We recently had a look at the great holiday opportunities on our doorstep in Leeds, by casting our eyes towards the Yorkshire Dales. Today we thought it would be interesting to have a look at the value of tourism to Yorkshire more generally, and to have a look in the other direction, towards York and East Yorkshire, another very popular area for tourists in our area and in the UK at large.
Regional website Yorkshire.com notes that the total value of the industry of tourism to the Yorkshire region is £7 billion annually. This is a significant sum and a large contributor to the economy of the region more generally. The county of Yorkshire has seen a real boost in recent years with the Tour de France hosting its Grand Depart here in 2014, putting the region on the map for tourism from the continent, as well as further highlighting our region as a tourism destination within the UK. The Yorkshire Tourism Board also provides figures which suggest that tourism counts for as much as 7.2% of Yorkshire’s income and supports 11% of Yorkshire’s workforce, amounting to around 240,000 jobs.
The City of York in particular is a notable destination for visitors. Attracting around 4 million visitors annually, with around a quarter of those typically being from overseas, though the number of overseas visitors, particularly those from continental Europe, increased in 2014, as a result of the Grand Depart. York is also a popular tourist destination for those from North America, with the history and culture of the region, represented in the narrow and quaint streets of the old areas of the city, offering a quintessential representation of England’s traditions and heritage.
It’s easy to see why York is such an attraction both for those in the UK and without. The history of the city spans millennia,. From the Roman settlement of Eboracum, to Jorvik and the Vikings and the Wars of the Roses more recently. Much of this history is evident in the city. The Roman walls which surround the old city are still in very good condition. The Jorvik centre, though sometimes out of action due to its subterranean location and the city’s propensity for flooding near the river Ouse, is a fantastic tourist spot for those looking to learn more about the Viking’s occupation of the city. The museum allows visitors to travel around a recreation of what York during the Viking period would have been like, demonstrating the lifestyle and culture of this period with models and animatronics.
The Minster is of course another iconic attraction within the city. It’s staggering scale and fascinating history make it one of the region’s top attractions. A guided tour is worth the investment, with details such as the Minsters sloping floor (to allow for easy cleaning from the dirt of all the pilgrims who visited) making the trip come to life.
The East of Yorkshire, along with Humberside, has been put on the map more recently, with Hull’s being City of Culture for 2017. The East coast of Yorkshire offers some of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, Whitby, with its Gothic history and Abbey along with Scarborough and Filey further up the coast attract millions of visitors a year.
Hotels are an obvious choice for accommodation for those looking to visit. With York and East Yorkshire’s seaside towns having a range of different price points for those looking to visit. From Bed & Breakfast accommodation to more expensive boutique hotels. If the weather is on your side then camping is of course a great option for accommodation again, and is great value for money. Alternatively, an increasingly popular choice is the Holiday Lodge option. Log Cabins such as Bay Tree Lodge near York offer many of the comforts of a cottage self-catering stay, but with the charm of a cabin stay. In this case it also comes with its own Hot Tub, to add an extra luxury to your stay.
Yorkshire remains one of the chief tourist destinations in the country and with offerings such as York and the picturesque East Coast seaside towns it is not hard to understand why so many flock to this part of the world year round- we’re lucky they’re right on our doorstep here in Leeds.