient ruins. There are plenty of castles and ruins in the county to appease those with a keen interest in history, including Kirkstall Abbey, Bolton Abbey and Sandal Castle. Anyone intrigued by more recently deserted structures can explore the various mills and farmhouses in the area that have been left to decay.
Yorkshire is proud to boast not one but three National Parks: the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors and parts of the Peak District all lie within the county. All offer endless opportunities for hiking, exploring nature and escaping urban environments within easy reach of towns and cities. Take on the Yorkshire Dales Three Peaks challenge, admire the night sky in the North York Moors or visit pretty villages in Britain’s first ever National Park, the Peaks.
From Skipton to Kirkby Lonsdale, Yorkshire is rife with traditional market towns. Local farmers markets, foodie markets and even specialist crafts and vintage markets pop up every day of the week all across the county. Head to Barnsley to browse the oldest market in Yorkshire, Malton for the foodies favourite and Leeds Kirkgate to admire the beautiful market hall.
You don’t need to travel to Iceland to witness beautiful waterfalls — Yorkshire is home to a staggering array of dramatic cascades. The Yorkshire Dales alone boast the magnificent Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, the impressive Hardraw Force and the tumbling Aysgarth Falls.