With beautiful scenery and picturesque seaside resorts, impressive cities and magnificent historic sites, Yorkshire is the perfect destination for a well-earned break
Why visit Yorkshire?
Yorkshire is home to some of Britain’s most breathtaking scenery. From the traditional farming landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales and the open expanses of the North York Moors to the rolling limestone hills of the Peak District, lovers of the great outdoors will find a wealth of pursuits and activities to enjoy across the region.
Yorkshire’s dramatic coastline is amongst the best in the country and short breaks in Yorkshire really should include some time by the sea. Walk the towering coastal path of Flamborough Head and Bempton Cliffs, enjoy a lovely family day out at a traditional seaside resort such as Filey, Scarborough or Whitby, or get away from it all at Robin Hood’s Bay or the small fishing village of Staithes.
For something completely different, take a trip into the city. Whether it’s against the backdrop of Hull’s maritime history, Leeds’ Cultural Quarter, Sheffield’s steel-city roots or York’s Viking heritage, you’ll find excellent shopping, great eateries and a wealth of things to do in the evenings. These cities have fascinating histories and award-winning museums to tell their stories.
Yorkshire has some magnificent historic sites and visitors will enjoy the castles at Skipton, Middleham and Richmond, the beautiful ruins of Rievaulx Abbey and Fountains Abbey, and the stunning stately homes of Castle Howard and Harewood House.
Culture vultures will find much in Yorkshire to inspire them, from literary trails and stunning walks at the Yorkshire Dales National Park, to sculpture parks and award-winning galleries. For those interested in horticulture, Yorkshire has plenty to offer. Take a trip to Sheffield Botanical Gardens, Scampston Walled Garden or Wentworth Castle Gardens, three of Yorkshire’s finest. And, of course, sports fans will not want to miss the opportunity to visit Headingley, the home of Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
A brief history
York was first established as the Roman capital of Northern Britain in 71AD, with the surrounding areas subsequently settled by the Angles and the Vikings. Following the Norman conquests, many castles, abbeys and priories were built across the region, establishing new towns and villages.
The area was affected by a succession of uprisings and rebellions including the Wars of the Roses and the Yorkshire Rebellion. By the 16th-century, farmers had begun to diversify into mining, cloth production and tanning, and Sheffield was emerging as the country’s main producer of cutlery, knives and blades.
The Industrial Revolution saw continued growth in the coal, steel and textile industries, and the fishing industry on the coast. A move away from traditional industries in recent years has seen the rapid growth of tourism in the region. Yorkshire’s rich industrial and cultural heritage can be explored at its many fascinating museums and heritage centres.
When is the best time to visit?
For those planning weekend breaks, Yorkshire has a range of festivals to suit all tastes throughout the year.
Food lovers are particularly well catered for with a multitude of food-related events and festivals taking place in locations across the region. Highlights include the annual Wakefield Festival of Food, Drink And Rhubarb in February; the Dales Festival of Food And Drink and the Halifax Food Festival in June; and the Huddersfield and Harrogate festivals in August. The York Food And Drink Festival is one of the biggest food festivals in the UK and takes place over 10 days in September, while Bradford is the host for the renowned World Curry Festival in September.
The Great Yorkshire Show is held over three days in July. You’ll find top quality livestock, exhibitions of country skills, cookery demonstrations and hands-on activities. It’s a great day out for all the family. Music fans should head to Bramham Park over the August bank holiday for the annual Leeds Festival – past performers have included Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys and Metallica.
Grab your eyeliner and head for Whitby as the nights draw in. The Bram Stoker International Film Festival and the Whitby Goth Festival take place in October and November, while fans of film and fun are in for a treat at the Leeds International Film Festival and the Hull Comedy Festival, also in November. The region also sees plenty of festive celebrations taking place and highlights include Robin Hood’s Bay Victorian Weekend in early December and the Christmas at Castle Howard celebrations.
Yorkshire is well served by rail. High-speed trains run from London to York, Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster and Hull. There are regular services from south-west England and the Midlands, as well as from Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Middlesbrough.
National coach services run to destinations in Yorkshire, and once you’re there you’ll find local coach and bus services to help you get around. If you’re travelling by car, the motorway network provides excellent links to locations across Yorkshire.
By air, Leeds Bradford Airport and Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield connect to a range of UK airports.
If this sounds like the perfect weekend getaway destination for you, then take a look at our hotels in Yorkshire and see it all for yourself.