Historic sights and natural beauty – things to do in Yorkshire

Yorkshire is a place that is filled with a mixture of historical sites and natural beauty, and this makes it the perfect holiday destination for all the family. Whether you have a weekend or a week, you will find something amazing in this part of the world. Here are some of the things you might like to see;

Castle Howard, North Yorkshire

Quite easily one of the most famous country houses in the United Kingdom, a trip to Castle Howard is always a great day out. A grand Baroque mansion, it opens in March, there is always an event to plan for if that’s what swings your vote.

However, even when the events aren’t on there is so much to enjoy in both the house and the gardens that you could spend more than a day here. Great for a picnic on the warmer days, there is a garden centre and a farm shop while caravanning and camping is available if you just can’t get enough.

Castle Howard in Yorkshire Photo: Darwin70 of Flickr

Castle Howard in Yorkshire

York Minster

A truly amazing place, the largest Gothic cathedral you will find across Northern Europe is one of great beauty and wonder. There is a lot to see and hear about the history of this place – there are free guides on offer about how they are  restoring it and you can also take the time to go into the crypt or up the tower to witness the gargoyles and pinnacles of the Minster while enjoying great views of the city.

With so many other things to do in and around the city, York is often used as a weekend destination for families to find cottages to rent in Yorkshire and enjoy the rich heritage of this walled city.

York Minster Photo: ♍ of Flickr

York Minster

The Royal Armouries, Leeds

If arms and armour is your thing, then this is a top spot within the county because you will be taken back in time to see how and why England has changed over time. Their mission is to keep, study and care for objects so that everyone can get a better knowledge of them.

With plenty going on all year round and free entry, it is a great place to take the children – and there is plenty for the adults to enjoy as well. Following this medieval day out, you are in prime position to enjoy the bars and restaurants of canal-front development Clarence Dock.

In the Royal Armouries, Leeds Photo: reinholdbehringer of Flickr

In the Royal Armouries, Leeds

Flamborough Head Cliffs, East Riding of Yorkshire

If getting into the great outdoors is more your cup of tea, and you want a country cottage to rent for a blissful long weekend then this will be right up your street. Sat some 400 feet high, and stretching for seven miles, this chalk headland is a special area of conservation and a place of stunning natural beauty.

Home to around 200,000 birds, you will find many twitchers in and around taking advantage of the views for nesting sea birds. Distinctive is an understatement for this glorious spot, and it is an excellent spot to enjoy during a Yorkshire holiday.

Flamborough Head Yorkshire Photo: nick.garrod of Flickr

Flamborough Head Yorkshire

Whitby Abbey

Overlooking the seaside town of Whitby, this abbey was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula and it is easy to see why. From the top you get a great view of the surrounding areas, and you can go into the grounds to see the mystery of the abbey. The town itself has a very unique vibe and atmosphere around it, and is known for some fine fish and chips.

My thanks for this article to Sykes Cottages, who are specialists in cottage holidays across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

More things to do in the North of England

Getting to know LS Lowry at The Lowry in Manchester
The must-see sights of Leeds – England
Street art and vintage in the Northern Quarter of Manchester

Photo credits: Castle Howard by Darwin70, York Minister by , Royal Armouries, Leeds by reinholdbehringer, Flamborough Head by nick.garrod

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

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Donate now for Passports with Purpose 2011

I’m a supporter of Passports with Purpose, the Travel Blogger’s annual fundraiser and I’ve just made my personal choices from the fabulous array of prizes, in the nick of time. The chance to win prizes closes tomorrow although you can continue to donate to help build the village in India through this year’s chosen charity, Friends of LAFTI. Here’s what I’ve personally put my bids in for – if you read this in time, head over quick to Passports with Purpose before tomorrow and put in yours.

Passports with Purpose

Passports with Purpose building homes in India

The prizes I’m hoping to win are;

Apple iPad 16 GB Wi-Fi + 3G

from Andy Murdock at seekingb.blogspot.com


Well, any shiny new Apple toy is obviously extremely desirable and I also think it’s good sport of Andy to give up the prize that he won in a competition for this good cause. Also the Winnie the Pooh ebook must be a big bonus although removing the Tie me Kangaroo down sport MP3 is a bit hasty – not everyone is bored with kangaroos and I’m sure it would give my kids endless amusement. If I win this I’ll probably take it on shorter trips when I need to have internet access rather than taking the laptop.

8 GB iPod Nano

from Anil Polat at Foxnomad.com


Again the shiny new Apple toy rule applies and as a lover of podcasts this little baby will be just the thing for listening to all my faves such as Amateur Traveler, This week in travel, Betty in the sky and Raising Miro. If you happen to win it instead of me, do download some of my Heather on her travels podcasts to enjoy, such as my latest interview with Beth Whitman about Papua New Guinea.

Passports with Purpose building homes in India

Passports with Purpose building homes in India

3G Wi-Fi Amazon Kindle

from Lisa and Tim Bergren at theworldiscalling.com


If I don’t get the ipad then I’ll settle for a Kindle to play with. If my husband is really nice to me and doesn’t nag me about the  amount of time I spend on my laptop, he might even find it in his Christmas stocking.Or perhaps I’ll be that girl in the deckchair relaxing on the beach with a Kindle in my hand one of these days that I give up the blogging.

$100 gift card to spend on a Mr & Mrs Smith Hotels

from Mr & Mrs Smith blog


Because I love staying in Mr & Mrs Smith hotels and have even been known to write the odd review or guest post for them myself. I know that any boutique hotel that they recommend will be just the sort of stylish, welcoming place that you always hope to find and that I’ll always get the best available price at the time if I book through them. If you don’t believe me, read what I said about these lovelies in their portfolio; The cosy Avenue Hotel in Copenhagen, the country house chic of Fawsley Hall in Northamptonshire or the modern luxe of Avenue Liberdade in Lisbon.

$800 to spend on a HomeAway Holiday Rental property

from HomeAway and Lara Dunston at Grantourismo


Because I love the flexibility of this prize, to book a holiday stay anywhere I like to enjoy with my family, and I love the idea of finding a home from home somewhere where I can soak up the local colour and feel part of the neighbourhood. I met up with  Lara and Terry at the start of their year long Grantourismo project to travel the world, staying in HomeAway properties and writing about their experiences and you can listen to my podcast interview with Lara Dunston here.

Passports with Purpose building homes in India

Passports with Purpose building homes in India

Three Night Stay at Luxury Hotel Tiara Park Atlantic Lisbon

from Matt Long at Landlopers.com


Because I fell in love with Lisbon when I visited with my husband in November 2009 and the 2 days we spent there just weren’t enough. I can jump on a plane from Bristol and be settling into the rather sleek Tiara Park Atlantic that is part of Kiwi collection, another hotel site that I trust to find me impeccably luxurious hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park in London that I reviewed for them.

A Four-Night City and Country Getaway in Ireland

from Corey Taratuta at Irishfireside.com


Because I’ve only once been to Ireland and I remember the unspoilt countryside and windswept charm and because we have friends there that are overdue a visit and because I can easily get there from Bristol courtesy of the charming Mr O’Leary, a man who does not lack the gift of the gab.

A 3 night luxury spa break for two at LeSPORT hotel in St Lucia though the Explorateur

from Jool Stone of Trainsonthebrain.com


Because my parents have been spending their last few Januaries in St Lucia and love the island, and as I’ve never been to the Caribbean the island is firmly on my wish list. As I find the grey days of January and February rather dreary, I could do with a bit of sunshine with my husband

If none of these tempt you, get over to Passports with Passport in the next 24 hrs and see what other goodies are on offer – if you’re too late, there’s always next year….

Read more Indian stories

Exploring the ‘Abode of snow’ in the Indian Himalayas
Friday photo – my Indian sponsor child

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

Subscibe to Heatheronhertravels Don’t miss out – subscribe to Heather on her travels

See the sights of Northern Ireland by car

This article from Jeannette Kelly takes us on a driving tour of Northern Ireland which has everything one could look for in a holiday destination – beautiful sandy beaches, top sightseeing spots and out of the way places for those who love exploring off the beaten track.

Stay in Londonderry

I would highly recommend starting your tour somewhere like Londonderry (also known as Derry) which has a rich cultural heritage and is the only remaining walled city in Northern Ireland. You can take a walk around medieval walls with a view over the old city, stopping off at the Tower museum to find out more about the city’s past. Although Londonderry is in the northern part of the country, it’s still central to the whole of Northern Ireland and County Londonderry boasts some amazingly beautiful beaches, scenic nature walks and fun water sports – something for all ages and tastes.

The City Walls of Londonderry

The City Walls of Londonderry

From Londonderry, it is only a short car ride (around one hour) into the capital city of Belfast. Hiring a car in Ireland is definitely recommended, as there are so many places to visit off the ordinary tourist trails it would be mad to miss out. If you enjoy driving then take the longer scenic route from Londonderry to Belfast on the ‘Causeway Route’ taking in cliffs and beaches at Portrush, the Bushmills Whiskey Distillery and of course the famous Giant’s Causeway.

Giant’s Causeway

The thousands of hexagonal ‘steps’ of the Giant’s Causeway, leading out into the sea are the topic of myth and legend in the local area. The columns of rock were formed of basalt as a result of a volcanic eruption and lava flow 60 million years ago and the area has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Legend claims that the giant Finn McCool built the causeway as a pathway the Scottish island of Staffa so he could confront his enemies there, and the rock formations have been given names such as Giant’s Boot, Giant’s eye and Chminey Stack.

Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland

Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland

Rathin Island

For those who want a little less touristy day out, why not visit the wild and rugged Rathlin Island, where visitors can experience the tranquility of an island with a population of only 70 people. Rathin Island is home of the RSPB seabird centre and in the summer months you can hope to see puffins, guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes on the island. Arrival is by small ferry from Ballycastle which should be booked in advance, taking between 45 and 60 minutes, and if you want to stay a little longer there are self catering cottages and guest houses available.

Rathin Island in Northern Ireland

Rathin Island in Northern Ireland

Belfast Black Taxi Tour

If you really want to do something new, take a Belfast Black Taxi Tour. Local cabbies will happily share with you their experiences during the time of ‘the troubles’ for real honest first hand information as they drive you around some of the sites, made infamous by conflicts like Shankill Road and the wall murals – it’s a very interesting journey, and I thoroughly recommend it. You also get to drive past the shipyard known for building the ill-fated cruise liner, the ‘Titanic’ and it can also be arranged to have the trip extend outside of Belfast. Prices are £25.00 for 1 or 2 people, 3-5 people pay £10.00 each for the standard tour which lasts around and hour and half.

Live Free Mural in Belfast

Live Free Mural in Belfast

Car hire in Ireland can be easily arranged before the trip through one of the many car rental companies at the airport or in cities such as Belfast or Londonderry and is one of the best ways to get around everything you want to see in a short space of time.

Travel Resources for visiting Northern Ireland

Official Tourism site Northern Ireland – Discovernorthernireland.com
Official Tourism site Londonderry – Derryvisitor.com
Belfast Black Taxi Tours
Car Hire Ireland -To search for Cheap Car Hire in Ireland

Thanks to travel writer Jeanette Kelly who writes on a wide range of destinations in the UK.  Whether you want to know about dolphin spotting in Wales or reading destination articles, her articles definitely come recommended for those with the travelling bug.

Photo Credits: Londonderry Walls from DerryVisitor website,  Giant’s Causeway by Christolakis, Rathin Island by Karenwithak, Live Free Belfast Mural by PPCC Antifa

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