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Beyond London – Yorkshire

It only takes 3-4 hours by train or car to visit Yorkshire from London, but this beautiful county offers a completely different side of England.

What makes this part of the UK so special? First of all, there are the landscapes of rolling dark green hills and quiet farms leading up to the dramatic cliffs on the coastline. There are the welcoming small villages with their dry-stone walls, humble local pubs and postcard-pretty cathedrals. However, Yorkshire isn’t just nice to look at, it also has quite a lot to discover under the surface.

There is also a deep and fascinating history which pervades the entire area, dating back to the time of the Vikings. This part of the world has been farmed, lived upon, fought over and written about for many hundreds of years and the remains of this history are clear to see in the many castles, abbeys and historic homes.

What to Do When You Visit Yorkshire

If you have the time during your stay in the UK, it is definitely worth it to visit Yorkshire for a weekend or more. It is easy to compare hotel prices in Yorkshire on Trivago and arrange a getaway to this beautiful part of the UK.

The City of York

Check out York Minster when you visit Yorkshire
Check out York Minster when you visit Yorkshire

This ancient cathedral city competes with Manchester to be the second most visited city in England after London. Yes, it is the original “York” that the Big Apple is named after and although it is much smaller than the new version it wins when it comes to history.

York was founded by the Romans in the year 71 and was one of the most important cities in Roman Britain. 800 years later it was captured by the Vikings and became “Jorvik” and was a major center of Viking trade and settlement. These days it is known for the sheer number of festivals which happen every year, including the Viking Festival, the Food and Drink Festival and the Festival of Angels.

The major must-see attraction in York is the York Minster, which is the largest Gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe and it dates back to the 8th century. Climb up the narrow spiral stone staircase and check out the dizzying view from the very top.

Medieval Streets of York
Medieval Streets of York

The Jorvik Viking Centre is another popular attraction as it allows you to walk through a reconstruction of what the streets would have looked like 1000 years ago. You can also stroll along the original stone walls which have surrounded the city since medieval times and walk through the winding cobblestone alleyways that snake through the old center of town.

National Parks

Make sure that you bring your hiking shoes and your camera when you visit Yorkshire because this county is home to some gorgeous National Parks such as the Yorkshire Moors in North Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Dales in West Yorkshire and a portion of the Peak District in South Yorkshire. Standing atop the Yorkshire Moors is an incredibly awe-inspiring experience, as the plateau suddenly drops off to the south, west and north with steep sea-cliffs on the east.

The Gorgeous North Yorkshire Coast
The Gorgeous North Yorkshire Coast

Exploring the National Parks of Yorkshire on horseback is a popular option and there are many bridleways and stables dotted around the area. There are also many great hiking routes through the area including the Pennine Way, the Wolds Way National Trails, the Ingleton Waterfalls Walk and the Cleveland Way.

Whitby

When you visit Yorkshire you should also include a stop in Whitby, which is a picturesque seaside town. The town and the Whitby abbey has a lot of supernatural lore surrounding it and you can take a ghost tour to learn about the spooky haunted stories in it’s history.

Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire
Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire

Whitby is also famous for its fish and chips, so make sure you enjoy this quintessential British meal while gazing out at the sea.

Leeds

If you feel like going out on the town after a day of sightseeing, the city of Leeds is famous for its excellent nightlife. There are two large universities here which means that there are a diverse range of over 180 clubs, bars and pubs within the city center.

When you visit Yorkshire you can enjoy the nightlife around Clarence Dock in Leeds
When you visit Yorkshire you can enjoy the nightlife around Clarence Dock in Leeds

People come from all over the UK to go visit Yorkshire and go clubbing in Leeds and you will even meet Londoners who have traveled north for a night out. Whether you like the casual pub atmosphere or the flashing lights of a trendy nightclub, you will have a great time.

From historic cathedrals to scenic moors to excellent nightlife, this region of the UK has a lot to offer. Why not visit Yorkshire and see for yourself?

About Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word.

6 comments

  1. Your photos are lovely and capture the beauty of Yorkshire. This is someplace I’ve always wanted to spend time. Not so keen on the Leeds nightlife but would love to explore Whitby Abbey, go hiking across the moors, and climb down those seaside cliffs. The ghost tour in Whitby sounds like fun, too.

  2. Amazing photos!! I would love to cross the pond for a visit. The Moors had me sold. I have always wanted to see them. Whitby is breath taking and the husband would love the supernatural draw surrounding the area. York Minsyer is spectacular. I would love a closer peak. Your descriptions and photos are just teasing me with a visit.

  3. The landscape is beautiful and the architecture is amazing. I would definitely want to explore some local village pubs. Leeds looks like a happening place but probably a little fast paced for me. I’ve watched a lot of shows on the history of Great Britain and would be more interested in exploring the local history of the area. Great pics by the way!

  4. Yorkshire is a great place to visit and with Leeds so close by there is no reason why you can’t visit Yorkshire. It is nice to escape London sometimes

  5. I visited York in the late 1970’s/early 80’s when the work on the Jorkvik dig had just started – I remember that the remains of the city walls were in great condition and very extensive. I wish that I had gone inside the Minster and next time I will. Your photos are super.

  6. Maybe I would suggest to travel in summer, as York tend to be quite cold in winter.

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