Nestled in the heart of Northern England, Yorkshire boasts a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural splendour. Known as 'God’s Own County', its picturesque charm is underpinned by the rugged Yorkshire Dales, the serene North York Moors and an impressive coastline.

In this area guide, we delve into this truly grand region, from its culturally rich towns such as Leeds, York, and Sheffield to the peaceful and quaint villages scattered across the Yorkshire countryside. We provide ample information for living in Yorkshire, from well-regarded schools and top-notch transport links to average property prices and local amenities.

History of Yorkshire

The history of Yorkshire dates back to Roman times when it was an important area for commerce and defence. Over the centuries, it played a crucial role in the Industrial Revolution with its thriving wool, coal and steel industries shaping its towns and cities. Today, Yorkshire still wears its industrial heritage with pride, with many old mills and factories having been repurposed into apartments, galleries, and restaurants. Its ancient past is also evident in the form of numerous Roman and Viking sites dotting the county, including York's impressive city walls and Jorvik Viking Centre.


Yorkshire is home to some of England's most iconic landmarks. Dominating the skyline of the city of York is the grand York Minster, one of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe. Heading to the North York Moors reveals the hauntingly beautiful Whitby Abbey, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Finally, Harewood House in Leeds, a true masterpiece of 18th-century architecture, set amidst stunning gardens and a much-celebrated bird garden, invites visitors for a dive into opulence.

Landmarks we love

  • Fountains Abbey, Ripon: This World Heritage Site is one of the largest and best-preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England. The nearby Studley Royal Park adds to its charm with scenic gardens and deer parks to explore.
  • The Shambles, York: This old street in York is a perfect snapshot of Medieval England. The cobblestone streets and overhanging timber-framed buildings make it a favourite for photographers and history buffs alike. It is also top-rated for its diverse range of quirky shops and restaurants.
  • The Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth: This museum, once the home of the famous Brontë sisters, transports visitors back to the 1800s. It provides an intimate look into their lives and inspirations.
  • Beverley Minster, Beverley: This is one of the finest examples of medieval Gothic architecture in the UK, comparable to more famous minsters such as York's.
  • The Deep, Hull: This futuristic aquarium, with its award-winning architecture, is home to thousands of sea creatures, making it an exciting family day out.

Top 10 things to do in Yorkshire

  • Visit the National Railway Museum, York: This is a must-visit for railroad enthusiasts. The museum showcases over 300 years of history and houses more than a million artefacts.
  • Explore the Yorkshire Dales: Enjoy hiking, cycling, or horse-riding in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Nature lovers will be in their element, exploring waterfalls, caves, and abundant wildlife.
  • Hit the shops in Leeds: Leeds offers a marvellous shopping experience with both high-end fashion stores and unique independent boutiques.
  • Check out Sheffield's Nightlife: From real ale pubs to vibrant clubs, Sheffield has a lively and diverse nightlife scene.
  • Visit the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds: Home to Britain’s national collection of arms and armour, it offers an exciting day out for history buffs.
  • Relax on Whitby Beach: A traditional seaside town with a sandy beach, fish and chips, and a classic pier. Don't forget a visit to Whitby's historic lighthouse.
  • Take in some culture at the Hull Truck Theatre: Known for its innovative programme of theatre and dance, it's a great place to see some of the UK's most exciting creative talent.
  • Discover Harrogate's Turkish Baths: Dating back to the 19th century, these stunning Moorish-style baths offer a unique spa experience.
  • Experience the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster: Meet lions, polar bears and leopards for an unforgettable day out for the whole family.
  • Nourish yourself at Betty's Tea Rooms, Harrogate: For an authentic afternoon tea experience, there’s no place like Betty’s. Patrons love their refined ambience and indulgent selection of cakes and pastries.

Our recommended areas to live in Yorkshire

  • York: A city rich in history and culture, it offers a fantastic quality of life, with good schools, beautiful architecture, and easy access to the countryside. The city also benefits from brilliant rail links, making it popular among commuters.
  • Leeds: This vibrant city is a hub of shopping, arts and entertainment. It has a strong job market, particularly in digital and creative industries. Leeds gives you city life on one hand and the beautiful Yorkshire Dales on the other. A fast-growing city with strong transport links, it's an attractive choice for professionals and young families.
  • Harrogate: Known for its heritage, green spaces and spa-town chic, Harrogate has been voted the happiest place to live in Britain. With its excellent schools, leisure facilities and short commute to Leeds, it makes perfect sense for families or those who enjoy a slower pace.
  • Huddersfield: With the stunning Peak District on its doorstep and excellent public transport connections, Huddersfield is a great choice for families and individuals wanting to balance urban and rural living.
  • Sheffield: With its thriving student population, flourishing arts scene and easy access to the Peak District, Sheffield offers a vibrant and affordable living experience for individuals of all ages. It's a mix of urban living and nature, a recipe for an ideal residential location.

Best schools in Yorkshire

Yorkshire is home to a wide range of well-regarded schools, both in the public and private sectors. Some notable ones include Queen Ethelburga's College in York, known for its excellent facilities and strong academic results; Bradford Grammar School; Harrogate Ladies' College; and Sheffield High School for Girls which are consistently rated outstanding. Schools in the county are also known for their focus on holistic education, with a broad curriculum and a commitment to fostering moral, spiritual, and cultural development. For higher education, Universities like Leeds, York, and Sheffield are recognised not only nationally but across the globe for their excellence in diverse academic fields.

Transport links in Yorkshire

There is a reliable network of transport systems in Yorkshire. Major motorways like the M1 and M62 give easy access to the rest of the UK by road. Train services connect various parts of Yorkshire to each other, as well as cities like London, Edinburgh, and Manchester. Leeds Bradford Airport provides regular international and domestic flights. With plans for the HS2 rail service, it's projected that Yorkshire will be even more accessible and commuting times drastically reduced in the future.

From its culture-rich cities to picturesque countryside villages, Yorkshire offers a quality of life that’s hard to beat. Whether you’re seeking thriving urban energy, tranquillity amidst nature, or a happy balance of both, Yorkshire provides it all. With quality education, impressive transport links, national landmarks aplenty and exciting things to do, not to mention the county's famed hospitality - truly, there's no place like Yorkshire. From gritstone climbing to seaside fish and chips, from moody moorland walks to vibrant market towns, the opportunities are endless. It’s not just 'God’s Own County' in name, but in spirit too!

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