The proud villages, towns and cities in North Yorkshire scatter the moors and dales amidst the farmlands and forests. From Knaresborough to Whitby, York to Masham, our little tent fared well beneath the changeable Yorkshire weather. Joined by family and friends we wandered the villages and towns, sampling beers and pork pies and indulging in the rich history that ‘God’s Country’ has to offer.
Between the cobbled streets under the shadow of the mighty Minster the city that’s is surrounded by a Roman wall takes you back in time two thousand years. Not many places in Europe have survived such a tumultuous past but York has an incredible history that you can actually physically see instead of scouring the Internet. From Romans to Vikings, Kings to Constantine, the rich tapestry in which York was built gives you plenty to do in your time. Age old Bars, the oldest of which we wrote about (click here), and small bakeries and Chocolatier’s make up almost half of the ancient buildings as well as jewelry shops and cafe’s. The Shambles, where homes across the road from each other bend towards touching distance, feels so authentic that you have to remember that’s it is actually real and not built for show. The homes arch from the years they have bent to survive. A day at the races fills the city with vibrantly clothed gamblers and fun filled evenings. Following the walls around the circumference of the city takes you through an historic voyage where you can break off into the center, visiting Dick Turpin’s grave or one of the many museums that are both interactive and scary. Try York Dungeons or the Jorvik center for a fright filled afternoon.
The village of Knaresborough is centered around the main railway bridge and is yet another stunning example of the test of time Yorkshire has to offer. Connected to the bridge stands a home that was both built using the tree that King Richard III cut down until housing a meeting with Oliver Cromwell and still standing and lived in now. The River Nidd cuts through the landscape holding many boating buliding’s for avid rowers. Mother Shipton’s Cave Used to be home to Britain’s version of Nostradamus and is worth the tour through the stalagmites and stalactites. The castle remains after the destruction following the death of Thomas Becket, but not entirely tied to the event, continue the historic feel but the annual bed race, where participants race four at a time pushing self-made beds in competition, has continued since 1966.
This natural set of waterfalls cut into the natured surroundings shows off the true beauty of Yorkshires wilderness. The three tier falls scattered with rock to walk upon make for a wonderful walk over a few hours with a picnic. The pictures speak far better than my words can ever begin to.
Come to this small market town to sample the many cheeses and pork pies available with a nice pint of stout ale. Originally an Anglo-Saxon settlement until the Vikings invaded, Masham holds small charms that invite you to spend a few hours and test a few local delights. The partially 8th century church was built up mostly in the 15th century and the market has continued since the dark ages. The Theakston’s Brewery and Black Sheep Brewery both hold tours and sport a nice little tasting bar for afterwards.
The oldest sweet shop in England, need I say more. Reportedly one of the best places to live in Britain, it is easy to see why. This idyllic village, established somewhere in the 12th century takes its name from old Norse language. Yet again, the small bars and charming homes really prize admiration from you.
As far as history goes, this town started around 270 BC. As legend has it the king lost his ring and accused a young maiden of stealing it, but later that day the ring was found in a pike caught in the River Costa for his dinner. The king was so happy to find his ring he married the young maiden; the name Pike-ring changed over the years to Pickering. This small town offers the same as most towns in North Yorkshire but holds a wonderfully rich history with small twists, predating the supposed birth of Christ.
The landing place of Count Dracula. The UK’s best fish and chip shop. The abbey, amusements, hill built houses and the Captain Cook Museum, built in the legendary man’s old home. Whitby has a lot to offer, apart from the weather. Est 656 A.D, Whitby, like others, gave way to the Vikings a few hundred years later, destroying the abbey along the way. This became the inspiration for Bram Stokers Dracula. The cliffs look spectacular as you brace the fierce sea winds but the 199 steps to St Mary’s Church provide a view to feast your eyes on, don’t worry, there are two pubs at the bottom to satiate your needs.