It’s not called God’s Own County for nothing - here in Yorkshire we are blessed with some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country. Here are half a dozen examples of the great Yorkshire outdoors
At 2,415ft, it’s the highest mountain in Yorkshire and part of the Yorkshire Three Peaks. If a small child in nursery school was asked to draw a simple mountain, it would look nothing like Whernside. More likely, the drawing would vaguely resemble Whernside’s companions in the famous trinity of Yorkshire Dales peaks, Penyghent and Ingleborough. in 1812 it was claimed by John Bigland to be England’s highest mountain in his The Beauties of England and Wales, the height of 5,340 feet above sea level he gave it turned out to be wildly wrong. Not even Britain’s loftiest summit, Ben Nevis, is that high.
Dating back to the 14th Century, St Mary’s Church near Tadcaster has a long and rather woeful history.
Today it stands all alone in a boggy field but it was not always so. It was once part of a Medieval settlement, the remains of which were obliterated following the infamous Battle of Towton in 1461, said to be the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil, resulting in some 10,000 dead at least. The inside of the church’s door is daubed in graffiti dating back to 1784, recording historical events. By 1596, the church was in utter ruin but it was revived in the 1930s by a group of enthusiasts.
MOST COMPLETE CASTLE
If you want to know what a Medieval castle really looked like (seeing as most of them are just ruins open to the elements), then Skipton Caslte is your best bet.
One of the best preserved medieval castles in England, Skipton Castle was built by Robert de Romille around 1090. The fortress was granted by the crown to the Clifford family in 1310. Skipton was besieged by Parliamentary troops during the Civil War, a siege that lasted for three years before the castle was forced to surrender. It fell into disrepair following the conflict, but was restored thereafter.
A glacial lake, being formed after the last ice age and at 377m above sea level, the highest lake in England. In 2015, Storn Desmond created a waterfall which has not been since in living memory. For a time, it is believed to have become the highest unbroken waterfall in England after water began shooting over its 200ft-plus high cliff due to the freak weather. The tallest unbroken waterfall in England is Hardraw Force, near Buttertubs Pass, which stands at around 100ft.
The last time the waterfall flowed was said to be in 1720.
YEW AT FOUNTAINS ABBEY
It might no be the oldest tree in the world (that record belongs to Old Tjikko, a 9,500 year old Swedish spruce, closely followed by Methuselah, a bristlecone pine tree in California, which is said to be 5,000 years old) but the yew at Fountains Abbey is said to be 1,500 years old, making it one of the oldest living things in Britain (yes, even discounting Cliff Richard). Measuring over 30ft in diameter at some points, the yew was originally one of seven, hence them being known as ‘the Seven Sisters’ but the trees were chopped and trimmed over the years but two yet remain.
Our intrepid photographer James Hardisty took this stunning picture of Gaping Gill in May this year. The cave is situated on the south western slopes of Ingleborough at an altitude of 1,300ft above sea level in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. A natural cave in North Yorkshire and probably the most well known pothole in the United Kingdom. Twice a year between May and August two local caving clubs Bradford Pothole and Craven Pothole arrange the Gaping Gill Winch. This is where cavers can explorer well known tunnels and visitors to the site are lowered in a chair over 300ft.