The Yorkshire Dales National Park is one of Britain's best-loved areas, with outstanding scenery
Things To Do
Eat fish and chips on the harbourside. Whitby’s fish and chips are considered some of the best in Britain – look out for renowned restaurants such as Trenchers, the Magpie, Hadleys or The Quayside fish and chip shop, which won the top gong in the 2014 National Fish and Chip Awards.
Find the authors’ haunts. Visit Brontës’ Parsonage Museum in beautiful Haworth, with its cobbled streets, to learn more of the Brontë sisters, their lives in Yorkshire and their famous novels. Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights, for instance, draws much of its drama from the wild West Yorkshire landscape.
Drive across the Humber Bridge. An iconic symbol of Humberside, the Humber Bridge was once the longest single-span suspension bridge of its kind at 1.38 miles. It’s still the seventh longest in the world and you can walk or cycle across in addition to driving. Visit The Humber Bridge Information Centre, which is situated in a large, free car park on the north side, adjacent to the Humber Bridge Country Park.
See the Roman Emperor Hadrian’s Wall. Take in the sights either by walking the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail, cycling along the designated cycle route or travelling by train, using the Hadrian’s Wall Country Line that links Newcastle and Carlisle. Roman tourist attractions to see along the way include Chester’s Fort, Carrowburgh, Housesteads Fort and Vindolanda.
Try a bungee jump. Visit the Tees Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough and make it a day to remember with a bungee jump. It’s the only bridge bungee jump in the UK – you climb the 210 steps to the top of the bridge before connecting a jump rope and plummeting 160 feet to the River Tees below.
When To Visit
Events take place very much all year round in the north east of England, kicked off by the Tar Barle New Year celebrations in Allendale, Northumberland. Also in Northumberland, the Snowdrop Festival at Howick Gardens provides a welcome display in February, while in the same month York enjoys the huge Jorvik Viking Festival where boat burning and all-things Nordic come to the city.
In April, it’s Gateshead that puts on the annual International Jazz Festival, the biggest UK jazz festival outside London. For food lovers, there’s the Bishop Auckland Food Festival in April, the Dales Festival of Food and Drink in May and the Bridlington Seafood Festival in July.
Harrogate, North Yorkshire, lights up the region with two large-scale flower shows, the spring event held in April and the Autumn Flower Show, in September. As a town that’s used to putting on big events and conferences, Harrogate also hosts the annual Great Yorkshire Show every July and numerous literary/arts festivals, including the, simply named, Harrogate Festival and, in honour of one-time visitor Agatha Christie, a Crime Writing Festival, both in July.
If August has seen too much slouching on the beach, you can get active in September with the Kielder Challenge Walk, the Yorkshire Wolds Walking Festival and the Great North Run. And, in November, enjoy a walk through the streets of Durham during Lumiere, a city-wide celebration of light in the run-up to advent and Christmas activities, of which York always seems to have the upper hand with numerous events across the city.
The M1 motorway is one of the quickest routes from the south, which runs as far as Leeds. From there on, take the A1(M) directly to Newcastle and the predominantly single carriageway A1 thereafter to Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Travelling east-west, the M62, off the M1, serves the East Ridings and Humberside best while the A66 cross-Pennines route between the M6 at Penrith and the A1 (Scotch Corner) and the A69 between Carlisle and Newcastle-upon-Tyne provide scenic cross-country touring. Consider the weather conditions if using either of these routes during winter or when it’s blustery.
The A171 from Scarborough to Middlesbrough offers one of the best coastal routes, skirting the edge of the North York Moors; again, given its location on high ground, check weather and travel news as road conditions can change unpredictably fast in winter.
You’ll find rural country lanes to be considerably quieter than in other parts of the country, particularly if you’re heading for Northumberland campsites and the more remote areas of the Pennines. Only a few minor country roads are best avoided while towing a caravan – routes within the centre of the North York Moors National Park and Sutton Bank on the western perimeter of the Park.
When driving to campsites in the Yorkshire Dales avoid the route from Thwaite, Swaledale to High Tan Inn, Arkengarthdale and the road from Kettlewell to Leyburn. Care should also be taken approaching campsites at Malham – consider phoning ahead to check for specific arrival and departure times to avoid meeting oncoming traffic along very narrow lanes.
Humber Bridge tolls. There is no extra toll charge for towed caravans or motorhomes up to 3.5 tonnes on the Humber Bridge.
Tees Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough. Contact the bridge controllers before you get there – while caravans are accepted, they will want to know the overall length of your outfit in case it’s too long. The bridge is open on weekdays and Saturdays, closing at night. It won’t operate in fog, high winds or heavy rain.