Exploring Yorkshire – England’s largest county
Home » Downloads » Adventure » Exploring Yorkshire – England’s largest county

THE SHAMBLES, YORK – IMAGE CREDIT PAUL MARSHALL

From gritty mill towns to wild moorlands and secluded coves, Yorkshire is England's best-kept secret.

Drystone walls climb the hills as they have always done. Those wonderful limestone walls that symbolise the very soul of Yorkshire- England's largest county. Endlessly varying patterns of grey against green; ragged squares and oblongs marching to impossible heights till they disappear into the heather-cloaked moorlands on the summits.

The county's terrain ranges from moorlands and broad vales with tumbling streams to magnificent mountainous uplands. Ancient Roman roads wind through mediaeval hamlets and towns still strongly marked by the Industrial Revolution, while mystical abbeys and castles cast shadows over the hills.

The mediaeval city of York is a must for any visitor to Yorkshire. As King George VI once said, "The history of York is the history of England". It's certainly easy to agree with him as you stroll atop the city's 13th century walls and gaze down from treetop height on the story of England.

Through the centuries, this ancient city has witnessed the weaving of history's colourful tapestry: Anglo Saxon invaders building a settlement on the ruins of the Roman fort, Vikings sailing their longships up the river Ouse in 867 to conquer northern England to make York the capital.

On a visit to York, allow plenty of time to experience and savour the centuries revealed.  One memorable way to begin is to walk all or part of the city's encircling walls; originally built as earth ramparts erected by York's Viking kings to repel invaders. The present structure has been lovingly restored throughout the years since the 13th century.

You can access the wall by climbing worn steps at a number of 'bars', the Viking word for a fortified gate in the wall. In the turrets of Monk Bar, ferocious stone men stand frozen in the motion of hurling boulders down onto enemy heads. A short walk from Bootham Bar is York Minster, England's largest gothic cathedral.

Begun in 1220 and completed more than 250 years later, the Minster contains the world's largest single area of mediaeval stained glass. With it's soaring columns and spires and it's magnificent ornamentation, the Minster has been described as England's greatest ancient monument. If you have a head for heights, don't miss the climb up the 275 winding steps of the great central tower for a panorama of the city and the surrounding Yorkshire Moors.

Within the city walls is a dense web of narrow twisting streets, with grand names like Whip-ma-Whop-ma-Gate, Stonegate and the Shambles. These lanes were once walked by legendary men who helped shape the land: Hadrian, Guy Fawkes, William the Conqueror, Oliver Cromwell and Eric Bloodaxe the Viking.

The Shambles is a perfectly preserved mediaeval street, where storybook houses and half-timbered stores lean towards each other on drunken angles. In one particular spot it is possible for two people to shake hands across the street from one-second-floor window to another. The cobble stoned Shambles was originally a street of butchers, and the hooks they used for displaying meat outside their shops can still be seen today. In York you become a time traveller, as 2000 years of history rolls by.

Northeast of York lies the North York Moors National Park. Its heart is the great expanse of heather moorland, the largest in the country. Brown, black and sinister for much of the year, in late August when the heather blooms, it is transformed into a glorious green and purple sea. From the ridge top roads and open moors there are wonderful views. The dales shelter small stone villages, castles and abbeys such as Rievaulx, Byland and Whitby.

Yorkshire offers not only the beauty of its inland scenery, but a superb 100 miles of coastline with high rugged cliffs backing onto windswept countryside. Small hideaway bays and coves are cut deeply into the cliffs, housing snug fishing villages and towns such as Staithes, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Robin Hood's Bay and Whitby.

The imposing ruins of the 13th century abbey loom over the old whaling port of Whitby, where narrow cobbled streets and red-bricked houses spill down the slopes of the headland to the natural harbour. Colourful fishing boats come and go, salty characters load off their catch of crab, kippers and haddock, destined for the towns numerous fish and chip shops. Visitors and locals alike take their fish and chips very seriously in Whitby and the Magpie Cafe alongside the harbour is the place to go to enjoy this iconic seaside dish.

Further inland, the Yorkshire Dales, made famous through the popular television series All Creatures Great and Small have a wild beauty of their own, quite different from that of the moors and coast. Each dale has it's own character and attractions. Wharfedale is one of the longest, full of enchanting villages and the 14th century Bolton Abbey.

The village of Grassington makes a good base for exploring the region. In Airedale there are the great limestone features of Malham Cove and Gordale Scar. Ribblesdale contains the dominating peaks of Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent. This is the heart of Yorkshire Dales limestone country – an array of cliffs, gorges, caves and potholes.  ...

Download the full story below.....


(1458 WORDS)

See more stories by Andrew.

WANT TO LICENSE THIS STORY? ADD TO CART TODAY!

No contract | No membership fees | Pay per download






Attached Files

THE-SHAMBLES-YORK-–-IMAGE-CREDIT-PAUL-MARSHALL.jpg
THE-SHAMBLES-YORK-–-IMAGE-CREDIT-PAUL-MARSHALL.jpg
THE-POPULAR-SEASIDE-HARBOUR-TOWN-OF-WHITBY-IMAGE-CREDIT-PAUL-MARSHALL.jpg
THE-POPULAR-SEASIDE-HARBOUR-TOWN-OF-WHITBY-IMAGE-CREDIT-PAUL-MARSHALL.jpg
RUINS-OF-THE-CHURCH-OF-ST-THOMAS-A-BECKET-IN-THE-VILLAGE-OF-HEPTONSTALL-NEAR-HEBDEN-BRIDGE-IMAGE-CREDIT-ANDREW-MARSHALL.jpg
RUINS-OF-THE-CHURCH-OF-ST-THOMAS-A-BECKET-IN-THE-VILLAGE-OF-HEPTONSTALL-NEAR-HEBDEN-BRIDGE-IMAGE-CREDIT-ANDREW-MARSHALL.jpg
CLASSIC-YORKSHIRE-DALES-LANDSCAPE-SWALEDALE-NEAR-REETH-IMAGE-CREDIT-ANDREW-MARSHALL.jpg
CLASSIC-YORKSHIRE-DALES-LANDSCAPE-SWALEDALE-NEAR-REETH-IMAGE-CREDIT-ANDREW-MARSHALL.jpg
THE-BRONTE-PARSONAGE-AND-GRAVEYARD-IN-HAWORTH-IMAGE-CREDIT-PAUL-MARSHALL.jpg
THE-BRONTE-PARSONAGE-AND-GRAVEYARD-IN-HAWORTH-IMAGE-CREDIT-PAUL-MARSHALL.jpg
THE-WORLD-HERITAGE-LISTED-SALTAIRE-–-IMAGE-CREDIT-ANDREW-MARSHALL.jpg
THE-WORLD-HERITAGE-LISTED-SALTAIRE-–-IMAGE-CREDIT-ANDREW-MARSHALL.jpg
THE-PICTURESQUE-YORKSHIRE-COAST-VILLAGE-OF-ROBIN-HOODS-BAY-–-IMAGE-CREDIT-ANDREW-MARSHALL.jpg
THE-PICTURESQUE-YORKSHIRE-COAST-VILLAGE-OF-ROBIN-HOODS-BAY-–-IMAGE-CREDIT-ANDREW-MARSHALL.jpg
YORKSHIRE-SCULPTURE-PARK-–-IMAGE-CREDIT-ANDREW-MARSHALL.jpg
YORKSHIRE-SCULPTURE-PARK-–-IMAGE-CREDIT-ANDREW-MARSHALL.jpg
Exploring-Yorkshire-Englands-largest-county-.rtf
Exploring-Yorkshire-Englands-largest-county-.rtf