Vale of York, North Yorkshire
As the name suggests, the ancient city of York lies within the centre of the Vale. York Castle Museum , the Minster and of course the world famous Jorvik Viking Centre can all be found within this fascinating and beautiful Yorkshire city. A former Viking settlement and one of England's oldest cities, York is full of history, charm and sophistication. The city is well stocked with hotels and guest houses for the traveller.
The Vale of York is sometimes mistakenly thought of as the area from the River Tees in the north, and down on to the Humber estuary in the south. This is inaccurate. The Vale of York is actually the central part of this area, with the Vale of Mowbray to its north and the Humberhead Levels to its south. The Howardian Hills and Yorkshire Wolds mark its easterly border with the Pennines marking the western limit. The low lying ridge of the Escrick moraine marks its southern boundary.
Gliders launch from the edge of the Hambleton Hills at Sutton Bank , making use of the air currents by the side of the hills to provide their lift. The hill features a White Horse carved into the underlying chalk. A pleasant walk takes you to the best viewing spot, and to the horse itself. Lake Gormire is a picturesque and quiet haven, abundant with wildlife, that nestles at the foot of the Hambleton Hills.
The area to the north of York is home to some traditional small towns such as Easingwold , Thirsk , Northallerton, Ripon and Bedale . All are thriving market towns with a unique, friendly air and are popular and charming tourist destinations.
As the countryside in the Vale is rolling rather than steeply inclined, it makes exploration by push-bike relatively easy.
Several of Yorkshire's largest rivers meet on the plain along their journey to the North Sea, which lies to the east. These include the Swale, the Ure, the Nidd and the Wharfe. Once converged they form the Ouse , which then winds on down to flow into the Humber Estuary and then on to the sea.
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