North Yorkshire doesn’t fit in with the usual picture that most people have of mines and mills. It seems to have escaped the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century remarkably unscathed. What remains for visitors to see is a backdrop of stunning countryside that ranges from open moorland to high hills. There is even a stretch of dramatic coastline thrown in for good measure. Dotted around this great expanse are isolated farmhouses and tiny villages, knuckled down against the sometimes wild and windy Yorkshire weather, as well as elegant towns and old fashioned seaside resorts that just demand your attention on a sunny summer’s day.
North Yorkshire boasts two national parks, both of which tend to become incredibly busy during the summer months. Over eight million people visit the green valleys and upland pastures of the Yorkshire Dales each year. This area is particularly popular with caving enthusiasts, who come here to explore the underground twists and turns of Gaping Gill and the White Scar Caves, amongst many others. The North Yorkshire Moors attracts legions of walkers, keen to see its vast expanse of purple heather-covered moorland. On occasion, walkers can take the opportunity to stare out to sea.
Amidst all the wildness and rugged beauty of North Yorkshire are some stunning examples of architecture, including several grand stately homes and monastic ruins, most notably Rievaulx Abbey and Fountains Abbey. Harrogate is often regarded as the jewel in North Yorkshire’s crown. For many years, it is been the preferred retirement abode for the well heeled and genteel set in Yorkshire. Agatha Christie famously fled here in the 1920s to escape her troubled life. In more recent years, the town has restyled itself as a more go-getting conference destination – in the best possible taste, of course.