Beningbrough Hall and Gardens

Beningbrough Hall Facade

Early Georgian stone and brick country mansion, built in 1716. It has a fine hall, oak panelling, grand staircase and friezes. The hall also houses over a hundred 18th-c portraits on loan from London's National Portrait Gallery. The idyllic walled vegetable garden supplies the Walled Garden Restaurant. National Trust Property*

Opening times: times vary - see website for details Admission Charge*
Location: Beningbrough , YO30 1DD - Tel: 01904 472027- Website
Facilities: Parking, restaurant, shop, toilets.

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

Founded in the 12th-c by Augustinian canons. The only part of the Abbey to escape destruction during the Dissolution was the nave of the monastic church, which still serves as the local Parish Church.

The Abbey lies in a very enchanting setting, set in a wide green valley alongside a quiet stretch of the River Wharfe. Fifty-seven charming stepping-stones bridge the river to the wooded hills beyond. There are some very pleasant walks and nature trails along the river and through the surrounding woods. At one point the river thunders through a narrow gorge between giant rocks called 'The Strid'. Other areas lead to open heather moorlands and beautiful scenery rich in flora and fauna.

Further along the river the path reaches Barden Tower. During the 15th-c Barden Tower (originally one of six hunting lodges in the forest of Barden) was the favourite haunt of Henry Clifford, the Lord of Skipton Castle. As a child, Henry was hidden here by his mother from Yorkist enemies, and brought up as a Shepherd. The old Priest's House, adjacent to the tower, is now open as a restaurant.

Opening times: all year (times vary see website for details) Admission Charge
Location: BD23 6EX (off A59 near Skipton) - Tel: 01756 718000 - Website
Facilities: Parking, tea rooms, refreshment kiosks, restaurant, café, shop, toilets.
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures (CC0)

Bolton Castle

The gigantic semi-ruin of Bolton Castle still stands imposingly over the vale of Wensleydale. Its late medieval construction was completed in 1399. The castle was besieged and taken by Parliamentary forces In 1645. Three rooms where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned for six months, can be viewed in the south-west tower. Medieval tapestries, tableaux, arms and armour are on display in its many grand rooms. The banqueting hall has been magnificently restored and is now used as a restaurant. The reinstated medieval gardens contain a walled herb garden, vineyard, rose garden and a maze. Regular bird-of-prey displays in the summer season.

Opening times: all year, Apr~Oct, 10-5; Nov~Mar, 10-4 or dusk Admission Charge
Location: Castle Bolton, DL8 4ET (Near Leyburn) - Tel: 01969 623981 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, picnic area

Byland Abbey

The hauntingly beautiful ruins of this Cistercian monastery stand serenely below the Hambleton Hills. An imposing fragment of the church's west front still stands, containing the lower half of a once great round rose window.

A small on-site museum illustrates and describes much of the interesting and varied archaeological finds from the site. Run by English Heritage*

Opening times: Apr~Sep, Wed-Sun, 11am to 6pm Admission Charge*
Location: Byland, Coxwold, YO61 4BD - Tel: 01347 868614 - Website
Facilities: Parking, picnic area

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

One of the largest and most spectacular 16th-c mansions in Great Britain. Built between 1699 and 1712, as the family home for Charles Howard the 3rd Earl of Carlisle. This illustrious pile was designed by English Architect John Vanbrugh, in a spectacular baroque style (similar to his design for Blenheim Palace). The palatial house contains many magnificent rooms, set impressively on a hill-top within a great landscaped park, dotted with follies. There is also a costume museum in the stables.

The property contains a myriad of statues and ancient treasures collected by the 4th Earl on his many tours of Europe. The house is stunningly furnished with fine furniture, sculptors, Italian paintings and works by many old masters. Castle Howard has appeared in several film and TV sets. It was most famously used for a TV location for Brideshead Revisited and for the film 'Lady L' (by Peter Ustinov).

Opening times: daily from 10am Admission Charge
Location: Malton, YO60 7DA - Tel: 01653 648333 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, restaurant
Image Credit: skeeze (CC0)

Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey

Yorkshire has a great many monastic remains and Fountains Abbey is definitely one of its most interesting. Founded around 1132, it grew to become one of the richest Cistercian houses in England, and remains one of the most complete sets of Cistercian buildings to survive the Dissolution. The ruins are located in a very picturesque setting on the southern edge of the yorkshire dales, amidst sweeping lawns and majestic water gardens. A place where you could happily spend the whole day. The abbey's magnificent vaulted undercroft is also a sight not be missed.

Opening times: daily, Nov~Feb 10-4, Mar~Oct 10-5 (closed Xmas & NY) Admission Charge
Location: Ripon, HG4 3DY - Tel: 01765 608888 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, restaurant, picnic area, shop
Image Credit: Brian Young

Helmsley Castle

Once a mighty medieval fortress, the castle was blighted during the English Civil War, when Parliamentarian forces under control of Sir Thomas Fairfax laid siege to its walls and blew-up large sections. Despite the extensive damage a substantial section of the 100 ft (30 m) high keep still towers over the countryside, amid the castle's formidable double earthworks. There are rambling ramparts, huge fireplaces and even traces of ornamental plaster on the walls of some rooms. A small on-site museum provides an exhibition of the castle's chequered history. Managed by English Heritage*

Opening times: times vary, see website for details Admission Charge*
Location: Castlegate, Helmsley, YO6 5AB - Tel: 01439 770442 - Website
Facilities: Parking, shop.

Middleham Castle

This impressive castle was the seat of power for Richard Duke of Gloucester (who later became King Richard III), from where he ruled the north of England. Today the extensive castle ruins, located in the pretty little town of Middleham, provide an interesting maze of rooms and passageways to explore. Managed by English Heritage*

Opening times: all year, Apr~Sep, daily 10-6; Oct~Mar, Sat-Wed 10-4 (closed Xmas & NY) Admission Charge*
Location: Castle Hill, Middleham, DL8 4RJ - Tel: 01969 623899 - Website
Facilities: Parking, picnic area, shop.

Newby Hall and Gardens

One of the finest stately homes in Yorkshire. This beautiful Adam house (original designed by Sir Christopher wren) has been home to the Compton family for many generations. The interior contains many treasures including Adam and Chippendale furniture, fine classical statues and Gobelin tapestries.

The award winning gardens and grounds are truly magnificent, with beautifully laid-out flower beds and rockeries that slope down to the River Ure. A small launch provides short cruises on the river. There is also an enchanting woodland walk and a delightful contemporary sculpture trail. Younger visitors can enjoy the miniature railway, water play area and adventure playground.

The hall can also be hired for corporate use and weddings.

Opening times: Apr~Sep, Tue-Sun & BHs (also Mon in Jul & Aug) 12-5 Admission Charge
Location: HG4 5AE - Tel: 01423 322583 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

The railway was originally planned by George Stephenson but later closed by Beeching. It was reopened and restored by a voluntary society in 1973. Now once more steam trains wind their way from Pickering to Goathland and across the rugged moors to Grosmont, some 18 miles to the north.

The locomotive sheds at Grosmont are open to the public. Regular events throughout the season include Thomas the Tank engine days, Steam Galas and Santa Specials.

Opening times: Mar~Oct, daily, see website for timetable Admission Charges
Location: Pickering Station, Pickering YO18 7AJ - Tel: 01751 472508 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, restaurant, picnic area, shop.

Nunnington Hall

Nunnington Hall

Large 16th / 17th-c stone manor house with oak paneled rooms and a grand staircase. Contains many interesting works of art and the Carlisle collection of miniature doll's house rooms. Changing programme of temporary exhibitions throughout the season. The lovely gardens, with clipped hedges and sweeping lawns, are simply glorious. National Trust Property*

Opening times: Mar~Nov, Tue-Sun 12-5; Jun~Aug, Tue-Sun 12-5.30 Admission Charge*
Location: Nunnington, YO62 5UY - Tel: 01439 748283 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, picnic area, shop

RHS Gardens Harlow Carr - Harrogate

RHS Gardens Harlow Carr - hot house

The Royal Horticultural Society's northern-most research and show garden. Guaranteed to inspire and delight gardeners of all ages and abilities. Contains fifty acres of magnificent trees, shrubs, plants and flowers, set in a beautiful gently sloping valley location. The extensive and varied flowing borders, crammed with herbaceous plants, grasses and bulbs, provide all-year-round interest. Large arboretum and woodland area, under planted with wild flowers and filled with rhododendrons and azaleas. Research and learning centre with teaching garden. The hot house exhibits a fine collection of rare alpines. A genuine Betty's Tea Room by the main entrance serves delicious light meals, refreshments and wonderful cakes.

Opening times: all year (except Xmas) Mar~Oct 9.30am to 6pm (4pm Nov~Feb) Admission Charge
Location: Crag Lane, Harrogate HG3 1QB (HG3 1UE Sat nav) - Tel: 01423 565418 - Website
Facilities: Parking, tea rooms, shop, plant centre

Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx Abbey

The beautiful atmospheric ruins of this Cistercian abbey, are dramatically set in lovely wooded countryside, near the River Rye. Founded in 1131 by William of Helmsley, it was the first Cistercian monastery in Yorkshire. The configuration of the site made it necessary for the conventual church to be built in a north-south direction, instead of the more usual east west. The importance of the remains, as first-class examples of early English architecture, have been recognised by archaeologists who have undertaken extensive excavation and restoration.

A very fine view of the Abbey, in its magnificent setting, is best enjoyed from Rievaulx Terrace on the slope above, from where visitors can appreciate the full lay-out of the monastic buildings. The great grey walls, slender pillars and fine arches still remain standing to a considerable height. A short walk along the terrace above takes you to a lovely restored Grecian temple, built as a folly in the 18th century. Run by English Heritage*

Opening times: Apr~Sep, daily, 10-6; Oct~Nov, Thu-Mon, 10-5; 2 Nov~Mar, Thu-Mon, 10-4 (closed Xmas) Admission Charge*
Location: Rievaulx (near Helmsley), North Yorkshire - YO62 5LB - Tel: 01439 798228 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, picnic area, shop
Image Credit: Roger Thissen (CC0)

Stump Cross Caverns

limestone cave formations

Discovered by miners in 1860, these limestone caves have been a magnet for visitors ever since. The underground complex comprising a number of floodlit show caverns, through which there are regular guided tours. The individual caverns have been given descriptive names based on their individual features, such as the Butcher's Shop, the Chamber of Pillars, the Jewel Box etc. Sensible footwear recommended.

Opening times: daily, Mar~Nov, 10-5; Dec~Feb weekends Admission Charge
Location: Greenhow, Pateley Bridge, HG3 5JL - Tel: 01756 752780 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop.

Please note that the above information was accurate at the time this page was last updated. This information is subject to change at any time (opening times in particular), therefore if you plan on visiting any of the above attractions, please check the owner's website first or phone them for the latest details.


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