Can’t decide which of Yorkshire’s national parks to visit? Then this very special area, located bang in the centre of North Yorkshire, could be just the ticket. Nestled between two national parks and two areas of outstanding natural beauty you’ll find historic cities, market towns and picturesque villages, each unique in character and providing an ideal base for exploring the whole of this beautiful county.
Historic cities don’t get much better than York and Ripon, both with medieval streets, stunning cathedrals and visitor attractions galore! Whilst both Ripon and York are small cities (in fact Ripon is the third smallest city in England) what they lack in size they make up for in character. York has a daily market, and hosts lots of interesting visiting markets throughout the year, and Ripon holds its own 120-stall market on Thursdays.
If markets are your thing there is no shortage of options in York and North Yorkshire. Some of the area’s finest market towns are Easingwold, a traditional market town which is relatively untouched by tourists, situated a stone’s throw away from the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the south-westerly edge of the North York Moors National Park; Thirsk further north and famous for its James Heriot connection; Northallerton further north again and a popular shopping destination; Masham, located on the edge of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, just east of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Pateley Bridge, located in the heart of Nidderdale and famous as the home of the Oldest Sweet Shop in the World!
And then there’s the spa town of Harrogate, west of Nidderdale and the Yorkshire Dales National Park, busy with restaurants and cafes, and home to the beautiful RHS Harlow Carr Gardens.