Nicknamed “God’s Own Country”, and the largest county in the United Kingdom: Yorkshire is inundated with hidden treasures and beauty spots across 2,941,247 acres. From moorland to mountains, cities to the coast, there is an array of sights to be seen in this historic county. I’ve listed a few favourites that I have visited during my 6 years as an honorary Yorkie.
This quaint little town is a one-stop-shop for all your independent shop needs. From beauty and hair to clothing and accessories; flowers to greetings cards – you will find everything you need here. I haven’t even mentioned the vast array of eateries to be found around the town. Highlights include Bean, a stunning café/shop with a brunch menu to die for. Then there is the Grantham Arms, a pub with a mouth-watering menu and a beer garden that is just itching to be enjoyed in the sunshine. For the walkers out there, you can walk out of Boroughbridge town and up to the historic Roman village of Aldborough: a place filled with chocolate-box cottages and a National Heritage museum, hugged by the River Ure.
Thornwick Bay, Flamborough
There are many gorgeous spots along the Yorkshire coast, but you would struggle to find an area more remote and gorgeous than Thornwick Bay. From the sandy beach to the surrounding cliffs, at Thornwick you will find a space to relax, swim, and explore. Around the bay, the cliffside has been naturally altered, leaving behind an array of caves and rock pools to discover. Grab your picnic blanket, your sunglasses, and your flip-flops, and prepare to find your new favourite daybreak, Eden.
Harewood Castle, Leeds
Now, this really is a hidden treasure. Concealed in woodland, this one definitely requires sturdy footwear and a good eye. This gothic tower ruin makes for a great family outing or a date day for outgoing couples seeking an adventure. Climb up the stairs, sit on the windowsills, and most importantly treat this artefact with the respect it deserves. Having stood there since the 14th Century, this place is perfect for storytelling and exploring with your family and friends. Park in Harewood near the Muddy Boots café, walk through an estate, under an arch, and through the woods. There’s also a stately home to be found, with exquisite gardens.
The food capital of Yorkshire, Malton offers an array of cuisines and dining styles for any occasion and craving, but don’t take my word for it: Prue Leith called it her “favourite foodie town”. A bustling town on the tip of the North York Moors; there is something for everyone here. Highlights from my trip there included Tui’s Thai Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, something you wouldn’t expect to find in this traditional Yorkshire town. They have an annual Food Festival, where local traders can come and exhibit their labours, a great event for anyone with an interest in good grub. Malton is 17 miles from York, with its own train station: if that’s not a good enough to excuse to visit this spot of sustenance satisfaction for a meal out after lockdown, I don’t know what is.
One of the better-known places on this list, and yet this gem is so often missed! A gorgeous town, with unbeatable scenery. From the viaduct over the crisp waters of the River Nidd to the castle on the hill, to the town with its weekday markets and independent shops. Take a boat ride along the river, visit the famous Mother Shipton’s Cave, with its petrifying (literally) water fountains and artefacts, or walk up the steps to Knaresborough Castle and watch the sunset, like I did the other day (see the photo below).
You can’t beat a trip to somewhere new – make sure you let us know if you go to any of our suggestions on our social media channels! Why go away when Yorkshire has so much to offer, and so many secrets to be discovered.