Nestling in an enviable location between the Howardian Hills to the south and the North Yorks Moors National Park to the north, Pickering is an attractive market town, home to an ancient, ruined castle and to the longest steam railway in the country, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Many cottage holiday visitors come to the town for the railway, but there are plenty of other excellent attractions worth taking in. The spire of St. Peter and St. Paul’s parish church dominates Pickering; pay a visit inside to see the astonishingly colourful medieval frescoes, which still adorn the walls. Market day runs every Monday, and the local market, together with a good selection of shops and a wide range of places to eat make the countryside surrounding Pickering a good base for a North Yorkshire holiday cottage stay.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway runs between Pickering and the market town of Grosmont, taking visitors on a scenic, eighteen-mile day trip through some of North Yorkshire’s prettiest villages and most stunning countryside. One of the oldest historic train rides in the country, it offers an unforgettable journey through forest and moor land. As well as those making the full journey, the line is also very popular with walkers and cyclists, as it stops off at a number of pretty villages en route.
Visitors to Pickering usually enjoy a trip to the Beck Isle Museum, a collection of artefacts and memorabilia relating to the social and agricultural history of Pickering and the wider Ryedale area. The museum is located in a lovely regency building in the centre of the town. Further afield, there are a number of historic houses and stately homes. Nearby Helmsley has an ancient castle dating from around 1200; take time to explore the ruins here then visit neighbouring Helmsley Walled Garden, a lovely green space stretching some five acres, with tranquil sensory gardens, a beautiful orchid house, walls brimming with every species of fruit tree all against the picturesque backdrop of the ruined castle. Visit Duncombe Park, one of Yorkshire’s finest country homes, residence of Lord and Lady Feversham. Explore the opulence of the main house, filled with paintings, antiques and history, and enjoy the magnificent gardens, including a children’s play area to entertain younger visitors, and see stunning Castle Howard, one of the country’s finest estate homes and gardens close to nearby Malton. Similarly, the Eden Camp Museum on the Malton to Pickering road makes an excellent visit for all the family. Interactive and fun, this claims to be not just another military museum, but to bring history to life through a recreation of a Second World War Prisoner of War camp, offering a unique, fun and educational journey back in time to Wartime Britain. For those preferring sport to soldiers, Pickering and the surrounding area is ideal for walkers, cyclists and golfers. Duncombe Park and Dalby Forest offers walks and rides, the open moorland of the North Yorks National Park is ideal for those exploring on foot or two wheels, and golfers can enjoy two courses in the Pickering area; Kirkbymoorside’s 18-hole course and the 9 holes of Ampleforth College golf club.
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