At every rise and fall of the landscape you'll find signs of the times past from the ruins of abbeys and castles to historic houses such as Castle Howard, Kiplin Hall and Sutton Park Stately Home.
You could easily spend a day exploring the magnificent Castle Howard, familiar to many as the location for Brideshead Revisited. Within the house you'll find changing exhibitions and world famous collections of paintings, furniture and bronzes while its extensive parkland is home to formal gardens and a children's play area.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway connects the historic towns of Pickering and Whitby and is the most popular heritage railway in Britain. Steam locomotives take visitors through 18 miles of stunning countryside stopping at picturesque stations along the way. Special events and dining services take place throughout the year. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway were awarded the Best Visitor Attraction of 2009 by the Yorkshire Moors & Coast Tourism Partnership.
Located in a peaceful wooded valley, Rievaulx Abbey is one of the most complete and atmospheric of England's abbey ruins and before it dissolution, was one of the country's wealthiest monasteries. Interactive exhibitions chart its long history and influence on the surrounding area.
For a quirky slice of rural life visit Ryedale Folk Museum with its collection of intriguing historical buildings which include a witches hovel and an Elizabethan manor house and find out about the rags to riches tale of legendary furniture marker Robert Thompson at the Mouseman Visitor Centre.
The area also has literary, artistic and theatrical connections through William Wordsworth, Anne Bronte, John Atkinson Grimshaw, Charles Laughton, Lewis Carroll and Bram Stoker, all of whom have been inspired by the wonderful countryside and dramatic coastline.
Visit the remains of towering castles or rich medieval monasteries, the old industrial sites where alum or ironstone were mined, or the stunning private mansions, a tribute to the historic local families that once governed this land. From prehistoric times to World War II, there is so much to do.