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TRAVEL ABCs:Yorkshire, it’s luxury

Yorkshire seems to have always been calling my name. I grew up in North York, close to York, East York and Scarborough and a host of other Toronto-area towns copied from the shire (Whitby, Ajax, Pickering…); my grandfather came from there; and my grandmother made the world’s best Yorkshire pudding.

And then was Monty Python’s classic “Four Yorkshireman” skit, which resonated early:

“We lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six in the morning, clean the paper bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down t’ mill, 14 hours a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence a week, and when we got home our Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt…”

Fortunately, the real thing – and the Y in my favourite ABC series – doesn’t disappoint. The northern English county has been called
“Britain’s theme park” for its diversity (as opposed to devotion to chocolate-covered bacon) and is the England you think of when you think of England.

Such is the bounty of Yorkshire that it is distinctly subdivided into north, south, east and west regions, boasting unspoiled countryside, 160 km of coastline, vibrant urban environments, as well as ample art, culture, heritage, and sport, plus food and drink ranging from simple pub grub to Michelin-starred cuisine, and local gin to traditional ale.

“Dracula’s Castle” – Whitby Abbey

Must-do’s include:
• Castle Howard, the county’s preeminent estate with over 200 listed buildings and monuments and designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
• Whitby, whose Abbey inspired Dracula’s castle in the Bram Stoker classic novel
• The World of James Herriot (famed veterinarian) in Thirsk
• The 95-m.-long Kilburn White Horse sculpture on a hillside near Killburn
• Bronte country in West Yorkshire
• Three national parks: North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales and Peak District
• The Oldest Sweet Shop in the UK (dating to 1827) located in the charming village of Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire.
• Multiple vintage railways
• Yorkshire Sculpture Park has been called “probably the finest exhibition site for sculpture in the world,” featuring works by Damian Hirst, Henry Moore and others
• York: The heart of Yorkshire brims with sites – York Minster, ancient city walls, The Shambles (the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series), and 30 museums (including the Jorvik Viking Centre)
• The Chocolate Trail

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

As one of the Four Yorkshireman said: “Luxury!”

Yorkshire Dales

Honourable mention: Yellowstone National Park
Bucket list: Yukon, Yalta

Unlike the song, I have not been everywhere, so please don’t wonder why one of your favourites wasn’t one of mine. Instead, tell me at baginski@travelindustrytoday.com. I’m already thinking about my next list.

Stay tuned to future issues for the rest of the list. And for previous entries, click HERE.

First published at Travel Industry Today

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