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Places of interest in North Yorkshire

Bedale is a thriving Market town in the North of Yorkshire and has a long history dating back to the Roman and early Saxon times. It is situated a mile west of the A1 which runs north to Newcastle and Darlington and south to Leeds and is near to Northallerton and Leyburn.

The town was a thriving Industrial town even before the Industrial Revolution and in the late 1700s the wealth of the town was spent on improving its buildings and facilities. Many of these buildings still stand today.

There are many shops, restaurants, accommodation and pubs that enhance a visit to this area along with the Heritage Trail that enables you to learn the history of the town pointing out the historical landmarks such as Bedale Hall and Leech House along with the railway station that has a signal box that is a grade II listed building.


Boroughbridge is steeped in history which dates back to the early Roman times but mainly the history centres on the coaching era in the 1800s. The first mail-coach passed through Boroughbridge in 1789 with the Crown Hotel being one of the hotels catering for the passenger and horses needs. It is situated between the A1 and the River Ure and is near to Aldborough. It is full of small shops that have not changed over the years but also has a modern shopping mall.

Boroughbridge is famous for having the Devils Arrows, these are said to be heavier than the largest stone in Stonehenge and it is a mystery as to how and why they are there.


Filey is a fishing town on the North East coast of England as well as a traditional English seaside resort. It has a friendly atmosphere and offers a restful getaway holidays and has been known for this since the Victorian days. It is close to Scarborough and Whitby which are north of Filey and Bridlington which is to the south.

Filey stayed a small village until the 1700s when people came to visit for the peace and quiet that the village provided, they would stay in people houses until the early 1800s when Foords Hotel opened.

Filey has many fine restaurants, public houses and accommodation facilities for every taste along with many shops, three schools, golf club and of course Filey beach.


Great Ayton is situated south of Middlesborough on the A173 and was once known for its linen making, tanning and brewing but with the mining industries close by. Today most of the residents work outside of the village but there is still the important local industry of farming to be had.

Captain James Cook spent his boyhood here, attending one of the local schools; the house that his family owned was dismantles and shipped to Australia where it stands in Fitzroy Park in Melbourne .

Great Ayton has many pleasant walks and is a good base for the more experienced walker who wishes to explore the North Yorkshire Moors. There are a good range of shops mainly in the High Street along with restaurants, cafes, pubs and a good range of accommodation for visitors. There are tennis courts, a bowling green, a cricket and football field and every year there is a Captain Cook day on the 27 th October and a village fate is held once every two years in June where decorated floats parade through the village between the two greens.


Harrogate is a large town in the North Yorkshire region famous for its spring that was discovered in the 16 th century that is said to have healing properties due to the water processing certain medicinal minerals. A further well was found in 1631 thus began the development of the area making it into a spa town for visitors to come and drink from the waters. Accommodation was built to cater for the visitors along with a theatre, which then attracted the fashionable and the aristocracy. With the rapid increase in the population during the 19 th century a railway station was built which also helped with the transportation of the many visitors.

Today Harrogate is a large town with a large range of shops trading in everything from household appliances to clothes, food and antiques. There is the Victorian Gardens Shopping Centre that is home to more than thirty stores, with many modern retailers as well as coffee bars and cafes. The larger retailers such as M&s and Debenhams are on the streets that surround this area.

There are theatres, restaurants, pubs, art galleries and night clubs for people to be entertained with along with 4 large leisure centres for the health/fitness conscious. Also there is a Royal Pump Room Museum that tells you of Harrogate 's history and has recreated ancient shops, hotels and even the town park to give you the experience of bygone times.


Hawes is a busy market town situated on the A684/B6255 above the southern bank of the River Ure. It has a cobbled Main Street and stone buildings that date back to the Victorian era, along with the many buildings of the 16 th and 17 th centuries. The lush green hillsides surrounding the area are ideal for dairy farming which is the main employment of the area, and Hawes is the home of the famous Wensleydale Cheese which has been in production for centuries.


Knaresborough is situated a mile east of Harrogate in a deep gorge formed by the River Nidd and is overlooked by the ruins of Knaresborough Castle . The castle ruins today date back to the 14 th century and many famous people have been associated with it. Richard II was imprisoned here in 1399 and the murderers of Thomas Becket used it as a hiding place for 3 years. The castles life came to an end during the civil war when it was destroyed by Parliamentarian troops.

Knaresborough is a market town and a market has been held here every Wednesday since the early 1300s. It is also home to the oldest chemist shop in England , which started trading in 1720 but some say that it started trading as early as the 13 th century.


Leyburn is situated to the north of Ripon and Middleham on the A6108/A684. It is a market town that is at the Gateway to the Yorkshire Dales and is a perfect base for travel, trade and shopping. There are many types of accommodation and a great range of independent shops and services. On Fridays there is a market in the square where there are livestock sales, there are Farmers markets that are held throughout the year and several world-class and unusual businesses operate from here. There is the Leyburn Shawl which is a short walk from Market Place, this gives fantastic views over Wensleydale and there is one of the most unusual river bridges in England that was built in the early 1800s and is one of the first suspension bridges, this links Leyburn to Middleham.


Malton is situated about 20 miles from York and Scarborough on the A64. It is a market town in the North Riding of Yorkshire that is linked with Norton in the East Riding of Yorkshire the two are separated by the River Derwent. It is one of the most traditional towns in Yorkshire with an open produce and active cattle and livestock markets where local people and farmers could sell their goods and buy everything they should need. It is a beautiful place to visit with lots of accommodation facilities ranging from camping to Country Manor Hotels, there are also many cafes, pubs, restaurants, wine bars and takeaways as well as a huge range of shops catering for all of your needs along with a cinema, two schools and several sports facilities.


Northallerton is a bustling market town close to York , Darlington and Middlesbrough, it is the County town and admin centre of North Yorkshire and owes its origin, growth and importance to its position as it is in the centre of the Vale of York and is on the main route between the north and south.

Northallerton was granted a Royal Charter in 1200 and so became a market centre for the surrounding areas drawing traders from far afield to its 4 fairs every year. The markets sold cattle, horses and sheep but was reduced to 2 fairs every year up until the early 1900s, it then closed and today the cattle markets are held in Applegarth.

It was one of the main serving routes to the north in the golden age of coaching having had four coaching inns in the High Street then with the arrival of the railway in 1841 it kept its importance as a centre of communications.

There are many places to visit in the Northallerton area ranging from open farms to the ruins of Fountains Abbey along with some beautiful gardens. With an abundance of places to stay, ranging from catered hotels and guest houses to self catered accommodation and camping. There are also lots of cafes, tea rooms, restaurants, pubs and takeaways catering for everyone's tastes.


Richmond is the county town of Richmondshire, North Yorkshire and is close to the town of Darlington and has character and charm along with being a thriving commercial town. Its Georgian and Victorian buildings are still standing along with on the oldest stone built Norman castle in the country. As well as being famous for the cobbled market square with its large market cross there are several museums and a Georgian Theatre, which was built in 1788, closed in 1848 but has been lovingly restored and re-opened again in 1968, it is considered to be the oldest working theatre in Europe.

Richmond is also a major tourist attraction offering ample accommodation, restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and shops and is also popular with Hollywood film directors because of its stunning scenery and beautiful buildings.


Ripon is a city/market town situated in North Yorkshire which was founded over 1300 years ago. It lies on the roads of the A61 and A6108 and is west of the A1, the once main north-south route. The old city has many shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants along with many historical buildings such as, Ripon Cathedral, the Wakemans House, Studley Royal, Fountains Abbey and Ripon Spa Gardens .

On the market square is a 300 year old Obelisk and here at 9 o'clock every night a, Hornblower will sound his horn. Here is also where the markets are held, one every Thursday selling fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, fish, clothes and jewellery etc. The other markets are held here several times a year selling different produce, crafts along with a French market, here traders come from all over France selling the produce, crafts etc.

Twice a year Ripon is host to a fair here the people can enjoy the usual fairground rides of the waltzer, dodgems, hook the duck and many more. The other is held on St Wilfrid's Day, here there is a procession to commemorate St Wilfrid the Bishop of Ripon in the 7 th century. With the parade of individual floats, a brass band, Morris dancers, the Mayor and Mayoress of Ripon and St Wilfrid travelling around Ripon waving at the onlookers, both residents and visitors, it makes it a fantastic day for all to enjoy.

Ripon also has its own Race Course where from April to August some of the most fun horse racing is held. It is very popular due to the high prize money that is paid out.


Scarborough is situate just 21 miles from Whitby and is very well known for the beautiful shores, its harbour and it's fair.

The harbour is large and is the only place between the Humber and Tynemouth where large ships can safely stay when there are storms.

The bay is large and open, the water clear, the sand clean, firm and smooth and the spa has celebrated mineral waters which have helped this place become of interest to those who believe in their healing powers.

The fair at Scarborough started in 1235 and was held here until 1788 and is remembered because of the famous folk song Are you going to Scarborough Fair?

Scarborough has many restaurants, cafes, tea rooms, pubs and takeaways and many attractions for visitors to see such as Scarborough Castle , these ruins are at eastern side overlooking the town.


Selby is situated on the River Ouse halfway between York and the River Humber and was once a Viking settlement because of this location. It has an Abbey, which is one of the largest parish churches in Britain , this was built in 1069. Selby later became the centre for shipbuilding, although that presence is not there now and then it became a major town because of the railway with its own goods yard and engine shed. Selby also became the centre of communications during this time which enabled the town to grow.

Selby today is a large town with many modern flats and houses being built with a fairly young population and is well established with bus and rail links, shops, restaurants, pubs, cafes, bars and other forms of entertainment.


Settle is situated in the foothills of the Pennines and is a busy bustling market town that is a good base for visiting the Yorkshire Dales. On Tuesdays Settle is a colourful and lively place because of the weekly market that attracts traders from all far afield. The market place is surrounded by mainly family owned local businesses that have items for sale that can only be found here. The centre of Settle has an historic 3 storey building called the Shambles, which has shops on two levels and houses above them. There was a toll-booth here but this was pulled down in 1820 and on that site now is the Town Hall. Most of Settle is deemed as a conservation area with many Grade II listed buildings.

The railway line that was built between 1869 and 1876 is the Settle to Carlisle line which operates a regular passenger service and charters trains with diesel and steam engines for passengers to enjoy.

Settle has ample accommodation to suit all needs along with many restaurants, cafes, pubs for all tastes.


Skipton is situated in the Pennines to the west of Harrogate along the A59, it is said to be The gateway to the Dales. It's a small friendly market town with cobbled streets, a canal and a castle.

It started out as a trading centre for wool and sheep and the name Skipton comes from the Saxon word for sheep. In the late 1700s the Leeds to Liverpool canal was built, it took 46 years to be finished and runs through the centre of Skipton. This bought much prosperity to the town as it transported limestone from a quarry in the hills.

Skipton castle, situated along the canal, is over 900 years old and is one of the most complete medieval castles in England . It has a full roof, a Tudor courtyard inside and in the heart of the castle is a yew tree that was planted in 1659. It is open daily to the public.

Skipton, today, is a busy tourist place with lots of different types of accommodation, restaurants, pubs, cafes and entertainment venues along with the amazing scenery and historical buildings.


Tadcaster is situated just eight miles from York , 15 miles from Leeds and ten miles from Harrogate and lies on both sides of the River Wharfe. Since the 1700s it has been famous for brewing and is the home of Sam Smiths, which has been brewing since 1758 and is the oldest brewery in Yorkshire along with John Smiths and Bass Breweries who are still the main employers of the town today.

There is a viaduct which was built in 1849 by George Hudson and was used to carry goods by rail this was in use until 1955. It is now a Grade II listed building and is now owned by the Council and is for the use of the public to walk across. It is a thriving centre for businesses and in recent years has had considerable residential development which has met the needs of the ever increasing population.


Thirsk is a busy market town that has a large cobbled market square with many interesting houses and inns that were built in the 1700s when it was an important posting station. The oldest inns date back to the Tudor times and the late 1600s these are the Three Tuns and The Golden Fleece.

It is also the fictional Darrowby in the famous televised stories about James Herriot, written by Alf Wight, there is a museum called The World of James Herriot here that captures the spirit of a working vet in that era. There is also a museum that houses cricket memorabilia as Thirsk was the birth place of Thomas Lord who was the founder of the Lords Cricket Club in London .

Thirsk also has a racecourse which has been there since 1855 but the best known feature is the church of St Mary , which is of cathedral proportions. Its build was started in 1430 and completed in the 1500s.

Thirsk still has markets that are held every Saturday and Mondays and on bank holidays the markets fill the whole of the town centre. It has lots of shops, pubs and cafes and accommodation for visitors so that they can explore the town and surrounding areas.


Whitby is an ancient seaport that has become a modern holiday resort with a growing population. It is situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors and is close to Guisborough and Scarborough which are just 20 miles away. It has an Abbey which was firstly a wooden structure built on the top of the east cliff in 657 this was later replaced by a stone building after the death of the founder St Hilda. This abbey was destroyed by the Danes and lay in ruins until around 1078 when the Whitby Abbey of today was built.

Captain James Cook lived here for a short while before joining the navy where he rapidly rose through the ranks. A bronze statue was erected on the West cliff and unveiled on 1912.

Whitby is a thriving seaside resort with a fantastic stretch of coastline, cliffs and bays with nearby towns and resorts within easy reach.


York is situated to the east of the A1 and west of Bridlington and Scarborough and is the capital of Yorkshire and one of the great cities of medieval England . It still has the ancient walls surrounding it and is dominated by the soaring pinnacles of York Minster, a Gothic church which is said to be the finest in Europe . It has narrow streets, lively cafes and lots of specialist shops, museums, (most notably the National Railway Museum , the largest railway museum in the world) and galleries.

York started as a fortress in AD71 built by the Romans 9 th Legion and grew into an important city becoming a vital centre of government, commerce and religion in the north of England .

The building of the Minster started in the early 13 th century and took at least 250 years to complete. It was not until the 18 th century that York became the place to live and visit with its architectural and historical attractions.

In the following century a new era of prosperity and growth began with the start of the industrial revolution and the coming of the railway.


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