The best places to stay in Yorkshire holiday cottages

The best places to stay in Yorkshire

Julie Smith 26 August 2021

With an abundance of pretty villages dotted around two of the UK’s finest national parks and a large stretch of glorious heritage coastline, there is no shortage of wonderful places to stay on a getaway to Yorkshire. You’ll find beautiful heather-clad moorland and large areas of nature-rich forest to explore in the North York Moors, whilst the rugged landscape of the Yorkshire Dales is filled with crags, caves, limestone pavements and pretty waterfalls. 

Best places to stay in Yorkshire

The beaches at coastal coves like Staithes and Robin Hood’s Bay are backed by dramatic cliffs that date back to the Jurassic era, and history is also in abundance throughout Yorkshire’s many stately homes and English Heritage sites. So, to help you find the perfect base for your next getaway to God’s Own Country, we have compiled some of our favourite places to stay in Yorkshire.

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👉 Yorkshire Dales

👉 North York Moors

👉 Yorkshire Coast

👉 Harrogate

👉 York

Yorkshire Dales

Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Hawes

The highest market town in England, Hawes stands between the dramatic peaks of Fleet Moss and the Buttertubs and is probably best known as the home of Wensleydale Cheese. After tucking into Wallace and Gromit’s favourite food at the Wensleydale Creamery, you can enjoy panoramic views of the Yorkshire Dales from the elevated location of Hawes and seek out nearby waterfalls such as Hadraw and Aysgarth Falls. Wander around an ancient marketplace that’s filled with traditional stone cottages, and you’ll find there’s even a waterfall that runs through the town. It’s also worth calling at the Dales Countryside Museum which is located in a former Victorian station building and tells the fascinating history of the town. 


Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Richmond

Located at the northern tip of the Yorkshire Dales, the Georgian town of Richmond is a great base for exploring Swaledale and nearby villages such as Reeth and Muker. You can look out over the Yorkshire Dales from Richmond Abbey which is perched high above the town, then take a scenic stroll along the River Swale to the picturesque remains of Easby Abbey. Enjoy 360-degree views from the village green at Reeth, and take a wander through wonderful wildflower meadows at Muker. Swaledale is a leading location for cycling in Yorkshire, with the annual Ard Rock mountain bike festival taking place on the alpine-like terrain around Reeth and the roads around Richmond, used in a recent Tour de Yorkshire.   


Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Middleham

Nestled between two rivers on the edges of Wensleydale and Coverdale, Middleham is best known for its imposing castle that was once the home of Richard III, as well as the large number of racing stables that are dotted around the village. Racehorses are walked through Middleham daily on their way to the nearby gallops and you can take a seat and watch them from one of four pubs that are dotted around a charming market square. There are lots of scenic walks to try from Middleham, and one of Yorkshire’s best family-friendly attractions, The Forbidden Corner, is just a couple of miles away.


Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Grassington

At the western reaches of the Yorkshire Dales, you’ll find Upper Wharfedale and the small cobbled market town of Grassington. Fans of All Creatures Great and Small will recognise the village as Darrowby and you can enjoy a drink in The Devonshire which doubles as The Drover’s Arms in the TV show. The River Wharfe runs through Grassington and nearby Linton Falls is a popular spot for wild swimming. Attractions near Grassington include a network of natural limestone caves at Stump Cross Caverns and the sprawling grounds of Bolton Abbey.  


Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Masham

Masham sits on the edge of both the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is centred around a Georgian market square that’s filled with an array of independent shops and art galleries. Two Yorkshire breweries are located in Masham and visitors can learn how Black Sheep and Theakston ales are brewed before sampling them in one of the town’s excellent pubs. The annual Masham Sheep Fair is also a popular event each September and celebrates the rich farming history of this beautiful part of Yorkshire.

Other places to stay in the Yorkshire Dales include:

North York Moors


Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Helmsley

Delightful Helmsley is the starting point of the Cleveland Way walking trail and the only market town that’s fully within the boundaries of the North York Moors National Park. Helmsley highlights include a beautiful walled garden that was used as a filming location for The Secret Garden and a 900-year-old castle that features a fun, hands-on exhibition for children. A picturesque walking route will take you from Helmsley Castle to nearby Rievaulx Abbey where you can enjoy moorland views from the sprawling ruins, and just outside the town is a Michelin-starred restaurant called The Star Inn at Harome. There are lots of charming tearooms and stylish independent shops dotted around Helmsley’s pretty streets, along with dog-friendly pubs, delicatessens and a microbrewery that sells local handcrafted beers.


Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Pickering

Pickering is the starting point for the North York Moors Railway and you can catch one of the nostalgic steam trains from here through to Whitby on the coast. A market takes place here each Monday and there are also more than 100 independent shops dotted around the characterful streets. Pickering is the nearest town to Dalby Forest where you can enjoy woodland walks with four-legged friends or swing through the trees on a Go Ape adventure. It’s also worth visiting nearby Thornton-le-Dale, with its chocolate-box thatched cottages and babbling brook making it regularly named one of the prettiest villages in Yorkshire.


Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Goathland

Located high up in the North York Moors National Park, Goathland was used as the fictional Aidensfield in ITV’s Heartbeat, and you can still see the classic police car used in the series parked outside the village store. The pace of life is laidback in this peaceful village, with sheep wandering across a picturesque village green and a couple of quaint tearooms where you can stop for refreshments after exploring the surrounding heather-clad moorland. Nearby waterfalls include Mallyan Spout, where water cascades into a deep woodland ravine, and the hidden Thomason Foss, which is one of the best places in Yorkshire to try wild swimming. It’s also worth heading to nearby Beck Hole, which is home to one of Yorkshire’s smallest pubs, the historic Birch Hall Inn, containing two characterful bars with a sweet shop in the middle.


Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Rosedale

Rosedale is located right in the middle of the North York Moors and is a popular choice with walkers due to a number of different pathways and trails that converge in the village. There are several panoramic viewpoints where you can soak in the surrounding scenery including Chimney Bank, which is marked by the Millennium Cross, and Blakey Ridge where you can stop for refreshments at The Lion Inn, which dates back to the 16th century. There are also a couple of internationally renowned glassmakers based in Rosedale where you can pick up uniquely crafted pieces, and Graze on the Green is one of the best tearooms around.

Great Ayton

Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Great Ayton

With a choice of two pretty village greens and a gently flowing river that you can look out over from the handsome high street, Great Ayton is an idyllic spot for a holiday in the North York Moors. You can take a scenic riverside walk around the village before stopping at popular ice cream parlour Suggitts for a refreshing treat. It’s well worth climbing up Roseberry Topping, a distinctive hill surrounded by bluebell-filled woodland that lies just a couple of miles from Great Ayton, and enjoying the wonderful view from the top. Great Ayton is also the birthplace of Captain James Cook, and you can learn more about his early life at the Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum in the village.

 Other places to stay in the North York Moors include:

Yorkshire Coast


Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Whitby

Deservedly one of the most popular seaside towns on the Yorkshire Coast, Whitby features a bustling fishing harbour and a cobbled old town that’s filled with interesting shops housed in characterful period buildings. You can walk up the 199 steps featured in Bram Stoker’s Dracula to reach the gothic remains of Whitby Abbey, where you can enjoy spectacular views out to sea, or take a scenic boat trip along the coast. Other Whitby highlights include getting fresh fish and chips from The Magpie Cafe and taking a relaxing walk along the long sandy beach to the pretty village of Sandsend. It’s also well worth visiting the nearby Falling Foss Tea Garden, which features woodland trails, gentle waters to paddle in, and a tumbling 30-foot waterfall.  


Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Scarborough

Scarborough is Britain’s oldest seaside resort and visitors have flocked to the town’s golden beaches and towering cliffs since the 1700s. Many of Scarborough’s buildings and attractions date back to Victorian times, including the oriental-themed Peasholm Park and the iconic Scarborough Spa building, which features a grand hall and a suncourt where, in the summer months, you can relax on a deckchair and enjoy the daily orchestral performance. There are two great dog-friendly beaches to choose from at Scarborough; the bustling South Bay is surrounded by amusement arcades and ice cream parlours, while the more peaceful North Bay is an ideal spot for surfing.

Robin Hood’s Bay

Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Robin Hoods Bay

Regularly named as one of the UK’s prettiest villages, Robin Hood’s Bay was once a hub for smuggling on the Yorkshire Coast thanks to a maze of narrow cobbled alleyways that seemingly cling to the side of a cliff. It’s a steep walk from the cliffs above to the beach below, but there’s lots to explore as you make your way down through the village. You’ll find characterful 17th-century fishermen’s cottages, pubs with roaring fires that are packed with original features, and a collection of charming cafes dotted around the streets of this wonderful coastal cove. Other pretty coastal places in Yorkshire include Runswick Bay and Staithes.


Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Filey

Filey is a quiet seaside resort that’s blessed with one of Yorkshire’s best beaches, a wide swathe of golden sand that curves around the town and is lined with colourful beach huts. There are lots of historic buildings dotted around this elegant Edwardian town, along with glorious gardens and the Coble Landing slipway where you can browse seasonal stalls and watch traditional fishing boats set out to sea. A mile north of the town is Filey Brigg, a narrow peninsula that’s a haven for local wildlife and marks the endpoint of the Cleveland Way National Trail.


Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Flamborough

Flamborough is best known for dramatic white cliffs where you can enjoy spectacular views out to sea and picturesque beaches that are just right for rock pooling. The beaches are home to a series of fascinating sea caves that are teeming with marine wildlife, and both Flamborough Head and nearby Bempton Cliffs are a haven for thousands of migrating seabirds each year. A historic lighthouse sits atop Flamborough Head and visitors can climb to the top to look out at some of this area’s wonderful wildlife. 

Other places to stay on the Yorkshire Coast include:


Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Harrogate

Harrogate lies on the edge of the rolling hills of Nidderdale and combines sophisticated cocktail bars and stylish shops with glorious countryside and pretty parkland. One of the most popular Harrogate attractions is RHS Harlow Carr, which is one of the Royal Horticultural Society’s five public gardens and a celebration of the Yorkshire countryside, with meandering becks, woodland walks and gorgeous wildflower meadows.

Harrogate’s Turkish Baths date back to Victorian times and celebrate the spa history of the town, while the cobbled streets of the Montpellier Quarter are filled with pavement cafes, antique stores and independent boutiques. Other places worth visiting in the surrounding Nidderdale countryside include Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Brimham Rocks, a natural playground of amazing rock formations. 

Harrogate is also a hub for Yorkshire events, including the Great Yorkshire Show which takes place each July in a huge showground on the edge of town.  

Other places to stay near Harrogate include:


Best places to stay in Yorkshire - York

York effortlessly combines modern city living with reminders of its medieval past. You can take a stroll along miles of ancient city walls that wrap around York or delve even further into the past with a visit to the Jorvik Viking Centre. The Shambles in York is one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval shopping streets, and the characterful buildings that date back to the 13th century are now filled with quirky independent shops and tearooms.

The magnificent York Minster is one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks and it’s well worth taking a look around during your visit. It’s also worth visiting the nearby Treasurer’s House, which is managed by the National Trust and features beautiful award-winning gardens with stunning views out over York Minster.

York, along with the nearby town of Malton, is also a haven for foodies, with top-notch restaurants, great delis, regular food markets and an annual food festival. The city lies between the Howardian Hills and the rolling hills and peaceful villages of the Yorkshire Wolds.

Other places to stay near York include:

Book your perfect Yorkshire getaway

Best places to stay in Yorkshire - Staithes

If you have been inspired to head to any of these picturesque places for a short break or holiday in Yorkshire, browse our range of North Yorkshire cottages and start planning your perfect getaway. From romantic retreats to luxury Yorkshire lodges, there's an assortment of different types of holiday homes available to help you find your perfect base.

For more inspiration, read our Insider’s guide to Yorkshire to discover all the best things to see and do during your Gorgeous getaway. 


Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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