The 199 steps in Whitby, which reward with Whitby Abbey at the top
The 199 steps in Whitby, which reward with Whitby Abbey at the top

Yorkshire Day: Our favourite bits of God's Own Country

Today is Yorkshire Day, celebrating the region's rural beauty and rich history, with exciting craft beer and live music scenes to boot

Andrew Griffin,Joe Vesey-Byrne
Monday 01 August 2016 14:42
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Now then, today is Yorkshire Day, a celebration of the trend-setting music, beautiful landscapes and good proper grub that can be found in God’s Own Country.

Yorkshire folk are proud of their region, and rightly so, given all the wonderful things they’ve given the world: Henderson’s relish, David Hockney, and The Human League, to name just a few.

The official host of this year’s Yorkshire Day celebration is Halifax, but here are some other places in Yorkshire we reckon are 'reet' good.

Kelham Island Quarter, Sheffield

Sheffield’s reputation as ‘the valley of beer’ can be properly enjoyed by visiting five renowned pubs located close by the award-winning Kelham Island Brewery. In addition to the brewery’s museum, drinkers can enjoy long afternoons with real ale pints at the Kelham Island Tavern, The Fat Cat, The Ship Inn, and gastropub The Milestone (once professed Britain's best restaurant by Gordon Ramsay). All are within a few minutes' crawl of one another, on the banks of the River Don, so it’s worth giving them all a thorough sampling. We also need to give a special mention to the Rutland Arms, which manages to peddle a great selection of craft beer while dodging tired hipster tropes, retaining that classic Yorkshire pub look and feel. Take its ever-changing selection of local beers (such as those from Blue Bee try their 'Reet Pale') and those from much further afield (think Copenhagen's Mikkeler), add its cosy interior and lovely beer garden, and you've got the perfect place to start any exploration of the best county on Earth.

Sheffield's pubs do a great line in craft beer and live music; Arctic Monkeys got their start playing the city's pub scene 

199 steps, Whitby

At the top of these is Whitby’s ancient abbey, which served as inspiration for everyone from Bram Stoker to the swarms of goths that follow in his footsteps every year. At the bottom is Whitby’s stunning bay, which is host to a picturesque beach, brilliant fish and chips and brightly coloured boats. Between these two points lie the steps themselves, the counting of which has become a Yorkshire tradition there's some debate over whether there are in fact 199 at all.

Stonegate, York

York stands as testament to the fact that Yorkshire has – mostly – been welcoming, friendly and all-round brilliant for hundreds of years. The city is stunningly beautiful, both in parts old (medieval streets, ancient walls) and new (top restaurants and pubs). And Stonegate sits at its historic heart: near to institutions like the Minster and Betty’s Tea Rooms, it has a representative and always delightful mix of drinking dens, eateries and shops.

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Yorkshire's a great-looking county with three national parks to its name the North York Moors, parts of the Peak District and, of course, the Yorkshire Dales. Outdoorsy types will love the Dales, with its lovely green valleys, rushing waterfalls and underground caves the park even has its own Three Peaks challenge. Plus there's always a pint on hand in any one of the Dales' many traditional stone-built villages.

Malham Cove, in Yorkshire Dales National Park

National Railway Museum, York

This is a grand family day out for any fans of British engineering and Thomas the Tank Engine. Open every day of the week, the museum has real steam engines and also model trains to play with. On the subject of trains, Yorkshire has some cracking steam railways, at Keighley and Worth Valley near Leeds, and the North York Moors Railway at Whitby.

York's streets are filled with wonky medieval houses

North Bay, Scarborough

Yorkshire has some truly stunning stretches of coast. The North Bay at Scarborough has a narrow gauge railway and Sea Life centre, but the real charm of this beach is its tranquillity. Compared to the South Bay, which is all blinking amusements and arcades, the North Bay is perfect for a peaceful stroll against a dramatic backdrop of steep cliffs.

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