12 Aug | 09:53 AM

10 Heritage Hotspots

10 Heritage Hotspots

From the multitude of ancient castles and striking monasteries to the industrial past that has shaped the region, Yorkshire's heritage is one of its most outstanding qualities.

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

Veiled in a secluded valley, this National Trust property promises to surprise and captivate with its vast Cistercian abbey ruins, Georgian water garden, a medieval deer park, Elizabethan Hall and Gothic church. From humble beginnings this magnificent abbey grew to be wealthy and powerful.  Nowadays it is one of Yorkshire’s most stunning tourist attractions. Part of this attraction is Studley Royal Water Garden which is an outstanding example of the ‘English’ garden style that swept across Europe during the eighteenth century and is in fact what makes this magnificent estate a World Heritage Site.

Bolton Castle

Bolton Castle is one of the country’s best-preserved medieval castles; originally built as one of the finest and most luxurious homes in the land, the castle bears the scars of over 600 years of fascinating history. The castle is still in the private ownership of Lord Bolton, a direct descendant of the castle’s original owner Sir Richard le Scrope.

This imposing castle can be seen from many points within the Yorkshire Dales and at certain points in the Men Elite Road Race you might be able to spot this magnificent monument in the distance.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Yorkshire’s history with the railway is a strong one with numerous heritage and steam railways throughout the county and the greatest collection of trains housed in the National Railway Museum in York. It’s difficult to pick one heritage railway over the others, but we’ve gone for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway here as it is truly iconic. Power through 24 miles of the North York Moors countryside as you make your way from Pickering to Whitby on a magnificent steam or diesel train.

A must-see is the celebrity station on this line would be Goathland which became Hogsmeade Station in the first Harry Potter film and featured as Aidensfield in the ITV programme Heartbeat.

York Minster

From the world's greatest treasures to the smallest curiosities, York Minster is one of the world's most magnificent cathedrals, with foundations rooted in the nation's earliest history. Standing proudly over the beautiful city of York, this Gothic wonder really is a must visit attraction in Yorkshire.

Explore a masterpiece in stained glass and stone, its vast spaces alive with the sanctity and tradition of worship and heavenly music. Alternatively explore the quiet corners revealing unexpected stories and human inspiration.

The Piece Hall

In 2017 one of the most extraordinary buildings in Britain reopened after a multi-million-pound restoration. The Piece Hall in Halifax is a unique Grade I listed building dating back to 1779, originally built to support the trading of ‘pieces’ of cloth. There is nowhere like it in the world. The monumental Grade I listed structure is the only surviving intact cloth hall in the UK and an iconic symbol of the important role played by Georgian Halifax at the booming centre of the world’s woollen trade.

The princely architectural gem in the heart of the town is a magnetic destination: a place where people meet and cross paths for work, pleasure, business, leisure, arts and entertainment. The immense, open air square is enclosed by a mix of independent bars, restaurants, shops and cafes.


The charming village of Saltaire was founded in 1853 by Sir Titus Salt, a leading industrialist in the Yorkshire woollen industry. The name of the village combines the founder's surname and the name of the pretty river that runs through the village. In December 2001, the village was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There are many reasons why you should visit Saltaire from the spectacular architecture as you wander around the village, to the independent shops and restaurants scattered around the village. There is world class art on display at Salts Mill with one of the largest collections of David Hockney’s, and all surrounded by countryside and moors.

Although Saltaire is known for its industrial heritage, it is also a fantastic place to explore the great outdoors. It was deliberately built next to the Leeds Liverpool Canal, which nowadays means you can explore the area by foot or on bike as the tow paths form parts of the National Cycle Network.

North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast

The North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast is 36 miles long and stretches from Saltburn, just north of the National Park, down to Scalby Mills near Scarborough.

A dramatic mix of towering cliffs and sheltered bays, this protected coastline marks the boundary of the North York Moors National Park and the North Sea. Though now peaceful and unspoiled, many hundreds of thousands of tons of material were excavated from these cliffs over several centuries, first to extract alum shale and later ironstone.

Highlights along this stretch of land include the gorgeous village of Runswick Bay, the picture-perfect Staithes and Robin Hood’s Bay – a place known for it’s incredible smuggling past.

Bolton Abbey

Nestled in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales on the banks of the River Wharfe, Bolton Abbey is one of Yorkshire’s best day out. Its landscape is the “jewel in the crown” of Yorkshire’s many landscapes. 30,000 acres of beautiful countryside boast over 80 miles of footpaths to walk and explore, providing something for all ages.

Explore the ruins of the Priory and discover a landscape full of history and legend. Walk along the riverside, woodland and moorland paths and enjoy local produce in the excellent restaurants, tea rooms and cafes, treat yourself in the quality gift shops or simply relax beside the river with a picnic whilst the children play

Kelham Island Museum

Kelham Island Museum is the showcase of Sheffield’s industrial story, from early industrialisation to modern times where ‘Made in Sheffield’ remains a mark of quality known worldwide. Head here and discover how steelmaking forged the city of today and its impact on the modern world.

Enjoy a great family day out full of nostalgia and innovation as our interactive galleries follow the growth of the Steel City, from light trades and skilled workmanship to mass production. Learn what it was like to live and work in Sheffield during the Industrial Revolution and Victorian Era and throughout two world wars to discover how the art of steel making forged both the city of today and the world!

Harrogate Turkish Baths

Harrogate is the centre for all the athletes competing in the 2019 Road World Championships and after all that strenuous exercise there might be a few weary limbs in need of a trip to the Turkish Baths! Opened in 1897 by the Duke of Cambridge, water was pumped to the baths from a number of different springs and treatments were offered for conditions such as rheumatism and arthritis.

Although Turkish Baths were common in Victorian times, only seven remain which date back to the 19th century. None is as historically complete and in full working order as Harrogate's Turkish Baths. Their importance lies in their decoration, elaboration and rarity. The Baths' Moorish design with Islamic arches and screens, walls of vibrant glazed brickwork, the arabesque painted ceilings and terrazzo floors (laid by the very best Italian experts) all add to its historic elegant features.

4 months ago
Written by Tom Ashurst

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