Tourist Attractions - Northern England


As well as information about the area, here are some tourist attractions and places of interest to visit with direct links to their websites.  

Useful websites for a full selection are:  




THE WILDLIFE TRUST                 ENGLISH HERITAGE                



Or for more specific places:

·         Historic sites/castles/cathedrals

·         Gardens

·         Family attractions

·         Information about the area



Castle Howard – York: One of Britain’s finest stately homes set in spectacular grounds

York Minster: One of the world’s great cathedrals

Bronte Parsonage – Haworth: Home of the famous Bronte sisters


Durham Cathedral: The greatest Norman building in England


Alnwick Castle: Home to the Dukes of Northumberland and second to Windsor Castle in size

Bamburgh Castle: On a rocky plateau high above the Northumberland coastline

Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens: A grand medieval castle with gardens packed with shrubs and flowers

Chillingham Castle: An ancient fortress with dungeons and torture chambers!

Lindisfarne Castle - Berwick-upon-Tweed: Dramatically perched on a rocky crag


Castlerigg Stone Circle – Keswick: Atmospheric and dramatic, with panoramic views

Cragside – Morpeth: The revolutionary home of Lord Armstrong, Victorian inventor and landscape genius

Holker Hall and Gardens – Grange-over-Sands: A magnificent stately home with formal gardens and a woodland walk

Hutton-in-the-Forest – Penrith: This ancient house has a rich variety of architecture, furnishings and beautiful gardens and grounds

Levens Hall – Kendal: Magnificent Elizabethan house and world famous Topiary Gardens

Muncaster Castle – Ravenglass: Located in one of Europe's most remote and dramatic landscapes

Rydal Mount & Gardens – Ambleside: William Wordsworth lived here for 40 years of his creative literary life

Sizergh Castle & Garden: At the gateway to the Lake District, standing proud in a beautiful garden

GARDENS  Back to the top


Gresgarth Hall Gardens – Caton: Designed by world-renowned landscape gardener, Arabella Lennox-Boyd, this 12 acre site includes lavish terraces leading to a lake


Helmsley Walled Garden: A beautiful five acre walled garden

Parcevall Hall Gardens – Skipton: Situated in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with twenty four acres of formal and woodland gardens

Constable Burton Hall Gardens: At the entrance to Wensleydale, this extensive romantic garden is surrounded by 18th century parkland

Wentworth Castle Gardens – Barnsley: 50 acres of Grade 1 listed gardens which are, historically, some of the most important gardens in the country

Studley Royal Water Gardens – Ripon: This superb 18th Century landscaped water garden justly deserves its status as a World Heritage Site


Crook Hall Gardens – Sidegate: A beautiful medieval manor house, surrounded by ten romantic gardens


Alnwick Garden: An exciting, contemporary design with beautiful and unique gardens, features and structures, brought to life with water

Bide-a-Wee Gardens – Stanton: Created out of a small sandstone quarry into a garden gem covering two acres

Herterton Gardens – Hartington: An elegant country garden with a formal topiary, winter, flower and fancy gardens

Howick Hall Gardens – Alnwick: Extensive grounds with year-round gardens and a 65 acre arboretum

Long Framlington Gardens: A 12 acre inspirational garden

Whalton Manor Gardens: Three acres of beautiful walled garden containing a number of architectural gems, including a vast stone courtyard


Dalemain House and Gardens: Just two miles from Ullswater, these gardens are a haven of tranquillity

Holehird Gardens – Windermere: One of the Nation´s Favourite Gardens, its 10 acres above Windermere is truly a garden for all seasons

Holker Hall and Gardens – Grange-over-Sands: A magnificent stately home with formal gardens and a woodland walk




Blackpool Sealife Centre: Discover an underwater world, learn about our oceans and interact with the creatures

Blackpool Zoo: Set in 32 acres of parkland, the zoo is home to more than 1500 animals

Blackpool Pleasure Beach: Breathtaking rides and family shows including one of Europe's tallest rollercoasters at 235 feet high

Stockley Farm – Northwich: Experience a hands-on day full of fun activities at this organic farm – tractor rides, feeding the animals and enjoying the fantastic play facilities


North Yorkshire Moors Railway - Pickering: A thrilling journey through beautiful countryside. The railway was also used in numerous films, including Harry Potter

Flamingo land Theme Park – Malton: One of the top theme parks in the UK - lots of rides and also plenty of animals

York Dungeons: Enjoy the live shows and scary rides at the scariest attraction in York

Jorvik Viking Centre - York: One of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK outside London. Discover what life was really like over 1,000 years ago and come face-to-face with a Viking!

Lightwater Valley Theme Park – Ripon: A day of excitement and thrills to be had here at Lightwater Valley featuring Europe’s longest rollercoaster.

York Racecourse: Fancy a day at the races? Set in 150 acres of scenic parkland with award winning grandstands, and characterful listed buildings

Magna Science Adventure Centre – Rotherham: Prepare yourself for a mind-blowing voyage of discovery... a hands-on, feet-in, full-on day out at the UK's first Science Adventure Centre

The Deep – Hull: One of the most spectacular aquariums in the world, home to over 3,500 fish. It’s the world’s only submarium


National Railway Museum – Shildon: Over 100 locomotives and nearly 200 other items of rolling stock, tell the railway story from the early 19th century to the present day

Beamish Museum – Stanley: World famous open air museum telling the story of life in North East England in Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian times

Killhope Lead Mining Museum – Upper Weardale: A fully restored nineteenth century lead mine, where you can experience for yourself the lives of the miners

Digger Land – Langley Park: An adventure park with rides and attractions where everyone can drive real diggers!


Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum – South Shields: Built to guard the entrance to the river Tyne, this is an unique insight into life in Roman Britain

Grace Darling Museum – Bamburgh: Commemorates the life of Victorian Britain's greatest heroine and the story of the wreck of the SS Forfarshire in 1838

Kielder Water Birds of Prey Centre – Hexham: An opportunity to meet, see and hear Owls and Birds of Prey from around the world and learn about the ancient sport of falconry


Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway – Ravenglass, Lake District:  This is Lakelands oldest and longest scenic railway journey.

South Lakes Safari Zoo –Dalton in Furness, Cumbria: A unique open zoo home to a wide variety of wild animals – renowned for how close you can get to them.

Ullswater Steamers – Glenridding: Cruises on England’s most beautiful lake - providing the perfect opportunity to combine a cruise with spectacular walks in the Lake District

The World of Beatrix Potter – Windermere: Meet Peter Rabbit and all his friends and learn more about Beatrix Potter herself - all 23 Tales are brought to life in a magical indoor recreation

Walby Farm Park – Carlisle:Family fun down on the farm come rain or shine - meet and feed the animals, pony grooming and pets corner


Marvel at the awesome beauty of The Lakes and the austere magic of the moors.  Tramp the dales with their lush meadows and wooded valleys.    Stroll the sweeping beaches and look in on the castles, cathedrals and country houses.

Let’s start our journey at Liverpool, the birthplace of The Beatles…John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. In the 1960s, their music put the city at the centre of the music world.  Thousands of visitors still take the bus and walking tours of places linked to the ‘Fab Four’.

In the 18th and 19th centuries Liverpool became Britain’s largest port, exploiting the lucrative slave trade.  The restored Albert Dock with its museums, restaurants and shops, harks back to the great seafaring days.

Watching over the port, from 250ft, are the Liver Birds on the Royal Liver Building, one of Britain’s most easily recognised buildings.

The enormous Gothic-style red sandstone Anglican Liverpool Cathedral is a complete contrast to the circular Roman Catholic Cathedral with its coloured glass tower.  

The Tate Liverpool has one of the best contemporary art collections outside London.

A stroll along the prom at Blackpool gives an insight to the great days of the British seaside resort.  The world famous Blackpool Tower – 518ft – was painted gold for its centenary in 1994.

Inland, explore the hills and moors of the Forest of Bowland..

On to Lancaster, established by the Romans on a bend in the River Lune.  The Normans built a castle here, extended by King John and Queen Elizabeth I.  It was another port that thrived on the slave trade.

We’ll skirt the glistening tidal flats of Morecambe Bay to its towering backcloth… The Lake District.

The national park is just 900 square miles but boasts 100 peaks more than 2,000 feet high – four are over 3,000 feet – 16 lakes and 10 spectacular waterfalls. More simply, it has the highest peaks, deepest valleys and longest lakes in the country.  That highest mountain is Scafell Pike at 3,210 feet.

The landscape has changed little since the end of the Ice Age, 10,000 years ago.

Windermere is the largest and busiest of the lakes, Ullswater is scenically the most impressive, the oval Derwentwater is one of the prettiest and Wast Water is the deepest and most mysterious.

Northeast to the spectacular Kielder Water – Europe’s largest man-made lake – and into the Pennines and the wilderness of the Northumberland National Park.  Then through the high grassy domes of The Cheviots before descending to Berwick-upon-Tweed. 

Between the 12th and 15th centuries, the town changed hands 14 times in the wars between the Scots and English.

South to Lindisfarne, or Holy Island.  It was a centre of Christianity from the earliest times when St Aidan founded a monastery in AD 635. Visitors can cross the causeway to the island at low tide.

Bamburgh, with its clifftop castle, is home to the Grace Darling Museum. In 1838, Grace and her father – the keeper of the Longstone lighthouse – rowed through a storm to rescue nine people from a wrecked steamship.

Offshore are the wildlife rich Farne Islands.  Boat tours leave from Seahouses.

Two castles – Alnwick and Warkworth – lead on to another great defensive work…Hadrian’s Wall.

It was built on the orders of Emperor Hadrian to mark the northwest border of the Roman Empire. It runs for 73 miles (80 Roman miles) from Wallsend, on the Tyne, to Bowness, west of Carlisle.  Housesteads Fort, which housed 1,000 troops, is the best preserved of the wall’s 17 forts.    

The ‘Geordies’ are fiercely proud of their city, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.   

The Romans first bridged the Tyne and built a fort there.  In the 19th century it was the hub of the world’s shipbuilding industry. Its legacy is some fine public buildings and the iconic Tyne Bridge.  The Gateshead Millennium Bridge reflects the city’s rebirth.

To the Beamish Open Air Museum to see life in the northeast in the 19th century.  Over 300 acres are spread a colliery village and drift mine, a High Street, a school and chapel and a railway station.

Durham Cathedral, built as a shrine for the body of St Cuthbert, is probably Europe’s finest Norman building. The magnificent city stands on a rocky peninsular on the River Wear.  It’s home to Britain’s third university, founded in 1832.

Barnard Castle grew up around its castle and is now best known for its extraordinary French-style chateau.  What is now the Bowes Museum is a monument to the wealth and extravagance of John Bowes and his French wife, Josephine.

On to the North Yorkshire Moors after looking in on Whitby, a still busy harbour town where explorer, Captain James Cook, was apprenticed to a shipping company.  And it was on a visit here that Bram Stoker gleaned much of his material for his novel, Dracula.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway offers a first rate perspective on this bleakly beautiful area with its lush, green valleys. The steam train runs 18 miles from Pickering to Goathland.

Rievaulx Abbey, near Helmsley, is set in the steep wooded valley of the River Rye.  Founded  in 1132, it’s considered one of Yorkshire’s finest treasures.

The huge and splendid Castle Howard, still owned and lived in by the Howard family, was commissioned in 1699 by Charles, 3rd Earl of Carlisle. The domed and columned Great Hall rises 66 feet.

Into the Yorkshire Dales…a walker’s paradise of meadows, wooded ravines and heather clad slopes.  Three principal dales make up this national park…Swaledale, Wharfdale and Wensleydale. Each has its own character within the farming landscape and is a contrast to the moors. Malham Cove is a limestone amphitheatre with 300 feet high cliffs.  Further up the valley is Malham Tarn…a favourite with bird watchers.

The ruins of Fountains Abbey are among the largest in Europe. Founded just a year after Rievaulx, it is the best preserved Cistercian abbey in Britain.  It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1986.

York has been described as a living museum.  So much of its medieval heritage remains around its narrow streets, where cars are banned.

The Minster – England’s largest medieval church – stands over this treasure house. The wooden-vaulted Chapter House and the 15th century choir screen are marvels, along with its collection of stained glass.  The Great East Window is the size of a tennis court.

The city’s museums, which include York Castle, Jorvik – the Viking City and the National Railway Museum are among England’s finest.

Yorkshire’s coastline is sometimes called the ‘forgotten coast’, though it was at Scarborough that the craze for sea bathing started.

Robin Hood’s Bay vies with Staithes for title of the county’s prettiest fishing village.  In both communities cottages cling to the cliffs.

This part of the world is an adventure to be lived.



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