Introduction to Yorkshire

6,000 square miles of Britain's most diverse and beautiful scenery

Yorkshire is not only Britain's largest traditional county but also its most beautiful.

If you are visiting you are sure to receive a warm welcome.

Nowhere else in the country can you find such diversity of scenery, from the mountains of the west to picturesque bays of the east coast, from limestone dales shaped by nature to moors and valleys sculpted by the Ice Age and, from north to south, landscapes worked and mined by man.

There is also huge variety in its communities. A heritage of village life and market towns is still to be seen across much of Yorkshire, but there are also charming little fishing villages clinging to the cliffs, Britain's best traditional seaside resorts, vibrant city centres, estate villages, towns which grew out of the industrial revolution, ports and harbours, farming hamlets and, of course the region's capital York with its medieval walls on Roman foundations.

Yorkshire is a region of around 6,000 square miles and boasts no less than three of Britain's 15 national parks, Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and part of the Peak District National Park. There are also 60 miles of Heritage Coast.

But the splendour of Yorkshire does not end there. Outside the national parks there are other sizeable Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, such as 233 square miles around Nidderdale, 79 square miles of the Howardian Hills and parts of the Forest of Bowland and North Pennines AONBs. Further areas of moor and coast are looked after by the National Trust.

Yorkshire is an area rich in history as will be realised from the number of ruined abbeys and remains of castles to be found and visited across the region. History can also be explored at a huge range of museums, some of national importance, and at the many historic houses and stately homes across Yorkshire.

The region is also an area of enterprise in its towns and cities and on its farms. While many of the industries which made it the power house of the economy during the industrial revolution have diminished, among them, coal, steel, textile production and railway works, Yorkshire people have always been able to diversify and root out the products that are needed by the market. As a region it has developed a wide range of strengths, from banking to retailing, chemicals to pharmacueticals, food production to niche engineering, film production to media and bus and coach making to agriculture.

Tourism and leisure services in the region are also receiving a boost as more and more people wake up to the beauty that is Yorkshire while some of the region's biggest cities are becoming thriving centres for business.

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