Cottage holidays in Yorkshire

Yorkshire near WhitbyYorkshire in the north of England attracts tourists for many reasons.  It has two national parks; the Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors, Yorkshire seaside resorts of Scarborough, Bridlington, Whitby and Filey on its eastern coast, and several historic cities including York and Harrogate.  Generations of visitors heading for Yorkshire to walk, sightsee and enjoy outdoor activities means that tourism is very well developed with plenty of organised events and activities for visitors.

Holidaymakers to Yorkshire usually select a specific destination for their break. There is plenty of holiday accommodation in every category. Holiday cottages are a popular choice for mid-income brackets because of the comfort and flexibility they offer.  The cottages are set up for holiday living with the comforts and amenities of home. It is very nice to be able to step out of one’s own cottage to go for a walk around the village, dine in the local pub and use it as a base for days out and sightseeing. The big advantage of self-catering accommodation is being able to enjoy drinks and snacks as one would at home and the freedom of enjoying them whenever inclined without additional costs as would be incurred in a hotel.  Dine at home with champagne and fine wines without paying for corkage.

There is a range of self-catering accommodation in Yorkshire, from simple clean cottages and apartments to luxurious five star properties.  Shop around for the keenest prices. Last minute cancellations and out of season bookings offer the lowest prices.

Yorkshire can be an excellent place to visit even in the depths of winter. The Dales covered with a sparkling frost are immensely lonely and beautiful.  It is usual to meet pheasants zigzagging in a suicidal fashion across country roads and to see lonely birds of prey soaring silently across the sky.

One reason people holiday in cottages in the Yorkshire Dales is because they can take their dogs along with them and walk the Dales together. There are plenty of pet-friendly cottages in the Yorkshire Dales for this purpose.

Yorkshire folk are well-known for their direct way of speaking, calling a ‘spade a spade’, their thrift and hard work.  Earning a living in Yorkshire always entailed effort and often danger, whether it was in the mines, on farms or fishing out at sea.  In enduring hardship and difficult circumstances Yorkshire people developed a dry sense of humour and ability to see the positive side of life.

Yorkshire villages with numerous stone-built houses and cottages are as solid and enduring as their inhabitants. Villages such as Grassington still retain centre of the village complete with cobbled streets and a historic character.  Stay in such a village and step back in time and into a traditional way of northern life. A self-catering cottage break in Yorkshire is an experience and not merely a holiday.

City Breaks in York

York and the cathedralThe wonderful city of York opens up a whole new world. There is the old walled city where most of the tourist activity takes place in the roads surrounding the magnificent Minster and the Shambles.  York Minster is the largest cathedral in England which is fitting for the largest county. Stop to admire the enormous stained glass windows and architectural features. Head south from the Minster through squares where street performers display their tricks and into the narrow winding lane of the Shambles, lined with independent shops and specialist outlets.  This used to be the meat market of its day and the old butcher’s hooks can still be seen above the windows.  Stop for tea in a real old-fashioned tea shoppe that presents scones on dainty china plates and tea is served in a matching tea pot. 

York is famous for its historic buildings and former merchant’s houses. A handsome example is the Merchant Adventurer’s Hall which is a medieval guildhall for tradesmen.  Walk onwards towards the mound on which Clifford’s Tower stands just outside the walls overlooking the river Ouse. This is a vestige of a castle built by King Henry III. Visit the old prison building and the Castle museum which provides a glimpse of life in York through the ages.

York makes much of its Roman and medieval heritage and the Jorvik Viking Centre allows visitor to take a ride back in time complete with sights, sounds and smells.  Other museums are the Railway museum behind the attractive railway station and the Yorkshire Museum.

Take a walk along the Ouse riverbank to see the smart redeveloped docks, riverside cafés, and the botanical park. The city centre offers a good shopping centre, theatre, cinemas, eateries, clubs and entertainment.  The University of York increases the young population of the town during term time which adds to the vibrant nightlife. The leisure amenities and bright lights of York attract groups converging for lively hen and stag weekends. Visitors are frequently entertained by a group of colourfully dressed men or women parading a semi clad and inebriated potential bride or groom around its streets.

Tourists can view York on foot, either independently, or join one of the guided walking tours.  The period buildings of the city provide a convincing backdrop for the Ghost tour. There are also tourist buses and boats where speakers recount tales of York of old and new.

Other interesting cities of Yorkshire are the industrial heritage of Bradford, Leeds, the spa town of Harrogate and nearby charming Knaresborough, the seaside town of Filey where the long distance footpaths, the Cleveland Way and Wolds Way end at Filey Brigg, Haworth and literary Brontë Country, and Helmsley on the edge of the north Yorkshire Moors.

The original huge county of Yorkshire is divided into four smaller entities of North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and East and West Yorkshire for administrative purposes.  It is impossible to get to know Yorkshire in the course of one trip. It is best to develop a  lengthy love affair with Yorkshire conducted in short bursts -  a fresh and exciting new experience each time.

The Forest of Bowland  and the Lake District both have lovely countryside  to visit to the west.  Perhaps another self-catering break later in the year?

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