Fun facts to know about Yorkshire before you visit

22nd July 2020

Whitby Abbey

Yorkshire is one of the most beautiful and fascinating counties in England, with so much to offer for those planning to visit. From breathtaking countryside walks and lovely beaches to historic cities and top attractions, it’s all here in Yorkshire. But for those who are unfamiliar with the county, you might be unaware of some of its most interesting claims to fame. To help prepare you for what awaits, this article will introduce you to Yorkshire through a series of fun and fascinating facts, hopefully sparking your interest to visit the county for yourself sometime soon and inspiring your trip.

Yorkshire is the biggest county in the UK

Measure at a whopping 2.9 million acres, Yorkshire is the biggest county in the UK and, as such, has an enormously diverse range of offerings for visitors. With gorgeous rural areas containing moors, woods, and famous Yorkshire Dales, and important cities like Leeds, Sheffield, and York, visitors can look forward to a complete experience. Just prepare to travel a little if you want to see all that the county has to offer!

Yorkshire is home to the oldest pub in Britain

Many of us look forward to enjoying a nice relaxing drink on our travels and the good news for those visiting Yorkshire, you can experience a piece of history at the same time. Yorkshire is home to the oldest pub in Britain. The Bingley Arms in Bardsey, West Yorkshire dates back over 1,000 years to a time when Britain was ruled by its Viking overlords.

The Bingley Arms says: “The Bingley Arms, or The Priests Inn as it was called hundreds of years ago, has a known history that dates back as far as 953 A.D when Samson Ellis brewed in the central part of the building. However, evidence suggests that it might even date back to 905 A.D. and was standing before All Hallows Church, just a few yards away, was built in 950 A.D.”

So, if you are on your way to visit Leeds or York, why not stop by for some delicious food, a refreshing beverage, and a slice of history?

Scarborough was England’s first seaside resort

Scarborough ariel

Scarborough is one of England’s most famous seaside towns, but did you know that it is actually the country’s first-ever seaside resort? Dating back to 1626, an acidic spring was discovered at the base of a cliff, turning Scarborough into a popular destination for those looking for a little R&R. For those who have booked Robins Hood Bay accommodation, this charming town on the North Yorkshire coast is just a stone’s throw away.

Blogger Rachel Nichole grew up in Scarborough and has shared her thoughts with us on this famous town: “There is so much to see and do when visiting Scarborough and it's not just your typical seaside resort, with two huge beaches, countless attractions and picturesque viewpoints. I may be biased but there's some of the UK's best fish and chips in Scarborough which you can finish off with a 99 ice cream on the beach. I love exploring the surrounding areas too with beautiful clifftop walks and countryside trails, there's something for everyone.”

Rachel also offered a top tip for those visiting the North Yorkshire coast: “Don't just visit the seaside towns along the Yorkshire Coast, whilst there's so much to see in Scarborough and Whitby is absolutely lovely! Make sure you plan enough time to visit some of the smaller destinations such as Ravenscar, Robin Hood's Bay, Flamborough and Staithes! There are so many beautiful little places along the coast all worth seeing!”

The Roman Empire was briefly governed from York

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by York Museum Gardens (@yorkmuseumgardens) on

 

The UK has a big Roman history and the county of Yorkshire has some of the nation’s richest heritage. The ancient city of York is a treasure trove for history lovers and just one gem is the fact that the Roman Empire was actually governed from this Yorkshire city for a handful of years. That’s right, Emperor Septimius Severus was residing in York between A.D 208 and A.D. 211.

Traces of Rome’s time in York still exists today, including The Multangular Tower, which was built in the fourth century to protect the Roman fortress Eboracum. It can be visited at the Yorkshire Museum Gardens between the museum itself and St. Leonard’s hospital.

The team at York Museum Trust shared with us: “Visitors to the Multangular Tower in York Museum Gardens can expect to see the best-preserved Roman structure in the entire city. Situated on the northern side of the gardens, you’ll see the tower and fine stretches of the fortress wall from both sides. It was one of the four corner towers belonging to the Roman fortress and was adjoined to a huge stone wall that looked down onto the River Ouse. On a closer look, you’ll see small stones in the lower half of the tower. These are part of the original Roman structure, whereas the upper half was reconstructed in the Medieval period.

York Museum Trust also told us what else fans of Roman history can look forward to: “For those interested in York’s Roman history, the Yorkshire Museum should be at the top of your to-do list. The Yorkshire Museum, part of York Museums Trust, has four galleries dedicated to the Romans, all featuring the finest treasures from Eboracum. Highlights include a marble head of Constantine, the proclaimed Emperor in York, as well as one of the finest Roman statues in Britain, a monumental statue of the God of Mars. At the museum, you can come face to face with residents of Roman York, walk on a real Roman mosaic and explore what life and death was like in one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire.”

Yorkshire contains a third of the total area of National Parks in England

north york moors

If you love country walks or just the relaxing nature of the countryside in general, Yorkshire is the place for you. One holiday would never be enough to experience its parks, however, as Yorkshire contains a massive one-third of the total area of National Parks in England. Home to the North Yorkshire Moors, most of the Yorkshire Dales and part of the Lake District, you are in for a real treat in terms of classic English natural beauty, great walks, and idyllic scenery.

Anna from the blog My Travel Scrapbook recommends the North Yorkshire Moors for those looking to enjoy the county’s natural beauty: “One of my favourite parts of Yorkshire is the North Yorkshire Moors. The North Yorkshire Moors is such a wild and magical place which is also incredibly varied! Whether you fancy exploring a quaint fishing village such as Staithes, hiking up a windy hill or wandering through a romantic abbey there are so many things to do in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.”

Anna also spoke to us about why she thinks Yorkshire is the perfect getaway: “Yorkshire is an incredible place for a weekend break! I have many fond childhood memories of sunny days spent on the sandy beaches of Filey. Now as an adult, and after falling in love with a Yorkshireman, I have been lucky enough to explore much of this wonderful part of the UK.”

Yorkshire is home to the famous Brontë family

When it comes to English literature, there are not many more famous names than the Brontë family. These 19th-century sisters are responsible for all-time classics such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. And the sisters themselves just happen to be from lovely Yorkshire. Hailing from West Yorkshire, fans of their work will certainly want to seek out the remaining links to their lives such as their birthplace in Thornton and their later home turned museum in Haworth.

The Brontë Parsonage Museum contains the world’s best collection of Brontë manuscripts, letters, and early editions of their iconic novels. Helen, from the travel blog Helen on Her Holidays, has visited the museum and shares: “For any lover of the Brontë sisters’ books, visiting the Brontë Parsonage Museum is a wonderful experience. The house has been restored and re-furnished to be as close as possible as it was when Charlotte, Emily and Anne lived there.”

The date of Easter was fixed at Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey

Whitby is yet another famous location on the North Yorkshire Coast, found near Robin Hood’s Bay and Scarborough. Whitby Abbey is its prized attraction – a seventh-century Christian monastery that’s ruins can still be seen today. It was at Whitby Abbey that the date in which Easter is celebrated was finally fixed in A.D 664 during the Synod of Whitby. With the support of King Oswy, the decision was made to adopt Roman practices for the celebration of this important date in the Christian calendar.

English Heritage manage Whitby Abbey today, with its massive gothic structures and spectacular sea views. A must-visit during your time in this part of Yorkshire.

Interesting facts about Yorkshire

- Yorkshire is the biggest county in the UK

- Yorkshire is home to the oldest pub in Britain

- Scarborough was England’s first seaside resort

- The Roman Empire was briefly governed from York

- Yorkshire contains a third of the total area of National Parks in England

- Yorkshire is home to the famous Brontë family

- The date of Easter was fixed at Whitby Abbey

These are just some of the many fascinating facts about Yorkshire that will inform your visit to this most wonderful of counties. If reading the above has gotten you excited for a potential visit, we at Raven Hall would love to welcome you.

For more tips, advice, and guides on all things Yorkshire, make sure to visit our blog.