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The walled medieval city of York, 90 kms northeast of Manchester, is a great place to explore, with narrow streets, lovely shops and timbered homes with gabled roofs.Don't miss the 14th-century York Minster) and York Castle Museum. Take a walk along the city wall and visit Clifford's Tower, the Yorkshire Museum Jorvik Viking Centre (tour the reconstructed Viking-era town on the exact site where archaeologists found streets, shops, dwellings and other remains—get there early to avoid crowds), the award-winning National Railway Museum and 18th-century Castle Howard, a gold-domed baroque mansion. York is reputed to be the most haunted city in England (tours of spooked locales are given after dark).

The surrounding countryside features the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks. 55 kms north of Manchester, the Yorkshire Dales are a world apart. Kilometres of unspoiled countryside, country lanes and stonewalls surround lively market towns, isolated farmhouses, ancient lead mines and great limestone caverns.

This is the middle stretch of the Pennines and is great hiking country for the hale and hearty. The small village of Malham makes a good base if you want to explore this unique limestone countryside, but the market town of Richmond has more of interest, with an 11th-century castle, walking tours and traditional shops..

The fabulous scenery of Yorkshire attracts plenty of four-wheeled visitors, making the roads very crowded, especially during the summer. If you can’t avoid busy summer weekends, try to come by bus or train, and even then 

it’s well worth getting off the beaten track.