Yorkshire has a rich legacy of magnificent ruins, grand estates and castles, as well as its stunning land- and seascapes comprising numerous protected Areas of Outstanding National Beauty.
Often called 'God's Own County' due to its vast stretches of unspoiled countryside, Yorkshire is England's largest county covering the cities of York, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford and Hull. With new developments including the recent opening of York's first five star hotel, Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa, and future launch of The Hepworth Wakefield, which will be England's largest art gallery outside of London when it opens in 2011, the region has never been a more attractive destination for visitors.
Furthermore, as a source of inspiration for filming locations for the upcoming new Harry Potter and Wuthering Heights films, the destination is set to appeal even further to travelers whose top reasons for visiting England include history, heritage and outdoor pursuits.
1. On Location in Yorkshire
Discover Harry Potter's England
The stunning scenery of the Yorkshire Dales National Park will be seen by millions of people all over the world in the new Harry Potter film, The Deathly Hallows, due for release in 2010. Film lovers will have previously spotted Yorkshires charms in the first two Harry Potter films which feature Goathland train station, North York Moors National Park, as the bewitching Hogsmeade Station. The picturesque countryside station is almost unchanged since its construction in 1865.
Be Inspired by Yorkshire's Famous Literary Sisters
One of the world's most famous love stories, Wuthering Heights is set to hit the big screen in 2011. Those searching for the real experience should seek out the dramatic landscapes that inspired Emily Brontë's Gothic masterpiece in Yorkshire's Brontë Country. Experience the wild moors of this dark and passionate tale of love and loss and climb Top Withins where a tumbledown building is thought to have inspired descriptions of Wuthering Heights.
2. Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa York's First Five Star Hotel
Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa last month opened its doors to guests, bringing five star hospitality to York. The building, which was constructed in 1906 for the North Eastern Railway Company, is one of the city's most iconic buildings and it is simply beautiful. The Grand Hotel evokes the golden age of travel, reaching back to the opulence and luxury that people experienced on the Orient Express or Queen Mary, recreated with contemporary flourishes.
3. York Festival of Food and Drink 17 - 26 September
The annual York Food and Drink Festival is the largest event of its kind in the UK and a massive showcase for Yorkshire growers and retailers. For ten days food takes over as the city hosts an extravaganza of specialist markets, chef demonstrations, themed dinners, cookery classes, restaurant meal deals and numerous special events.
4. Yorkshire Gardens
In a bid to promote the region's vast array of stunning gardens, Yorkshire had its own garden at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show. 'Welcome to Yorkshire's Rhubarb Crumble and Custard Garden' used edible themes to highlight the diversity of the region's food offering and will be on show at this year's Great Yorkshire Show (July 13-15) before it is relocated to RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate. RHS Chelsea Flower Show was also the launch pad for the new Yorkshire Gardens campaign, highlighting more than 60 gardens that are open to visitors, from secret gardens to grand stately home landscapes, from mazes to wildflower meadows. www.yorkshire.com/gardens
5. Yorkshire Pass
The Yorkshire Pass is the UK's first regional sightseeing pass, offering entry to 75 fabulous attractions, and is available as a one, two, three or six day pass. The crown jewels of Yorkshire's attractions include World Heritage Sites (Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal), world firsts (The Deep, a submarium), world famous historic houses (Castle Howard and York Minster) and royal castles (Conisbrough Castle). www.yorkshirepass.com
6. Welcome to Yorkshire Michelin Star Experience
Celebrating Yorkshire's six Michelin Star restaurants, Welcome to Yorkshire is offering exclusive packages to visitors. The Welcome to Yorkshire Michelin Star Experience consists of planned excursions with detailed itineraries visiting two, three or all six restaurants. Each itinerary offers a scenic journey by helicopter and executive car, staying over in some of Yorkshire's luxurious accommodation. Whilst experiencing the fine dining at these restaurants, guests will also receive a taste of Yorkshire as the trips incorporate visits to local producers, cheese makers, vineyards and breweries, walking in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and more. www.yorkshire.com/michelinstarexperience
7. Turner Trails in Yorkshire
JMW Turner was a frequent visitor to Yorkshire throughout the early 19th Century and the landscapes and historic buildings that inspired over 800 of his works of art have continued to attract visitors to the region to this day. 'Turner Trails in Yorkshire' brings together over 70 sites across the region; attracting walkers and art enthusiasts to these beautiful locations; enabling visitors to sit and compare today's views and discover the Turner story.
8. Yorkshire Golf
Yorkshire is home to some of the country's finest golf clubs, including three that have previously hosted the Ryder Cup - Moortown, Ganton and Lindrick. For golf enthusiasts seeking something new, courses are in a variety of impressive locations from the beautiful Yorkshire countryside to those with dramatic sea views. Featuring a wealth of luxury accommodation visitors to the region can indulge in a range of activities between rounds, including designer shopping and relaxing in a choice of fabulous Spas before heading off for a delicious Yorkshire meal and an evening's entertainment.
9. The Yorkshire Museum Reopens August 2010
The fascinating early history of York is to be told through groundbreaking research and internationally important collections at the newly refurbished Yorkshire Museum. The might of the Romans, the power of the Vikings and the wealth and romance of the Medieval period will be revealed following an investment of £2million which will totally transform the interior of this remarkable building.
10. The Hepworth Wakefield Opens in 2011
Designed by internationally acclaimed British architect, David Chipperfield, The Hepworth will show for the first time a unique collection of sculptures by Barbara Hepworth one of the most important sculptors of the 20th Century, who was born and raised in Wakefield. Its bold, modern architecture will be a fitting home for an outstanding collection of British art, featuring work by some of the UK's best-known artists.
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