Covering roughly 9,000 square kilometres of scenic countryside make North Yorkshire the largest ceremonial county in England, much of it taken up with the gorgeous North York Moors and the picturesque Yorkshire Dales. Some 40% of the county is designated as National Park.
Middlesbrough is the largest city in the area.
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Things to do in North Yorkshire
Offering arguably the most beautiful countryside and coastline in England, walking, hiking and cycling are all popular pursuits. A proliferation of heritage railway makes North Yorkshire a popular destination for train spotters and rail aficionados.
York was once a centre of chocolate production. That history is shared – along with samples – on this guided tour of York’s chocolate history.
A York City pass provides entry to 20 attractions including Jorvik Viking Centre, York Dungeon, York Minster and Barley Hall for one low price.
York City River Cruises are also always popular.
For more ideas, check out these 31 great suggestions for things to do in Scarborough.
Top Destinations in North Yorkshire
Pickering – The historic market town and the official gateway to the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, Pickering offers visitors a myriad of attractions, including a ride on England’s longest steam railway, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
Scarborough – A quintessential seaside town and the largest resort on the Yorkshire coast, Scarborough visitors enjoy climbing the ruins of its 11th century castle and wandering over the battlements. The site offers spectacular views of the town and surrounding countryside and coastline.
Whitby – This fishing harbour is dominated on its East Cliff by St. Mary’s Church and the ruins of Whitby Abbey, the setting for part of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’. On the opposite side of the harbour, a whalebone arch commemorates the once-thriving local whaling industry. A statue of former resident Captain James Cook is situated nearby.
Whitby, York and the North Yorkshire Moors are all visited on this guided bus tour.
Robin Hood Bay – This picturesque fishing village still retains links to its tradition of smuggling. The maze of tiny streets is reputed to house a network of subterranean passageways, built to aid the distribution of contraband during the 18th century.
Grosmont – Within the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, Grosmont is a mecca for railway enthusiasts, with its station forming an intersection between the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and the Esk Valley Line. It is also home to the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group’s workshop and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s engine shed.
Staithes – This small seaside village north of Whitby was once one of the most prosperous fishing centres on the North Sea coast. The charming hamlet with its sheltered harbour is mostly a tourist destination today.
Bridlington – The North Sea fishing port’s main tourist area and harbour are focused at Bridlington Quay. Ornamental gardens provide ample opportunity for walks along the fine promenade.