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Things to Know
Historic Yorkshire is the largest county in the United Kingdom. Typically known for its Roman and Viking history, every facet of British history – from the Roman era to the 21st century – has left its mark on Yorkshire, making it a surprisingly interesting place to visit. This county also offers some of England’s finest landscapes that combines a rugged coastline with three National Parks. In addition to its history and beautiful natural environments, there are many things to see and do, such as visiting the preserved terraced streets and mills of the World Heritage Site at Saltaire, exploring the haunting remains of Whitby Abbey, admiring the impressive sculptures at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and of course a leisurely shopping spree in the cities of Leeds or York. Yorkshire is also a foodie’s paradise as it boasts the greatest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants after London! As the proud locals say, Yorkshire is 'God's Own County'.
Things to See
The Kilburn White Horse
Said to be the largest hill figure in England, the Kilburn White Horse was formed in 1857 by carving into the hillside of the North York Moors to expose the limestone beneath.
The Bempton Cliffs
Located on the stunning Yorkshire coast, the dramatic chalk cliffs at Bempton are an important seabird nature reserve. The perfect place to admire the raw beauty of English nature.
The National Science and Media Museum
Featuring seven floors of galleries that cover the subjects of photography, television, animation, videogaming, and the Internet, this is one of the most visited museums in northern England.
The National Railway Museum
Part of the Science Museum Group, this museum recounts the history of rail transport in Britain and its impact on British society.
The Royal Armories Museum
A fascinating museum spread across five floors that showcases arms and armor from around the globe.
The Hepworth Wakefield
Named after local born Barbara Hepworth who is regarded to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, this purpose-built art museum hosts major exhibitions of international modern and contemporary art. It also includes galleries dedicated to Hepworth’s art works.
York Minister
The second-largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. The Great East Window to the ease of the Lady Chapel is the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world.
Things to Do
Visit the Village of Saltaire and the Salts Mill
Saltaire is a Victorian town that was built in 1851 by Sir Titus Salt to house the workers of his large textile mill. Combining quality stone-built houses, employment, recreational activities, educational facilities, and social services, the town serves as a landmark example of enlightened 19th century urban planning. In 2001, Saltaire was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while it is also an Anchor Point on the European Route of Industrial Heritage. During your time in Saltaire, make sure to visit Salts Mill. The former textile mill in the northeastern part of the town has been repurposed into a complex featuring two interesting art galleries, a shopping center, as well as restaurants and cafes.
Enjoy a Walk in Yorkshire Sculpture Park
First opened in 1977, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an open-air gallery that showcases art works by British and international artists including Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. Occupying a 500-acre parkland filled with lush greenery and hosting several family events throughout the year as well as an interesting program of temporary exhibitions, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a great option for a cultured morning or afternoon walk.
Explore Yorkshire’s Phenomenal National Parks
Encompassing three national parks, the sprawling county of Yorkshire is an ideal place to get in touch with British nature. North York Moors National Park is where you can witness a stunning purple carpet of heather that stretches for miles as well as the dramatic high cliffs and rocky shores of the North York Moors coastline. At Yorkshire Dales National Park, you can enjoy a wide variety of activities for the whole family and explore beautifully preserved castles like Skipton Castle and Ripley Castle while taking in a stunning scenery made up of waterfalls and ancient broadleaved woodlands. Finally, don’t miss out on exploring the rolling limestone hills and rugged gritstone uplands of Peaks District National Park.
Relax at Harrogate Turkish Baths
If you’re looking for a spot of relaxation during your time in Yorkshire, the Harrogate Turkish Baths are a great place to spend a leisurely afternoon getting pampered. Treat yourself to a selection of rejuvenating treatments amidst beautiful Moorish surroundings that feature Islamic arches, vibrant tiled walls, arabesque painted ceilings, and artful mosaic floors.
Go Shopping at Victoria Quarter
Designed by the theatre architect Frank Matcham, the Victoria Quarter is a gorgeous and fashionable shopping center in Leeds. Bringing together household names like Ted Baker, Westwood, French Connection, and Diesel, while also being home to the first Harvey Nichols store outside of London, this is the premium location to go shopping in northern England.
Discover the Abbeys of Yorkshire
Take a journey through time and learn about the rise and fall of the monastic communities of medieval Britain by visiting its historic abbeys and monasteries. While there are plenty of ancient abbeys to explore in Yorkshire, if you only have enough time to visit one, Fountains Abbey should be at the top of the list. In addition to being Yorkshire’s first World heritage Site, it includes some of the most impressive Cistercian remains in Europe and it was once the largest and richest of all the British monasteries.