Ryedale is a beautiful blend of bustling market towns, traditional picturesque villages and quirky charms, with spectacular scenery at every turn.
You’ll find the district of Ryedale nestled between the historic city of York, the staggeringly beautiful North York Moors National Park and the wild Yorkshire coast. As well as being the perfect base from which to explore this magical part of Northern England, Ryedale has an impressive collection of its own unique attractions, from historic houses to inspiring landscapes and quirky hidden gems.
Full steam ahead
No trip to Ryedale is complete without a trip on the iconic North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Climb aboard a steam or heritage diesel train and huff-puff your way through dramatic rugged moorland, patchworks of farmland – the views are some of England’s finest – and even the station that stood in as Hogsmeade in the first Harry Potter film. If you book a Pullman Dining Train, you can soak it all up from the comfort of a cosy, wood-panelled carriage while tucking into a lavish meal of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.
Step in to the past
For a fascinating insight to the area, its people and the local way of life, head to Ryedale Folk Museum in the picture-postcard village of Hutton-le-Hole. The museum is home to a collection of atmospheric buildings spread over six acres of land and a wide range of interesting artefacts from the Iron Age to the 1950s.
Ryedale is full of history and striking architecture and Castle Howard – one of the top ten historic houses in the world – neatly combines both. This magnificent 18th-century stately home sits in 1,000 acres of the Howardian Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the heart of North Yorkshire. Take a leisurely stroll through the idyllic gardens and parkland or head indoors to marvel at a treasure trove of valuable antiques.
Ryedale’s famous residents
As its roll call of noteworthy residents reveals, you can’t fail to be moved by the sights and sounds of Ryedale. One of the most influential British artists of the 20th century, David Hockney, found his inspiration in the area of Thixendale. The very spot where he placed his easel to create the famous work Three Trees near Thixendale is a tranquil picnic spot and the perfect place to start an exploration of the Yorkshire Wolds.
Hockney isn’t the only famous name associated with Ryedale. This small area is the birthplace of some of England’s most important public figures including Robert and Nicholas King who went to become Washington DC’s early city planners, leading international missionary Reverend George Piercy, hailed as the Father of the Chinese Methodist Church. And Sir George Cayley, known to aviation enthusiasts as the Father of Flight, was born in the area too; his work is celebrated at the nearby Yorkshire Air Museum in Elvington, York. The artist Sir Francis Nicholson was also from Ryedale; JMW Turner called him "my model" and admitted to having "imitated" Nicholson before he developed a style of his own.