Rolling hills, beautiful dales and a varied coastline characterise Yorkshire, a county in northeast England. York is one of the main attractions here, with solid City Walls that mark the boundaries of its center. Other highlights of the county include national parks, historic abbeys, castles and cute seaside towns.
Hiring a campervan in Yorkshire is the perfect way to get around this scenic English region, nicknamed ‘God’s Own Country.’ Starting in and around main cities and towns such as Leeds, York, Harrogate or Rotherham will allow you to connect with roads that wind throughout Yorkshire. London is also just a couple of hours drive away, if you choose campervan rental there. Take in fishing villages, spa towns and everything in-between on a motorhome holiday. Flawless engines, plenty of storage space and a comfortable sleeping area are some of the features that will make your trip seamless. You’ll additionally save money, since you won’t have to pay for hotel rooms and you can stock up on food to cook in your van.
Campsites are abundant throughout this sprawling region, which is made up of North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire. North and North East Lincolnshire form part of the county too. On the fringes of the national parks, you will find options like Golden Square Touring and Camping Park, and Wharfedale Caravan and Motorhome Club Site. These are idyllic spots, wonderful for anyone looking to hike the protected heather-clad moors and valleys in search of wildlife. Campsites beside the east coast include The Old Mill Caravan Park and Cayton Bay Holiday Park, to name just a couple. These lie within walking distance of Yorkshire’s many beaches.
York city is a great place to kick off your Yorkshire adventure. For centuries it has been considered the capital of the county. You can find guides as well as local maps in the visitor’s centre, located along Museum Street.
The York City Walls were originally built during Roman times to defend against attacks on the fort. Since then, they have been heavily reconstructed by different inhabitants of the city. Victorian and Georgian streets criss-cross York too, a place that takes pride in its rich heritage. Once you’ve walked the City Walls, take in the momentous cathedral of York Minster. It is home to spectacular treasures that are a joy to admire, including medieval stained glass windows. Fabric and stone demonstrate the creativity of men of old here. Enjoy a free guided tour to learn about 800 years of history.
The Clifford’s Tower is another wonderful stop. Built years ago, the tower still stands tall and gives visitors a taste of York’s illustrious heritage. It also provides an aerial view of the ancient city laid out below. From here, move on to discover the Castle Museum, where you can delight in numerous exhibits. Highlights from the collection include more than 100 patchwork quilts, a reconstructed Victorian shopping street and some intriguing displays for those with a sweet tooth.
On the other hand, the Yorkshire Museum is host to artefacts from all the corners of Europe. The Middleham Jewel along with an Anglian helmet have drawn tourists from all walks of life to this attraction. Don’t miss the impressive Viking sword either. Complete your tour of York’s museums with a trip to the National Railway Museum, which traces the roots of locomotive travel in Britain. Evenings in York can be whiled away at bars or restaurants before enjoying a stellar performance at the York Theatre Royal.
After spending a few days in York, one suggestion is to make your way northeast to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire. Set within the North York Moors National Park, this is a quaint fishing village that provides a magnificent view of the sea. Comb the sand for fossils and imagine smugglers arriving on the shores in days gone by. Close-knit cottages are an attractive feature of Robin Hood’s Bay. Camping close by allows you to take time to explore the national park as well, where hiking and cycling trails are plentiful. The serenity of nature is ever-present here.
The local town of Helmsley, also located in North York Moors National Park, should be next on your itinerary. It is home to Helmsley Castle, a fascinating medieval fortress. Explore the museum housed within the castle’s mansion and pick up an audio tour. Another easy drive from Robin Hood’s Bay is the route to the ruins of Whitby Abbey, which once served as a monastery. The abbey is within walking distance from the town of Whitby and provided the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Delightful beaches are peppered along the coastline close to Whitby too. Reclining on the sand in the fresh sea air might seem appealing after several days of driving around Yorkshire. Try Kettleness or Sandsend beaches, or book a family fishing escapade.
Those who choose South Yorkshire can enjoy a hotbed of history, music and sports. This corner of the county, once known for its industries, has been transformed by a generation that seeks to preserve Yorkshire’s culture while modernising its identity.
You could visit Conisbrough Castle or Wortley Top – where you will see one of the oldest iron forges in the world. In contrast, the Peak District provides a remarkable landscape that you can view from your campervan. It marks Britain’s first designated national park and is home to the famed Chatsworth House. The city of Sheffield is another South Yorkshire gem, where the cathedral will give you a glimpse of Norman stone masonry. Sheffield comes alive at night too, with streets like West Street and Carver providing bars and clubs.
Roaming around Yorkshire in a campervan really opens up a world of experiences. A lot of visitors go for Volkswagen motorhomes, though there are other makes and models available to hire. Some vehicles even have a pop-up roof where your kids can spend the night on a comfy bed. Removable tables will serve as your dining area for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Exploring Yorkshire In A Campervan
Some campervan rental companies in Yorkshire set no limit on the mileage you can cover on your journey. This means that both weekend getaways and long weeks of travel through the UK and Europe are realistic. Remember that you may be required to return the van with a full tank of gas.
Before you leave Yorkshire, consider following one of these itineraries:
Pick up your vehicle in York or Leeds and drive west or north to reach the spa town of Harrogate. A nice mid-way stop can be found in Wetherby if you fancy coffee and cake. Harrogate is known for its healing spa waters that contain salt, sulphur and iron. It also has numerous campervan and motorhome sites where you can pitch up after a busy day. Many people go there to take in the waters. It’s worth discovering the Mercer Art Gallery, the Valley Gardens or the RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate too. Leave the town going west and you’ll be met by attractive green rolling farmlands that border the road, leading into the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Consider hiking the renowned Three Peaks here or sample some locally-produced Wensleydale cheese. It’s a classic rural English setting.
From the comfort of your campervan you can also enjoy the features of the Roman Fort of Burghwallis, located in South Yorkshire.The village of Burghwallis has a very nice pub serving up traditional fare. For this trip, consider starting in Doncaster, which lies just a few miles south of the site. On certain days of the week, Doncaster hosts a respected English market selling everything from antiques to local produce. Another alternative is to begin in the lively city of Sheffield.
Venture from Burghwallis on to Barnsley for a tour of the Cooper Gallery’s wonderful array of fine art. This South Yorkshire town lies close to tourist attractions like Wentworth Castle and Yorkshire Sculpture Park as well.
Yorkshire is a blend of both major and minor roads, with a vast number of routes to choose from. As noted above, York – in North Yorkshire – is often revered as the best starting point. Let’s look at some of the roads heading out of this city, once you’ve finished exploring York Castle and its many other points of interest.
Purchasing a York Pass can be a good way to narrow down where to go when touring the county of Yorkshire. It covers admission to attractions within the city and several found throughout the county, such asand the National Centre for Birds of Prey.
Once you’ve decided what you want to see, get onto the key roads that surround York including the A1237 and the A64. Using these roads, which circle the city’s perimeter, campervan drivers can connect with other parts of Yorkshire. Anybody heading out to West Yorkshire can take the A59, while the B1224 offers a more scenic drive. To the north or south, the A64 and the A19 are good options. Accessing East Yorkshire from York is possible thanks to the A166 and the A1079.
If you intend to visit Huddersfield, Sheffield, Morley or the areas around South Yorkshire, then Barnsley is a suitable place in Yorkshire to find a campervan for your travels. In Barnsley itself, you could take a walk around the town or consider visiting the neighbouring Cannon Hall museum. This Georgian country house has intriguing displays and colourful manicured gardens. Barnsley’s streets are filled with designer boutiques selling one-of-a-kind products for souvenir hunters. Stroll around the old Victorian Arcade for something a bit different too! It’s possible to access the Trans Pennine Trail from Barnsley, a popular route for walkers and cyclists.
In West Yorkshire, not far from York, Wetherby is a lovely day out in your campervan. A stroll around the town will allow you to discover an old police box and the exterior of a Georgian Bath House at the Jubilee Gardens. On foot you can also wander along the banks of the River Wharfe. Stop in to one of the local cafes for refreshments after a busy morning.
Stockeld Park is open for events like Easter and Halloween in Wetherby. It provides a great outing for kids, with a woodland walk, a maze and playground facilities. Nearby attractions include Bramham Park, which is a magnificent Yorkshire house with gorgeous grounds. Be sure to call ahead to check whether it’s open before driving there.