Serving as main gateway to the North Yorkshire Moors, Pickering is a popular holiday base especially with families. The North Yorkshire Moors Steam Railway starts its journey from Pickering, making the town a central hub for hooking into one of the UK's most scenic historic railways. Attractions and amenities within Pickering are superb. Pickering's 12th century castle is a fine example of a motte and bailey castle and Pickering is home to the Beck Isle Museum with its reconstructed rooms including Victorian parlour and pub. Look out for the fascinating photography of local born Sidney Smith at the Beck Isle Museum spanning the period from 1910 to the 1960s.
Pickering town centre is a lively affair, with an excellent choice of specialist shops, tearooms and cafes, country pubs, restaurants and B&Bs, holiday cottages and small country hotels.
Dalby Forest near Pickering was chosen to host the opening round of the Mountain Biking World Cup. There was a weekend of events and excitement in Dalby and Pickering. On Friday there was a sprint race through town and down steps, through a pub and many other stunts.
This was a great chance to see the top bikers in the world, enjoy a street party in Pickering and a chance to ride the Dalby routes. Stretch out the weekend and explore the bike routes in and around Dalby and Ryedale and enjoy the wide variety of excellent food outlets and dining opportunities. Find out more via the Dalby Forest World Mountain Biking Championships website link below.
Pickering has its own station stop on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Line, making it ideal for those wanting to enjoy a relaxing day trip. The station itself is worth a visit alone, having been used in many film and television productions including the 2002 film 'Possession', which starred Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart amongst other world-famous actors and actresses.
The line from the station runs through Grosmont to Whitby, and a ride on the steam train along this route provides breath-taking views that will inspire any visitor.
The full journey time without stops from Pickering to Whitby takes just over one and a half hours. Each stop holds its own delights, and with a choice of single, return and rover tickets available you can plan your own day. Hop on and off Pickering to Grosmont Day Rover tickets or Pickering to Whitby Day Rover tickets are popular options, with special rates available for families.
Both Whitby and Pickering at the start and end of the journey are particularly crammed with attractions. Pickering boasts a historic castle, fine specialist shops, the celebrated Beck Isle Museum and a fine choice of country pubs and restaurants. Whitby is one of the Yorkshire coasts most popular destinations with a choice of museums exploring the town's maritime links and special relationship with Captain Cook alongside fun Dracula themed attractions, historic Whitby Abbey and the best of Yorkshire specialist shops, pubs, tearooms and restaurants, not to mention great beaches and coastal walking. North Yorkshire Moors Railway Customer Services tel. 01751 472508. Talking timetable tel. 01751 473535. The complete timetable and ticket prices are listed on the website.
Just north of Pickering Centre and the steam railway station you'll find the 12th century motte and bailey Pickering Castle.
Pickering Castle stands out as a particularly fine example of a motte and bailey castle. Considerable sections have survived, including the keep, towers and walls.
The castle was built by William the Conqueror. Find out more via the exhibition in the chapel.
Pickering Castle, Castlegate, Pickering YO18 7AX. Tel. 01751 474989. For details see the English Heritage Pickering Castle weblink right.
An especially good museum for children, the Beck Isle Museum sits in the heart of Pickering appropriately by Pickering Beck and bridge - the bridge is where William Marshall thought up England's first Agricultural Institute early in the 1800s.
The museum is housed within a rather attractive Regency mansion, and exhibits within are wide ranging covering several historical periods focusing on local life. Reconstructed rooms are incredibly detailed and include a barber shop, Victorian Parlour, Victorian Pub and Blacksmiths. An extensive costume gallery displaying clothes from the 19th and 20th century is also within the museum.
Particularly fascinating is the photography on display by Sidney Smith and wife Maud. Sidney Smith was born in Pickering, and his photography spans the period from around 1910 to the 1960s. Smith's photography captures Pickering residents and people passing through the town during the period. The collection serves as a social document of the town and the photographs, particularly the portraits, are incredibly natural and moving. See examples of Smith's photography via the museum's website.
The Forge Valley Railway connected Pickering to Scarborough. Opened on 1st May 1882 and closed just 68 years later on 3rd June 1950 the line was 16 miles in length and had six intermediate stations, all of which were built to a uniform design. It left the Malton to Whitby main line half a mile south of Pickering at Mill Lane Junction and joined the York to Scarborough main line at Seamer Junction, 2 miles from the coast.