Area Guides

Best Places to Live in North Yorkshire

Posted June 11, 2024
Best Places to Live in North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire, with its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant communities, offers a plethora of delightful locales for those considering a move to this picturesque part of England.

Whether you’re looking for bustling cities with busy high streets, charming market towns, pretty villages, serene countryside retreats, or yorkshire coastline gems, North Yorkshire has something to offer everyone.

With excellent educational institutions, efficient transport links to London and Edinburgh, and a high quality of life, it’s no wonder that more and more people are choosing to live in the north and calling this region home.

Our guide will cover some of the best places to live, so you can decide if life in North Yorkshire is for you.

Harrogate

Harrogate

Harrogate is an affluent spa town known for its high quality of life, superb schools, and beautiful Victorian and Georgian architecture. Our latest development, Kingsley Meadows, has Shared Ownership 2 & 3-bedroom houses available to purchase.

  • Attractions: Turkish Baths, RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Valley Gardens, Royal Pump Room Museum. The Stray, a large open parkland, offers 200 acres of open space perfect for walking, picnicking, and outdoor sports.
  • Lifestyle: Known for luxury shopping, Michelin-starred restaurants, quaint tea rooms, such as Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms, and a variety of cultural festivals and events including the Harrogate International Festivals. The town also boasts extensive spa and wellness facilities.
  • Transport: Direct rail links to Leeds (30 mins), York (45 mins), and London (around 3 hours). Convenient road connections via A61 and A59. Local bus services provide comprehensive coverage within the town.
  • Property Market: Primarily upmarket housing, with properties ranging from period homes with generous gardens to modern flats. Property prices are higher, reflecting the town’s desirability. The Duchy area is particularly sought after for its grand homes and tree-lined streets.

York

York

York offers a stunning combination of historic charm and modern amenities. This well-preserved medieval city is perfect for families, young professionals, and retirees alike because of its vibrant lifestyle, excellent educational institutions, and efficient transport links.

  • Attractions: York Minster, The Shambles, Jorvik Viking Centre, Clifford’s Tower, National Railway Museum. The city walls provide a unique walking experience, and York’s Chocolate Story highlights the city’s rich confectionery heritage.
  • Lifestyle: A dynamic mix of high-end shops, independent boutiques, bustling markets, top-tier restaurants, and vibrant cafes. The city has a thriving cultural scene with many theatres, galleries, and regular festivals like the York Literature Festival and Eboracum Roman Festival.
  • Transport: Excellent rail connections to London (under 2 hours), Leeds, and Manchester. Major roads like A64 and A19 provide convenient road access. York is also very bike-friendly with multiple cycling routes and bike hire schemes.
  • Property Market: Offers a variety of properties, including historic townhouses, terraced houses, and modern apartments. Prices are higher in the city centre but outskirts offer more affordable options. The areas of Bishopthorpe, Fulford, and Heworth are popular.

Richmond

Richmond

Richmond is a picturesque market town on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, perfect for those who appreciate scenic beauty, rich history, and a slower pace of life.

  • Attractions: Richmond Castle, Georgian Theatre Royal, Easby Abbey, Green Howards Museum. The town also features the Station, a unique venue housing a cinema, art gallery, and café.
  • Lifestyle: A friendly, close-knit community with a selection of excellent local shops, traditional pubs, and great eateries. The town hosts various local events and farmers’ markets, as well as walking and hiking opportunities in the beautiful surrounding countryside.
  • Transport: Bus services are available, with the nearest major railway stations in Darlington and Northallerton offering broader connectivity. Richmond is well-connected via the A1(M), making it easy to travel by car.
  • Property Market: Features properties ranging from historic homes to modern builds and cosy cottages, often with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Prices are generally reasonable, with options available both in the town centre and in more rural settings.

Whitby

Whitby

Whitby is a charming coastal town for beach lovers and history enthusiasts. It offers stunning maritime heritage and a lively cultural scene.

  • Attractions: Whitby Abbey, Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Whitby Beach, 199 Steps. You can also explore the picturesque harbour and enjoy boat trips along the coast. The nearby North York Moors offer additional outdoor opportunities.
  • Lifestyle: It has a bustling fishing port atmosphere, with excellent seafood restaurants, traditional fish and chips shops, and various festivals such as the Whitby Goth Weekend and Whitby Regatta. The town also hosts a regular market and many local craft and artisan shops.
  • Transport: Rail connections to Middlesbrough, bus services to major towns. Limited road access primarily through A171. Local buses provide good coverage within the town.
  • Property Market: Affordable seaside cottages, modern developments with coastal views, and historic homes. Property prices vary but are generally reasonable. Areas like Sandsend and Robin Hood’s Bay nearby are also very popular.

Ripon

Ripon

Ripon is a historic cathedral city with a relaxed ambience and a strong community spirit, offering a perfect blend of urban and rural living.

  • Attractions: Ripon Cathedral, Fountains Abbey, Ripon Racecourse, Newby Hall. The Spa Gardens are also a favourite spot for locals and visitors alike.
  • Lifestyle: Peaceful market town feel with an array of independent shops, charming cafés, and local markets. The town has a vibrant arts scene and regular community events like the annual St Wilfrid’s Procession.
  • Transport: Good road links to Harrogate and York, though rail links are less direct. Regular bus services connect Ripon to nearby towns and cities.
  • Property Market: Features a mix of traditional properties, townhouses, and new builds, often reflecting the town’s heritage. Prices are moderate compared to larger nearby cities. Popular suburbs include Ure Bank and Littlethorpe.

Thirsk

Thirsk

Thirsk is a small, picturesque market town surrounded by beautiful countryside, making it ideal for those who love nature and a rural lifestyle.

  • Attractions: World of James Herriot, Thirsk Museum, Sutton Bank, Thirsk Racecourse. The town is also close to the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales, offering excellent opportunities for hiking and outdoor activities.
  • Lifestyle: Friendly, welcoming community with local markets, artisan shops, and agricultural shows. The town retains a traditional feel with modern amenities, and hosts a variety of events such as the Thirsk Yarnbombers installations.
  • Transport: Accessible by A1(M) and rail connections to York and Middlesbrough. Regular bus services connect the town to surrounding areas.
  • Property Market: Affordable cottages, period homes, newer family residences, and rural properties. Prices are generally reasonable. Popular areas include South Kilvington and Carlton Miniott.

Knaresborough

Knaresborough

Knaresborough offers stunning riverside views, a rich history, and a vibrant local community, making it an attractive choice for families and retirees.

  • Attractions: Knaresborough Castle, Mother Shipton’s Cave, Nidd Gorge, Knaresborough Viaduct. The River Nidd is also ideal for boating, kayaking, and riverside walks.
  • Lifestyle: Quaint town with independent shops, riverside walks, weekly markets, and a host of community events. The town has a vibrant social life and a cosy feel, with regular events such as the Bed Race and the Christmas Market.
  • Transport: Regular train services to York, Harrogate, and Leeds. Convenient road links via A59. Local bus services provide good internal connectivity.
  • Property Market: A variety of historic homes, modern houses, and riverside properties. Prices are moderate and reflect the town’s desirability. Particularly desirable neighbourhoods include the areas around Abbey Road and Houseman Crescent.

Helmsley

Helmsley

Helmsley is a charming market town in the North York Moors National Park, attractive for its scenic beauty, historic charm, and a strong community spirit.

  • Attractions: Helmsley Castle, Duncombe Park, Helmsley Walled Garden, Rievaulx Abbey. The town is also the start of the Cleveland Way, a popular walking route.
  • Lifestyle: Offers an array of independent shops, art galleries, local markets, and top-quality eateries. Plenty of outdoor activities like walking and cycling. The town hosts regular events such as the Helmsley Arts Centre performances and the annual Helmsley in Business events.
  • Transport: Limited public transport, with bus services to nearby towns. Most residents rely on car travel for wider connectivity.
  • Property Market: Primarily composed of stone cottages, townhouses, and countryside estates. Property prices range from moderate to high, reflecting the desirability and exclusivity of the area. Popular nearby villages include Rievaulx and Beadlam.

Northallerton

Northallerton in the high street at Christmas

The county town of Northallerton is an excellent choice for those seeking a blend of rural charm and urban amenities, offering a friendly atmosphere and a well-connected location.

  • Attractions: Mount Grace Priory, Joe Cornish Gallery, Northallerton Market. The town also features the lovely Romanby Golf and Country Club and is close to the Yorkshire Dales.
  • Lifestyle: A good range of shops, traditional country pubs, modern restaurants, and regular markets. The town has a lively social and community scene, with events such as the Northallerton May Fair and the Christmas Festival.
  • Transport: Excellent rail connections to London, Newcastle, and Edinburgh. Convenient road access via A19 and A1(M). Regular bus services provide good local connectivity.
  • Property Market: A variety of housing options, from affordable terraced houses to larger family homes and new developments. Prices are generally reasonable. Popular residential areas include Romanby and Brompton.

Skipton

Skipton - Bolton Abbey

Known as the “Gateway to the Dales,” Skipton is well-loved for its historical heritage, outdoor opportunities, and excellent schools.

  • Attractions: Skipton Castle, Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Bolton Abbey. Additionally, Aireville Park offers extensive recreational facilities for families, and the town hosts the popular Skipton Sheep Day festival.
  • Lifestyle: A thriving market town atmosphere with a variety of shops, cafes, eateries, and historic pubs. The town hosts several local events and festivals, including the Skipton Festival of Music and the monthly farmers’ market.
  • Transport: Good rail connections to Leeds and Bradford, with road links via A65 and A59. Local bus services provide good internal and regional connectivity.
  • Property Market: Offers a range of properties from stone terraces and modern houses to countryside estates. Prices vary but are typically more affordable than in larger cities. Desirable neighbourhoods include Embsay and Gargrave.

Malton

malton - Wharram Percy

Malton, known as Yorkshire’s Food Capital, is a gastro-centric market town with a blend of historic charm and modern convenience.

  • Attractions: Malton Museum, Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum, Flamingo Land. The town also has the impressive Yorkshire Arboretum and is close to the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  • Lifestyle: Renowned for its food and drink, with numerous delis, restaurants, and food markets. The town has a friendly, vibrant community with regular food festivals and events, such as the Malton Food Lovers Festival and monthly Food Market.
  • Transport: Good road connections via A64 and nearby rail services to York and Scarborough. Regular bus services connect the town to surrounding areas.
  • Property Market: A variety of homes ranging from period properties to modern developments. Prices vary, but the area remains relatively affordable. Desirable areas include Old Malton and Norton-on-Derwent.

Settle

Settle - Pen-y-ghent

Settle is a picturesque market town located at the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales, perfect for those who enjoy outdoor activities and a serene lifestyle.

  • Attractions: Settle-Carlisle Railway, Victoria Hall, The Folly. The area also offers the stunning Malham Cove and Gordale Scar, popular with hikers and climbers.
  • Lifestyle: Offers a peaceful, close-knit community feel with regular markets, traditional shops, pubs, and outdoor activities such as walking and cycling. The town hosts several local events, including the Settle Flowerpot Festival and Settle Stories Festival.
  • Transport: Rail connections to Leeds and Carlisle, with road access via A65. Regular bus services provide good local and regional connectivity.
  • Property Market: Features affordable stone cottages, newer builds, and charming countryside homes. Prices are reasonable. Popular nearby areas include Giggleswick and Langcliffe.

Grassington

Grassington

Grassington, in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, is ideal for those who appreciate stunning landscapes, outdoor adventures, and a quaint village lifestyle.

  • Attractions: Grassington Folk Museum, Wharfedale, Linton Falls. The area also offers access to the Dales Way, a popular long-distance walking route.
  • Lifestyle: Offers a quintessential village atmosphere with independent shops, cosy cafés, and traditional pubs. The village hosts several local events and festivals, including the Grassington Festival and Dickensian Festival.
  • Transport: Limited public transport, with bus services to Skipton. Most residents rely on car travel for broader connectivity.
  • Property Market: Primarily composed of stone cottages, terraced houses, and rural properties. Prices range from moderate to high, reflecting the desirability of the area. Nearby popular villages include Hebden and Burnsall.