For a relaxing break exploring the countryside, there’s no better place than the Yorkshire Dales. Spend a day in Skipton and visit one of the best-preserved medieval castles in England. Enjoy an afternoon tea on board a canal boat as you take a tour along the Skipton Canal. If you’d rather explore at your own pace, hiring a bike is a great way to discover more of this bustling market town.
Richmond is another historic town set amongst the stunning Yorkshire countryside. It boasts a Norman castle which overlooks the medieval town square which regularly hosts markets and fairs. Just a short drive from the centre is Kiplin Hall and Gardens. Wander through the walled and formal gardens surrounding the lake or explore inside the hall to discover the stories of the residents throughout the centuries.
For something a little bit more unusual, visit Chapel-le-Dale, just a 20-minute drive away from Hawes. Here you’ll find the Wooly Wander Experience, an alpaca farm in Raydaleside. Admire the view of Lake Semerwater, the second largest natural lake in the Dales, while walking the animals. There’s even the opportunity to get involved in some crafts using the alpaca wool at the Dales Countryside Museum and Textile Gallery.
Yorkshire is home to some of the UK’s most beautiful beaches. The Yorkshire coast has everything you could want from a typical English seaside holiday with far fewer crowds than the south coast! The coastal village of Filey is home to long stretches of sandy beaches along a promenade of independent shops selling all of the seaside essentials, souvenirs and of course, fish and chips! Once you’ve had one too many ice creams whilst soaking up the sunshine, why not try one of the many watersports on offer such as paddle-boarding, sailing or kayaking? Just a short walk from the sea front is Filey Bird, Garden and Animal Park. Spend an afternoon with the family relaxing in one of the themed gardens, visiting the exotic animal enclosures or feeding the farm animals. Filey is also the perfect base if you want to explore more of the surrounding area with Scarborough, Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay only a short drive away.
The small medieval town of Beverley is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a mix of countryside, city, and beaches. Just a 50 minute drive from York and 40 minutes from the coast, Beverley is a fantastic central location to explore the best of what Yorkshire has to offer. There’s no shortage of activities in York; ghost tours, dungeons and castles are among a few of the highlights of this beautiful historic city. On a rainy day you could even visit The Deep Aquarium in Hull or the InflataNation inflatable theme park, great for keeping the kids entertained!
Nidderdale, known for being an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is the perfect base to begin your walk around Brimham rocks. Delve back in time over 100 million years for a pre-historic adventure among these giant rock formations. It takes a couple of hours to walk around the whole site where you can seek out the ‘dancing bear’ and ‘eagle’ structures. Climb the rock faces or crawl through the networks of tunnels to properly explore this unique, dramatic landscape.
The market town of Grassington, just north of Skipton, is the perfect starting point for exploring Wharfedale. Visit during the Grassington festival where you can listen to local band performances or participate in craft workshops run by the independent village centre shops. Stroll along the river Wharfe, passing through Conistone before ending in Kilnsey where you can continue your walk around the park and the lake or maybe even try some fishing.
Scattered around Yorkshire’s main towns is a collection of famous tea rooms. The first Betty’s Tea Room was opened in Harrogate in 1919 by chocolatier Fritz Butzer. The shop was such a success that the chain of tea rooms grew throughout Yorkshire. You can now enjoy a sophisticated afternoon tea in Harrogate, York and Ilkley sampling the exquisite cakes and pastries on offer.
Yorkshire is so proud of its Wensleydale cheese production that only Wensleydale cheese produced in Hawes is allowed to label itself as being from the region. First produced by Cistercian monks in 1150, it is now an award-winning cheese and firm favourite of TV characters, Wallace and Gromit. You can visit the factory for the Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese Experience and browse the gift shop for a tasty souvenir.