things to do

History and Heritage

Pickering is a small town packed with a wealth of heritage.

From William the Conqueror to Oliver Cromwell and Harry Potter, several notable historical and fictional characters have graced the town of Pickering throughout the years adding to its rich tapestry.  As far as small towns go in North Yorkshire, there will be few, if any, that boast a castle, a heritage railway and a church with world-renown frescoes; all of which attract thousands of visitors each year in their own right. 

Further afield of the town, natural treasures on the coastline and the Moors are more than equally matched by an abundance of National Trust and English Heritage properties including castles, abbeys and stately homes.  Many of which have played stunning back-drops to highly acclaimed film and TV series.

Our Castles

Pickering Castle, originally built by the Normans under William the Conqueror, this 13th century castle in the heart of the North York Moors National Park.

Scarborough Castle, the 12th century former medieval royal fortress overlooking the north sea commissioned by Henry II.

Helmsley Castle, home to the bronzed archers who wait ready for battle.  This medieval fortress was repurposed into a luxurious Tudor mansion before becoming a Civil War stronghold.


Our Churches and Abbeys

St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Pickering is renowned for its beautiful frescoes.  Many people make a pilgrimage to see them from all over the world.

Whitby Abbey stands imposingly on the cliffside atop the seaside town made famous by Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Captain Cook.

Ampleforth Abbey is set in 2,000 acres of pristine Yorkshire countryside. This working monastery has been home to a community of Benedictine monks since 1802.

Rievaulx Abbey, historically one of England’s most powerful Cistercian monasteries. These impressive ruins and museums are not to be missed.

Our Stately Homes

Castle Howard setting of Bridgerton, Brideshead Revisited and home to Last Night of The Proms.

Nunnington Hall which sent chills across TV audiences in Most Haunted.

Sledmere House situated in the centre of the Yorkshire Wolds was designed by Sir Christopher Sykes and has welcomed visitors for over 250 years.

Duncombe Park situated in Helmsley, sits on an estate of 450 acres of spectacular gardens, parklands and a nature reserve. The estate is a popular filming location having appeared in ITV’s Victoria, Parades End and movies including The Secret Garden, The Thirteenth Tale and Dad’s Army.

Scampston Hall is one of the finest regency country homes in North Yorkshire and its 13th century walled garden is a surprising and exciting sight to behold.


Our Museums

Beck Isle Museum of Rural Life is a social history museum in Pickering. Step back in time and enjoy exploring what life was like in this thriving market town. Visit shops from the past, discover the ancient craft of the blacksmith and marvel at our magnificent printing press.

Eden Camp Modern History Museum is a family owned business which has reformed a prisoner of war camp and turned it into a museum. They have immortalised the experiences of those who bravely fought in the war, both at home and on the battlefields abroad.

Ryedale Folk Museum is located in the picturesque village of Hutton le Hole, where the history of Ryedale and the North York Moors – from the Iron Age to the 1950s – is brought to life through the Museum’s buildings and collections.

Eden Camp Museum

Discoveries on our doorstep

Pickering's rich tapestry of history

There are hundreds of things to see and do in and around Pickering. A stay in Pickering opens up an almost limitless array of opportunities to entertain, whether you’re travelling alone, with your better half, the kids or with friends.

With more attractions per square mile that any other city in the UK, no family holiday in the area would be complete without a day-trip to York.

Sitting prominently, overlooking the town with breath-taking views of the Vale of Pickering, stands Pickering Castle.  As one of the treasures of English Heritage, the original structure was built by the Normans under William the Conqueror.

Pickering and the surrounding areas have played host to some of TV’s most popular series and big blockbuster movies. Step onto the silver screen and immerse yourself in the worlds of the Bridgerton family, Harry Potter, secret agent Ethan Hunt,

One of the busiest visitor attractions in Yorkshire and with 350,000 passengers each year, North Yorkshire Moors Railway, carries more people than any other heritage steam railway.


Discover great places in Pickering

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