things to see

Things to see

Castle Howard

One of the country's finest stately homes, Castle Howard boasts a spectacular historic house and grounds, open to the public. Still home to the Howard family, the magnificent estate also includes an excellent farm shop, plant centre and nursery. It really is not to be missed, and is only a short drive (or walk or bike ride) from Argil Cottage. For many though, Castle Howard is Brideshead, and for fans of the book, TV series or films, it's an evocative treat.

North York Moors Railway

Another sight familiar to film fans, the NYMR provided the original trains and backdrop for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. And the original Hogwarts Express still plies the historic moorland line. Although replaced in future editions of the films, the NYMR stop at Goathland will, for many Harry Potter fans, always be Hogsmeade Station. Whether a fan or not, the NYMR, departing from nearby Pickering, is a great day out for all the family.

Farndale daffodils

For the classic springtime walk, no where tops Farndale, with its nationally-famous display of daffodils. Try one of the National Park routes along the River Dove and see the amazing display at its best. Daffodils are usually out during March and April, although the valley makes for a great day out at any time of the year.

Eden Camp

A short drive away, Eden Camp accurately recreates life at home and abroad during the second world war. The award-winning, interactive museum offers a unique insight into Britain at war for its civilians and its armed forces, and is housed on the site of an actual World War II prisoner of war camp for captured Germans and Italians.

Rievaulx Abbey

Set in a narrow and remote moorland valley, Rievaulx is unlike any other abbey ruins. Known for its hidden location and astonishing peace, English Heritage describe it as the "most complete and atmospheric" of all their ruined abbeys. It forms part of a chain of monasteries and religious sites that stretch across the region. From Fountains Abbey in the west, to ancient Whitby Abbey on the edge of the east coast.

National Railway Museum

York is home to the National Railway Museum's impressive collection of railway heritage from all around the world, including the famous Mallard steam locomotive, a working replica of Stephenson's Rocket, and Tornado, the first steam loco built in Britain for 50 years. Entry to the museum is free, and has daily events and activities. From its viewing gallery you can also watch modern trains coming and going from the busy York station just below.

Jorvik Viking Centre

One of the most popular visitor attractions in Yorkshire, Jorvik recreates life in York in the 10th century, at the height of the city's Viking culture. Built around the site of an archeological dig, the centre offers the sights, smells and costumes of the period. Perhaps the country's best pre-Norman visitor attraction, the centre also puts on the annual Viking Festival.

York Minster

A visit to Northern Europe's largest Gothic cathedral is a must for any trip to Yorkshire. Discover 800 years of spiritual history and see some of Britain's finest stained glass. York Minster is also an active church, and seat of the Church of England in the North, offering daily opportunities for worship. The minster also plays host to special events throughout the year..


The original British seaside resort still provides the full bucket-and-spade experience, with two wide bays, sandy beaches, donkeys and fish and chips. But these days, it's complimented by the Stephen Joseph Theatre, home to playwright Alan Ayckbourn, the renovated Spa complex (home to the country's last full time seaside orchestra), and several national sporting events, from surfing to mountain biking.


Just up the coast from Scarborough, Whitby feels very different. It's a fishing and whaling town, with narrow streets, and historic inns and cottages. It's the kind of place you could imagine smugglers making their home. Of course, two world famous people did make it their home. It's from here than Yorkshire hero Captain James Cook departed to discover half of the world. But it's also here that Dracula arrived in England in Bram Stoker's gothic novel.


Nearby Helmsley is one of a string of historic market towns that dot the region, each offering something different. At Helmsley, it's an English Heritage castle, famous for its English Civil War connections, Duncombe Park stately home, and the pretty market square, home to the half-timbered Black Swan Hotel.