North Yorkshire

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Of the modern day Yorkshire, North Yorkshire is the largest of the three Yorkshire counties. It is the most rural of the three with pockets of industry in Middlesbrough, a number of the Yorkshire Coast resorts and the affluent spa town of Harrogate. It also takes in the historical city of York, and traditional market towns like Skipton, Richmond and Selby.

If you're looking for history and iconic surroundings, look no further than York. Its museums, particularly The Castle Museum and the National Railway Museum are an absolute must. Take in the solitude and marvel at the stained glass work of York Minster, walk along the city walls, climb up to Clifford's Tower. Why not take a ride through Viking York at the Jorvik Heritage Centre, or see the York Dungeon? York also has a number of hotels which make for suitable conference venues.

The same can be said of Harrogate with its International Conference Centre. Its roots as an exclusive spa resort and number of hotels has made the affluent Yorkshire town a popular conference venue. It is a must for lovers of antiques and tea connoisseurs (home of Yorkshire Tea by Taylors of Harrogate). Whilst there, why not have tea at Betty's Tea Rooms. Or visit the Royal Pump Room Museum and (if you dare!) have a little taste of its sulphurous water. The Great Yorkshire Showground is a must if you're planning a bigger conference. Close by, Knaresborough is worth a visit, particularly for Mother Shipton's Cave and its castle.

Skipton is another market town worth visiting, closer to the Red Rose county and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. As well as occasional outdoor markets, why not visit its castle, or take a trip along the Embsay Valley Railway. It is also a good starting point for a journey along the Settle and Carlisle line. Pickering, also with a castle and markets, this time near the North Yorkshire Moors National Park is also worth a visit. Antiques lovers and rail enthusiasts will be suitably placated. From there, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway takes you into the moors and calls at Goathland - better known to some as Aidensfield in Yorkshire Television's 'Heartbeat'.

You may continue your journey to Whitby on Northern Rail's service by changing at Grosmont. No trip is complete without taking the 199 steps up to its abbey. The Old Town part is worth visiting for its unspoilt pubs, narrow streets and quirky shops. About 20 miles south is Scarborough, an all-action seaside resort famed for its castle, harbour and spa. The Scarborough Spa Complex has outdoor concerts and live theatrical productions. As for hotels and conference venues, you cannot go far wrong. The Spa Complex alone has a number of rooms suitable to host the smallest and the greatest of conferences.

There is more to North Yorkshire than rolling countryside, market towns, moorland and preserved railways. The 'infant Hercules', which William Gladstone referred to Middlesbrough as shouldn't be missed either. The centre of Middlesbrough is a suitable conference venue, especially so for delegates mainly living in County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland as well as North Yorkshire. Recent investment in Further and Higher Education facilities has made this possible.

The A1(M), East Coast Main Line and Transpennine Express services make North Yorkshire a most attractive conference venue as well as its scenic merits. Manchester's a short distance away from York with three to four trains per hour, some of which continue to Middlesbrough, Northallerton or Scarborough. East Coast services make for a direct link with London King's Cross. Take a short walk to St. Pancras, and you'll find it's possible to get to York from Paris Nord.

The rolling hills, elegant market towns and seaside resorts are within easy reach from most parts of UK, be it by rail or road. With lots to offer besides suitable conference venues, you will be sure of a memorable sojourn.

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