12 of the Prettiest Villages in Yorkshire
Yorkshire has some of the most beautiful villages in the country, with chocolate box cottages made from mellow local stone, complete with roses growing around the door. Wherever you choose to visit in God’s own Country, you will be delighted to see these stone-built gems. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
Hutton le Hole
Hutton le Hole nestles in a peaceful valley, home to a moorland stream, Hutton Beck. Until recently sheep grazed the beautiful grassy greens and verges of the village but sadly they are viewed as a possible danger to traffic so the grass is now mowed by humans instead! Ryedale Folk Museum gives an intriguing taste of past times with an Iron Age roundhouse, Tudor mansion and craft workshops and farm buildings
West Burton has everything an iconic Yorkshire village requires including a village green, a waterfall – the West Burton Cauldron Falls, and even a packhorse bridge. It has a large village green and no through road. Jervaulx Abbey is close by too!
Middleham is famous not only because of its thriving racehorse heritage, but also for being the childhood home of Richard 111 in Middleham Castle . He went there to learn the skills of knighthood in 1462. It was known as the Windsor of the North and was an important political centre and home to a bustling market.
Thornton le Dale
Thornton le Dale is close to the cycling centre of Dalby forest but is also quite possibly the prettiest village in Yorkshire, with a tiny triangular green with its old market cross and stocks. A woodland footpath runs from the car park to the village and there are lots more local walks that show you the best of the surrounding valleys and woods.
Sandsend is a gorgeous seaside village with a beautiful beach, a promenade and great places to eat. You can find lots of great walks here and Gothic Whitby is close by. There are lots of rock pools at the bottom of the cliffs that you can explore after the tide recedes, but you can also hunt out fossils, abundant on this Jurassic Coast
Robin Hoods Bay
Centre of the Yorkshire smuggling trade in the 18th Century, Robin Hoods Bay is a beautiful cluster of red roofed former fishing cottages which spill right down to the edge of the sea. Sadly, it is highly unlikely that Robin Hood ever visited although it was a more important port than Whitby in the 16th Century. Today, it is still home to a fishing fleet although it’s major income is from tourism
Lockton and Levisham
Both villages have survived since before the Domesday Book and have numerous archaeological sites on Levisham Moor, dating back to the Neolithic period, including Burial mounds and Dykes. There is a popular walk between the two villages, where you can visit the famous Hole of Horcum, a giant natural amphitheatre carved out of Levisham Moor.The hollow is 400 feet deep and stretches 3/4 of a mile across. A "Devil's Punchbowl" type feature. Local legend states that the amphitheatre was formed when Wade the Giant scooped up a handful of earth to throw at his wife during an argument
Hawes is the birthplace of delicious Wensleydale Cheese and has a weekly market and lots of interesting shops to visit. The name Hawes means a ‘pass between mountains' and it stands between the stunning Buttertubs and Fleet Moss.
Haworth was home to the Bronte sisters in the 19th century. The Parsonage Museum draws many visitors annually to this lovely village. It’s historic cobbled main street has become a home for interesting independent vintage, craft and art shops selling work by local Yorkshire artisans.
Staithes is famous for its thriving fishing industry and was once one of the largest ports on the North East Coast. It’s gorgeous higgledy-piggledy cottages and winding streets give the impression of a village lost in time. Fossils and rock pools are in abundance here and there are also lots of cliff top walks to enjoy.
Saltaire is famous for being a purpose built model village, the brain child of leading woollen magnate Sir Titus Salt. Built in 1851 for his workforce, it is now one of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Yorkshire – the other one being Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. Although Saltaire is known for its industrial heritage, it is also a fantastic place to explore the great outdoors. It was deliberately built next to the Leeds Liverpool Canal, which nowadays means you can explore the area by foot or on bike as the tow paths form parts of the National Cycle Network.
Holmfirth is most famous for being the home of “Last of the Summer Wine” It is a popular centre for amateur and professional photographers to visit – not just to chance getting a candid snap of Cleggy and crew, but also to photograph the rugged and beautiful Pennine hills and moors which surround this West Yorkshire market town. It grew from a corn mill and bridge in the 13th century into a thriving centre for cloth producing before moving into more lucrative stone quarrying. Today, visitors come to visit the various attractions linked to the popular TV series.