We’ve all been thinking it: over the last year or so we deserve a few more chances to get-away. To take the opportunity to indulge those we care about most (and ourselves!).
But hold tha’ horses: before you book the airport parking, take a moment to think about whether you’ve been missing out on some of the destinations that might lie hidden a little closer to home.
This is Yorkshire – self-proclaimed as ‘God’s Own Country’ – the historic borders from the Pennines to the East Coast. There’s so much to write home about, between the world-famous cities and the epic countryside, we could natter on all day. Wonders like this have to be experienced for yourself: but first, sit back while we help you decide where to begin your next adventure, amid the storied lands of the Great North.
A one-night break is a perfect way to dip your toe in, and get a peek into how much the vibrant cities of Yorkshire offer. Sheffield is famous for the Crucible, where world-class theatrical productions take an epic stage with seating on three sides, putting you right next to the action.
When the encores end, your evening doesn’t have to. Sheffield buzzes with nightlife, with a live music calendar to rival anywhere. There’ll always be something on tap to grab your attention, too: Sheffield is known as ‘The Real Ale Capital of the World’, leading the resurgence of independent brewing in the UK.
Whitley Hall Country House Hotel, Sheffield
Millennium Square, Sheffield
If you’re visiting with family, don’t miss out on a unique view inside Sheffield’s famous engineering history at the Magna Science Adventure Centre. Here, a cavernous steelworks which forty years ago held the world record for production have been reinvented as a window into the workshops that made our modern world.
Just beyond the urban buzz, you’ll find some of Yorkshire’s heritage accommodations, nestled into the landscape. What better end to a day of adventuring, than to sink into one of Whitley Hall’s four-poster beds.
Up t’road from Whitley Hall, Yorkshire Sculpture Park hosts a remarkable collection of outdoor artworks. An exciting schedule of exhibitions are also on show in the indoor exhibition spaces, and their restaurant ‘The Weston’ serves delicious lunches from a sustainably-sourced menu. If you’re an art lover, you’ll want to stay an extra day or two, to give you a chance to check out The Hepworth, in Wakefield.
For these treasures, Waterton Park Hotel and Spa is perfectly situated: featuring the spectacular Walton Hall, where twenty-two of its rooms gaze out from a private island. You can dine at the award-winning Bridgewalk Restaurant, unwind at Charlie’s bar, or enjoy a luxurious treatment at the health club and lake-level pool.
Wakefield after dark
Waterton Park Hotel & Spa, Wakefield
Some of Yorkshire’s most luxurious destinations have their own history of hospitality. In Victorian times, health-conscious socialites scrambled to be seen in Harrogate, where natural sulphur springs sparked the construction of the beautiful Turkish Baths. Today you can take a tour and enjoy the authentic atmosphere, or turn up the heat with the cleansing ritual, progressing through the tiled steam rooms.
Aldwark Manor Estate, Aldwark/York
Yorkshire is vast enough to encompass two National Parks: the Yorkshire Dales, and the North York Moors, which is a Dark Skies Site, with stargazing activities available at the National Park Centre near Kilburn White Horse when the nights close in.
Between the National Parks, the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty frames the spectacular Castle Howard. Built throughout the 18th Century, the house and grounds featured in film and TV productions of Brideshead Revisited. You’ll feel part of a world frozen in time, as you explore the gardens and thousand acres of landscaped grounds with marked footpaths. For little ones, there’s a great adventure playground and boat trips on the serene Great Lake.
For a get-away that takes in these grand spaces, Aldwark Manor is the perfect place to stay. The hotel boasts sumptuously-styled rooms, a golf course and spa within the estate. Having suitably recharged and relaxed, you’ll be all set to experience the city that gives Yorkshire its name.
York is one of Europe’s great treasures: earning its reputation as one of the most historic and picturesque cities in the world. Each year more than 7 million visitors gaze up at the huge stone towers of York Minster from the maze of medieval streets.
A guided tour inside the Gothic cathedral offers an opportunity to take in seven hundred years of architectural wonder, crafted in stained glass and stone. After that, if you have the energy to climb the 275 steps of the central tower, you’ll enjoy an unparalleled view of the city.
Bettys Tea Rooms, York
York city centre
Take a road train from the square outside the Minster, to the National Railway Museum, which houses the largest collection of preserved locomotives and Royal carriages in the world. A full day out in itself, you’ll have earned a stop at Bettys Tea Rooms nearby. Whether you go for High Tea, or something more informal from the menu (try the famous ‘Fat Rascal’ teacakes, if you’re not already part of the fan club!), you’ll fall in love with the blend of tradition and wonder served to your table.
Whether you begin with a quick get-away – or book a longer stay to soak up a bit more of Yorkshire’s wonder and glam – you’ll have every reason to come back soon. Next time, bring friends or family, to make memories that you’ll want to relive, again and again. Take it from us: the Great North will leave you chuffed t’bits, each and every time.