The United Kingdom and much of Europe itself is absolutely chock full of fantastic, beautiful locales which to explore by car, foot or even public transport, and perhaps one of the most idyllic places to explore is the northern wilderness of England. With towns and cities that are relatively spread apart, the wilderness of the north comes with some breathtaking sights such as rolling hillsides and small quaint farmyards filled with highland livestock. This article will look at a few great ideas for a trip to the northern parts of England, alongside some great suggestions on lodging.
The Yorkshire Dales and Area
If you’re coming from London, inevitably the first real taste of the northern experience you will come across is the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This expansive area of natural beauty is called such due to its rolling hills, stone walled farms, and general wild feel. There are a number of towns in the area, albeit actually outside the park, with amazing, unique opportunities to see some really interesting things. One such attraction is the viaduct in Knaresborough, alongside the strange, eerie Old Mother Shipton’s Well and caves, known for its unique ability to cover anything in a strange petrifying stone when exposed to the well water long enough.
Villages and small towns within the park are home to beautiful, age-old English pubs set in stone and timber buildings, each with their own unique charm and feel. You are sure to find something a bit different about each village here, but regardless they are all picturesque and beautiful in their own ways, with some offering amazing panoramas of the surrounding hills.
Whitby and the Coast
A touch north east of the Yorkshire Dales finds you in the Whitby area, known for its famous Whitby cod fish and chips alongside its ruined gothic cathedral. The fish is an absolute must if you’re in the area, as everyone from north to south knows about the cod found here. The town itself is nestled in the crevice of the cliff side on either side of the harbour, offering visitors the opportunity to explore its sometimes steep, cobbled back and side streets, unique pubs and shops and quaint teahouses, amongst other finds.
The gothic-era cathedral on the east cliff is perhaps one of the largest draws to Whitby, having been the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s famous novel ‘Dracula’, and perhaps as an homage, attracts hundreds of people from the gothic sub-culture each year for Whitby’s well-known “Whitby Goth Weekend”. Booking ahead around this time is recommended as hundreds of travellers descend on the town during that time. You can find some really nice hotels in the Whitby area with ease, as it’s quite a tourist draw not just at the goth weekend, but throughout the summer as well.
Going Even Further
If you’re on a bit of a trek through the UK, Whitby makes the perfect pit stop between London and Scotland, with a number of things to do in the area within easy driving distance such as the city of York, birthplace of Guy Fawkes, or the historical seaside town of Scarborough – home to the middle ages fair of yore as mentioned in the song of the same name. From Whitby, access to Newcastle, and further on to Scotland is simple and smooth, and so is the perfect place for a rest on your way north from London, or even from further afield in Europe.
So there you have a couple of great reasons to set down in Whitby for awhile, not just because of it’s great proximity to other places of note, but because of its own charm and hospitality for travellers from near and far.