Top things to do

Top Choice Cathedral in York

York Minster

York Minster is the largest medieval cathedral in northern Europe, and one of the world's most beautiful Gothic buildings. Seat of the archbishop of York, primate of England, it is second in importance only to Cante…
Top Choice Historic Building in North Yorkshire

Castle Howard

Stately homes may be two a penny in England, but you'll have to try pretty damn hard to find one as breathtakingly stately as Castle Howard, a work of theatrical grandeur and audacity set in the rolling Howardian Hi…
Top Choice Historic Site in North Yorkshire

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal

The alluring and strangely obsessive water gardens of the Studley Royal estate were built in the 18th century to enhance the picturesque ruins of 12th-century Fountains Abbey. Together, they present a breathtaking p…
Top Choice Museum in York

National Railway Museum

York's National Railway Museum – the biggest in the world, with more than 100 locomotives – is well-presented and crammed with fascinating stuff. It is laid out on a vast scale and is housed in a series of giant rai…
Top Choice Museum in York

Jorvik Viking Centre

Interactive multimedia exhibits aimed at bringing history to life often achieve exactly the opposite, but the much-hyped Jorvik manages to pull it off with aplomb. It's a smells-and-all reconstruction of the Viking …
Top Choice Scandinavian in Harrogate

Norse

Norse injects some fun into fine dining, with a choice of tasting menus that blends the best of British produce with Scandinavian inspiration to produce unusual flavour combinations such as beetroot, cocoa and horse…
Top Choice Coffee in Harrogate

Bean & Bud

Small and bohemian, this cafe takes its drinks seriously, with names of coffee growers and altitudes of their plantations displayed proudly on the walls. It's also the sort of place that serves single-origin hot cho…
Top Choice Craft Beer in Harrogate

Major Tom's Social

Grungy and effortlessly cool, this 1st-floor drinking den is the type of place where locals cram onto sociable wooden bench tables and talk rubbish all night, sampling far more of the interesting draft beers than th…
Top Choice Bistro in York

No 8 Bistro

A cool little place with modern artwork mimicking the Edwardian stained glass at the front, No 8 offers a daylong menu of top-notch bistro dishes using fresh local produce, such as Jerusalem artichoke risotto with f…
Top Choice French in York

Cochon Aveugle

Black-pudding macaroon? Strawberry and elderflower sandwich? Blowtorched mackerel with melon gazpacho? Fussy eaters beware – this small restaurant with huge ambition serves an ever-changing tasting menu (no à la car…