Yorkshire Holiday Cottages
Yorkshire is one of the UK’s most captivating tourist areas. Home to several stunning national parks, a number of England’s most impressive ancient monuments and a rich literary and arts heritage, Yorkshire can almost seem like its own country. It has its own flag, after all, and an ancient dialect which blends Old English with Old Norse. Most of all, Yorkshire holidays are a great way to explore England’s history and indulge in some rural relief. Whether you’re looking to discover wild and windy moors, climb atmospheric fells (Old Norse for mountains), take in pretty coastlines or wonder at historic castles and cathedrals, Yorkshire is a special place to visit.
The top 5 things to do in Yorkshire
1. Visit York
Yorkshire’s unofficial capital is among the country’s best-kept medieval cities. Housed within impressive 13th-century walls, there's the jaw-dropping York Minster (the largest cathedral in Britain) and a number of fine museums and attractions to visit. You can learn about the region's Viking history at the Jorvik Centre or indulge in some sweet treats at the delectable Betty’s Tea Rooms. There’s also much to explore in the vicinity, including the much-photographed stately home of Castle Howard.
2. Ramble in the Yorkshire Dales
The Yorkshire Dales National Park is a large area of protected moors, fells and valleys (dales) which houses a plenitude of fascinating natural sites and scenic villages. The 12th-century Bolton Abbey ruins have fascinated artists for centuries, while breathtaking natural areas like Malham Cove, Aysgarth Falls and the Yorkshire Three Peaks attract walkers through their beguiling natural trails. Take your time to explore the area by foot and soak up the Three Peaks area via the historic Settle to Carlisle Railway.
3. Follow in Dracula’s footsteps at Whitby
Whitby is a charming fishing town with some of the finest seafood in England. It’s also the site where Bram Stoker famously wrote Dracula and the port of entry into England for the famed vampire in the novel. It’s easy to see why Whitby influenced Stoker’s writing so much; it is home to the ruins of Whitby Abbey, an atmospheric 7th-century Gothic monastery which soars next to jagged cliffs and howling coastal winds.
4. Explore the North York Moors
The North York Moors is a fascinating region of vast heather moorland. Time your visit well and you'll witness a billowing expanse of pretty purple heather stretching for miles. The Moors are popular with cyclists and walkers, but there are also plenty of pretty villages and historic sites to visit here too, including Rievaulx Abbey, Helmsley Castle and Pickering Castle, to name a few.
5. Dine and shop in Leeds
Leeds is Yorkshire’s bustling modern centre, home to a fine craft beer brewing scene, glitzy restaurants and up-market retail therapy. Once an industrial milling town, the city is the embodiment of northern postwar recovery. Aside from the many museums and historic attractions, Leeds is also home to a creative culinary scene, with the excellent Michelin-starred The Man Behind The Curtain among other cutting-edge restaurants and bars to discover.
Our best hotels in Yorkshire
Located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, Yorebridge House is a stunning riverside retreat with tastefully decorated rooms. Home to a well-awarded restaurant, it’s the perfect location to relax and unwind in, close to breathtaking hills and waterfront trails.
This impressive Georgian countryside manor is located between the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales, with excellent road connections to both. Located within 200 acres of pretty grounds, the rooms overlook the manor's well-manicured gardens. The on-site restaurant is also fantastic with a seasonal menu of local Yorkshire delicacies.
Located in the charming market town of Helmsley, the Black Swan is an excellent traditional British hotel complete with a well-stocked pub and a roaring fire. The inn itself dates back over six centuries with a characterful mix of Tudor, Georgian and Elizabethan architectural styles. Expect well-maintained rooms which seamlessly blend history with classic contemporary tastes.
When is the best time to go on holiday to Yorkshire?
Yorkshire is a sprawling place with ideal attractions year-round. If you’re looking to explore the Yorkshire Dales, summer is an ideal time to hike as it’s the best chance to avoid the drizzle. Otherwise, you’ll have to come prepared with thermals, waterproofs and perseverance. July also sees a number of excellent attractions, like the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate and the thriving nesting seabirds of Bempton and Filey. Summer to early-autumn are also the best periods to visit the North York Moors and get a glimpse of the captivating expanses of purple heather. You'll find excellent events throughout the year too, including Christmas markets in most towns, the roaring weeklong Jorvik Festival in York during February and the excellent food festival of Malton in May.
Going on holiday in Yorkshire
Yorkshire is England’s biggest ceremonial county, occupying 11,903 km². It’s serviced by many well-connected rail networks, stations and road links. As for airports, Leeds holds the biggest hub with the Leeds Bradford Airport, but it’s possible to connect quickly with Yorkshire via airports in Manchester and Newcastle, and then by train. If you're flying into London, fast rail connections are possible to York and Leeds. In general, a rental car is recommended to explore Yorkshire’s natural sites and pretty villages in depth, while train networks serve city escapes to Leeds, York, Sheffield and Hull. The Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and other natural sites like the Yorkshire Wolds have more limited scenic railways which make for excellent road trips.
How long should you stay in Yorkshire?
Yorkshire has enough variety to suit both short and long stays. Yorkshire holidays in beauty sites like the Dales and the Moors benefit from week-long exploration, while compact city breaks to Leeds or York are better suited for weekend stays.
The Voyage Privé travel expert’s opinion on Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a wonderland for hikers and cyclists, with plenty of enriching historical attractions to explore in ancient cities and towns as well. Home to one of the UK’s oldest brewing heritages, the region is best explored with long walks followed by a visit to a welcoming pub offering fresh local produce. Yorkshire is England's agricultural heartland, after all. Whether you’re looking for off-the-grid outdoor experiences, bustling nightlife or cutting-edge contemporary culture, Yorkshire has it all. You can follow in the footsteps of famed writers like the Brontë sisters, James Herriot, Ted Hughes, J. B. Priestley and Alan Bennett, or carve your own path of inspiration, exploring the breathtaking cliffs and caves of the east coast to the majestic mountains of the Pennines in the west.