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Yorkshire [1] [2] is the largest traditional county of England and (with a small part of old Lincolnshire tacked on) is now an entire region (Yorkshire and the Humber) of the United Kingdom and of the European Union.

Yorkshire is one of the most scenic, varied and interesting of the English counties. World famous countryside, bustling cosmopolitan cities, and an important history bring thousands of visitors to Yorkshire every year.


Map of Yorkshire

Currently divided for administrative purposes into several somewhat confusing modern counties and municipal areas, Yorkshire is still best understood largely along its traditional boundaries. Traditionally, Yorkshire was divided into three "Ridings" and the city of York, which did not belong to any Riding. These boundaries have changed greatly with various administrative changes, especially over recent decades. The following divisions are those that would be reasonably recognised by most Yorkshire people themselves:

North Yorkshire - approximately the former North Riding and northern part of the former West Riding
East Yorkshire - approximately the former East Riding
South Yorkshire - southern part of the former West Riding
West Yorkshire - central part of the former West Riding|}

It should, however, be recognised that these four are not all in the same position as far as Local Government is concerned. West and South Yorkshire Metropolitan Counties had their councils abolished in the 1980s and local government functions belong to the Metropolitan Boroughs within their area or to ad hoc authorities. North Yorkshire is a true county, meaning that local government functions are divided between it and the smaller units within it. East Yorkshire (and Hull) are separate unitary authorities.


  • Bradford - Has a wealth of museums and fantastic architecture and is a very multi cultural city. The best curry restaurants in Yorkshire can be found here along with the National Media Museum, the Industrial museum, a great cathedral and a city hall to rival any in Britain. The city also is the birth place of the Bronte sisters and composer Sir Edward Elgar along with many other important historical figures.
  • Kingston upon Hull (Hull) - On the banks of the rivers Hull and Humber, Hull is the largest city in the east of Yorkshire. The city can boast of a rich history built upon fishing and shipbuilding, a bustling and attractive city centre, and a fascinating museum district.
  • Leeds - Leeds has a thriving cultural scene, fine historic architecture, and is famous for its myriad shops, restaurants, bars and clubs. Important as a provincial centre for West Yorkshire despite its proximity to Bradford. Recently named Visitor City of the year and UK's favourite city.
  • Sheffield - Yorkshire's largest and most cosmopolitan city, one of many cities said to be "built on seven hills", and with an industrial heritage as the centre of the steel industry which has projected its name throughout the World. The city has grown several pop and rock bands, for example Def Leppard and being the subject of many popular films. Despite bombing during the Second World War it retains much of its interesting Victorian and early 20th century architecture. The suburbs retain much of the 'village'character, the amalgamation of which formed the city boundaries as they stand today. Sheffield chairs the group of the eight largest core cities in England and its planning policy has allowed the city to modernise despite the economic downturn in England.
  • Wakefield - famous for its mystery plays and capital of the Rhubarb Triangle. Administrative centre for West Yorkshire and seat of the Yorkshire & Humber Regional Assembly.
  • York - (unofficial) county town of Yorkshire, rich in medieval heritage, with a beautiful historic centre and breathtaking Minster.

Metropolitan Boroughs

These provide all local government services in West and South Yorkshire sine the Metropolitan County Councils were abolished in the 1980s. In West Yorkshire Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield (all above) are joined by Calderdale (largest town: Halifax) and Kirklees, which is based around Huddersfield and Dewsbury. In South Yorkshire as well as Sheffield (above) there are three whose names correspond to towns: Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham.


  • Scarborough - Traditional British seaside town, with its own castle and 2 beaches.
  • Whitby - Pretty fishing town, with bags of history, cobbled streets and it's famous Abbey


  • Skipton - Gateway to the Dales and the Yorkshire Dales National Park
  • Peak District on the south-west edge of Yorkshire.
  • North York Moors are a large area in the north-east of the county. The area is sparsely-populated, yet very popular with ramblers.


  • Dewsbury - particularly noted for a great market.
  • Todmorden On the Lancashire border with a Lancashire (Oldham) post code and a history of more cotton than wool.
  • Harrogate - England's first Spa Town and the largest town in North Yorkshire.
  • Pontefract - famous for liquorice and Pontefract Cakes. Excellent nightlife. Interesting Art Deco-style museum. Picturesque racecourse. The town is within the Rhubarb Triangle. Location of the first secret ballot in the Northern Hemisphere.

  • Haworth - Village which was home to the Bronte sisters.

Other destinations

Yorkshire includes all or part of three separate National Parks (see map below):

Bronte Country is a literature-inspiring Yorkshire region of moorland and atmospheric villages, close to Bradford, Keighley and Halifax, in which the Brontë sisters - Charlotte, Emily and Anne - found their literary muse.


Called 'God's own county' by the fiercely proud locals, and for good reason with wonderous countryside, great cities and warm locals

Get in

  • Leeds/Bradford Airport [6] offers flights to Europe, including links to Heathrow and Amsterdam. A member of the Star Alliance [7]
  • Doncaster Sheffield Airport [8] is Sheffield's main airport offering flights to Europe & North America.
  • By train GNER [9] or TransPennine Express [10] offer regular services linking all of the UK to the major cities, with connecting trains to smaller destinations
  • By road use the M1 (from South), A1 (from North/South), M62 (from West/East)
  • Coach [11] connects all of the UK's major towns and cities

Get around

  • Rail [13] offers an easy way to travel around Yorkshire
  • Yorkshire is well served by the UK Motorway network. Access from the East/West via the M62 and access from the North/South via the M1 & A1(M). There are also a number of scenic trunk road routes, including the A59 into Lancashire, and the A64 and A170 routes to Scarborough and the coast.


  • Fountains Abbey, best preserved medieval abbey ruin in England.
  • Rievaulx Abbey, near Helmsley
  • Sutton Bank - edge of the Hambleton Hills and a viewpoint for miles around
  • Scarborough's cliffs, bays and castle
  • Malham's fascinating limestone pavements
  • The Yorkshire Three Peaks - the Yorkshire Dales hills of Ingleborough, Whernside, and Pen-y-ghent
  • Wharram Percy - an excavated mediaeval village on the Yorkshire Wolds
  • Salt's Mill, a world heritage site near Bradford
  • The Humber Bridge, a large suspension bridge linking East Yorkshire across the River Humber to Lincolnshire
  • Rosebery Topping - the "mini matterhorn", the last hill of the North York Moors which overlooks industrial Teesside
  • Eden Camp, a wartime base turned into a museum
  • Castle Howard, a stately home famous to many as the setting for the tv series Brideshead Revisited
  • Bolton Abbey
  • The Settle-Carlisle Railway, an historic and scenic railway line which features the Ribblehead Viaduct, a scheduled ancient monument
  • The Leeds-Liverpool Canal, an historic and scenic waterway


National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Yorkshire

Yorkshire is a prime region for outdoor activities with a fantastic natural heritage and amazing scenery including three National Parks - one prime site for general information is Walk [14], the Yorkshire Tourist Board's Outdoor website, with links and info that extend beyond walking to include all manner of fresh air activities....


  • the National Trail website [15] includes walks on the Cleveland Way, the Pennine Way and the Wolds Way National Trails
  • the Nidderdale Way [16]
  • The Ingleton Waterfalls Walk, named by writer Alfred Wainwright as the "finest walk in England".


Yorkshire has a wealth of top professional sports teams to watch, and lots of outdoor (& indoor) activities to enjoy.


  • Leeds [17] and Sheffield both boast fantastic athletics facilities, which are available for spectators or participants.


  • Bradford City [18], Hull City [19], Barnsley [20], Leeds United [21], Sheffield United [22] and Sheffield Wednesday [23] all play the national sport football (soccer), though ticket prices can be high. It also advisable to book ahead.


  • Yorkshire County Cricket [24] play the traditional English sport of Cricket at venues around Yorkshire during the summer, with most of their games in Headingley, Leeds. Headingley also occasionally hosts international matches, though tickets must be booked well in advance.

Rugby League

  • Bradford Bulls [25], Hull FC [26], Hull KR [27] & Leeds Rhinos [28] all play this exciting physical sport in the European Superleague [29]. International matches are regularly played across Yorkshire. Ticket prices are usually reasonable, though top matches often sell out so book ahead.

Rugby Union

  • Leeds Carnegie [30] play at Headingley, tickets are always available as the sport is still 2nd choice to Rugby League for many Yorkshire fans.



There are 50 metre pools in both Leeds and Sheffield. There are 'fun' pools in Barnsley, Bradford, York and Doncaster. Sheffield has Ponds Forge, one of the best leisure complexes in the UK, which was built for the World Students Games in the early nineties, and where the Channel 4 programme The Games holds its swimming and diving trials.


Generally, Yorkshire folk speak quite understandable English, and even many dialect speakers have a "posh voice" that they can put on to speak to tourists; however, some phrases may catch you out.

  • Owt or nowt - means anything or nothing (both words can be used separately).
  • Love - is used when greeting "Hi love" or "Yes love"
  • Snicket/Ginnell - The former is a covered alley, the latter an uncovered one. E.g. 'I heard him racing down the snicket!'.

There are also words like "hither" "sethee" "thee" "thine" "thy" "duntha" and numerous others and if spoken as dialect is very difficult to understand by people from outside the region.

Some small industrial towns in West and South Yorkshire may be more difficult to understand. However, these are not popular tourist venues.


A few of the region's specialities include:

  • Yorkshire Pudding - made from a batter and can be eaten as a savoury or sweet meal
  • Yorkshire Parkin - a ginger cake traditionally made around Guy Fawkes' Night
  • Liquorice - a black confection from Pontefract
  • Wensleydale Cheese - crumbly and traditionally eaten with Christmas Cake, as loved by Wallace in the animated series 'Wallace and Gromit'
  • Betty's Cafe [32] is a famous cafe throughout Yorkshire


  • Tetley's Bitter [33] or John Smiths [34] in a traditional British pub
  • Two famous beers are brewed in Masham, North Yorkshire - Theakston's Old Peculiar, and Black Sheep Ale
  • Spring Water is available from several spa towns in Yorkshire including Harrogate


  • Berry Banks Cottage Whitby [36] Luxury Self-Catering Accommodation Riverside View, Whitby. Berry Banks Cottage is in an outstanding and tranquil location in an elevated position above the valley of the River Esk and by the side of a Grade II listed railway viaduct. Watch the steam train pass by from the cottage.

Stay safe

Yorkshire in general is fairly safe. But like many places in the north of England, the collapse of various industries in Yorkshire has had a devastating effect on the economy, thus crime rates have become very high in some areas, mostly due to high unemployment. It's very unlikely that tourists will be victims of crime, but you should keep your wits about you if you decide to venture into areas that aren't tourist oriented.

Out in the countryside there is little risk of crime (other than valuables left on view in cars in isolated places), though if going walking in winter take sensible precautions against the weather [37]. Also make sure you have a map and compass if you decide to go off the beaten track, you can very easily get lost without them.

In towns and cities, keep valuables out of sight, and stick to well-lit busy areas at night as is recommended for all UK towns and cities.

Get out

This is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!