The Yorkshire Dales

Today marks Yorkshire Day, so we suggest a selection of quintessential ideas to enjoy the county to the max not only today but all year round.

Yorkshire Day is celebrated on 1st August each year to promote the history and culture of the English county. It was first celebrated in 1975 originally as a protest movement again local government. Today it is more of a celebration of all things traditionally and quintessentially British.


Where would Brits be without tea? Yorkshire is famous for it and so it would be rude not to mention a selection of great places where groups can find an afternoon tea spot.

Betty’s in Harrogate is an elegant tea room café which groups can hire out private rooms to host their own tea parties. With teas, coffee and an abundance of sweet treats like scones with jam and clotted cream, you know you’re in for a grand afternoon of Yorkshire luxury.

Rudding Park, also in Harrogate is another option for afternoon tea, with splendid views across the dales whilst you dine. 

The Talbot Hotel in Malton is a five star hotel in Yorkshire which offers afternoon teas with a great selection of teas from countries around the world.

Betty's Cafe

Pictured: Betty’s Cafe (photo credit: Visit England and Critical Tortoise)


The Yorkshire Dales are some of the most beautiful pieces of countryside in the UK, with rolling hills, green undulations and wildlife flitting from left right and centre. For groups who enjoy walking or cycling, there are plenty of trails in which you can follow. 

The Aysgarth Woods and Waterfalls walk is an option where you can see all kinds of wildlife peeping through the trees and is only a mile and a half long. Other short walks can include Sedbergh to Stone Hall, or Stainforth and Catrigg Force which takes you to one of the Dales’ lesser known waterfalls. 

Longer walks for the more extreme can include The Dales Way an 84 miles long walkway across the dales passing through Ilkley, West Yorkshire, to Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, or the Nidderdale Way a 52.4 mile walk passing through Nidderdale in North Yorkshire.

Literary History

Yorkshire has also been home to many fantastic authors and writers over centuries, and is it any surprise? 

Possibly the most famous association is that of the Brontë sisters. Anne, Charlotte and Emily were all raised in Haworth where their home still stands today. Now the Brontë Parsonage Museum, it has become a popular tourist attraction for thousands of visitors each year.

Whitby is known to have links to Bram Stoker’s Gothic novel, Dracula, making it an ideal location to have a spooky themed visit for Halloween. James Herriot lived in Thirsk and there is a James Herriot Visitor Attraction there too. There’s also links to Agatha Christie too, as in the year 1926 she reportedly went missing and was hiding in a hotel in Harrogate. For Lord of the Rings fans, the Tolkien Triangle starts in Hull. The triangle highlights key points from his life from where he stayed to where he was hospitalised.

Whitby Abbey

Pictured: Whitby Abbey


A great way to see the countryside is by rail and there are plenty of options when it comes to steam trains, heritage journeys and historic locomotives.

The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway reached its 150th birthday this year and is now the only preserved heritage line to run at its complete original length (5 miles from Keighley to Oxenhope). It has links to TV and film including The Railway Children.

There’s also the North Yorkshire Moors Railway which offers group discounts for 20 or more people. The line is well known, appearing in Michael Palin’s Great Railway Journeys of the World, the 2016 Dad’s Army film, Heartbeat, and in Harry Potter as Hogsmeade among many others. 

The Wensleydale Railway also provides an option for groups, offering a Tea Train, a Gin Vodka Train package, and a Hog Roast and Jazz package.

Yorkshire also boasts the National Railway Museum. With the largest assortment of railway objects in the world and a captivating collection of the Royal Trains.

Groups can also arrange itineraries and rail holidays with Great Rail Journeys which has a portfolio of around 300 different tours.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Pictured: North Yorkshire Moors Railway (photo credit Graham Staples)


Yorkshire has an array of restaurants and pubs, from riverside cuisine to countryside dining. The county also has many foodie links especially the confectionary industry with Rowntree’s Terry’s, Thorntons, Bassett’s and Mackintosh’s, the makers of Quality Street, all having origins there.

There’s also the Wensleydale Creamery for cheese lovers to go and sample a selection of creamy cheeses, from the famous Wensleydale to Sheep’s Milk and Bishopsdale.

Little villages and town are ideal spots for finding unique pubs and restaurants. Grassington for example has the Grassington House and The Fountaine Inn. Leyburn has The Blue Lion, a candlelit restaurant and there’s the Rhubarb Restaurant in Skipton.

Something unusual

The Royal Baths

Pictured: The Royal Baths, Harrogate (photo credit: Visit England and Visit Harrogate)

The Royal Baths in Harrogate are an option for those interested in history and are said to be the most historically complete of their kind in the country, offering a ritual of heating, cooling and cleansing year-round. 

For TV fans, there’s the Emmerdale Village Tour with Continuum Attractions, which shows visitors the sights of Yorkshire’s purpose built village on the Harrogate Estate in Leeds, led by special tour guides.

Lead photo: The Yorkshire Dales (photo credit Visit Britain and Lee Beel)