The best urban travel destinations in Yorkshire

Scarborough, photo by lombardo_uk on Flickr

Yorkshire county is widely regarded as the most scenic, diverse and historical counties in the UK, which is not something that’s easy to accomplish. Yorkshire (or God’s own country, as the locals jokingly call it) is so large that is was split into four parts to be better managed, and so utterly beautiful that it will incarnate all the Gothic and romantic fantasies that anyone’s ever had of England. The gloomy moors, the rolling hills, the craggy and menacing cliffs, as well the green and idyllic¬† countryside have inspired countless works of literature or art. Yorkshire has picturesque small villages, amazing scenery, and great cities, which is probably where most people start their exploration of this county. Here are some of the best urban destinations in Yorkshire.

Leeds

The largest city in Yorkshire is much praised by its elegant Georgian architecture as well as more modern buildings, but fans of British pop culture and music have surely heard of it already. Leeds is the hometown of many of the best indie bands in the UK, and its musical scene is still amazingly varied and active. Walking around the city and just taking in the sights is a must, if only to get a glimpse of Leeds’s inimitable charm. There are loads of ‘traditional’ tourist attractions as well: museums, galleries, monuments and many cafes and pubs.

Sheffield

Leeds Castle, photo by Richard Taylor

Sheffield was the center of Britain’s steel industry, and the wealth of the city was built upon this. Sheffield is still seen as more industrial than cultural or artistic, but its reputation is quickly changing thanks to the ever increasing number of galleries, music venues, parks and green spaces. Sheffield is very cosmopolitan, and there’s always some event, concert or exhibition to see.

Brandford

Bradford is one of Yorkshire’s most multicultural cities, with large communities of Irish, Germans, Polish and various other nationalities. This mix of cultures makes Bradford terribly interesting and colorful, with events, ethnic restaurants and shops to keep visitors busy. The 19th century industrial boom of Bradford is plain to see – there are many beautiful old buildings, and even several large mill complexes remaining.

Hull

Sheffield, photo by Neil T

Hull, or Kinston upon Hull, is a tidy port city on the Humber Estuary, hiding a wealth of historical and cultural treasures. Hull is at least 700 years old, with many buildings that stood the test of time, although less than it might have been if Hull hadn’t been so severely bombed in WWII. Still, much of the old city survives, and places like the Charterhouse, Trinity Quarter, Posterngate and the marina are imbued with historic charm.

Scarborough

Scarborough, the subject of songs and tales, is one of the oldest and most beautiful spa resorts in Yorkshire, famous since Victorian times at least. The castle, the harbor and the fish quay draw lots of visitors, and the grave of writer Anne Bronte is a place of pilgrimage for literature lovers.

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