FROM the cobbled streets and medieval walls of York to the wide sandy beaches of the coast; from the historic monuments that dot the landscape to the cosy pubs and restaurants – there is, quite literally, something for everyone in North Yorkshire.

Here, on Yorkshire Day, we look at 50 places to visit and things to do across Britain’s biggest county. Some big, some small but all with a character of their own.

And remember - this is only the tip of the iceberg. There is always something different to discover.

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The Northern Echo:

Nestling in the area of outstanding natural beauty that is the Hambleton Hills, Castle Howard found worldwide fame as the main location for the hit TV and film versions of Evelyn Waugh’s classic Brideshead Revisited.

Built between 1699 and 1712 for the third Earl of Carlisle, to a design by Sir John Vanbrugh, the spectacular stately home sits in 1,000 acres of grounds and gardens.

It includes extensive woodland walks, temples, lakes and fountains, and is also home to several nationally important collections.

With some 145 rooms Castle Howard is also one of the largest country homes in the UK.

Visit or contact 01653-648333.




The Northern Echo:

Since its launch in 1973 the heritage railway that twists and winds its way through the breathtaking moors scenery has become one of the major attractions in North Yorkshire.

Its period trains steam along the second-longest standard gauge heritage line in the country, running from Pickering via Levisham, Newton Dale and Goathland to Grosmont near Whitby.

The line found lasting fame on the big and small screen, with Goathland featuring as Hogsmeade in the Harry Potter movies and as Aidensfield station in TV’s Heartbeat.

The original line, planned by George Stephenson, opened in 1836 but in 1965 fell victim to the Beeching cuts.

Visit or contact 01751-472508.


The Northern Echo:

For the fun-lover and nature-lover Flamingo Land has been a leading draw for decades. A theme park, zoo and resort its boasts something for everybody.

The extensive theme park features cutting-edge white-knuckle extreme rides but also includes family, children’s and scenic rides.

The sprawling zoo features more than 140 species of mammals, reptiles and birds and has a major role in the conservation world, playing a part in international breeding programmes which help preserve endangered creatures in the wild.

For those staying longer than a day the resort also has a variety of living accommodation and leisure facilities, from golf to swimming.

Visit or contact 0871 911 8000.


The Northern Echo:

Housing more than one million objects from more than 300 years of railway history, the free-to-enter museum is the largest of its kind in the world – a hands-on experience that also plays a crucial role in research and education.

Everything from a lock of Robert Stephenson’s hair to a Japanese Bullet train can be found within its walls, as well as a range of Royal carriages, a vast art collection, and railway memorabilia too numerous to count.

At the museum’s heart however are the mighty locomotives themselves, from a replica of Rocket to more recent stars such as Flying Scotsman and Mallard.

Visit or contact 08448 153139.


The Northern Echo:

Completed in 1472, on a site that even then had been associated with Christian worship for centuries, York Minster remains one of the most awe-inspiring cathedrals in the country.

Almost 200 yards long with a central tower soaring 200ft into the sky, it boasts architecture and glasswork that are still breathtaking even for 21st-century viewers.

As well as exploring the cathedral itself, visitors can take trips down to the Undercroft or climb the central tower for astonishing views over the medieval city and beyond.

A new attraction, the Orb, showcases at close range some of the world’s most important stained glass.

Visit or contact 01904-557200.


The Northern Echo:

Housed in a former prison on the site of what was once York Castle, the famed Castle Museum offers a fascinating insight into a long-gone way of life.

Among its many highlights is Kirkgate, a recreated Victorian street named after the museum’s founder, Dr John Kirk. Complete with Hansom cab and cobbles, every single shop is based on a real business which operated between 1870 and 1901.

Recreated period rooms include a Victorian parlour and 17th-century dining room while visitors can look at life on the other side of the law in the condemned cell where the villainous Dick Turpin probably spent his last night alive.

Visit or contact 01904-687687.


The Northern Echo:

Situated on a former Second World War bomber station, the YAM is the largest independent air museum in the country and is also home to the Allied Air Forces Memorial.

From humble voluntary beginnings in the early 1980s it has grown into a major attraction complete with large, Naafi-style cafe and shop.

Its collection includes wartime memorabilia and historic vehicles but it is the aircraft that are the biggest draw, with more than 60 legends of the air on show, ranging from a frail 1911 Blackburn Mercury Monoplane to devastating modern jets.

The star however is a lovingly reconstructed Handley Page Halifax.

Visit or contact 01904-608595.


The Northern Echo:

A beautiful country home, by the banks of the River Rye, now owned and conserved by the National Trust.

The first hall on the site was mentioned in the 13th-century although the present building is mainly a combination of seventeenth and eighteenth century work. The hall stands in eight acres of organically-managed grounds.

The walled garden includes lawns, orchards, formal rose beds, mixed borders, a tea garden, and an iris garden. The nearby river attracts kingfishers and otters while the house itself features many period rooms and one of the world’s finest collections of miniature rooms.

The hall also regularly hosts high-profile art and photography exhibitions.

Visit or contact 01439-748283.


The Northern Echo:

The ground-breaking Jorvik centre has had close to 20m visitors since it opened 30 years ago and won worldwide fame in the process.

Between the years 1976 and 1981 a team from York Archaeological Trust revealed the houses, workshops and backyards of the Viking-age city of Jorvik as it stood nearly 1,000 years ago and the centre meticulously recreates what they found.

Visitors travel through the city in time capsules and experiences the sounds, sights and even smells of the era. Even the life-like mannequins are authentic – facial reconstruction technology was used on skulls found in a Viking age cemetery.

Visit or contact 01904-615505.



The Northern Echo:

Something for the more energetic visitor, the Lyke Wake Walk is a challenge, originally laid down by local farmer Bill Cowley in 1955, to walk 40 miles across the North York Moors from Scarth Wood Moor near Osmotherley to the Raven Hall Hotel at Ravenscar.

The walk must be completed in 24 hours and can be covered in either direction – with some claiming eastwards is easier because of the prevailing wind.

The aims behind the walk are to promote the history and folklore of the moors and to assist in safeguarding the environment – and to have some healthy fun.

Visit or email


The Northern Echo:

The English Heritage-run ruins in the North York Moors National Park, near Helmsley was the first Cistercian abbey and one of the wealthiest in England until it was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1538.

It is one of the most complete medieval abbeys remaining and remains among the most peaceful, due its location in a wooded valley by the River Rye, which enabled its 140 monks to devote themselves to prayer and self-sufficiency.

The abbey is overlooked by the National Trust’s Rievaulx Terrace, an 18th Century landscaped garden featuring Grecian-style temples.

Visit and, or call 01439-798228 and 01439-798340.


The Northern Echo:

Home to The Ultimate, Europe’s longest rollercoaster at 1.5 miles, Lightwater Valley features about 40 other rides, including Black Pearl pirate ship, which rotates through 360 degrees, and Whirlwind.

The 175-acre theme park between Ripon and North Stainley attracts about 500,000 visitors a year and has a shopping village and restaurant on site.

It has recently opened the UK’s first Angry Birds activity park with 30,000sq ft devoted to the world’s most popular mobile phone game and has a collection of 50 raptors, including owls, falcons and eagles alongside its rheas, snakes and ferrets.

Visit or call 0871-720-0011.


The Northern Echo:

A church was founded on the site by St Wilfried in 672, but it was not until 1836 that the building finally became a cathedral.

The only part of Wilfrid’s church, which was built by stonemasons and glaziers from aross Europe, to survive is the ancient Saxon crypt which is said to be the oldest church building in England to have remained in continuous use.

Seats in the choir include medieval carvings, known as Misericords, of bagpipe-playing pigs and a mermaid, and are said to have inspired Lewis Carroll, whose father was dean at the cathedral, to write Alice In Wonderland.

Visit or call 01965-603462.


The Northern Echo:

Picture: David Winpenny

The Police and Prison Museum, the Liberty Courthouse and the Workhouse Museum, in Ripon, provide an insight into how criminals and unfortunate people have been treated over the centuries.

The grim atmosphere of the former workhouse, in Allhallowgate, and former police station and prison, in St Marygate, have been maintained to give visitors a sense of the inmates’ everyday lives. Visitors can experience what it is like to be in a Victorian cell or to have to break stones for the roads.

The Georgian Courthouse, in Court Terrace, which remains virtually unchanged since it was built in 1830, features details about the crimes prisoners committed.

Visit or 01765-690799.


The Northern Echo:

The home and surgery of the world’s most famous vet, Alf Wight, gives visitors an in-depth insight into the inspiration for his All Creatures Great And Small stories, of which more 80 million copies have been sold.

The museum in Kirkgate, Thirsk, shows what life was like for the vet and his family in the 1940s and visitors are invited to experience being in an air-raid shelter.

It also includes an array of historic veterinary equipment, the set of the TV series and the car featured in it, a range of interactive exhibits and the largest collection of Herriot memorabilia in the world.

Visit or call 01845-524234


The Northern Echo:

Dedicated to the life of master craftsman joiner and carver Robert Thompson, who was also known as the Mouseman of Kilburn, the centre shows how he became a furniture legend producing oak items in the style of the 17th century from his humble self-taught beginnings.

The centre in Kilburn, which will mark its 20th anniversary this year, features displays about what life was like in the village during Mr Thompson’s formative years in the late 19th century. Visitors can see 1930s-style rooms that feature Mr Thompson’s personal furniture and learn about his techniques through an audio-visual display.

Visit or call 01347-869102.


The Northern Echo:

The Grade I listed 18th Century country house on the banks of the River Ure, at Skelton-on-Ure, near Boroughbridge, was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and features Robert Adams interiors and collections of Chippendale furniture, classical statues and Gobelins tapestries.

Visitors can roam the 25-acres of award-winning gardens, which include Europe’s largest herbaceous borders, a picnic area, a woodland walk, a miniature railway and a youngster’s adventure park.

A 2007 TV adaptation of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park featuring Billie Piper was filmed at the hall. Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes visited the ancestral seat of the real-life Lord Grantham before the series was shot.

For details, visit or call 0845-4504068.


The Northern Echo:

The centre at Sion Hill Hall, near Thirsk, is home to more than 70 birds and 30 species, including a Eurasian Griffon vulture called Ringo, a Gyr Saker falcon called Pyscho and an Asian wood owl called Gonk.

Handlers hold three daily displays, allowing the birds of prey to swoop as visitors sit in the gardens, and explain why the birds hunt and fly as they do, where they come from in the wild and how they are trained.

Displays are followed by a chance for visitors to hold the birds.

Visit or call 01845-587522.


The Northern Echo:

The National Trust-run estate near Ripon is Britain's largest monastic ruin and most complete Cistercian abbey.

It was recognised as UN World Heritage Site in 1986 for being “a masterpiece of human creative genius”, and for its outstanding architecture. Set in 800 acres, it features 12th Century abbey ruins, which originally covered 70 acres, and the only surviving Cistercian corn mill. The surrounding landscaped Georgian water garden of Studley Royal features neo-classical statues, follies and views.

The estate also includes the richly decorated Victorian St Mary's Church, the Elizabethan Fountains Hall and a medieval deer park.

Visit or call 01765-608888.


The Northern Echo:

The attraction on the banks of the River Nidd, in Knaresborough, is devoted to the life of 16th century soothsayer and prophetess Ursula Southeil, who became known as Mother Shipton.

The site includes the cave where Mother Shipton is said to have been born, a petrifying well that has attracted millions of visitors since the 17th century, and details about her predictions.

It is recorded in the diaries of Samuel Pepys that whilst surveying the damage to London caused by the Great Fire in the company of the Royal Family they were heard to discuss Mother Shipton's prophecy of the event.

Visit or call 01423-864600.


The Northern Echo:

Harlow Carr is the home of the Royal Horticultural Society in the North. It’s a 27 acre garden dominated by water, stone and woodland.

The centre prides itself on pushing back the boundaries of design and planting styles, working with plants that particularly thrive in the North.

It was originally set up in 1950 by the Northern Horticultural Society on part of the ancient Forest of Knaresborough merging in 2001 with the RHS. A huge range of plants and trees are on display with willow woven sculptures, a Rhododendrun Glade, an Alpine House and the Bramall Learning Centre, which is one of the UK’s greenest buildings.

Visit‎ or contact 0845 2658070.


The Northern Echo:

Ewe wouldn’t believe the history of the Black Sheep Brewery. It’s only 21 years old but it’s steeped in the brewing history of Masham which goes back hundreds of years.

It’s a maverick creation of Paul Theakston, whose family had brewed in the town for six generations. When the firm was taken over, Paul decided to set up on his own, taking over Victorian buildings to develop the brewery and visitor centre that are at the heart of one of the best known brewers in the business. You can see how it’s all done as well as try a sample or two.

Visit or contact 01765-689227.


The Northern Echo:

It’s a heritage railway which ploughs 16 miles through the heart of the Yorkshire Dales from Leeming Bar through Bedale, Leyburn and Redmire.

They’re also extending passenger services to a new station in Northallerton. It’s known as the great survivor.

Passenger services were lost in 1954. Limestone for Teesside and military transport kept it going until an army of volunteers set up the Wensleydale Railway Association and set about the mammoth task of restoring the line for passenger traffic.

With special event trains, walking trains, dining and steam trains, the volunteers are battling to preserve and enhance the line for future generations.

Visit or contact 0845 450 5474.


The Northern Echo:

The baths were part of the most advanced hydroptherapy centre in the world when they were built in 1897. A favourite with royalty, Queen Victoria’s granddaughters were said to be regular visitors.

Now the baths are the surviving part of the orginal complex with their fabulous ornate, moorish interiors carefully preserved. From the Laconium, the hottest room, to the freezing cold plunge pool , the baths are said to offer a journey of heating, cooling and cleansing the body to promote, exhilaration, euphoria, total relaxation and absolute cleanliness.

Sadly the vast majority of the Tour De France cyclists will not have the time to try them out.

Go to or contact 01423-556746.


The Northern Echo:

This 85-acre woodland is unique in Britain. It’s one of the finest private collections of trees and shrubs in the country and was created by one avid enthusiast Sir Leonard Ropner whose father bought the estate in 1927.

Home to five national plant collections it provides interest all year round with tree trails, a nature trail, children’s trail and large lake.

The grass paths are mown regularly, but other areas are cut just once a year to provide an ideal habitat for the many wild flowers, fungi and insects. The arboretum is now run by Sir Leonard’s son, Sir John Ropner.

Go to, contact 01677-425323


The Northern Echo:

Hidden in the landscape of the Yorkshire Dales at Tupgill Park, near Middleham, this unusual and surprising place was originally built as a private folly to entertain the owners children and friends.

But the unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and secret water features was such a success they were opened to the public and have become a major attraction.

The four acre Grotto is filled with trees and remarkable stone buildings and is now billed as the strangest place in the world, with thousands of visitors coming from all over the country. A new restaurant is opening soon.

Go to or contact 01969-640638.


The Northern Echo:

This family-run farm visitor centre near Bedale combines animals and a play centre. The aim is to offer entertainment and interest in wet or dry weather.

The farm offers youngsters the chance to get up close with the animals, with the opportunity to hold and feed them. Depending on the time of year there are lambs, and piglets to be fed as a well as an array of other furry creatures.

The woolly jumpers play barn offers indoor activities with pedal go carts, a barrel train and buggies for the more adventurous outdoors.

Go to or contact 01677-422125


The Northern Echo:

After recent events arguably England’s most famous king, Richard III, spent his childhood in this massive castle which has dramatic views over Wensleydale.

Built around 1190 it is now a ruin, but with many of the walls intact there’s a lot to see and much fascinating history to absorb with an exhibition highlighting the castle’s most notable personalities and highlights of the search for the body of Richard.

There’s also a replica of the stunning 15th century Middleham jewel which was found in the grounds of the Castle. Despite the name, it is actually a fortified palace as custodians English Heritage point out.

Go to , contact 01904-601901


The Northern Echo:

Close to Aysgarth village, the falls are part of the River Ure where it descends in three stages over limestone steps.

Although not particularly high, the falls are one of Wensleydale’s most famous beauty spots – with the upper and middle sections of the falls having featured in a scene with Kevin Costner in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

There is a walk alongside the river linking to upper, middle and lower sections of the falls, and close by is the ancient Freeholders’ Wood nature reserve, and the Aysgarth Falls National Park Centre, with a cafe celebrated for its home-made cakes.

Nearby is St Andrew's church, which has a large churchyard, reputed to be the largest in England. The church has a medieval painted wooden screen rescued from the destroyed Jervaulx Abbey.

Visit for details.


The Northern Echo:

The Ribblehead Viaduct or Batty Moss Viaduct carries the Settle-Carlisle Railway across Batty Moss in the valley of the River Ribble at Ribblehead.

The 24-arch viaduct, built by the Midland Railway, is 28 miles north-west of Skipton and is a Grade II* listed structure.

The land underneath and around the viaduct, where the remains of the construction camp and navvy settlements known as Batty Wife Hole, Sebastopol and Belgravia were located, is a scheduled ancient monument.

The area is ideal for fell walking, with the Three Peaks nearby, and both the Dales Way and Pennine Way are accessible from Ribblehead station.


The Northern Echo:

Jacobean Kiplin Hall, between Scorton and Northallerton, was built in 1619 by George Calvert, and was a family home to four families until the 20th century. During World War II it was used as a recovery home for soldiers, before being requisitioned by the RAF to supply bombs to local air fields.

Now many of the rooms have been restored, and the garden team has won awards for its work bringing the grounds back to their former glory.

There is currently an exhibition, Duty Calls, about the role of the house and local community during wartime over the last 150 years.

The gardens are ideal for children, with traditional wooden toys, including a large pirate ship, and there are four gardens to choose from as well as woodland and lakeside walks.

For more information call 01748-818178.


The Northern Echo:

The castle stands above the River Swale, close to the town centre. It was originally called Riche Mount, 'the strong hill', and was constructed from 1071 onwards as part of the Norman Conquest of Saxon England as the Domesday Book of 1086 refers to a castlery at Richmond in that year.

The castle became the headquarters of the North Yorkshire Militia in 1855, with a military barracks constructed in the great courtyard. The castle was also used during the First World War as the base of the Non-Combatant Corps made up of conscientious objectors.

The castle also features a shop and museum of its history.

Call 01748-822493 for more information.


The Northern Echo:

Castle Bolton, near Leyburn, is one of the country’s best preserved medieval castles. Originally built as one of the most luxurious homes in the land, the castle bears the scars of over 600 years of history.

The castle is still in the private ownership of Lord Bolton, the direct descendant of the castle’s original owner Sir Richard le Scrope.

There are daily owl displays, archery demonstrations, and wild boar feeding, as well as regular falconry experiences.

The castle boasts extensive gardens, including herb garden, vineyard, maze, rose garden and a bowling green.

The tea rooms serve an array of cakes, teas, wine and hot lunches, using local produce where possible.

Call 01969-623981 for more information.


The Northern Echo:

A nature reserve that covers 100 acres of moorland edge next to Cambrai Lines, Wathgill, near Catterick Garrison, with a mix of habitats and species.

The reserve contains semi-natural woodland, heathland, flower-rich grassland, streams, ponds, a lake, willow and alder carr, coniferous woodlands and wet meadows.

Foxglove covert is a small conservation area was established behind Cambrai Lines, Catterick Garrison, in September 1992 with financial assistance and personnel from The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

There are a variety of nature walks including the easy access trail, discovery trail and more difficult explorer trail.

Visit for more details.


The Smithy was established in 1795 at the bottom of Gunnerside Ghyll, near Reeth, Swaledale, and displays an interesting collection of objects amassed over the years.

All the artefacts on display are from the Smithy itself - nothing has been brought in. Cartwheels were made by local joiners and hooped there by the blacksmith. Horses were used on farms until the 1950s and horse shoes were a mainstay for the blacksmith.

Stephen Calvert is the sixth generation of blacksmiths in the Calvert family to work at Gunnerside.

Various items are available for purchase in the Smithy's shop and Mr Calvert is happy to undertake commissions for anyone looking for something unique.

Call 01748-886577 for more information.


The Northern Echo:

The Georgian Theatre Royal, Britain's oldest working theatre in its original form, is both a thriving community playhouse and a living theatre museum.

The theatre welcomes visitors of all ages to its hourly guided tours and museum.

Built by actor-manager Samuel Butler in 1788, the Georgian Theatre Royal has a varied programme of performances throughout the year.

The theatre also possesses Britain's oldest set of scenery, known as The Woodland Scene, which was probably painted between 1818 and 1836, and it is displayed in the exhibition space behind the stage.

Call 01287-823710 for more information.


The Northern Echo:

The pub, situated near Reeth in Swaledale, is the country’s highest pub, and is based in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The pub stocks cask conditioned ales from Theakston and Black Sheep, a selection of premium lagers, wines and spirits. Home cooked food is available daily with no need to book.

The pub also caters for weddings and special occasions. Accommodation can be found in its en-suite rooms, all of which enjoy stunning views across the surrounding moors.

There is also the Drover's Rest - a family sized self-contained holiday flat.

Call 01833-628246 for more information.


The Northern Echo:

First crafted in the 12th Century by a group of Cistercian monk settlers in Wensleydale, the art of Wensleydale cheese-making was perfected and eventually found itself in the hands of local farmers’ wives.

The Wensleydale Creamery was built in Hawes in 1897 and cheese-making began on a large scale.

The museum shows how the cheese has been made through the centuries, and on display are real items of old cheese-making equipment and a recreation of a farmhouse kitchen and dairy.

The creamery offers around 14 varieties of the famous cheese, and there is also a restaurant and shop filled with a range of real ales, fine wines, biscuits, crackers and chutneys.



The water cascading from Mallyan Spout rises from springs in the moorland above Goathland in the North York Moors National Park.

The spring finds the easiest route downhill until it meets New Wath Scar.

At Mallyan Spout the sides of the ravine are 70 feet high and almost vertical.

Water draining from the moors has no option but to tumble over the edge – forming a towering waterfall which is even more spectacular after rainfall.

Nearby Goathland was made famous by the Heartbeat series, and remains a popular starting point for walks across the moors and rail journeys on the North York Moors Railway from Pickering to Whitby.

Visit for more details.


The Northern Echo:

The 18th-century house, near York, with interactive galleries and National Portrait Gallery paintings, also boasts beautiful gardens and parkland walks to explore.

Enjoy colourful Edwardian borders, working Victorian walled garden, labyrinth and family trails.

Some of the most powerful and influential people of the 18th century can be seen in its portrait collection, where paintings and sculptures are brought to life throughout historic rooms and hands-on galleries in the Italian-inspired house.

There is a restaurant serving seasonal food, and there are events and workshops taking place through the year.



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A multi-award winning modern history museum housed within the grounds of an original Second World War prisoner of war camp.

Located on the outskirts of Malton in North Yorkshire, the camp was built in 1942 by the War Office to accommodate Italian and German prisoners of war.

It was purchased by local business Stan Johnson in 1985, who intended to create a crisp factory, but when he was approached by some ex-Italian Prisoners of War looking for permission to look around their former home.

The idea of preserving the camp and opening it as a museum was then born.

The huts now contain interactive displays which tell the story of wartime Britain and life on the front line.

For more information ring; 01653-697777 or visit the website;


Outdoor museum at Hutton-le-Hole, on the edge of the North York Moors near Pickering, containing atmospheric, heritage buildings telling the story of the rural way of life from the Iron Age to the 1950s.

Visitors can look inside buildings including an Iron Age Round House, a 1950s Post Office and a rural Victorian cottage and see traditional rural crafts. Winner of the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year at the White Rose Awards.

For more information visit: or call 01751-417367


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Historic gardens in popular tourist town of Helmsley. Includes collection of vines, extensive flower borders and old-fashioned cottage flowers.

The garden was abandoned in 1984 and work to restore the garden back to its original Victorian beauty and productivity began in 1994. Today the gardens aim to conserve and restore the fabric of the historically important walled garden and return it to full productivity, conserving old, rare and endangered garden plants and organic techniques where possible.

The gardens also aim to provide social and therapeutic horticulture to allow anyone with disability to benefit from the restorative qualities of gardening.

For more information visit;


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Picture: Landscape photographer Joe Cornish -

The distinctive Roseberry Topping provides one of the most distinctive landmarks and views in the Hambleton / Tees Valley area of North Yorkshire and South Cleveland.

The shape of the 320m high peak is caused by a geological fault and a mining collapse in 1912. It is also well-known for its bluebell woods, heather moorland and the open expanses of Roseberry Common.

The National Trust owned landmark is free to visit. There are toilet facilities in the carpark at the base of the hill in Newton-under-Roseberry.

For more information visit:


How Stean Gorge, near Lofthouse, offers a range of outdoor adventure activities centred around a naturally-ocurring ravine in Nidderdale. Adventure activities on offer include abseiling 40ft from a specially-designed bridge, rock climbing, caving a gorge scramble through water or over rocks, canoeing, kayaking.

How Stean Gorge also has a Via Ferrata course, where you can traverse the gorge walls using the beams and ladders; one of only two such courses in the UK. The centre can cater for larger groups of up to 40 at a time in the gorge and 16 on the new Via Ferrata.

Visitors not wanting to sign up to activities can explore the gorge and explore a cave by torchlight for the admission price which ranges from £3.50 per child to £16 for a family. There is also camping at the site. For more information visit the website: or ring; 01423-755666.

To book online email;


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Whitby Abbey is one of the region's most atmospheric visitor attractions; set on a headland overlooking the popular seaside town, it's easy to see how Bram Stoker was inspired by its gothic splendour when writing Dracula.

The English Heritage-run attraction includes an interactive visitor centre with digital reconstructions explaining the long history of the Abbey and the daily life of the monks who once lived there.

Visitors can also listen to an audio tour as they wander around the ancient ruins and enjoy the stunning views. A calendar of events take place at the abbey throughout the year.

For more information, ring: 01947- 603568 or visit the website:


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This 14th century ruin of a Carthusian priory is one of England's most well-preserved of the ten medieval Carthusian houses (charterhouses) in England.

Set in woodland, it was a fairly small establishment founded in 1398 and the priory consisted of a church and two cloisters which housed 23 monks in individual cells. It was a silent order.

Entrance is via a 13th century manor house containing an exhibition and two newly-restored arts and crafts rooms. The attraction is operated by English Heritage, but National Trust members can go free.

For more information visit the website: Alternatively, ring: 01609-883494 or email;


Situated in the heart of the picturesque village of Great Ayton, the Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum tells the story of Cook’s early life and education in the Charity School, the village he grew up in and his expeditions.

The museum has recently completed a redevelopment, with an extension of the attraction to include a reconstructed schoolroom from the early 18th century and new interactive displays.

The Schoolroom Museum in Great Ayton is housed in a building once used as a charity school which was founded in 1704. Between 1736 and 1740, Captain James Cook received his early education here.

It is a registered charity run by volunteers. Admission is free.

For more information visit; 


The Northern Echo:

Whitby's Harbour separates the east and west sides of the town. It is still a working port used by a large array of vessels, from traditional fishing cobles to modern trawlers and leisure craft.

There's plenty else to see and do around Whitby's harbour, including the Captain Cook Memorial Museum (, on Grape Lane, beside the harbour, is where the young James Cook served his apprenticeship, training to be a seaman.

There are exhibits of original letters written by the explorer, 18th century artefacts from his voyages and work by the artists who sailed with him. Or you can catch a ride on the developed world's only working steam bus, Elizabeth.

The area is full of pubs and restaurants to cater for all tastes, including fish and chips and other restaurant fish dishes from Whitby's famous Magpie Cafe.


The Northern Echo:

Situated in Scarborough’s North Bay, overlooking the main headland, the Sea Life centre includes more than 50 displays of marine life including seals, otters, tropical fish and penguins.

There are regular talks and feeding demonstrations where people can watch species such as sharks, rays and otters being fed. There’s also an adventure quiz trail, a hands on rockpool experience and – for an additional charge – there’s Pirate Adventure Mini Golf course.

It is possible to make savings on the door price of £16.20 admission per person by booking online at:

To book for schools and groups, ring 0871 222 6937. Calls to the number cost 10p per minute plus network extras. For more general information ring; 01723-373414