Yorkshire is the largest county in England, divided into four areas. The Vale of York, North Riding, East Riding and West Riding.
The City of York is situated at the junction of the Ridings, in the Vale of York, which is the widest plain in England.
York’s centre is enclosed by the city’s medieval walls. A feature of central York is the cobbled streets. At the heart of the cobbled streets is a lane called The Shambles. It is a narrow street, (in places you can just about touch both sides of the street) and it is lined with shops and tea rooms. Dating back to Medieval times it was once a street of Butcher Shops. The name is thought to derive from ‘Shammel’, an anglo-saxon word for the shelves which were a prominent feature of the open shop-fronts.
York Minster, a large Gothic-Style medieval cathedral, dominates the city.
The North York Moors National Park, the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast and the majority of the Yorkshire Dales National Park are in the north of the county. There are records of 12,000 archaeological sites and features in the North York Moors National Park, of which 700 are scheduled ancient monuments. The hills of Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent are collectively known as the Three Peaks. The peaks, which form part of the Pennine range, encircle the heads of the valleys of the River Ribble and of Chapel-le-Dale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The highest point in the North Riding is Mickle Fell at 2,585 ft (788 metres). Wensleydale, famous for its cheese is situated in Hawes, in North Yorkshire.
To the east lies the coast of the North Sea and the Humber. The Yorkshire Wolds are at the centre of East Riding. The gentle Derwent valley forms the boundary with North Riding.
The West Riding of Yorkshire is the biggest. Some of Yorkshire’s biggest towns and cities are in West Yorkshire, include Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and Doncaster. Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters is in West Yorkshire.