The sun is shining, the sand is golden, the beers are chilled and the sea is… Ok, the sea is blooming freezing! No, I’m not talking about the Balearic Islands; I’m talking about the beautiful Yorkshire coast. Many of us are deciding to holiday in the UK this year, either staying local or exploring somewhere new, and after Yorkshire was name the second best place to visit in the world (according to Condé Nast Traveller 2020) it is no wonder so many are heading Up North this summer.
So where are the best places to visit in Yorkshire this summer? Here is a quick summary of some of the hotspots and hidden beauties that tourists will be flocking to.
The spectacular Yorkshire coastline stretches for more than 90 miles from Staithes in the north, to Spurn Point in the south. Famous tourist hotspots include Whitby, Filey, Scarborough, Bridlington and Robin Hood’s Bay. If you fancy somewhere a little quieter, Hunmanby Gap, just south of Filey, is less busy at peak times and is a great place to make sandcastles. Here you will find a café, car park and toilets open during the summer season.
Another quieter area along the Yorkshire coastline is Skipsea, a village south of Bridlington. There are good local eateries including a pub, café and restaurant, an ice cream parlour and fish and chip shops. Attractions in the area include Skipsea Castle and a holiday park with lots of facilities and entertainment for all the family. A few miles further south is the beautiful blue flag beach of Hornsea. Known for being a quintessential British seaside town with a Victorian folly, it is popular with ornithologists due to its 250 species of birds around the peaceful nature reserve. You can have fun sailing or taking part in fishing activities and there is a folk museum with lots of interactive displays.
The Countryside Towns
Yorkshire’s food capital, Malton, has always been a popular market town with a regular livestock market and a Food Lovers Market but it is increasingly becoming known for its fantastic restaurants, selection of food shops and food and drink producers. The town also has lots of independent shops and free parking. In close proximity to Malton you will find attractions such as Eden Camp (a Second World War themed museum), Castle Howard (a stately home), Scampston Hall and Walled Gardens and Flamingo Land (a theme park and zoo). There are plenty of B&Bs, guest houses and campsites surrounding Malton and of course plenty of green space, rolling hills and fresh air.
About 15 minutes drive North of Malton is Pickering, famous for the North Yorkshire Moors railway, Pickering Castle, Go Ape! at Dalby Forest, and plenty of shops, cafés pubs and restaurants. From Pickering, it is about a 30 minute drive to Whitby and the views along the way are spectacular. Why not stop along the way at one of the viewpoints and admire the breathtaking sights?There are also walks a-plenty around the North York Moors.
Nidderdale is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. If you fancy sleeping under the stars there are lots of surrounding campsites but equally there are plenty of B&Bs and guest houses in the surrounding villages. Local attractions include Ripley Castle, Brimham Rocks, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden. Nearby towns worth visiting include Pateley Bridge, Harrogate and Knaresborough.
Richmond is often known as the Northern Gateway to the Dales. Founded by the Normans in 1071, it is is a leafy, vibrant market town with an impressive castle, a cobbled market place and a wide range of pubs, restaurants and cafés to choose from. For the more brave among us, you can take part in a guided ghost walk where local legends and traditions are brought to life! If you prefer a less scary break, take a walk along the River Swale or from Richmond Castle to the remains of the pre-monstratensian house.
The City Break
If you are more into vibrant nightlife, retail therapy, Michelin Star and high quality restaurants and live shows, then Leeds is the city for you. Over the last 20 years, Leeds has seen a massive regeneration and continues to evolve, making it one of the coolest cities around. John Lewis moved into the city five years ago and occupies space in the glamorous Victoria Leeds Shopping Centre. Also in this Centre, and in the surrounding Victorian Shopping Arcades, you will find other up market brands such as Anthrapologie, & other stories, Kurt Geiger, Mulberry, All Saints, Space NK and Jo Malone. A short walk away you will find Trinity Shopping Centre, a haven for high street shopaholics with over 120 stores, bars and restaurants aplenty and Trinity Kitchen, a foodery serving traditional street food of varying cuisines which rotate every 8 weeks.
Historic York is another ideal city for a short break and has activities to suit all tastes. If you are a beer lover you will find numerous real ale houses serving beer brewed locally. If you are fascinated by York’s Viking and Roman roots, there are thirty museums to explore as well as the winding cobbled streets, the Shambles and the City Walls. For the shoppers among us, there are plenty of independent and high street stores. Foodies will appreciate the quality of the bars and restaurants in York, including the Tommy Banks owned, Michelin Star Restaurant, Roots. If outdoor activities are more your thing, why not enjoy afternoon tea on a city cruise up the River Ouse or even hire a canoe.
Wherever you roam, don’t forget to pack your factor 50, summer sandals, wellies and umbrella, because, you know, it is Yorkshire after all!
All information correct at time of publication. July 2021.