Holiday cottages in Yorkshire - visit the National Parks

Self-catering accommodation in Yorkshire.


View all Yorkshire self-catering cottages

Unusually for any county in the UK, Yorkshire, and in particular North Yorkshire, has two world-class adventure theme parks, Lightwater Valley near Ripon and Flamingo Land near Malton.

cobbled street - beautiful Yorkshire village

The two theme parks are in prime self-catering rural locations, so finding a cottage, apartment or house to use as a base for your stay shouldn’t pose a problem, but provide the total freedom to enjoy either or both parks at a leisurely pace to fit in with your general holiday plans.

As well as 40 thrilling rides and attractions for all the family, including the famous Ultimate, as yet at 2.4km in length (it was the longest roller coaster in the world for 10 consecutive years from 1991 to 2001) and lasting six minutes, is still the longest rollercoaster in Europe, Lightwater Valley is home to the magnificent Birds of Prey centre and the 30,000 sq ft Lightwater Valley shopping village.

If you don’t want to ride the world-famous rollercoaster, there are plenty of other exciting - and of course the slightly less exciting that avoid frightening the younger members of the family - jaw dropping big thrill rides to kiddies rollercoasters and mini adventures suitable for the entire family.

Lightwater Valley sensibly divide their rides into three separate groups - Jaw Droppers (the extreme rides, requiring strict health and safety supervision), Whipper Snappers (nevertheless extreme but for those who may not be tall enough to qualify for the Jaw Droppers) and Nippers (a comprehensive selection of rides aimed at everyone else!).

Flamingo Land near Malton in North Yorkshire combines the attractions of theme park rides with a zoo. So one minute you can be experiencing 4.7g as you twist and turn at speeds of up to 56mph over one of the park’s lakes, and the next you can take a casual few moments of rhino spotting or flamingo counting.

Flamingo Land is still fondly remembered for one of its first thrill rides the Corkscrew, still remaining one of the firm favourite with fans of all ages and as yet the only ride of its kind in the UK, with the double thrill of two 360-degree inversions. It is also the steepest rollercoaster in the world.

While there are here are plenty of other rides that twist and spin, threaten to throw you into the water and subject you to space-orientated propulsion speeds, there are plenty of other attractions less dependent on adrenalin suitable for the entire family. And of course the attractions of the Flamingo Land zoo continue to be a firm favourite with children of all ages, right up to and beyond pension age!

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Staying in Yorkshire and the National Parks of Yorkshire

This is the largest county in England by some way, and Yorkshire folk have a fierce 'national' pride, equal to that found in Scotland and Wales, and they regard themselves as Yorkshire first, and English second. There is good reason for this pride as the county contains two of England's best national parks, miles of stunning coastline, and beautiful countryside. The cities, too, have their attractions with a wide variety of museums and galleries, shops, restaurants, and pubs. Yorkshire folk are naturally hospitable and there is a huge choice of accommodation available from Yorkshire country cottages to rent, B&Bs, guesthouses, and hotels.

Yorkshire has something for all tastes, all ages, and all pockets. Fashionable Leeds for a short break, self-catering in historic York, Harrogate, a walking holiday in the rugged Dales, rolling wolds, and the bleak, empty Moors, all within a county that has its own identity and pride. The choice of self-catering cottages and houses in Yorkshire is also diverse - a cosy cottage in the dales, a remote house on the Yorkshire moors, a cottage to rent by the Yorkshire coast - whatever you are looking for they are all here.

There can be no denying that the younger family members will be captivated by the Yorkshire coastline. Bridlington and Filey both have miles of safe sands, with plenty of other family attractions in and around the towns. There is also the very popular Dinosaur Coast where the recent popularity in all things dinosaur means that families can enjoy their own exciting fossil hunt. And if you are by the coast, you can not only get some sandcastle creations dug, but you can always try your hand at a diverse range of watersports. Many people don’t realise that Scarborough features on the surfing calendar!

And of course when by the coast, there is the added advantage of an incredible selection of self-catering holiday homes to rent throughout the year. However, these cottages, lodges, apartments and houses are not just aimed at family self-caterers. Couples looking for a break from the city or the romantically inclined will also find the perfect accommodation where they can come and go as they please to explore the surrounding areas. And many are pet-friendly too!

Adventure and family holiday activities in Yorkshire

If you consider your family to be a little more adventurous, whether you are a beginner or advanced, there is caving, mountaineering, quad biking, orienteering. Most venues have fully-qualified staff on hand to offer guidance and tuition. You can even take it one stage further and enjoy an Alpine experience! Yorkshire is at the forefront of indoor extreme, high-adventure activities such as skiing, ice-climbing and even snowboarding.

But it’s not all adrenaline-based! The Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors are the perfect, green backdrop for enjoying the benefits of the incredible scenery provided by England’s greenest county! There are guided tours for nature and wildlife lovers of all descriptions, whether flora or fauna.

Whether it’s cycling or walking, or perhaps even horse-riding, you’ll find everything from mountain bike trails to gently sloping country lanes and paths, where you can spend the day gently ambling from village to village, taking in the best of what Yorkshire offers the visitor.

Regions in Yorkshire

Bronte Country West Yorkshire

Bronte Country

The Bronte Country is a region broadly of the West Yorkshire and East Lancashire Pennines in Northern England, east of Manchester. North of the Peak District national park encompassing Bradford / Leeds and to the north west, Skipton, and the Yorkshire Dales. The Bronte Way is a 43 mile cross Pennine hiking route.

Harrogate town, Yorkshire


Harrogate is a Victorian spa town in the heart of Yorkshire. The Harrogate District is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with attractive towns and villages, the medieval city of Ripon, the market towns of Masham, Boroughbridge, Knaresborough, and Pateley Bridge. Yorkshire Dales on the doorstep.

Herriot Country, North Yorkshire

Herriot Country

The heart of Herriot Country is Thirsk, in North Yorkshire. Farmstays, holiday amongst farmland with rare breeds and animals a la James Herriot the Vet, close to the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales.

North Yorkshire Moors railway

North Yorkshire Moors

The North York Moors is a national park in North Yorkshire, England UK, paradise for walkers and cyclists with many friendly country pubs. Imposing historic houses, castles, historic abbeys, beaches and ruins to see. Have a steam with a trip on the famous North Yorkshire Heritage Railway.

The Pennines - West Yorkshire


The Pennine are a unbroken range of hills and mountains that run from the Peak District, through the Yorkshire Dales, parts of Lancashire and Cumbria to the Scottish Borders. The Pennine way is one of the most iconic walking routes in UK - with Purple heather moors, peat-lands and remains of a mining industry.

Coast and beach in South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire

Sheffield is the capital of South Yorkshire a city knows for as a City of Hills and Rivers. Diverse busy market towns and big city lights within easy reach of each other, rural village life in the countryside self-catering accommodation comes in all forms: country cottages, wooden chalets and lodges, city apartments and wonderful large country houses for big group accommodation.

City of York


Yorkshire is also quite interesting historically. The Roman Empire was once ruled from its former Roman capital, York. The Danish Vikings came along a few hundred years later and took over, as they called it, Jorvik. And by the 12th century, many of the now famous cities and towns were established by the Normans.

Coast of Yorkshire

Yorkshire coast

The Yorkshire coastline offers beautiful and diverse seaside adventures. The North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast runs from the Tees estuary to the Humber estuary, a variety of fishing villages, picturesque market towns, rocky cliffs, white sand and family-friendly seaside resorts including Staithes, Runswick Bay, Robin Hood's Bay and Scarborough.

The Yorkshire Dales

Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales is between the Lake District to the west, and the North York Moors - a collection of river valleys and the hills around them. Most of the The Yorkshire Dales National Park is in North and West Yorkshire, some within and Cumbria.