Yorkshire – England’s largest country

I was born in Yorkshire, still live there now and have lived in the county for most of my life. I consider myself very fortunate to live here and of course, I celebrate Yorkshire Day every year. This post might explain why Yorkshire people are so passionate about where they live.

The county has a population equal to that of Scotland’s and covers an area half the size of Belgium, 12,590 sq km. It has a flag of its own (a white rose on a blue background). It also has its own day of celebration, Yorkshire Day (1st August).

It’s a very diverse area with a dramatic coastline of golden, sandy beaches, coastal resorts and rugged clifftops. Inland are historic cities, abbey ruins, craggy castles, classical gardens, steep-sided valleys, heather-clad moors, pretty market towns, limestone scars, swift-flowing rivers and spectacular waterfalls.

The City of York where Roman and Viking remains sit side by side is one of the top tourist destinations in the UK.

National Parks, AONBs, Paths, Monuments and Buildings

The county is undeniably one of the most beautiful areas in Britain. The county boasts two and a bit National Parks (the North Yorkshire Moors, The Yorkshire Dales and part of The Peak District), a third of the total area of National Parks in England. It also has three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Nidderdale, the Howardian Hills and the North Pennines).

As well as many excellent touring routes, a network of walking paths crisscrosses the region (The Cleveland Way, The Pennine Way and the Wolds Way are probably the most famous).

In addition, Yorkshire has over two thousand ancient monuments and around thirty-two thousand listed buildings. Its many museums include the National Railway Museum in York, the National Coal Mining Museum for England in Wakefield and The National Media Museum in Bradford.

Places to Visit

English Heritage lists the following sites of historical interest; Whitby Abbey, Scarborough Castle, Pickering Castle, Helmsley Castle, Byland Abbey, Kirkham Priory, Mount Grace Priory, Clifford’s Tower, Rievaulx Abbey, Middleham Castle, Richmond Castle, Conisbrough Castle and Barnard Castle.

The National Trust lists the following sites and properties; Malham Tarn Estate, Upper Wharfedale, Hudswell Woods, Brimham Rocks, Rievaulx Terrace, Blakey Topping, Roseberry Topping, Old Coastguard Station Robin Hood’s Bay, Nunnington Hall, Beningbrough Hall, Goddard’s House, Treasurer’s House, Nostell Priory, Wentworth Castle Gardens, Marsden Moor, Hardcastle Crags, East Riddlesden Hall and Fountain’s Abbey.


Yorkshire a Few Random Facts

It used to made up of three separate counties, known as “Ridings”. There was a North Riding, an East Riding and a West Riding but no South Riding.

The highest pub in the UK is in Swaledale, The Tan Hill, 1,732ft above sea level.

Yorkshire is home to Bronte Country named after the three Bronte sisters’ contribution to English Literature.

Sheffield is home to more trees than people.

Many famous people were born in Yorkshire including the artist David Hockney, Prime Minister Harold Wilson, TV presenter Michael Palin, William Wilberforce who campaigned for the abolition of slavery, explorer James Cook, Thomas Crapper the inventor of the modern toilet and my favourite Yorkshireman the writer and playwright Alan Bennett to name but a few.

The Shambles in York is believed to be the oldest shopping street in Europe. The Domesday Book of 1086 mentions it.

The biggest underwater chalk reef in Europe extends 6km out from Flamborough Head.

Yorkshire the UK’s cycling capital hosts the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race every year. In 2014 it hosted the Grand Depart of the Tour de France.

A Few More Random Facts

 York Minster is the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe.

Hardraw Force, near Hawes, is England’s largest single-drop waterfall.

As well as the Yorkshire Pudding, other famous foods include Pontefract Cakes, Yorkshire Curd Tart, Rhubarb, Parkin, Jelly Babies and Wensleydale Cheese.

Charles Dickens visited Harrogate in 1858 and described it as “the queerest place with the strangest people, leading the oddest lives…”

The Humber Bridge is the longest single-span suspension bridge in the UK. At the time of writing it’s also the eleventh longest in the world.

Two Unesco World Heritage sites are in Yorkshire, Saltaire Village in West Yorkshire and Studley Royal (which includes Fountains Abbey) in North Yorkshire.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is the longest steam-operated railway in the UK. The railway has over 18 miles of track running from Pickering to Grosmont.

The village of Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe at the foot of Sutton Bank has England’s longest place name.

Yorkshire – Picture Gallery

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