Read Caption
An aerial view of Castle Howard in North Yorkshire (Photograph by A.P.S. (UK)/Alamy Stock Photo)

Brilliant: Top Ten Yorkshire Experiences

From the North York Moors to the wild east coast of northern England, Yorkshire offers some of the most dramatic landscapes in the British Isles.

Here are the top 10 things to experience in this historic county:

Vamp It Up: Climb the 199 steps to St. Mary’s Church, above Whitby, then continue on to the medieval Whitby Abbey, which tells the story of Bram Stoker’s time at these ruins.

Go for Baroque: Explore the grounds and gardens of Castle Howard, 15 miles northeast of York. The opulent 18th-century home served as the setting for the 1981 TV series and 2008 film adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s 1945 novel, Brideshead Revisited.

Get Lit: Pay homage to the authors of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth. Follow the footpath winding through the moors outside for a sense of the environment that inspired the imaginative sisters.

Under the Influence: In Haworth, order a pint at the Black Bull, Branwell Brontë’s regular pub—just across the street from the apothecary where the only Brontë son bought his opium.

Star Power: Yorkshire boasts more Michelin stars than any other part of England, outside of London. At Harome’s Star Inn, chef/owner Andrew Pern serves modern takes on regional cooking.

Local Spirits: Get spooked at the Golden Fleece, the most haunted pub in England’s most haunted city, York.

Local Flavor: Join the line out the door at the Magpie Café in Whitby. The warren of rooms overlooks the lively harbor, but the real draw is the classic fish-and-chips (haddock or cod). “Our secret,” says chef Paul Gildroy, “is the light, crisp batter recipe passed down for 75 years, through three generations of the same family.”

English Pastoral: Retreat to the Devonshire Arms  hotel in the heart of the Dales, with a spa, hiking trails, and fly-fishing. From $262.

Sweet Dreams: Live out gothic fantasies while sleeping in the Ruin, a restored Georgian folly in North Yorkshire.

Shopping: While browsing the 700-year-old Barnsley Market, try the fat rascal, a local type of fruit scone.

This piece first appeared in the November 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine to accompany a feature entitled “Unfettered Yorkshire.”