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What to See, Do and Visit on Self-Catering Holidays in Pickering

Families and Friends of all ages can be assured a warm welcome in Pickering, a charming market town in North Yorkshire nestling in the heart of the beautiful North York Moors National Park. If you're planning a self-catering holiday in this picturesque region, you're in for a treat. Pickering holiday cottages provide easy access to an eclectic choice of activities and attractions that cater to all tastes and interests. Here's a guide to help you make the most of self-catering holidays in Pickering:

Where to Stay: View Pickering Holiday Homes Here.

With all these fabulous suggestions for ways to spend your time on holiday in Pickering set out below, you're sure to have a fantastic time choosing what to do from our suggestions, which have been chosen to appeal to the interests of all visitors to Pickering. Enjoy your time exploring this wonderful part of North Yorkshire.

Photo credit: Swift Cottage in Pickering. Sleeps 5

Theme Park Fun:

Flamingo Land Resort: For family-friendly thrills, head to Flamingo Land Resort, a popular theme park with exhilarating rides, a zoo, and entertainment shows that will keep everyone entertained.

Historic Castles and Country Houses:

Pickering Castle: Start your journey with a visit to Pickering Castle, a well-preserved medieval fortress with a rich history. Explore its towers, walls, and enjoy panoramic views from the top.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway: Hop aboard the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, a nostalgic steam train journey that takes you through stunning moorland landscapes. It's a unique way to experience the region's natural beauty.

Castle Howard: A short drive from Pickering, Castle Howard is a stately home known for its grand architecture, extensive gardens, and art collections. Explore the house and enjoy leisurely walks in the beautiful gardens.

Scampston Hall and Gardens: Another gem nearby, Scampston Hall boasts stunning Regency architecture and award-winning gardens designed by Piet Oudolf.

Dining and Pubs:

The White Swan Inn: Treat yourself to a delicious meal at The White Swan Inn, a charming restaurant offering a blend of traditional and modern British cuisine. Their Sunday lunches are particularly popular.

The Black Swan Inn: Enjoy hearty pub fare at The Black Swan Inn, a historic pub that combines a welcoming atmosphere, excellent food, and a wide range of ales.

Star Inn, Harome: For a memorable dining experience, consider a visit to the Michelin-starred Star Inn in Harome, renowned for its exquisite cuisine.


Beck Isle Museum: Step back in time at the Beck Isle Museum, which showcases Pickering's history. Explore its fascinating collections of rural life artefacts and learn about the town's heritage.

Ryedale Folk Museum: Immerse yourself in the past at the Ryedale Folk Museum, where historic buildings and exhibitions recreate rural life in North Yorkshire over the centuries.

Family Attractions:

Dalby Forest: Dalby Forest, just a short drive away, offers a range of family-friendly activities, including walking trails, cycling, and a Go Ape treetop adventure course.

Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum: Kids of all ages will enjoy Eden Camp, a unique museum housed in a former prisoner-of-war camp. It offers interactive displays about wartime history.

Outdoor Activity Centres:

Go Ape Dalby: If you're seeking adventure, Go Ape Dalby is an outdoor activity centre where you can navigate tree-top obstacles, zip lines and enjoy stunning forest views.

Ryedale Swim and Fitness Centre: For those who prefer indoor activities, the Ryedale Swim and Fitness Centre in Pickering offers swimming pools and a fitness centre to keep you active.

Exploring Pickering

Pickering Antiques Centre: If you have an eye for unique treasures, visit the Pickering Antiques Centre, a haven for collectors and vintage enthusiasts

Stroll the Market: Pickering hosts a weekly market where you can sample local produce and artisan goods and maybe even pick up a souvenir or two.

St. Peter and St. Paul's Church: Don't miss the beautiful stained glass windows and historic charm of St. Peter and St. Paul's Church in the centre of Pickering.

Local Festivals: Check the local events calendar for festivals and events taking place during your visit, such as the Yorkshire Game and Country Fair, held in May in nearby Malton, which showcases rural traditions. Other festivals and events in and around Pickering well worth visiting for weekend breaks include:

Pickering 1940s Wartime Weekend: This popular event typically takes place in October. It transports Pickering back in time to the 1940s with re-enactments, period costumes, live entertainment, vintage vehicles, and more. Wartime Weekend is held in conjunction with the North York Railway, so you can incorporate it with a scenic, steam-hauled trip on a heritage railway.

The Ryedale Festival: Every July, leading musical performers from across the globe take up residence for a host of spectacular concerts in over 30 characterful venues, such as Castle Howard, Hovingham Hall and Ampleforth Abbey, as well as churches and halls in the villages surrounding Pickering. which usually takes place in late July. It features live performances by local and national folk artists.

Pickering Christmas Lights Switch-On: This festive highlight begins in late November when the town is illuminated with sparkling Christmas lights. There are often carol singers, seasonal market stalls, and visits from Santa Claus.

Pickering Model Railway Exhibition: Held at Pickering Memorial Hall, this event often occurs in August and attracts model railway enthusiasts with intricate layouts and displays.

Rydale Book Festival: Literature lovers can attend this festival, which often takes place in the spring and features author talks, book signings, and literary discussions.

Remember that event dates and details may change from year to year, so it's a good idea to consult local event listings and the official Pickering Town website for the most current information and dates when planning your visit.

Other Must-See Attractions Nearby:

Helmsley: Take a short drive to the nearby town of Helmsley, known for its quaint streets, boutique shops, and the beautiful Helmsley Castle.

Helmsley Walled Garden: Just a short drive away in Helmsley, you'll find the beautiful Helmsley Walled Garden, a serene oasis with stunning flower displays and plant collections.

Ryedale Vineyards: Discover the local wine scene with a visit to Ryedale Vineyards, where you can tour the vineyard, taste award-winning English wines, and enjoy the beautiful setting.

Hutton-le-Hole: Visit the charming village of Hutton-le-Hole, famous for its picturesque green, thatched cottages, and the Ryedale Folk Museum. Venture out to other charming villages like Thornton-le-Dale and Lastingham to discover more picturesque scenery, traditional pubs, and quaint streets.

Go for a Walk: Explore the picturesque countryside with scenic walks such as the Pickering to Levisham Trail or the Forge Valley Woods Nature Reserve, a 2-mile accessible woodland walk along the banks of the River Derwent for a dose of nature and tranquillity.

Whether you're seeking history, adventure, family fun, or simply a tranquil escape, Pickering, North Yorkshire, has something to offer every self-catering holidaymaker. Explore the town's rich heritage, soak in the natural beauty of the North York Moors, and create cherished memories in this delightful corner of England.

Finally, for more Pickering-inspired holiday recommendations, read this article: Pubs and Restaurants in Pickering. Between the two articles, you’ll find enough to fill an entire fortnight of culinary and other memorable visitor experiences.

Where to Stay in Pickering. Holiday Cottages for All

Click on the title above to view our collection of holiday cottages in Pickering and surrounding villages in the North Yorkshire countryside.