Visiting the Cities, Coast and Parks of Yorkshire

 

Yorkshire, in the north of England, is one county that packs a lot of touristic punch! From its vibrant and charming cities to its two national parks and stunning coastline, there’s a lot to keep tourists entertained. Visitors should consider staying a while and bed and breakfasts in Yorkshire are a great option, as there are a number of historic and charming inns in the area.

The Cities

Leeds is the largest city in Yorkshire and after years of slow decline the city is once again on its way up. The city’s “24-hour initiative” is designed to encourage all-night entertainment options, like bars and cafes, and Leeds is indeed one of England’s most happening cities after dark. In the city center, the Victorian-era buildings have been recently renovated and the city has an attractive high street.

The 12th century Kirkstall Abbey lies in ruins just north of Leeds and is a cool spot to visit.

The 12th century Kirkstall Abbey lies in ruins just north of Leeds and is a cool spot to visit.

A few miles to the northeast of Leeds lies the historic city of York. The city’s chief attraction is York Minster, which is a 14th century cathedral that is one of the finest in all of England. Otherwise visitors can spend their time exploring the city center’s charming medieval alleyways, which are known in York as snickelways.

Getting up close and personal with the imposing York Minster.

Getting up close and personal with the imposing York Minster.

The Coast

The resort town of Whitby, surrounded on all sides by the North York Moors National Park, is one of England’s most picturesque communities. Tourists can spend their time in the city lazing by the sea or eating fish and chips at one of the seaside restaurants. More active visitors can escape into the countryside for long nature walks along the bluffs.

Whitby has a scenic position where the River Esk meets the North Sea.

Whitby has a scenic position where the River Esk meets the North Sea.

Scarborough, just south of Whitby and at the edge of the national park, is another top resort town in the area. Situated on a beautiful and sandy beach, the town is separated into two distinct neighborhoods by the headland and its castle. The northern side is mainly for tourists and beachgoers, while the southern side is home to historic residences and seaside cliffs.

The beach at Scarborough on a sunny summer day.

The beach at Scarborough on a sunny summer day.

The National Parks

[Also see our travel article “Northumberland: England’s Last Wilderness“]

The North York Moors National Park occupies a huge slice of coastal Yorkshire and wows visitors with its stunning scenery and serene locales. Get out of the car to experience the park to its fullest by embarking upon a hiking adventure. The 40-mile Lyle Wake Walk, which spans the entire park from east to west, is a good choice.

Sweeping views of the coastline in the North York Moors National Park.

Sweeping views of the coastline in the North York Moors National Park.

On the opposite side of the county from the moors is the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Though it’s not on the coast, the park nevertheless preserves a beautiful slice of the English countryside. Think long walks past historic farmhouses, rolling green hills and steep rock masses.

Hiking in Ewe Moor in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Photo credit Ricky Harrison / CC BY-SA.

Hiking in Ewe Moor in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Photo credit Ricky Harrison / CC BY-SA.

See the Destinations on the Map

 

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