The North Yorkshire village of Great Ayton is situated at the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors
and could be an excellent choice for a cottage holiday. Its main claim to fame is its association with the explorer, Captain James Cook and holidaymakers will find that this association has been well documented. It’s a popular area for anyone wanting to walk the Moors or the Cleveland Hills. Rent a self-catering cottage
near Great Ayton, for a week or a short break
, to be on the spot and discover Cook's world.
About Self-Catering Holidays in Great Ayton
From the age of six until the age of 16, Cook lived in the village with his family. After being educated, the young James worked on a farm with his father before leaving for the small fishing village of Staithes to be an apprentice in a shop. The Cook family house was taken down and shipped to Melbourne in Australia in 1934. An obelisk stands where the cottage once stood, made from granite removed from the area in Australia where the navigator first spotted land.
The Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum in Great Ayton is housed inside Cooke’s former school. A statue of Cook as a 16 year old has stood in the village since 1997. It was sculpted by Nicholas Dimbleby, brother of the broadcasters, David and Jonathan. Cook is depicted looking toward Staithes, to represent his burgeoning passion for going to sea. Further commemoration is provided with Captain Cook’s Monument, a 51-foot obelisk on Easby Moor. This local landmark, erected in 1827, was made from local sandstone and it’s inscribed with a long tribute.
Finally, another part of Cook’s story is found in the churchyard at All Saints Church, where Cook’s siblings and mother are buried. The church building dates back to the 12th century, but Anglo Saxon crosses found here indicate there may have been an earlier place of worship on the site. A cottage holiday in Great Ayton may appeal to those with a love of history as well as to keen walkers.
A well-known feature nearby attracts many walkers and backpackers. Roseberry Topping is no ordinary hill but rather a geographical quirk, with a cone-like summit. Standing at 1,049 feet, its peculiar shape is the result of mining work and a geological fault. It’s not necessary to attempt the summit to enjoy the area, but if you do manage it, the views are spectacular. Visitors also enjoy the heather coated moors, woods carpeted with bluebells, Cliff Rigg Quarry and the wide spaces of Roseberry Common. Keen walkers who are fairly fit (and not scared of steep drops!) can do the three-mile walk from Great Ayton to the quarry, which usually takes around three hours to complete.
Great Ayton is just three miles from Stokesley, a market town known for its Victorian and Georgian architecture. The main street in the town still has its cobbles. Market day is on a Friday and there is also a farmers’ market on the first Saturday of each month. If you want to time your cottage break for the Stokesley Agricultural Show, it falls on the third Saturday in September.
There is a lot of history for a village like Great Ayton to contain and it adds interest to any stay. If tales of seafaring inspire you, the Yorkshire coast beckons, with its many seaside resorts promising a terrific day trip during your self-catering break in Yorkshire
Whether you choose to book a holiday cottage in Great Ayton, an apartment, a lodge or another type of self-catering holiday accommodation, we hope you have your best holiday yet in North Yorkshire.