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North Yorkshire Tourist Information

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North Yorkshire is England's largest county, with a wide diversity of scenery, attractions, historic towns and villages. Heritage sites and ancient architecture abounds throughout the County.

North Yorkshire can boast of two National Parks, North York Moors National Park in the east of the County and Yorkshire Dales National Park in the west. The Shambles, York - Picture courtesy of


Visitors to North Yorkshire often start their holiday in the historic city of York. When you visit, allow plenty of time to explore this ancient city, its unique atmosphere and wonderful attractions such as Jorvik the Viking City, York Dungeon , York Guildhall and Fairfax House.

The busy market town of Selby, situated in the south of the dominated by its 11th century abbey, where visitors can see the 14th century Washington Window, depicting the Washington family coat of arms, the inspiration of the American stars and stripes flag.

In the surrounding countryside, there are several nature reserves, walks and cycle routes worth exploring. Call at the tourist information centre for a leaflet on the villages and church trails. Ripley Castle - Picture courtesy of

The West

In the west of North Yorkshire there are many destinations and attractions, such as Harrogate a beautiful spa town where you will find the Royal Pump Room Museum, the Mercer Art Gallery and nearby RHS Garden Harlow Carr. 14th century Ripley Castle is a few miles north of Harrogate.

The East

To the east is the historic market town Knaresborough, where you can visit medieval Knaresborough Castle and Mother Shiptons Cave and the Petrifying Well. Ripon Cathedral - Picture courtesy of

The North

To the north is the Cathedral City Ripon, the Cathedral is magnificent and well worth visiting. The town has many places of interest such as the marina area, pleasant gardens, Ripon Racecourse and the interesting Prison and Police Museum and nearby is Lightwater Valley Theme Park.

Just four miles west of Ripon is Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens, a World Heritage site in the care of the National Trust.

At the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales is the market town Skipton, home to one of the best preserved medieval castles in England, Skipton Castle.

The tourist information office is in Coach Street, near the Canal Basin. The canal is the Leeds Liverpool Canal, Britain's longest inland waterway, which passes through the centre of Skipton, boat trips are operated daily from the quay.

A day in the countryside can be enjoyed at nearby Bolton Abbey, set in fabulous scenery with miles of riverside, woodland and moorland paths.

Richmond from the castle - Picture courtesy of


Richmond is a delightful, unspoiled town, which grew up around its Norman castle. The town is situated in Swaledale, surrounded by stunning scenery. The cobbled market square is thought to be one of the largest in England and the town contains many lovely Georgian buildings. To learn more about Richmond and district visit Richmondshire Museum.

Green Howards' Regimental Museum in Trinity Church Square shows a vivid presentation of the 'Green Howards' story. You can enjoy the unique of a performance at Richmond's Georgian Theatre Royal, Britain's most complete playhouse, and visit its museum, the first theatre museum in the country.

Herriot Country

The area of North Yorkshire known as Hambleton takes the name from the Hambleton Hills, it is otherwise known as Herriot Country after the author James Herriot. The veterinary surgeon Alf Wight lived and worked in Thirsk and drew inspiration from the surrounding countryside and its characters for his novels.

Today Thirsk is home to 'The World of James Herriot' based in the surgery and original home of the vet, an interesting and unique tribute.

Nearby at Kirby Wiske is Falconry UK Ltd, the Birds of Prey and Conservation Centre, providing a chance to see over 30 species of birds. Also Sion Hill Hall, one of the finest houses to be built during the Edwardian era, is well worth visiting.

Bedale is Hambleton's gateway to the Yorkshire Dales, and convenient for exploring the area. Here you can enjoy a day at Thope Perrow Arboretum, home to some of the rarest trees and shrubs in England.

Northallerton situated in the Vale of Mowbery is the County Town of North Yorkshire, and the largest town in the Hambleton area, popular for shopping and the twice-weekly market. Castle Howard - Picture courtesy of


Ryedale takes its name from the River Rye and lies in the east of the County between York and the coast, a relaxing rural area, with forest parks, castles, abbeys and many attractions. Tourist information centres can be found in the towns of Helmsley, Malton and Pickering.

Castle Howard, is the largest house in Yorkshire and home of the Howard family since the 17th century.

Set against the backdrop of Helmsley Castle is Helmsley Walled Garden, a five acre kitchen garden producing many varieties of organic fruit, vegetables and plants, currently restoring the Victorian glasshouses.

Duncombe Park, overlooking Helmsley Castle and the valley of the River Rye, is set in 35 acres of landscaped gardens and 400 acres of parkland, containing a National Nature Reserve. It is a wonderful place for a family outing.

Near Helmsey is Rievaulx Abbey, the remains of the largest Monastic Abbey in Britain, a fine example of Gothic architecture. Rievaulx Abbey - Picture courtesy of

Malton's history can be traced back to Roman times at Malton Museum in the Market Place, and for more recent information on the area visit Eden Camp Modern History Museum, telling of the social history of life in Britain between 1939-1945.

Enjoy a day out at Scampston Hall and its delightful garden.

For a family day out, situated between Malton and Pickering there is Flamingo land Theme Park and Zoo.

Pickering and The North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Pickering is a gateway to the North York Moors, overlooked by 12th century Pickering Castle. In Bridge Street is Beck Isle Museum, whose collection is housed in a Grade II listed Regency mansion.

Pickering is also the terminus of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, the 18 mile trip runs between Pickering and the village of Grosmont passing through the beautiful scenery of the National Park.

Heritage Coast

On the Heritage Coast of North Yorkshire you will find high cliffs, sandy beaches, bird sanctuaries, quiet fishing ports and seaside resorts such as Filey, a quiet seaside town with a 5 mile sandy beach. Filey Museum is housed in the town's oldest domestic building. Whitby - Picture courtesy of

Scarborough, the busy, ever-popular resort offers attractions such as Scarborough Sea Life and Marine Life Sanctuary and Scarborough Art Gallery.

The historic town of Whitby was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'. Today you can visit the 'Dracula Experience' on the Marine Parade. Whitby is home to Captain Cook Memorial Museum, James Cook's lodging place during his apprenticeship years.

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