Top things to do

Top Choice Ruins in Helmsley

Rievaulx Abbey

In the secluded valley of the River Rye about 3 miles west of Helmsley, amid fields and woods loud with birdsong, stand the magnificent ruins of Rievaulx Abbey (ree-voh). The extensive remains give a wonderful sense…
Top Choice Ruins in Whitby

Whitby Abbey

There are ruined abbeys, and there are picturesque ruined abbeys. And then there's Whitby Abbey, dominating the skyline above the East Cliff like a great Gothic tombstone silhouetted against the sky. Looking as thou…
Top Choice British in Whitby

Bridge Cottage Bistro

This outstanding modern British restaurant, in the pretty coastal village of Sandsend 3 miles north of Whitby, may well be the east coast's best eating experience. Its no-nonsense setting in a bare old coastal cotta…
Top Choice Modern British in Helmsley

Star Inn

This thatch-roofed country pub is home to a Michelin-starred restaurant, with a menu specialising in top-quality produce from the surrounding countryside: Whitby crab with pickled cockles and avocado 'ice', or roast…
Top Choice Food Hall in Malton

Talbot Yard

Across the road from the Talbot Hotel, this huddle of converted stables has been reimagined as an extraordinary food court housing the stuff of gourmands' dreams. Here you'll find the only UK shop from award-winning…
Top Choice Microbrewery in Whitby

Whitby Brewery

Walkers are pleased as punch when they find this place on the clifftop behind Whitby Abbey. There's just enough room inside the modern brew plant for three tables – half the space is taken up by a gloriously incongr…
Top Choice Modern British in Helmsley

Hare Inn

The phrase 'hidden gem' is overused, but here it is entirely appropriate – drowsing in a secluded hamlet 4 miles west of Helmsley, the Hare is a 21st-century restaurant in a 13th-century inn, where gourmet dining is…
Top Choice Museum in Whitby

Captain Cook Memorial Museum

This fascinating museum occupies the house of the ship owner with whom Cook began his seafaring career. Highlights include the attic where Cook lodged as a young apprentice, Cook's own maps and letters, etchings fro…
Top Choice Heritage Railway in Pickering

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

This privately owned railway runs for 18 miles through beautiful countryside from Pickering to Whitby. Lovingly restored steam locos pull period carriages with wooden booths, appealing to railway buffs and day tripp…
Top Choice British in Whitby

Rusty Shears

This vintage cafe covers many bases. There's an astounding drinks menu with more than 100 gins (despite the fact it's closed evenings) and gin flights, a walled courtyard for al-fresco light lunches, and a cluster o…