Best places to visit in Yorkshire

Yorkshire is one of the most beautiful places in England. It’s why we decided to move here, because it’s so diverse and home to so many stunning places to visit. You’ll fall in love with the endless coast, admire the dramatic landscape and visit lots of villages and castles. There are so many superb places to visit in Yorkshire, you will want to come back over and over again.

Ever since we decided to make Yorkshire our home, we got to visit plenty of places and we wanted to share with you some of our favourites. Yorkshire is a historic county in northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Yorkshire has been nicknamed “God’s Own Country” and for good reason. Within the borders you will find peaceful English rolling hills, calming countryside and lovely national parks including the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and Peak District. Here are some unique locations you are going to love.


Harrogate is a lovely town in North Yorkshire, located east of the Yorkshire dales national park. It’s well known for its independent shops and boutiques, fantastic restaurants and stunning gardens. Head to the leafy Valley Gardens and take the Pine walk towards the RHS Garden Harlow Carr.

Have an afternoon tea at Betty’s, the famed tea rooms from 1919. Do some art shopping around the Montpellier Quarter and don’t miss the Royal Pump Room Museum. Harrogate is home to the Turkish Baths so book your entry in advance.

We live in Harrogate and we love it here. Be sure to book your Harrogate hotels well in advance, as it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Yorkshire.

Quaint Harrogate buildings and shops


Just a 10-minute train ride from Harrogate, you’ll find the gorgeous town of Knaresborough. Knaresborough is a market town known for its stone cottages by the river Nidd, cobbled alleys and a lively town centre with so much going on.

Walk along the river, tour the impressive castle ruins perched on the hill and marvel at the Knaresborough viaduct. We recommend renting a boar to really enjoy the different views of Knaresborough, followed by a traditional English meal in one of the restaurants in the centre.

Knaresborough is renowned for its Knaresborough viaduct, Knaresborough Castle and Mother Shipton’s Cave, which is England’s oldest attraction.

Make sure to book your Knaresborough hotels well in advance. This is a very popular touristic spot that gets fully booked, especially during summer.

Knaresborough Bridge


You cannot visit Yorkshire and skip the most beautiful city in England, York. The city of York is located in North Yorkshire, and it’s well known for its medieval street called the Shambles with its timber framed buildings. York has so much going on, as it’s not just full of historic sites, but also lively, fun and exciting to visit.

Book tickets to the York Minster, see the gorgeous York Art Gallery, then sit down for lunch in one of the many authentic restaurants near the Shambles. Visit the market and get a cute ghost from York, a lovely souvenir from the Ghost Shop.

Drink some York gin and learn about the story of the Grey Lady, then end the day with a ghost tour led by one of the locals.

For something truly fun, hunt for the cats of York, hidden in plain sight on several buildings around town. There are so many fantastic things to do in York, you will want to stay for weeks here.

For accommodation, we recommend the Judge’s Lodging right in the centre of the city.

The Shambles in York England

Yorkshire Dales national park

For the best hiking trails, you’ve got to visit the Yorkshire Dales national park. You’ll never tire of the stunning scenery with endless rolling hills and calming countryside. There are plenty of small and quaint villages dotted all around the Yorkshire Dales but most people come here for the raw nature and hiking trails.

Grab your walking shoes and rain cape and head towards the Malham Tarn, a glacial lake near the village of Malham. The lake is one of only eight upland alkaline lakes in Europe.

Take the Ingleton Waterfalls trail which is really scenic. Have a walk through the dales and the woods.

Love nature, then head to The Nidderdale as well, which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The view across the valley from Malham cove cliff


Hawes is a small town in the Yorkshire Dales, in North Yorkshire, and at 551 metres above sea level, it is often said to be the highest town in England. Hawes does hold the title of the highest market town in England, as well as being one of the prettiest towns in Yorkshire.

During your visit, make sure to check out the Wensleydale Creamery, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area. If you’re feeling adventurous, go mountain biking or hiking in the surrounding countryside.

While you are in the area, visit the Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes Market Place and Hardraw Force Waterfall. Book your accommodation in Hawes.

Hawes crossed by the Pennine Way

Hebden Bridge

Hebden Bridge is a market town in West Yorkshire, England, known for its quaint stone houses and artsy cafés. Once a mill town, Hebden Bridge was a hot spot for artists and communities who love the countryside.

Hebden Bridge might seem small with a population of just 4500 but this lovely town is packed with things to do.

Hebden Bridge was named by British Airway’s High Life magazine as ‘one of the world’s funkiest towns’, and the greatest town in Europe.

While visiting, don’t miss the Hardcastle Crags, a National Trust attraction. See the historic Gibson Mill and take the Hebden Bridge Loop. You’ll find plenty of restaurants and lovely shops for souvenirs. Make sure to book your hotel in Hebden Bridge well in advance.

People walking and shopping in Hebden Bridge at the many indie boutiques

Fountains Abbey

One of the best places to visit in Yorkshire is the gorgeous Fountains abbey, located just 20 minutes drive from Harrogate. It’s one of the perfect day trip destinations from Harrogate, Ripon or Knaresborough.

Fountains Abbey is a National Trust destination which looks stunning and a well-known filming location for the popular TV series the Witcher. Enjoy long walks around the deer park and spend the whole day meandering around the Studley royal water garden.

The Fountains Abbey is a UNESCO world heritage site. If you are a National Trust member, you can enter the attraction for free. There is a large car park on site.

Cory sitting on a bench at the fountains abbey

Brimham Rocks

Brimham Rocks, once known as Brimham Crags is located just a stone throw away from the Fountains Abbey. It’s a must visit in Yorkshire. The area is a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest and Geological Conservation Review. And it’s also an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

This is the ideal destination for families with kids who enjoy a lovely walk in nature and wish to see something truly extraordinary. There are many photo opportunities around. There is no entry fee to this site, but the car park is paid for. If you are a National Trust member, however, you can also park for free.

There is a small cafe and an art centre.

Brimham rocks national trust site near harrogate

The North Yorkshire Moors

The North York Moors national park is an upland area in north-eastern Yorkshire, England. It contains one of the largest expanses of heather moorland in the country.

The York Moors national park is especially superb during the heather season and bog cotton. It’s just a short day trip from York with a scenic drive and many charming villages along the way.

Fancy a walk with all the family? Take the trail along the Cod Beck reservoir, surrounded by attractive woodland and moorland scenery.

For something unique take the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, a heritage railway in North Yorkshire, England, that runs through the North York Moors National Park.

North york moors


Whitby sure is one of the best places to visit in Yorkshire. Whether you want to visit because you have an interest in literature or just want to see a stunning town, this is a great destination.

Visit the Whitby abbey and learn how it inspired Bram Stocker to create Dracula. Walk along the cobbled streets and sit down in one of the many independent cafes. Take thw 199 steps to see the red rooftops of Whitby from above and admire one of the most superb sunsets with cotton candy skies.

Even when it’s moody Whitby looks fantastic, as the streets become eerie, perfect for ghost stories. Purchase local souvenirs from the indie shops then visit the Captain Cook Memorial Museum or relax on West Cliff Beach with some local ice cream.

Whitby Town in North Yorkshire Coast

Robin Hood’s Bay

Just a short drive from Whitby is the fishing village called Robin hoods bay, a must-see for charming photos. Head down to the beach and pass stunning little stone cottages. Stop for a cup of tea at the Tea, Toast and Post, then grab a bite at the Fish Box, where you can eat fish and chips with a view of the coast.

Love history? Then you will love this. Robin Hood’s Bay consists of a maze of tiny streets and has a tradition of smuggling. There is even a network of subterranean passageways linking the houses. Some contraband smuggled here was tea, gin, rum, brandy, and tobacco.

Robin Hood's Bay in North Yorkshire

Sandsend Beach

Did you know that the Yorkshire coast is blessed with some of the most incredible night skies in the whole of England? Head over to the Sandsend beach at night, lay down on a beach towel and admire the night sky in all its glory. You can see the Milky Way and during winter some are lucky enough to see the aurora borealis.

Visit during daytime and walk from Whitby all the day to Sandsend and back on the sandy beach.

Stay in one of the coastal villages and take day trips from there. We loved the Sandsend beach so much, we decided to use it as a base. We stayed in a beautiful country house hotel called Raithwaite Sandsend which we recommend.

Gorgeous North Yorkshire Coast Beach in Sandsend


Visit the Flamborough headland, a scenic stretch of white chalky cliffs with superb coastal hikes. If you visit in the summer, you might even see sea puffins.

The Flamborough cliffs are breathtaking with fresh and clean waters. A lot of the landscape will feel peaceful and isolated, ideal for a long walk in nature.

Grab your camera, as this destination is worth it for the views alone.

Flamborough North Yorkshire


Just 20 minutes away from Flamborough is the stunning Filey, a wonderful beach destination on the Yorkshire coast in England.

Filey is a seaside town in North Yorkshire and a popular holiday resort in the Scarborough borough. It became popular in the 18th century when visitors from Scarborough arrived searching for peace and quiet.

Did you know that the Filey beach was voted one of the top six beaches in the world? That’s because you’ll get to enjoy 7 miles (ca. 11 km) of golden sands.

Country park Filey

Malham Cove

Calling all Harry Potter fans here. Malham Cove is a dramatic cliff made of limestone rock. This is one of the locations where Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was filmed.

This beautiful cliff formation is slightly curved and from the top offers incredible views of the Malham dale. It’s the ideal place for either a long hike in nature or for rock climbing.

You can and should see the cove from above but also from below to truly understand its grandeur.

After your hike, take a well deserved break with a hearty lunch and a cup of tea at the Malham village.

The rocky limestone face of the Malham cove

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an open air gallery in West Yorkshire known for showing work by British and international artist. Enjoy a walk in the 500 acre of open air displays of sculptures and parkland.

The park straddles the border of West and South Yorkshire. The park was opened in 1977, and it was the country’s first sculpture park.

There is no entrance fee, but you do have to pay for parking. The exhibitions change frequently, so no two visits are the same.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Castle Howard

Castle Howard is a stately home in North Yorkshire located 15 miles north of York. It is a private residence and has been the home of the Carlisle branch of the Howard family for more than 300 years.

The gardens are one of the main points of interest as they are colourful and beautiful. Take a tour around the castle to learn about its history as well as the exhibition of films and TV shows set at the castle. You will probably know it mainly from the Bridgerton series.

Allocate at least a couple of hours to see the castle and the grounds, and more if you wish to stay a little longer for a delicious lunch.

Don’t forget to book your accommodation in Yorkshire well in advance! Places do book up rapidly.

Superb Hawes countryside market town in North Yorkshire National Park

As you can see, there are so many stunning locations to visit in Yorkshire. If you want to enjoy a bit of city life, you can also add a trip to Leeds to your itinerary.

Whichever place you pick, you are going to love your time in Yorkshire, and you will want to come back over and over again. And when you do, you’ll get to discover even more incredible destinations and points of interests. Have fun and we wish you a safe journey.

Fancy places beyond Yorkshire? Add Manchester or Windermere to the list. Or perhaps you wish to stay in Edinburgh for the weekend. There are so many beautiful places to visit in the UK.

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Cory from You Could Travel entering Senso-ji in Tokyo, Japan

Cory Varga – Cory Varga is a licensed travel agent and published travel writer. Her main expertise is writing about Japan, where she happily lives with her husband.
Cory published her first book on Japanese customs and manners because she’s obsessed with everything Japan and wants to share more about the local customs with the rest of the world.
While Cory has visited hundreds of destinations and has lived in 7 different countries, Japan remains her favorite place to live and write about. Cory is multilingual.


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