Castle Howard and the North York Moors
From James Heriot to Dracula and everything in between, a motorhome tour around the North York Moors is the ideal way to experience centuries of British history.
Beginning at the palatial Castle Howard, you’ll step straight into 300 years of Britain’s aristocratic heritage. You may recognise it as a filming location for Brideshead Revisited and Victoria, while the extensive gardens offer lakes, waterways, adventure playgrounds and more for picnicking and playing.
Journeying through Yorkshire’s Howardian Hills, you’ll take in Ampleforth Abbey, home to a living community of Benedictine monks, en route to the bustling town of Thirsk. Here, just off the cobbled market square, you’ll find The World of James Herriot museum, where the famous vet and author lived and worked, and also the birthplace of Lord’s cricket ground founder Thomas Lord.
Returning to the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, you’ll wind through a peaceful valley to Rievaulx Abbey, a 12th-century Cistercian monument whose dramatic ruins give a glimpse into England’s medieval past. Next door is Helmsley, a picturesque market town looked over by Helmsley Castle where you can learn the ancient arts of falcon training and longbow shooting. Beyond its historical significance, the town is beloved for its boutique shops, Michelin starred fine dining restaurants and tranquil surroundings.
Get back in the motorhome and drive north through Pickering, with its sprawling castle, annual 1940s festival and working steam train keeping bygone days alive, before crossing Dalby Forest towards the coast.
The route ends in Whitby, a traditional seaside town made famous by Bram Stoker, whose bloodthirsty Dracula sailed into the shore on a ghost ship before scaling the 199 steps up to Whitby Abbey and feasting on the populace. Whitby preserves much of this gothic flavour with Dracula-themed attractions as well as its windswept headlands and bat-filled abbey ruins, but also pays homage to its maritime heritage as the home of Captain James Cook. Aside from the spooky, visitors can enjoy a quirky collection of independent shops, welcoming beaches and some of the UK’s best fish and chips.