Who doesn’t love Cornwall? Rugged coastlines, gorgeous beaches, pretty fishing villages, fantastic food…
But here’s something Christina Brion from holiday company Gorgeous Cottages thinks we really ought to consider; you can experience all of this a lot closer to home:
“I absolutely adore Cornwall, there’s no denying it has that something special. But what a lot of people don’t realise, particularly those in the South, is that you can experience the same wonderful things in Yorkshire. And what’s more, it’s easier to reach us!”
Not only is it easily accessible from air, road or plane but God’s Own County has plenty to offer even the most discerning traveller.
“We’ve long been advocates of the many wonderful experiences Yorkshire offers the discerning holiday maker, and now with the advent of Andrew Pern’s latest restaurant in Whitby, we feel 2017 is time to ask ‘Is Yorkshire is the new Cornwall?’”
Here are Christina’s top 10 reasons why Yorkshire should be top of your UK holiday bucket list this year…
1The rugged coastline and wonderful wildlife
Yorkshire has miles and miles of coastline to explore. From quaint fisherman’s coves to seaside towns that are steeped in history you certainly won’t be short of something to do.
Whale watch in Whitby, go rock pooling in Runswick Bay, then explore the meandering cobbled streets of Robin Hoods Bay (once a haven for smuggling)!
The 109 mile Cleveland Way runs along the Yorkshire Coast and can be broken into manageable walks to see some spectacular clifftop views (at the highest point in Staithes the cliffs are 200 metres high), rocky shores and sandy beaches.
2On your bike!
The Tour de France in 2014 and subsequent Tour de Yorkshire races have certainly put Yorkshire on the cycling map and it isn’t hard to see why. Take a bike ride through the region and you’ll get dramatic climbs, peaceful country roads and some truly jaw-dropping scenery. Don’t worry if you aren’t quite up to the standard of Bradley Wiggins as there are lots of routes to try that range from gentle to challenging!
3Darling dales and magical moors
They say the best things in life are free and in Yorkshire you can explore two National Parks to your heart’s content.
The North York Moors are home to heather-clad hills, Dalby Forest (one of the best places to go stargazing in the UK), and even a heritage steam railway (the NYMR). Stretching out to the coast there are lots of pretty villages to visit including Goathland (also known as Aidensfield in TV’s Heartbeat) and Thornton-le-Dale which looks like it has come straight from a chocolate box!
The Yorkshire Dales is a rugged landscape that encompasses some of the highest peaks in England and is home to lots of traditional stone built barns and cottages. You’ll find crags, caves and waterfalls amongst the landscape that is sometimes wild, sometimes peaceful but always breath-taking.
4Stylish towns and pretty villages
It’s not all about the countryside though – oh no. As well as York and Harrogate (both heaven for anyone wanting a bit of retail therapy), towns such as Helmsley have injected some serious style into Yorkshire. Think micro-breweries, independent boutiques and restaurants that are embracing the latest food production techniques.
There are also lots of villages to visit with traditional 17th and 18th century inns, tea rooms, riverside walks and even a castle or two! We recommend:
Named Village of the Year 2016 it has a lovely riverside location in Nidderdale plus a high street that’s brimming with tea rooms, independent shops, award-winning butchers and the Oldest Sweetshop in England.
Set in a peaceful valley within the North York Moors, this is a classic English village, complete with babbling brook and local pub. It’s also the setting for the Ryedale Folk Museum which tells the story of rural life from the Iron Age to the 1950s.
Home to a 700-year old castle complete with magnificent grounds and a World Famous Ice
With plenty of farmland and a long fishing heritage, you will never have to travel too far in Yorkshire to find the freshest fish, meat, fruit and vegetables. As well as famous Yorkshire products like Wensleydale Cheese, there is a whole range of artisan producers who are creating high quality items that are home-made rather than mass produced.
You’ll also find regular farmers’ markets in many Yorkshire towns. Malton in North Yorkshire has become a bit of a mecca for local foodies (recognised by Antonio Carluccio) and each month you’ll find lots of local suppliers congregating at their monthly food market.
Restaurant choices in Yorkshire range from rustic and hearty to seriously fancy and there are even some Michelin Star restaurants to try. There’s no need to head into the city to enjoy the finest food either as many Yorkshire restaurants have picturesque settings with stunning views. Provenance is key in the region so you’ll find lots of seasonal dishes using the freshest local ingredients.
6Time for tea
We do love a nice cup of tea in Yorkshire and there are numerous tea-rooms and restaurants that will serve you a top-quality brew along with a selection of sandwiches, cakes and other tasty treats.
Betty’s is probably the most famous tea room around and no trip to Yorkshire is complete without sampling one of their Fat Rascals or treating yourself to a Lady Betty Afternoon Tea.
We also recommend the Black Swan at Helmsley which offers a traditional and luxurious afternoon tea in a characterful building that dates back 500 years.
7Charming country pubs
Now I always think the best thing about a little break in the country is discovering a hidden gem of a pub, complete with original features and roaring log fires and there are plenty of charming pubs in Yorkshire. You won’t have far to walk to enjoy some real ale (or a G & T if your prefer) and some excellent home-cooked food as traditional inns are dotted around the various villages and hamlets throughout the Moors, Dales and Wolds. A growing number of pubs are now dog-friendly so you can even take your four-legged friend with you.
Yorkshire is a bit of a haven for stately homes, castles, abbeys, and mansions so there are plenty of places where you can delve into some English history.
Stately homes include mansions and country houses from the Georgian, Elizabethan and Regency periods and you’ll find walled gardens, woodland walks and beautifully recreated rooms. Places to visit include Castle Howard, Sledmere House and Burton Agnes Hall.
Castles provide a fascinating insight into some of the bloody battles of the past and examples include Bolton Castle which is one of the UK’s best preserved medieval castles and Middleham Castle which was the childhood home of Richard III and has the largest castle keep in the country.
There are also several fine examples of Cisterian abbeys dating back to the 12th century including Fountains Abbey, Rievaulx Abbey and Jervaulx Abbey.
9A literary history
It’s no surprise that the beautiful Yorkshire countryside has been the inspiration for some literary classics. The three Bronte sisters are arguably the most famous authors to have come from Yorkshire and were inspired by the moorland near their home in Haworth. Today the Bronte Parsonage Museum (the 19th century home of the Brontes) showcases their life and classic works such as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.
Another famous book with roots in Yorkshire is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The gothic Whitby Abbey was one of the inspirations for this classic horror tale. The imposing remains are perched high on a cliff and though you’ll have to climb 199 steps to reach it, the views from the top are well worth the effort.
Yorkshire has lots of gorgeous old Georgian townhouses, stone barns and traditional cottages that have been transformed into some truly stunning holiday lets.
As well as original features such as oak beams and fireplaces (complete with wood-burning stoves), you’ll find lots of design flare with sumptuous fabrics, monsoon showers, statement furniture and Farrow and Ball wall colours.
Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway for 2 or a celebration for 16, you will find some great choices of properties in Yorkshire:
If this has whetted your appetite for a holiday in Yorkshire, Gorgeous Cottages have 130 luxury properties throughout the Moors, Dales, Coast and Wolds.
Visit gorgeouscottages.com or call 01642 263249.