The Yorkshire Dales National Park is one of Britain's best-loved areas, with outstanding scenery
Things To Do
Eat fish and chips on the harbourside in Whitby. Whitby’s fish and chips are considered some of the best in Britain – look out for renowned restaurants such as Trenchers, The Magpie, Hadleys or The Quayside fish and chip shop, which won the top gong in the 2014 National Fish and Chip Awards.
Opt for a train ride along the Carlisle to Settle Railway. You can pick it up at Garsdale Head, in the north of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and alight at Settle, by which time you’ll have passed over the impressive Ribblehead Viaduct.
An iconic symbol of Humberside, take a trip across the Humber Bridge, once the longest single-span suspension bridge of its kind at 1.38 miles. It’s still the seventh longest in the world and you can walk or cycle across, in addition to driving. The Humber Bridge Information Centre is situated in a large, free car park on the north side, adjacent to the Humber Bridge Country Park.
Take in the sights along Hadrian’s Wall either walking the National Trail, cycling along the designated cycle route or by rail, using the Hadrian’s Wall Country Line that links Newcastle and Carlisle. Chesters Fort, Carrowburgh, Housesteads Fort and Vindolanda are all worthy Roman attractions along the way.
Enjoy a visit to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, off the Northumberland coast. To get there, you can walk or cycle across the causeway (taking serious note of the tide times), or take a boat trip from Seahouses. And you can camp at The Barn at Beal, the closest campsite to the causeway.
When To Visit
Events take place very much all year round in the north east of England, kicked off by the Tar Barle New Year celebrations in Allendale, Northumberland. Also in Northumberland, the Snowdrop Festival at Howick Gardens provides a welcome display in February, while in the same month York enjoys the huge Jorvik Viking Festival where boat burning and all-things Nordic come to the city.
In April, it’s Gateshead that puts on the annual International Jazz Festival, the biggest UK jazz festival outside London. For food lovers, there’s the Bishop Auckland Food Festival in April, the Dales Festival of Food and Drink in May and the Bridlington Seafood Festival in July.
Harrogate, North Yorkshire, lights up the region with two large-scale flower shows, the spring event held in April and the Autumn Flower Show, in September. As a town that’s used to putting on big events and conferences, Harrogate also hosts the annual Great Yorkshire Show every July and numerous literary/arts festivals, including the, simply named, Harrogate Festival and, in honour of one-time visitor Agatha Christie, a Crime Writing Festival, both in July.
If August has seen too much slouching on the beach, you can get active in September with the Kielder Challenge Walk, the Yorkshire Wolds Walking Festival and the Great North Run. And, in November, enjoy a walk through the streets of Durham during Lumiere, a city-wide celebration of light in the run-up to advent and Christmas activities, of which York always seems to have the upper hand with numerous events across the city.
The M1 motorway is one of the quickest routes from the south, which runs as far as Leeds. From there on, the A1(M) picks up direct to Newcastle and the predominantly single carriageway A1 thereafter to Berwick-upon-Tweed. Travelling east-west, the M62, off the M1, serves the East Ridings and Humberside best while the A66 cross-Pennines route between the M6 at Penrith and the A1 (Scotch Corner) and the A69 between Carlisle and Newcastle-upon-Tyne provide scenic cross-country touring.
The A171 from Scarborough to Middlesbrough offers one of the best coastal routes, skirting the edge of the North York Moors; given its location on high ground, remember that weather conditions can change unpredictably fast, especially in winter.