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Holiday cottages on the Yorkshire coast

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On the coast of Yorkshire are the towns of Whitby and Scarborough. Whitby is famous for that dark villain Count Dracula and the production of the black jewel, Jet; Scarborough, as a holiday destination for over 300 years. The Magpie Café sells the best fish and chips in the world - it is in Whitby. What better reason to visit this town than to eat the best. Well, whilst eating out of your newspaper, you can visit the Captain Cook Museum, he was born here, stroll through the ruins of the abbey, Bram Stoker's inspiration for the most evil person yet imagined, or stroll along the quayside watching tomorrows meal being landed. Scarborough, by contrast, is the home of Jimmy Saville, but this doesn't mean that you have to wear a tracksuit to get in. It is, though, the quintessential holiday resort. Lots of arcades, bingo halls, and seaside kitsch, burgers, and buckets on the beach. For the more cerebral visitor the town has a castle, the Sea Life Centre (lots of interactive stuff here), the beautiful Pre-Raphaelite interior of the church of St Martin-on-the-Hill, and in the evening the Stephen Joseph Theatre, which previews all Alan Ayckbourn plays. Virtually every house offers some form of self-catering accommodation or bed and breakfast, and competition on price is fierce, so shop around if you have to. Alternatively, go out into the countryside and find a secluded cottage to rent, there are plenty in the area, and quite a few within striking distance of the Cleveland Way, a lovely walk along the coast, or to the south is the Wolds Way, which will take you all the way south to Hull.

Hull is the largest port in Yorkshire and has a long history of fishing and trade, with the town retaining a rather rough exterior, although this has been softened in recent years. The historical link with the fishing industry is retained with various chunks of whalebone dotted about the town, and the huge and very impressive aquarium, The Deep. In addition to a vast tank, containing over half a million gallons of water, with an internal lift, there are computer-generated and interactive displays that run you through the creation of the seas. The council runs most of the other museums in the town and they are all free, and run displays from art galleries to fishing in the Arctic. One of the most unusual is the rare Art Nouveau Gents toilet, perhaps the place to finish up after you have done the Hull Ale Trail.

To the north of Hull is thoroughly unspoilt Beverley, a perfect place from which to explore the area, which is relatively flat, and ideal for a cycling holiday in Yorkshire. There is the fantastic minster in the centre of town, and its architecture and features would not look out of place in a cathedral. To go with the amazing stone carvings, there is a rebuilt treadwheel crane, where medieval labourers would trudge along like human hamsters. Beverley has lots of other interesting buildings, from Georgian to Victorian, including an elegant coaching inn, and a restored Dominican Friary, which is mentioned in the Canterbury Tales.

On the east coast of Yorkshire are miles and miles of unspoilt beaches, holiday towns, like Hornsea and Filey, and the picturesque Bridlington, very popular with the Victorians. Out of town is a lovely country house, Sewerby Hall and gardens, and the short walk back to Bridlington along the coast is a delight.


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