Drive or take the train to Whitby, a beautiful fishing port on the North Sea that offers perhaps the freshest fish and chips in the whole country. Climb the 199 steps to St. Hilda’s Whitby Abbey, learn about the first named English poet Caedmon, flee from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, or venture out along the harbour wall and see the deep of the seas.
Drive or take the train to Scarborough, one of England’s original seaside towns with its gorgeous golden beaches, stunning scenery, the ruins of historical Scarborough Castle, The Spa Complex, the harbour and lighthouse, and the stunning Tracy Savage Art Gallery.
Accessible by car, there is an abundance of adorable coastal villages easily accessible as a day trip from York. Hear the voices of fishermen of old in Staithes. Marvel the dramatic white cliffs of Flamborough. Take in a smugglers tour of Robin Hood’s Bay, slow down in tiny Sandsend, or go fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast.
Early Christian Heritage
A wonderful day trip from York can take in some of the most beautiful and best preserved abbeys of the British Isles. Let the Cistercians Order take your breath away while touring the abbeys at Rievaulx, Fountains and Byland. The Benedictine Order’s Whitby Abbey is a perfect complement, perched at the top of the cliffs. North of York there is the Carthusian enclosed monastic of Mount Grace Priory, or close by the stunning Ripon Cathedral or Kirkham Priory. These edifices are photogenic to the extreme and proudly represent our Great Northern ecclesiastical history.
For centuries, Yorkshire’s noblemen have laid the foundations of our world envied stately homes that manifest today as Castle Howard, Harewood House, Ripley Castle and Newby Hall, among many others. See the film sets on the doorstep of your hotel, including Castle Howard which served as the stage for Brideshead Revisited (2008), Broughton Hall in Skipton hosted the film set for Wuthering Heights (1992), or the Harewood Estate which hosts the set for the soap opera Emmerdale.
Given the rich farming and agricultural customs of Yorkshire, many towns received the right to host a town market by royal charter. The tradition of market days survives today across the region. These towns are focused on their respective cobblestone squares and the fine stone architecture and period town hall stand firm in testament of their history. There are many superb examples close to York, including Malton, Richmond, Helmsley and Knaresborough.
The blinding beauty of Yorkshire will both astonish the newcomer and soothe the returning journeyman. York is located ideally for the North York Moors, the Yorkshire Dales, and the Yorkshire Wolds. The Moors are a vast openness of the freshest air, filled with small rivers and topped with gorgeous ferns and heather. Visit Hutton-le-Hole, Goathland or Danby and be sure to pack your hiking boots. The Dales host waterfalls, valleys and rolling hills of sheer splendour. Explore Aysgarth, Grassington or Bolton Abbey, knowing that the fine city of York awaits with open arms to embrace your fair return. The Wolds are lesser known and lie to the East of the city – lose yourself in the lavender fields of early summer, discover the market town of Beverley or visit Stamford Bridge where England’s King Harold (of later Battle of Hastings infamy) defeated the Norwegian invasion force in 1066.