1. Jervaulx Abbey
This is one of the largest privately owned Cistercian Abbeys in England. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, it was passed down through numerous families who owned Jervaulx Hall and finally after years of pillage and excavations, the Abbey was turned into a garden for the Hall before being opened to the public. During your visit, you will meander through the Abbey, and one of the most pleasing sights you will come across is the array of wildflowers adorning the walls – wonderfully pleasant! Picnics are allowed at the Abbey so why not make a whole day of your visit, sit back, relax, and take it all in whilst you have some lunch. Or, if you’d prefer, there are Tearooms on site as well as a visitor centre too with information boards and guidebooks to help you learn more and make the most out of your visit.
Entry is free however the Abbey does rely on donations to survive so there is an Honesty Box for any contributions.
Dusk till dawn.
2. Robin Hoods Bay
The perfect escape for you and the family awaits at Robin Hoods Bay. You will find yourself twisting and winding round as you descend through the timeless village on foot - if you’re taking the car leave it on the cliff top and work your way down to explore. Let cobbled alleyways lead the way as you meander through charming houses, inns and hostels and if the weather is fine, you must explore the unspoilt beach which is known to be one the UK’s best spots for fossil hunting! When it’s time for a pit stop you will find plenty of places for some yummy treats whether it be locally caught fish from The Bay Hotel or a traditional Yorkshire Cream Tea, there’s something for everyone at Robin Hoods Bay. If you’d like to learn a little more about the area you can also pop into the Old Coastguard Station to explore the museum and visitor’s centre.
3. Bedale Heritage Trail
Bedale is known as ‘The Heart of North Yorkshire’ and has been in existence for many centuries, growing as a result of 3 medieval roads from Northallerton, Ripon and Wensleydale meeting. The Heritage Trail will take you around the town and point out many interesting features and stories through a series of information panels and blue plaques – take the kids along with you and have them figure out where the next stop will be! This is one not to be missed when visiting the Georgian market town as you’ll come across the Palladian Bedale Hall and Museum as well as St Gregory the 12th’s century Church which is named one of the best in Britain as just a few examples. Collect a Trail leaflet from the Tourist Information Centre in Bedale Hall or online HERE.
Tourist Information Centre
If you find yourself in the region of Lower Wensleydale, Masham is definitely the one to stop at. Famous for its family-run breweries, steam engines and of course the annual sheep fair, this really is a North Yorkshire jewel. Being the thriving community that it is, Masham is home to artist, authors and craftsmen alike, keeping the creative culture alive in the town as well as having established links to Lewis Carroll and JW Turner. If you’re a fan of the latter’s works you must visit Hackfall Woods where not only a number of curious creatures live, but you will quickly understand why Turner loved to use it as his subject and how it captured his imagination. Jervaulx Abbey that we mentioned a little earlier is close to Masham so why not do a drive through on your way back after visiting the historic site!
5. Ribblehead Viaduct
Known as the most impressive structure on the Settle-Carlisle Railway, this is a sight not to be missed. Although, its history does have a sombre tone, as many Railway Builders lost their lives building this line between a combination of dangerous work as well as disease in the late 1800’s. You can find many memorials along the line commemorating the lives of some of those who died building it. You can, of course, hop on a train and ride right along it, of which can be caught at Ribblehead Station but if you in the area around Batty Moss there are plenty of laybys en route as well as parking on the road just a few hundred yards from the Viaduct for photo stops. If you’re just passing through or on your way elsewhere, stop at the popular Station Inn which is nearby for food & drink.
Low Sleights Road
Knaresborough is a beautiful town perched on the cliffs above the River Nidd. It’s full of surprises and you’ll enjoy strolling the medieval streets that weave their way up and down the hill. Delights that await you in Knaresborough include Mother Shipton’s Cave and Petrifying Well which is thought to be England’s oldest tourist attraction - once the home of the mysterious prophetess, where numerous artefacts have been turned to stone over the years! You’ll also find the Castle which sits above the River & Gorge which was another source of imagination for a painting by JW Turner. There’s plenty of places to stop for some scrumptious refreshments including Afternoon Tea, Pubs, Tea Rooms & Restaurants too.
This elegant little market town is known as the ‘gateway’ to the North York Moors. When the weather is good, for a wonderful walk, cross the Pack Horse Bridge over the River Leven and enjoy the spectacular views of Roseberry Topping. If you’re on the hunt for a little fun history then you’ll want to take the time to see the work of the ‘Mouseman’ of Kilburn in the Church of St Peter and St Paul. Stokesley prides itself in many quality, independent shops and you’ll be sure in to come across a few little treasures when it’s time for a little retail therapy. Another wonderful attraction just on the doorstep of Stokesley is the Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum, located in Great Ayton, this is the site of the charity school which James Cook attended in 1736… who then went on to gain the knowledge to become one of the greatest navigators, explorers and chart makers in this country. As well as exploring the life of the famous seafarer, you can also find out more about the surrounding areas itself.
Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum
1st April – 31st October 1pm – 4pm
July & August 11am – 4pm
101 High Street