Yorkshire is peppered with chocolate-box villages, from its wonderful coastline on the east to the dramatic Dales to the west. You can’t go more than a few miles in this wonderful place without stumbling upon one.
But which ones in particular are worth making that extra bit of effort to seek out and enjoy? We’ve cherry-picked just 10 of the prettiest villages in Yorkshire below, but there are dozens more which could be on the list…
If you fancy checking out some of these villages yourself take a look at some of the Gorgeous Yorkshire Holiday Cottages that you can stay in for a weekend break or holiday.
Ten of the prettiest villages in North Yorkshire
1. Hutton-le-Hole – North York Moors
This beautiful village sits in a peaceful valley in the North York Moors National Park; it couldn’t be more idyllic. Picture-postcard cottages sit contentedly on either side of a babbling beck while sheep wander about the village keeping the grass neat and tidy. On balmy summer evenings, you can still catch groups of men in flat caps playing the local game of quoits. And with a handful of tea rooms and a great village pub, there are plenty of options for eats too. There’s also an excellent folk museum here too.
Where to stay: Cottages in Hutton Le Hole, Cottages in Rosedale
2. West Burton – Yorkshire Dales
Just off the beaten track from Wensleydale to Bishopdale, West Burton is another one of those villages which just define the word pretty. A large village green flanked with old stone cottages is the centre point, with a waterfall and packhorse bridge to finish the scene. The stunning Jervaulx Abbey is just a hop, skip and a jump away too.
Where to stay: West Witton Cottages, East Witton Cottages, Leyburn Cottages, Hawes Cottages, Aysgarth Falls Cottages
3. Osmotherley – North York Moors
Nestled between the glorious Cleveland Hills to the north and the Hambleton Hills to the south, Osmotherley occupies an enviable location on the western cusp of the moors. Something of a tourist hot spot these days, it retains an old world charm without succumbing to the twee. There are several lovely cafes and pubs to enjoy and the village is flanked by some of the finest scenery in the moors.
Where to stay: Osmotherley Cottages
4. Middleham – Yorkshire Dales
Courtesy of David Armitage Photography
Technically not a village – it’s supposedly the smallest town in the Dales – Middleham in Wensleydale packs a weighty punch in terms of visitor attractions. The epicentre of racehorse training in the North, you’ll often spot a stable lad leading his thoroughbreds through the town. It’s possible to tour some of the stables in the area for a behind-the-scenes look at this industry. It also boasts two market squares, some of the best tea rooms around and a castle to boot. The fantastic Forbidden Corner is near here too: probably the best family friendly tourist attraction in Yorkshire!
Where to stay: holiday cottages in Middleham
5. Muker – Yorkshire Dales
Originally a Norse settlement, Muker is a charming cluster of houses set on the banks of the River Swale. As one of the more remote villages in the northern Dales it has a certain secluded appeal. You’ll a village shop and tea rooms, craft shop / art gallery and an excellent pub, The Farmer’s Arms. Some lovely walks from here including the famous circular route around Kisdon Hill taking in the beautiful meadows and waterfalls Swaledale is famous for.
Where to stay: Holiday Cottages in Muker, Cottages in Low Row
6. Thornton-le-Dale – North York Moors
Said by some to be the prettiest village in Yorkshire, Thornton-Le-Dale is proper chocolate-box material. Quite literally in fact as images of the thatched cottage beside Dalby Beck are regularly used on biscuit tins and calendars. 17th century almshouses and a small village green complete the scene making this a lovely base from which to explore the North York Moors. And if you you’re into cycling, there are some fantastic trails at nearby Dalby Forest.
Where to stay: Holiday Cottages in Thornton-le-Dale
7. Sandsend – Yorkshire Coast
Sandsend is a very pretty little seaside village. With its handsome promenade, long stretch of beach, several excellent eating options and world-class day spa, you could happily spend a whole holiday here. The village backs onto the Mulgrave Estate where you’ll find lots of great walks and the gorgeously gothic Whitby is just a few miles away.
Where to stay: Holiday Cottages in Sandsend
Kettlewell is an enchanting collection of 17th and 18th century houses tucked away in a lush green valley in the Yorkshire Dales. There are several inns and tea rooms to refuel if you’re just passing through, but it’s worth stopping awhile to enjoy the slow pace of life. And you are surrounded by some of the best walking in the Dales, from gentle strolls along the river to a serious hike up Coverhead Pass.
Where to stay: Cottages in Kettlewell
9. Robin Hood's Bay
Venture just a few miles south of Whitby and you’ll find the gravity-defying picture-postcard village of Robin Hood’s Bay. Once home to the busiest smuggling trade on the Yorkshire coast, said to involve fisherman, clergy and gentry alike, today the village has adopted a much more sedate pace of life. Take some time to enjoy the heavenly view at the top before venturing down the steep streets to the sandy bay below. There are plenty of pit stops to whet your whistle on the way down, as well as some quaint shops to distract you from the steep climb back up.
Where to stay: Cottages in Robin Hood's Bay
10. Lockton and Levisham
Okay, so this is actually two villlages, but there is no tearing them apart. This pair of attractive moorland villages are separated by a deep gorge with Levisham Beck running through it. The popular walk between the two is thoroughly pleasant; both villages feature traditional North Yorkshire inns so reward yourself with a pint of real ale along the way. The famous Hole of Horcum, a giant natural amphitheatre carved out of Levisham Moor, makes for a great view en-route.
Where to stay: Cottages in Pickering, Cottages in Whitby
What do you think is the prettiest village in Yorkshire? We’d love to know… send us your comments below or post on Facebook!