The top natural attractions in Yorkshire that you should visit

22nd June 2021

View of North Yorkshire coastline

There is a reason why Yorkshire is known as God’s own county as it is full of incredible natural attractions. From its lush countryside to its dramatic coastlines, there are so many places that you can visit on a holiday to the county.

If you are staying in hotels in Robin Hoods Bay then you will have beautiful beaches and coastal walks on your doorstep as well as moorlands and woodlands. The natural attractions in Yorkshire are part of what makes the county so special and, in this guide, we take a look at some of the best natural environments you can enjoy on a holiday in the area.

The best natural attractions in Yorkshire

•Yorkshire Dales National Park

•South Bay Beach in Scarborough

•Ilkley Moor

•White Scar Caves

•Ravenscar

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Yorkshire Dales National Park

The Yorkshire Dales National Park has many moods as it can be wild and windswept or quietly tranquil. The national park is home to some of the best limestone scenery in the UK with its crag and an underground labyrinth of caves and other stunning natural attractions you can see within the park include waterfalls and ancient woodlands.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park told us about some of the places you should look to visit: “There are plenty to visit in the Yorkshire Dales National Park including Malham Cove and the stunning limestone pavement which featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It’s a popular walk to the top of the Cove and limestone pavement which starts at the Malham National Park Visitor Centre. Hardraw Force in Wensleydale is England’s highest unbroken waterfall and not too far away is Aysgarth Falls. The three stepped waterfalls at Aysgarth have been a tourist attraction for over 200 years. Wordsworth visited and Turner painted here. It’s just a short walk from Aysgarth Falls National Park Visitor Centre.”

Mollie, the writer behind the travel blog Where’s Mollie, recommends you visit some of the waterfalls in the park: “The Yorkshire Dales National Park is home to some of the UK’s most dramatic waterfalls, particularly after heavy rain, which we definitely aren’t short of in England!

“Aysgarth Falls are particularly famous, as is the Ingleton Waterfalls walking trail, which takes you up one river gorge and down another. Fresh, flowing, cold water is ready and waiting to wake up those who dare to swim!

“I’m the first one to visit a waterfall if there’s one nearby. Getting up close with nature is one of the best things to do in the Yorkshire Dales, make the most of the stunning scenes on offer here!”

READ MORE: 6 reasons why you'll fall in love with Yorkshire

South Bay Beach in Scarborough

South Bay Beach in Scarborough, Yorkshire

If you are a beach lover there are plenty of places that you can visit along the Yorkshire coast. For anyone staying in a Scarborough hotel, then South Bay Beach is a must-visit as it is so accessible to anyone staying nearby.

South Sands is a large sandy beach that has superb amenities and is child-friendly, making it the perfect place to visit during a family holiday in Yorkshire. There are so many places close-by that you can visit too such as a working inner harbour and from here you can go on boat trips down the coast.

There is a handy cliff lift that allows beachgoers to access the town centre in minutes, while if you head north along the beach there are lots of cafes and restaurants that you can dine at for lunch and dinner.

Ilkley Moor

Ilkley Moor

Ilkley Moor is a site of special scientific interest and is home to heather moorland, which is one of the world’s rarest habitats with more than 75% of the world’s entire heather moorland being found in Britain.

The moor itself is a part of the South Pennines Special Protection Area and is well-known for being home to a whole host of birds such as red grouse, short-eared owls, golden plover, lapwing, curlew, whinchat and cuckoos.

Marion is the writer behind The Love Travelling Blog and she highly recommends you go for a walk on Ilkley Moor and visit the town of Ilkley as well.

“A visit to the spa town of Ilkley and a walk on its famous moor which looms high above the town. Start with a walk up to White Wells, a stonewashed cottage perched on the moor top containing a bath from Roman times. If you're feeling brave you can 'take the waters' in the plunge pool before enjoying a coffee on its terrace overlooking the beautiful Wharfe Valley.

“Suitably refreshed and rested, follow the footpath through the Rocky Valley and along to the Cow and Calf Rocks, a craggy outcrop said to resemble a cow and its calf. From there, head back down to town along the delightfully named Cowpasture Road and take a stroll along The Grove, Ilkley's elegant tree-lined main shopping thoroughfare. Here you will find high-class shops housed in handsome Victorian buildings, many of them independent retailers such as the wonderful Grove Bookshop. Round off your visit to the town with afternoon tea in Betty's Cafe & Tea Rooms, quintessentially English and the perfect treat.”

READ MORE: The best winter walks around Yorkshire

White Scar Caves

White Scar Caves

Although White Scar Caves is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, this stunning natural attraction is worth its own entry in this guide.

It is the longest show cave in the UK and inside the enormous cave system, you will see a series of impressive waterfalls and rock formations. One of the highlights of your trip will be the huge Battlefield Cavern as there are some breath-taking sights that you can enjoy.

There are lots of guided tours of the cave that you can go on and here you will see all the highlights. The tours take about 80 minutes as you will walk around a mile as you explore the caves.

Ravenscar

Ravenscar in North Yorkshire

Ravenscar is one of the most interesting places on the Yorkshire coast as it is home to dramatic cliffs and rocky beach coves.

It is a perfect place to visit for hikers, fossil hunters and history buffs as Ravenscar was used by the Romans as a signalling station. If you are in search of fossils you will need to head down to the beach as it yields a wide variety of ammonites and they are well preserved. You can also join fossil hunting tours which are led by local palaeontologists.

Walkers are also spoilt for choice as there are a variety of trails you can follow in Ravenscar depending on what you want. There are paths along the clifftops which boast spectacular views, while there are more challenging hikes that will lead you down to the beaches below.

READ MORE: The best outdoor activities to try in Yorkshire this summer

This article includes just some of the top natural attractions you can enjoy in Yorkshire this summer, but there are many more which you can try. For more tips, guides, and advice, make sure to visit our blog.