Yorkshire: One Big County
Yorkshire was where my explorations of English countryside began and the cause was being ensconced there for six weeks of training at the start of my first job following university. That it was springtime and some sunny weather appear while I was there helped encourage me to explore what lay near Skipton where I was based. Wharfedale saw me a few times then and more since I settled elsewhere.
Then, my preferred mode of travel on such outings was my bicycle and the lack of first gear presented itself as a disadvantage on uphill sections. However, it was my mistrust of my brakes that really slowed me and pervades on downhill sections even today. It's something that make me wonder about acquiring a bike with disk brakes and conquering my aversion to freewheeling down straight sections of road. Having a pesky bend at the bottom might make it sensible to take it easy on the way down though a little more trust in my steering would be good too.
Instead of sorting those cycling niggles, I began to go walking instead and a fair few of those outings have taken me to Yorkshire since then. The county's dales have featured in many of those and the South Pennines have seen my footfall too. The North Yorkshire Moors have escaped my attentions so far and I haven't been walking at all in the county for a while now. Maybe, all that should be put to rights.
Yorkshire hosts not one but three national parks with the world famous Dales attracting most of the attention with Moors not being an unattractive part of the world either. Bringing up the rear of these is the Peak District, a national more associated with Derbyshire though it very much extends into south Yorkshire too.
It no longer is enough to call yourself a tourist board these days but your title has to have a verb or something equivalent in there somewhere too. Thus, so it is here. As the official visitor website for the county, it looks as good a place to start as any.
This is a tasteful site that is also informative and it appears to have moved on from the work in progress that it was when I happened on it on one occasion.
This site claims that North Yorkshire is the largest county in England, a bemusing thought. That aside, this is another useful place to look when planning a visit to the area.
Another site selling the attractions of North Yorkshire but there seems to be no mention of the Dales on this tourism association offering. That's not a critical observation because it is easy to forget that there are other attractive haunts for the visitor in the form of the North Yorkshire Moors and the Howardian Hills that can get forgotten.
While my attention can held by the prospect of enjoying an outing in fine countryside, that is never to suggest that pleasant coastline does not appeal to me at all. In fact, when you take a look at what is to be found on Yorkshire's coast,you'll see that it isn't all about seaside resorts though there are some.A look at the ups and downs of Whitby and Robin Hood's Bay should convince you of that and this website will you to seek out these and other attractive spots.
Like other councils, this one also promotes its own local area as a destination for tourists. One visit to the place will make you realise that the task cannot be that hard, though.
Settle is on the doorstep of some fine hillwalking country and plays host to noticeable number of independent businesses. Here's an introduction.
The postal address may say Lancashire but the scenery that draws the likes of me to the place is the classic Yorkshire Dales limestone landscapes on its doorstep. The nearby lofty hump of Ingleborough is a mere few miles away but there out there than that. The Waterfalls Walk has been drawing the less adventurous of explorers since 1885 but how can you stay within those confines when such alluring countryside lying just a little further away.
This website celebrates the landscape of the South Pennines and has so much disparate content on there that it is hard to describe in a nutshell. The emphasis is on discovery, conservation and cultural aspects and that spread means that there is a fair spread of content on offer. It's almost as if Pennine Prospects, the people behind the website, are taking a more eclectic and humanistic approach to what is a rough and empty landscape, albeit one with more human impact on its nature thatn it might appear these days.
This claims to be Britain's community website and, by all accounts, there seems to be a strong community spirit in the town too. The summer rains of 2012 probably turned out to be a test for that when rivers and the canal burst their banks to flood the place. There is something here for the visitor too since Hebden Bridge also became one of the first Walkers are Welcome towns and there have been a few more since then. Its situation on the floor of the Calder valley may have been to its detriment during heavy rains but it draws anyone seek the peace and quiet of South Pennine moorland. Public rights of way criss-cross the countryside so there's plenty of hill wandering on offer.