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Visit Yorkshire: The Home of English Heritage

Whether it’s the stunning architecture of gothic abbeys or the beautiful grounds of preserved castles, Yorkshire has a plethora of English heritage sites to discover.  Here at Yorkshire Escapes, we’ve put together some of our must see locations for those looking to indulge into local Yorkshire culture and discover everything there is to know about this wonderful historic location.

Yorkshire is known for its distinct and independent character, through the centuries it has been both a centre of Crown and Church power and a centre for rebellion. You’ll find hints of Yorkshire’s colourful history wherever you go, from the ancient Roman walls to the quirky cobbled street of The Shambles, often regarded as Eupope’s best preserved mediaeval street.

Step back in time to Yorkshire’s castles, old ruins and religious sites where you’ll receive a warm welcome and an insight into the area’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.

Scarborough Castle

Scarborough Castle sits headland between North and South bays, with a sheer drop to the sea. This spectacular pinnacle of history has endured sieges from Medieval Kings, Civil War armies, and German Naval bombardment during WWII. Head through the imposing gatehouse and explore 3,000 years of turbulent history as you embark on a journey of it’s fascinating past. Climb to the battlefield viewing platform for dramatic coastline views, then refresh with a truly English tea in the 18th-century Master Gunner’s House.

Open: Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 17:00

Kirkham Priory

Situated between the historic city of York and the small town of Malton, the riverside ruins of Kirkham Priory are set in the stunning Derwent Valley near the Yorkshire Wolds. This popular tourist attraction unlocks the secret behind Winston Churchill’s visit during WWII and allows you to explore the connection between Helmsley Castle and The Priory. Whether you’re walking or cycling the area is surrounded by natural beauty, and is the perfect location for a family day out.  Discover a day in the life of a monk and enjoy a picturesque picnic by the river in the Augustian ruins.

Open: Monday to Sunday 10:00 – 17:00

Helmsley Castle

Steeped in 900 years of history, Helmsley Castle is a must-see for those visiting the vibrant market town of Helmsley in the North York Moors National Park. Take a descriptive and insightful audio tour, explore the fun hands-on exhibition in the mansion house and gain an insight into how Helmsley Castle once looked through a tactile model. Discover how the castle evolved over the centuries from a mighty medieval fortress to a romantic Victorian ruin, and everything in between.

Looking for a picturesque walk?

Follow the scenic route from Helmsley Castle to Rievaulx Abbey (2.34 miles).

Open: Monday to Sunday 10:00 – 17:00

Rievaulx Abbey

Escape to this tranquil valley of the North York Moors and discover the impressive ruins of one of England’s most powerful Cistercian monasteries. Ideal for tranquility seekers, the elegant museum displays a series of previously unseen artefacts, while an audio tour allows you to wander the extensive ruins of Rievaulx Abbey and discover how it looked at various stages of its development. Vast in stunning views while you enjoy a tasty treat provided at their chocolate-box tearoom.

Open: Monday to Sunday 10:00 – 17:00

Whitby Abbey

Uncover centuries of history as you take an interactive guide around the soaring gothic ruins and newly revamped museum of Whitby Abbey. Inspiration for Caedmon, the first named English poet and Bram Stoker, the author of ‘Dracula’, you’re sure to see why this spectacular architecture and backdrop has been inspiring visitors for almost 1500 years.

Open: Monday to Sunday 10:00 – 17:00

Mount Grace Priory

Nestled at the foot of the Cleveland Hills, Mount Grace Priory is a spectacular location if you’re looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Explore the best preserved Carthusian priory in England and get lost amongst the ruins of the medieval monastery. The neat, exceptionally maintained gardens offer respite to guests to sit and take in the beautiful views.

Please be aware: Dogs are unfortunately not allowed as the gardens are protected. Assistant dogs, however, are welcome across site.

Open: Monday to Sunday 10:00 – 17:00

Yorkshire Battlefields & Military Museums

Historical military reenactments bring Yorkshire’s past to life, with displays of knights on horseback, Viking parades and lessons in medieval cookery. You won’t find military heritage sites like this in the rest of the country, staging live events at historic abbeys, castles, houses and gardens.

Yorkshire Museums & Days Out

Yorkshire’s museums are a great day out for the whole family as they offer a fun, yet educational, way to learn. We are proud to house some of the best examples in the country, with six National museums with award-winning collections spanning over a whole array of eras and topics.

Yorkshire’s National Museums

Our must see list

Yorkshire Railway Attractions

Enjoy a breathtaking stream train ride through the picturesque Yorkshire countryside and experience the traditional chug of a traditional engine. An enchanting day out for the whole family, you can bring alive scenes from beloved movies such as Harry Potter and The Railway Children.

Heritage and Steam Railways

Railway Museums

Become an English Heritage member

Why not join and become an English Heritage member for unlimited access to hundreds of historic places on a family, joint, individual or lifetime basis.

  • Unlimited access to over 400 historic places
  • Free entry for up to six children
  • Free or reduced price entry to many exciting events
  • Free parking

By joining today you could help keep English history alive for generations. Plus, once you’ve explored Yorkshire you can still use this pass anywhere across the country.

Time to get exploring!

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