IT IS no secret that North Yorkshire is full of a amazing attractions and things to do, whether you’re a young couple or family of four, it won’t disappoint – but which are worth your time the most?

This list contains everything from peaceful gardens for you to walk through on a sunny day and a historic prisoner of war camp for history lovers.

With summer coming to an end and Autumn just around the corner, this weekend might be the best chance to get out and about to some of these attractions.

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The following list looks at the best rated and top attractions in North Yorkshire according to TripAdvisor:

  1. Valley Gardens, Valley Drive, Harrogate

Described as a “beautiful park in Low Harrogate” Valley Gardens offers visitors a relaxing stroll in an English Heritage Grade II Listed Garden covering 17 acres of formal gardens, leisure activities and woodland.

Historic buildings and semi-covered Colonades can be found amongst a variety of shrub and flower beds.

According to the description provided on TripAdvisor, the “adventure play area is immensely popular especially during the summer season when the paddling pool is a refreshing way to cool down.”

With a wide range of sporting activities for those interested such as Tennis, crazy golf, table tennis disc golf, and a skatepark, and concerts every Sunday afternoon throughout the summer, the gardens are certainly not short of things to do.

The gardens have received a TripAdvisor 2021 Travellers’ Choice Award and 1,813 “excellent” five-star reviews out of a total of 2,488 reviews altogether, 624 of the remainder of reviews gave it a “very good” four-star review.

One person said: “We didn't really have any plans for the afternoon and we're just wandering around Harrogate when we came across this park.

“It was beautiful and had so much to look at and enjoy.

“The Japanese garden was closed for refurbishment which was a shame but just means that we will have to visit again when it is re-opened!”

  1. Peaseholm Park, North Bay, Scarborough

The second park on our list this park is open all year round 24 hours a day for visitors to enjoy for as long as they like – and it’s all for free.

The Park welcomes well behaved dogs as long as they are held on a lead and owners can use the numerous litter bins for disposing of their dogs mess.

With a tranquil lake contained in the park, visitors can also hire boats in the summer months and have a gentle row around the waters.

The park has also received a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award and has garnered 3,090 “excellent” five-star reviews and 1,505 “very good” four-star reviews out of a total of 5,029 reviews

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One person said: “Lovely park with loads to do. Pedalos, cafe, beautiful walk around the park.

“Toilets very dated but were clean when I used them at 8am.

“Free parking on streets around park.”

  1. Brimham Rocks, Brimham Moor Road, Summerbridge

The Northern Echo: PICTURE: Tim StephensonPICTURE: Tim Stephenson

Described on TripAdvisor as “an amazing collection of weird and wonderful rocks formations” this location can offer a great and quick day out for families.

Walkers and climbers will also enjoy this location and it is perfect for those who love the outdoors.

Receiving a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award, this is another highly rated attraction with 1,712 reviews as “excellent” five-star and 589 reviews being “very good” at four-stars out of a total of 2,446 reviews.

The rocks were formed due to weather and water and it is thought they were formed over 325 million years ago.

One person said: “Loved it, the rocks are huge and there are so many of them.

“The walk isn't very long and is perfect if you are looking for a place to wander and take pictures.

“There are also toilets and a cafe at the end which is great.”

  1. 199 Steps, Whitby

The Northern Echo: PICTURE: Google StreetviewPICTURE: Google Streetview

This attraction is a great little activity for those visiting Whitby and those who love to climb, especially if you’re looking for a work-out.

According to Visit Whitby, the first record of the Whitby Steps comes from 1340, but they are believed to be older.

It is thought the 199 Steps were used as a test of Christian faith for those who wished to worshop in St Mary’s Church.

The attraction is popular receiving a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award and 815 “excellent” five-star reviews as well as 309 “very good” four-star reviews out of a total of 1,188 reviews all together.

One person said: “You will need to be reasonably fit to master these steps, but the views from the top are well worth the effort.

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Use the steps to get up to the church and the abbey ruins as well as take a moment to view the whole of Whitby from a decent height.

For those needing a refresher after the climb, follow the wall around the abbey for a little way and you'll come across a delightful micro-brewery with plenty of outdoor seating.”

  1. Whitby Beach, Whitby

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If you’re looking for a more sandy and wet get-away then Whitby beach is your best bet.

Another attraction on our list to receive a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award, the beach is a must-visit on a hot summers day.

Hailed for its cleanliness and safety, the beach has received 966 “excellent” five-star reviews and 383 “very good” four-star reviews out of 1,451 total reviews.

One person said: “Nice promenade to stroll along and areas of sand with rocky areas for rock pool dipping.

“Ideal for families. Several areas are dog free in summer but others are dog friendly, which is a bonus.

“Jet can be found here, along with fossils if you are lucky!”

  1. Whitby Abbey, Abbey Lane, Whitby

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The last Whitby-based attraction on our list, this historical abbey is another must-visit for those visiting Whitby – and easily accessible if you take the 199 steps.

The abbey was built in the 7th century as a Christian monastery. Later the abbey and its possessions were confiscated by the crown under Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1536 and 1545.

Since the 20th century, the substantial ruins of the church have been declared a Grade I listed building and are in the care of English Heritage.

Although the famous abbey has not received a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award the ruins have garnered 3,119 “excellent” five-star reviews and 1,654 “very good” four-star reviews out of a total of 5,573 reviews all together.

You will have to pay to see the abbey, however, which, according to reviewers, is £10

One person said: “Lovely day out, we visited here and taken our dog, we parked at the carpark at the top as our dog wouldn't of managed the steps , it's a pay and display and you can enter the Abbey grounds from there and there's toilets at the entrance but we decided to walked down the road to look at the views, but you can still see the Abbey if you didn't fancy going in the grounds.”

  1. Roseberry ToppingMiddlesbrough

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Roseberry Topping is a much-loved popular hiking spot which offers a moderate challenge to beginner hikers as well as some challenging points even for experienced hikers.

The trail has picked up a Trip Advisor 2021 Travellers’ Choice Award and offers some of the best views you can find in the region.

Being one of the most well reviewed attractions on this list, it’s no wonder the hike is loved so much with 606 “excellent” five-star reviews out of a total of 757 reviews all together.

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One person said: “Lovely walk where you can take a number of different gradients up. From the top the views are fabulous on a lovely day.

“Dogs welcome and there are some good areas where they can be off lead. Car park can get busy! We then went to Great Ayton and picked up some fab home made pies from the butcher. Best ever!”

  1. North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Pickering, Whitby

The Northern Echo:

North Yorkshire Moors Railway is described as “one of the world’s greatest heritage railway experiences with thrills and education at its heart” on TripAdvisor.

The attraction allows visitors to climb on-board a heritage steam or diesel train on one of the earliest and most historic lines.

Visitors can also be “transported back in time” when they visit Pickering station, a 1930s themed station on the railway.

Goathland is also a must-see as it became Hoogsmeade station in the first Harry Potter film, one for the Potter-head of the family.

Although it hasn’t picked up a TripAdvisor 2021 Travellers’ Choice Award, the attraction is very highly rated, receiving 3,018 “excellent” five-star reviews and 901 “very good” four-star reviews out of a total of 4,391 reviews all together.

One person said: “Whilst on a short break in North Yorkshire, we booked a day’s trip /journey on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway from Pickering to Whitby.

“It was a lovely day, very busy but we had pre-booked a first-class apartment for us all and it was comfortable, I was so surprised just how smooth the train was. You travel through some beautiful countryside.

“These trains are run mainly by volunteers and much praise must go to them for taking the time and care to ensure you have a good journey. They are kept clean and in good order. It was 100% on time going and on the return journey.

“This is a must for anyone visiting the area.”

  1. Eden Camp Modern History Museum

The Northern Echo:

If you’re looking for an attraction with more educational and historical value should definitely consider Eden Camp.

Housed within the buildings and ground of a former Prisoner of War camp, visiting this museum will take you back to wartime Britain.

Visitors can experience the sights, sounds and even smells of life both on the home front and on the front line.

Also picking up a TripAdvisor 2021 Travellers’ Choice Award, the museum is highly rated with 2,085 “excellent” five-star reviews and 645 “very good” four-star reviews out of 2,885 reviews all together.

One person said: “We didn’t know what to expect really and it is fair to say that Eden Camp surpassed both our expectations.

“So much to see, presented in a way that offers something to adults and children alike.

“We spent nearly five hours there and could of stayed longer had it not been closing!
Great value for all the family.”

  1. Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Fountains, Ripon

The Northern Echo: PICTURE: Don Toy PICTURE: Don Toy

Being one of the highest reviewed attractions on TripAdvisor, the Fountains Abbey is three-hour-long World Heritage Site available to explore.

According to the description on TripAdvisor, the Cistercian monks chose the place to extablish the Fountains Abbey in 1132.

Visitors can also explore Studly Royal, described as a “playful water garden designed visionary John and William Aislabie in the 18 century.”

Spend a day among the statues, follies and cascades or eat at the restaurant serving a select range of hot food.

Picnics are also welcome at the site, however, visitors are asked to leave any BBQs at home.

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The site has received a TripAdvisor 2021 Travellers’ Choice Award and 3,164 “excellent” five-star reviews, 655 “very good” four-star reviews out of a total of 3,939 reviews all together.

One person said: “Although a steep walk from the car park, there is the house, mill and wider deer park but the main attraction has to be the very complete set of ruins of the abbey towering over you.

“Ideal for walking, as it is well maintained and flat around the river, it offers vistas from many directions and within the abbey which makes you reach for your camera.

“The mirror like qualities of the water gardens, which are slightly downstream, are also beautiful as are the walks up into the hills to enjoy the views.

“Also, as it is quite big there is lots of space to picnic and keep your distance from others.
Would pay to visit even if I was not a NT member.”


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