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East Riding of Yorkshire

East Yorkshire Flag

Of the four counties that make up the whole of the Yorkshire region, East Yorkshire, or East Riding of Yorkshire, is a largely rural county with more in common with its northern neighbour than its southern or eastern counterparts. Alongside the city of Hull and numerous towns, the beautiful scenery, rolling fields, and open countryside give way to long stretches of beach, coastline, and estuary, making East Yorkshire an interesting and diverse place to visit.

Days out in East Yorkshire

Though the whole Yorkshire region is a popular tourist destination, with a wide range of attractions, activities, and places to see, East Yorkshire takes a calmer approach. The smaller coastal and market towns like Beverley, Pocklington, Hornsea, and Goole, give visitors a chance to relax and enjoy the slower pace of life while the thriving port city of Kingston-upon Hull provides an injection of culture and vibrancy.

What better place to start your visit to Hull than The Deep? This award-winning, futuristic, state-of-the-art aquarium overlooks the Humber estuary and is home to over 5,000 animals. Learn more about their marine conservation efforts and see everything from penguins and sharks to turtles, piranha, and jellyfish, all coming from every corner of the earth.

Hull’s Old Town still shows the charm and history of days gone by, with cobbled streets lined with small boutiques and independent shops, giving you plenty to explore in this corner of the city. Here, the Streetlife Museum has over 200 years of transport history on display including trams, bikes, cars, horse-drawn carriages, and street life through the years.

The city’s impressive maritime heritage and history are celebrated in the Hull Maritime Museum, or take a Blue Plaque Trail through the city’s streets to discover some of Hull’s most famous people, places, and buildings. And the famous Humber Bridge, the UK’s longest single-span suspension bridge, makes for a magnificent sight as it crosses the river into Lincolnshire.

The seaside resort town of Bridlington has several fantastic beaches to enjoy, with the North Beach and promenade and South Beach providing long and expansive sands. But both the Bondville Model Village and Bridlington Animal Park give you an excellent choice of family days out.

The small town of Skipsea is home to Skipsea Castle. Dating from 1086, this Iron Age mound was once a Norman motte-and-bailey castle and is well worth visiting for its impressive size. In the town of Beverley, though a humble parish church, Beverly Minister is the largest in England and its history and architecture make it a must-see building with plenty of interesting sculptures and items to look for.

The seriously impressive Yorkshire Wolds provide stunning landscapes with panoramic views across the county’s western half, including the Wolds Way National Trail. If you’re looking to escape and unwind on foot, on bike, or on horseback, this beautiful area gives you plenty to explore.

Topography, geology, and climate

Though largely rural, East Yorkshire features a range of different land qualities, including the Wolds, which give the county a varied mix of soil types and fertility levels.

Along the banks of the River Ouse in the west out to the Humber estuary and the North Sea, soils are of moderate and lime-rich fertility and a loam and clay, naturally wet texture. Inland, the western side is a mix of seasonally wet, mildly acid, but base-rich loam and clay soils and high acid sand and loam soils of low fertility. Centrally, across the Wolds, loamy, lime-rich soils give way to heavier clay and further wet, mildly acid, but base-rich loam and clay soils in the east.

Though having generally cooler summers alongside milder winters thanks to the shelter it receives from the Pennines and the North Sea, East Yorkshire can still have a fairly changeable climate. Temperatures over the summer months tend to average around 18ºC (64ºF), while winter temperatures average around 1ºC (33ºF). However, rainfall can also be consistent across the year, averaging up to 700mm (28”).

East Yorkshire’s Parks and Gardens

With a beautiful rural backdrop, East Yorkshire also has a fine selection of gardens and parklands to visit. With all of them close to some of the county's lovely market towns, they each make an ideal family day out, while the temperate climate makes for colourful displays all year round, with plenty to inspire any garden enthusiast.

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The Market town of Driffield has two properties nearby that are certainly worth visiting when in the area.

Headed north from Driffield, Sledmere House and Gardens sits just on the fringes of the wider Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown-designed surrounding parkland. But within the property, and there is a stunning walled garden to discover. With a formal planting style, the garden features different planting areas with each providing colour, scent, and interest across every season, from daffodils, tulips and assorted bulbs in the spring to glorious displays of roses in the summer, alongside late-flowering perennials going into the autumn.

Just east of Driffield, RHS Partner garden, Burton Agnes Hall, is an Elizabethan manor house that features an award-winning walled garden with over 3,000 plant species that has something for everyone. Highlights include well-stocked and vibrant herbaceous borders, a Kitchen garden, a Jungle garden, and a national collection of Campanulas (Bellflower). There’s also a woodland arboretum walk together with a Yew maze and giant garden games.

On the tip of the north coast near Bridlington, Sewerby Hall provides an outstanding 50-acres of peaceful gardens and woodland, ideal for any family day out. The formal Pleasure garden contains beautiful displays of beds and borders with lawns and pathways leading you around. The walled garden contains a changing mix of shrubs, flowers, and box hedges that provide colour through the seasons, while the wonderful rose garden provides various rose shrubs and climbers giving delicate scent and bold colour through the summer.

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In the market town of Pocklington, Burnby Hall Gardens and Museum has earned the reputation of being “a jewel in Yorkshire’s crown”. These award-winning ornamental gardens cover 9-acres and are home to impressive woodlands and walkways and bridges over an upper and a lower lake, both of which are home to a national collection of over 100 varieties of water lily. While the lakes are a key feature, Burnby also features a restored rock garden, Victorian garden and an aviary.

A little way over the western border into North Yorkshire, Breezy Knees Gardens near the village of Stamford Bridge is certainly a hidden gem. Another award-winning garden and covering over 20-acres, it’s a perfectly tranquil place to experience for everyone. With a host of vibrant beds and borders and hidden corners to discover, the garden comes alive with over 7,000 different plant varieties. At their best from May through to September, seasonal highlights include special collections of Irises and peonies alongside the glorious cottage garden, fragrant rose garden, and late-season blooms and colour in the September garden. A must-visit garden.

And over the northern border, again into North Yorkshire, Scampston Walled Garden near Malton is a beautiful and contemporary garden. With surrounding Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown-designed parkland, Scampston features a series of garden ‘rooms’ restored and designed by Dutch garden designer, Piet Oudolf, set inside the 18th-century walls of the original kitchen garden. Alongside a pleasing mix of grasses, and meadow plantings, lawns, water features, and colourful beds and borders, the long border walk takes you around the garden’s border, edged with over 200 lime trees.