The rural county in Northern England is know for its beautiful countryside, historic castles, and sweeping coastline. This year, it hosted the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ, and it has been rapidly gaining in popularity, with about 216 million visits each year.
Here’s why Yorkshire was named the best destination in Europe:
1. Known as “God’s own country” by locals, Yorkshire is huge. It’s the largest county in the United Kingdom, at 2.9 million acres. Yorkshire is split into South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, and the East Riding of Yorkshire.
2. The landscapes are absolutely beautiful. North York Moors features 1,400 miles of forest, rolling hills, moorland, and coastline.
3. There are about 40 castles in Yorkshire, including Skipton Castle, one of the best preserved castles in Britain, which is located in North Yorkshire.
4. The city of York is famous for its chocolate shops. One of the top spots is the York Cocoa House.
5. It also is home to the beautiful York Minster cathedral, known for its 128 intricate stain glass windows. The cathedral took 252 years to build.
6. A street called The Shambles in York was named Britain’s most picturesque street in the 2010 Google Street Awards.
7. Yorkshire’s eastern border is 45 miles of coastline, with many popular vacation spots including Scarborough and Whitby. Spend a day on one of many sandy beaches, or go whale watching — Whitby is the best place on the whole coast to spot whales.
8. Whitby is also home to the National Fish & Chip Shop of the Year winner, Quayside.
9. Rugby is huge here. Yorkshire has seven club teams playing in the top class rugby league. The Rugby League was actually created in Yorkshire, in a town called Huddersfield.
10. The Tour de France began in Leeds this year, beating out Florence and Edinburgh for this honour.
11. There’s a rich literary history here. You can visit the village of Heptonstall and find Sylvia Plath’s grave, or visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum in the town of Haworth.
12. Yorkshire has many breweries that you can tour, like The Black Sheep Brewery and Leeds Brewery.
13. Yorkshire also has five Michelin star restaurants, which is more than any other county in England outside of London. Below is the wild seabass main course at The Pipe & Glass Inn in Beverly.
14. Yorkshire has nine horse race courses, more than any other county in the United Kingdom. The county is also home to the world’s oldest classic horse race, the St. Leger at Doncaster.
15. The county is also home to England’s oldest tourist attraction: Mother Shipton’s Cave.
16. You can see the Humber Bridge in Hull, which is the longest single-span suspension bridge in England and the second longest in all of Europe. Not to mention, the view is beautiful.
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