10 reasons to visit North Yorkshire

Posted by on 1 Jun, 2015 in Blog, England, Slider | 15 comments

Visiting North Yorkshire was a bit of a pleasant surprise for me. Earlier in the year I was invited to the wedding of a family friend in the small village of Harome and so another friend and I decided to head up early to make a weekend of it. (The wedding was beautiful by the way and involved the bride playing rounders in her wedding dress).

I’d never spent much time in North Yorkshire but I was absolutely blown away by it. So much so, I’ve put together a list of 10 reasons everybody needs to visit.

1. Staithes

Things to do in Yorkshire - Staithes


Right up there at the top of things to do in North Yorkshire is a visit to Staithes. A tiny, charming, little town built into the gap between two rugged cliffs, Staithes is almost definitely the most idyllic place on the British coast. I think it easily competes with the likes of the Cinque Terre in Italy.

2. Rievaulx Abbey

Places to visit in North Yorkshire: Rievaulx Abbey


The impressive ruins of a Cisterian monastery, Rievaulx Abbey is pretty impressive – particularly considering its size. Though despite this, it’s actually pretty well hidden from most major roads.

3. The North York Moors

 North York Moors - things to do in North Yorkshire


North Yorkshire is pretty synonymous with the North York Moors, which take up a large area of the county. Driving along the winding roads with incredible views is definitely a must. The registered National Park is an expansive heather moorland and is home to a lot of wildlife, including grouse, shrews and a lot of sheep. There are plenty of bays to park up in to get some photos of the view – but beware of the wind.

4. Knaresborough


Photo credit: Matthew Hillier

I’ve never actually been, but it looks nice, doesn’t it?

5. Food

Yorkshire Puddings

Photo credit: Blue Square Thing

As in the whole of Yorkshire, food here is amazing. Some of the best things to do in North Yorkshire has to be eating fish and chips at the seaside, sampling Hendersons relish or tucking into a Yorkshire pudding.

Quite frankly, if you haven’t had a roast dinner with a Yorkshire pud, you haven’t lived.

6. Whitby

 Whitby Abbey

Photo credit: Michael D Beckwith

A big tourist attraction in North Yorkshire is the coastal town of Whitby. Famous for its connection to Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Whitby is where the vampire arrived in England), as well as its fudge, Whitby is popular with Goths, fudge-lovers and everyone inbetween.

Local landmarks include the ruins of Whitby Abbey (accessed via 199 steps from the town), the Whalebones monument and Magpie Café – possibly the most popular place for fish and chips in England (expect big queues).

7. Helmsley

 Where to go in North Yorkshire: Helmsley


Helmsley is the archetypal English market town: it has the remains of a castle, a market square, and some lovely cafés. It’s well worth having a strolling around the town and taking in the traditional architecture and homely cottages.

8. Traditional English life

 Traditional cottages - things to do in North Yorkshire


In a way, North Yorkshire is a great introduction to traditional England. The county is full of small market towns, beautiful crumbling ruins and incredible rural scenery. You can even head out on a traditional steam train with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

Because of this, the area is a popular filming location and was used extensively in the Harry Potter film series.

9. Scarborough


Photo credit: Thomas Tolkien

Another popular seaside town, Scarborough was one of the first towns to be marketed as a tourist destination within the UK, becoming a popular spa town back in the 17th century. When it was opened in 1867, the town’s landmark Grand Hotel was the largest in Europe.

Today the town is known for its sandy beaches, connection to the Bronte sisters and a hotel that fell into the sea in 1993.

10. Yorkshire tea

Finally, what better reason to visit North Yorkshire than for the love of Yorkshire Tea? (I bitterly regret not buying any Yorkshire Tea souvenirs.)

Here are some more images from my weekend in North Yorkshire.

Would you visit North Yorkshire?
Comment below!


  1. Yes, for all the yummy Yorkshire puds in the world! My fella is from North Yorkshire and he makes the very best Yorkshire Puddings I’ve ever eaten!

    Luckily we have friends who live in pretty Knaresborough too!

    I wish you’d have come over the the Dales, you could have seen me!

    • Oh Rachel. I’m not your fella. I’m from EAST Yorkshire.

      Great post John. You’re writing a lot better than that weird place called Lincolnshire! 😉

      • Reckon you make yummy Yorkshire puds? Think you’re going to have to prove that one, Ed…

    • That would have been lovely but we were on a tight schedule unfortunately! Did you make it over to the coast at all?

  2. Looks lovely! I was wondering why the place looked vaguely familiar, and then you mentioned it’s been used as a Harry Potter filming location :) that’s probably why!
    The picture of the rows of houses also looks like something you could find on the cover of an Enid Blyton novel, very traditional.

    • It’s lovely, isn’t it? I was tempted to go to the station used as Hogsmeade but we didn’t have time :(

  3. All those pictures are awesome, but the Rievaulx Abbey is something else, would love to visit it!

    • There’s actually quite a few ruined abbeys around Yorkshire that are similar – they are all so beautiful.

  4. September, here I come!
    No, seriously, that looks like the optimal England destination for my rescheduled UK trip. I will definitely need help planning this though :) My big thing is horseback riding!

    • I am ALWAYS on hand to help plan! Yorkshire is seriously a lovely area and I don’t think you would have any issues finding some stables.

  5. Oh Yes I will, since I’m moving there in two weeks 😀 thanks for this list, I’ll have plenty of places to visit :-)

    • That’s exciting! Where abouts are you moving to?

  6. My cousin has just move up to Yorkshire so I’m going to have to go up and visit, can’t resist a ruined abbey and a tearoom!

    • Yorkshire is ruins and tearooms galore – you’ll have a great time!

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