North Yorkshire travel guide

Photo of North Yorkshire in North Yorkshire (North Yorkshire region)

Visit North Yorkshire

The county of North Yorkshire is a large county situated to the north-east of England, with the fascinating historical city of York being the most populated centre in the county and Northallerton being home to the North Yorkshire County Hall.

The region is popular with visitors for several reasons, above all the wide open landscapes of the countryside, the charm of the towns such as York and Harrogate, and also for the coastal towns and resorts such as Scarborough and Whitby.

National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

North Yorkshire contains a great variety of scenic countryside and as a result attracts many visitors wishing to enjoy the 'great outdoors'.

Almost all of the Yorkshire Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks fall within the county, covering approximately 40% of the land area: see separate travel guides at Yorkshire Dales and Yorkshire Moors.

Wharfedale

The space not covered by National Parks includes the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to the north of York; the Nidderdale AONB north of Harrogate; and a small part of the Forest of Bowland AONB on the border with Lancashire.

Towns and villages in Yorkshire

Although there are towns and villages within the National Parks and AONB's themselves, some of the most important regional centres fall outside the borders, several of which are popular with visitors to North Yorkshire.

One of our favourite towns is Harrogate, best known for its impressive 18th century architecture dating from its heyday as a spa town. When in Harrogate be sure to visit the RHS Garden Harlow Carr, one of 5 RHS gardens in the country. Harrogate is to the south of North Yorkshire as is the nearby Knaresborough which is a charming market town with a riverside location. 

Knaresborough

Central in the area is  James Herriotts town of Thirsk and the nearby the small village of Kilburn best known for the white horse carved into the hill above. Also Ripon and its cathedral and to the north is the market town of Northallerton. Boroughbridge is a quiet town nearby and has three large monoliths.

Heading east is Pateley Bridge - a charming village and winner of Britain's Best High Street award. Also Ilkley, which is a pretty town with a riverside location and topped by Ilkley Moor.

Also don't miss the evocative Fountains Abbey which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Coastal Yorkshire

Scarborough and Whitby are the most important towns on the coast of North Yorkshire, with Robin Hood's Bay falling between the two. The small harbour village of Staithes is also recommended.

See also:

Map of North Yorkshire and places to visit

North Yorkshire places to visit