North Yorkshire Market Towns & Country Villages
The best time to visit a Yorkshire town is during market day. The buzz and hustle of folks getting the freshest meats, veggies and cheeses from their local farmers is intoxicating. Not to mention the deliciousness of picking up hot and fresh Yorkshire pies and other delicacies.
North Yorkshire is a strikingly beautiful area to visit in England. We were lucky enough to take on a housesitting job in a little village called Snainton which was perfectly positioned to visit historic cities like York and Whitby and to really enjoy the Yorkshire coastline. One of our favourite activities is to make sure we visit market towns and see all the farmer’s markets we can and Yorkshire has an incredible variety of markets to check out. From the gourmet heights of Malton’s Market once a month to the delights of Pickering every Monday we make it our mission to find a market.
England is awash with market towns and Yorkshire is no exception. Market towns have a long history here dating back to Medieval times when farmers would come into the villages once a week to sell fresh fruit and vegetables along with meat, eggs and poultry.
The Yorkshire markets do vary some are strictly farmer’s selling their produce, fresh meat and so on and others are a combination of vendors from those selling bric a brac to bras and fresh baked goods. Most markets unless otherwise stated will sell a range of products so don’t be surprised to see you can pick up some incredible meat pies and a couple pairs of boxers at the same time.
Helmsley is a small market town nestled on the edge of the moor and was named Market Town of the Year. There are over 60 independently owned shops in Helmsley selling a variety of items from kitschy souvenirs to some of the best pastry and meat pies I have ever tasted. The village square is full of traders on a Friday and there is an abundance of tea shops to enjoy some Yorkshire cakes in.
You can also visit Helmsley Castle at the edge of town and learn how the castle evolved over the centuries, from a mighty medieval fortress to a luxurious Tudor mansion, to a Civil War stronghold and a romantic Victorian ruin.
Take a short journey down the road and check out Rievaulx Abbey, as you drive down the hill this perfect gothic ruin looms romantically in the gorgeous valley.
Malton is known as Yorkshire’s Food Capital and its twice monthly market is a feast for the senses. From fat beautiful sausages to some of the best homemade cider this market is simply a must see. Great restaurants, tons of free samples and great local produce make this a great day out. The Food Market in Malton will have its own post shortly.
Whitby is outstandingly atmospheric, with the brooding Abbey ruins that inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula Whitby has charm and history. The narrow little streets in the town centre give you a feeling of having gone back in time and are full of independent retailers with some funky things for sale providing the perfect setting for a charming and unique shopping experience. Renowned for its unique blend of local craft shops and jewellers (including highly sought after Whitby Jet Jewellery).
Pickering is a pretty and very friendly market town on the edge of the North York Moors. Nestled between a Castle and the river Pickering is a charming village with little alley-ways lots of tea shops and a great market on Mondays. Don’t forget to take a look at St. Peter & St. Paul’s Anglican Church with its world famous 15th Century wall paintings. They have a great little market on Mondays that encompasses baked goods, the fish van, a cheesemonger with some awesome Yorkshire cheeses, and of course a couple of fruit and veg guys.