Things to Do in Pickering: Discovering the Charm

8 months ago   •   12 min read

By More Yorkshire
Table of contents

Things To Do In Pickering

Searching for the best things to do in Pickering? Situated in the heart of North Yorkshire, this enchanting market town boasts an array of activities and attractions.

Dive into Pickering's rich heritage and scenic beauty, from its cobbled streets to its historical landmarks.

Whether you're passionate about history, love the outdoors, or are seeking a serene escape, Pickering has it all.

Delve into its captivating past at Pickering Castle, discover local tales at Beck Isle Museum, or embrace the outdoors in spots like Cropton Forest and Cawthorn Roman Camp.

And, as you meander, indulge in the myriad of shops, eateries, and events that elevate Pickering as a must-visit destination. Your adventure in Pickering promises to be both unforgettable and rewarding.

History of Pickering

Pickering Castle

One of the highlights of Pickering's historical landscape is Pickering Castle. This English Heritage site showcases a fine example of a motte and bailey fortress dating back to the 12th century. As you wander the grounds, you'll find the keep, an impressive tower that would have served as the castle's main defence and residence. The earthworks that make up the motte and bailey are also still visible, offering a glimpse into the castle's strategic structure.

While exploring Pickering Castle, you can learn about its historic significance, ranging from its Norman origins to its crucial role in protecting the region during the turbulent Wars of the Roses. The well-preserved castle ruins let your imagination run wild as you picture life inside this medieval stronghold.

Eden Camp

Image Source:

Just a short drive from Pickering, near Malton, you'll find Eden Camp, a unique modern history-themed museum. This former prisoner of war camp will transport you back in time to experience the sights, sounds and even smells of World War II.

Housed in original huts, the museum brings history to life through interactive exhibits and impressive displays. As you make your way through Eden Camp, you'll learn about key aspects of the wartime era, such as the Blitz, the Home Front, and the experiences of evacuees. The museum serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made during this period.

In your journey through Pickering and its surroundings, you'll uncover the layers of history that have shaped this enchanting town. From the ancient walls of Pickering Castle to the vivid stories captured at Eden Camp, there's a wealth of history waiting for you to discover.

Natural Beauty and Outdoor Activities

North York Moors

The North York Moors offer a stunning landscape of heather-clad moorland and breath-taking views, making it an ideal destination for various outdoor activities. You can go on long walks, cycle through picturesque routes, or simply enjoy the panoramic vistas that surround you. The area is perfect for reconnecting with nature and experiencing the beauty of the English countryside.

Dalby Forest

When looking for things to do in Pickering, take a short drive from Pickering, Dalby Forest is a haven for adventure seekers. This expansive woodland is criss-crossed with a multitude of cycling trails, catering to all abilities. You can hire a bike and explore the forest at your own pace, taking in the diverse wildlife and lush scenery that the area has to offer.

For those looking to add extra excitement to their visit, Go Ape Dalby is an exhilarating treetop adventure course. Test your skills as you traverse rope bridges, leap between platforms, and fly down zip lines, all while being immersed in the stunning forest setting.

Rosedale Abbey

Nestled within the North York Moors, Rosedale Abbey is a picturesque village known for its rich history and serene atmosphere. Take a leisurely stroll through the quaint streets, visit the remains of the historic Rosedale Priory, or relax in one of the charming tea rooms.

For those seeking more active pursuits, the surrounding countryside offers numerous walking and cycling routes, with varying levels of difficulty to suit all abilities. As you traverse the trails, you'll delight in the stunning views of rolling hills and enchanting forests amidst the tranquil beauty of rural England.

Museums and Cultural Institutions

Pickering, a historic market town, offers a variety of museums and cultural institutions for you to explore and enjoy. These attractions not only provide an educational experience but also give you a glimpse into the town's rich history and heritage.

Beck Isle Museum

Beck Isle Museum is a fascinating place to visit, where you can discover the history of rural life in Pickering. The museum is housed in a beautiful Grade II listed building and features a unique collection of photographs, artefacts, and exhibits related to the town's past. As you explore the various rooms, you'll learn about the local industries, farming practices, and social history of the area. A visit to the Beck Isle Museum is not only educational but also enriches your understanding of Pickering's heritage.

Ryedale Folk Museum

Another noteworthy cultural institution in Pickering is the Ryedale Folk Museum. This open-air museum allows you to step back in time and experience the rural life of Ryedale in past centuries. The museum, which covers over 5 acres, showcases a variety of historic buildings, from thatched cottages to workshops, all carefully relocated to the site to preserve their authenticity.

As you stroll through the Ryedale Folk Museum, you'll encounter various exhibits showcasing traditional crafts, agricultural practices, and the way of life of the people who once inhabited the region. The museum also hosts demonstrations and events throughout the year to provide an interactive and enjoyable experience for visitors.

In conclusion, both the Beck Isle Museum and the Ryedale Folk Museum are excellent attractions to include in your itinerary when visiting Pickering. They not only offer an educational experience but also enhance your appreciation for the town's rich history and heritage.

Theme Parks and Family Fun

Flamingo Land

Pickering offers fascinating family experiences, and one of the prime attractions is Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo, one of Britain's best-loved theme parks. With its convenient location just outside of Pickering, this popular destination provides a day full of excitement for you and your loved ones.

At Flamingo Land, you'll find a thrilling mix of entertainment, including white-knuckle roller coasters for the adrenaline junkies and a dedicated play area called Children's Planet for younger guests. The park is divided into seven unique themed areas, ensuring there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Another unmissable attraction in Pickering is the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. This heritage railway takes you on a nostalgic journey through the captivating North York Moors while aboard a beautifully restored steam train.

Travel back in time as you admire the enchanting landscapes, quaint stations, and idyllic countryside of North Yorkshire. The railway operates both steam and heritage diesel services, allowing you to experience the Moors from a different perspective.

In conclusion, whether you opt for the exhilarating rides at Flamingo Land or decide to explore the picturesque beauty of North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Pickering has an abundance of entertaining opportunities for the entire family.

Shopping and Dining

New Inn

Image Source:

At the New Inn, you will find a cosy restaurant perfect for satisfying your taste buds. Featuring a roaring fire, this establishment offers a fusion of traditional British dishes with the best of world cuisine. Enjoy your meal in a welcoming atmosphere, and when you're finished dining, take a walk around the lovely town of Pickering.

Things To Do In Pickering –Farm Shop

Image Source:

Don't forget to visit the Farm Shop during your stay in Pickering. This charming shop offers a variety of fresh, locally-sourced products such as fruits, vegetables, and meats. You can also find artisanal goods, making the Farm Shop an ideal place to pick up unique gifts or a special treat for yourself.

While in Pickering, be sure to take advantage of the various shopping opportunities available. Wander through the town's picturesque market place and explore the many independent retailers that call Pickering home. From clothing and accessories to homewares and gifts, you're bound to find something to suit your needs.

During your shopping adventures, take a break and refuel at one of Pickering's many cafes. These delightful establishments provide a range of delicious bites, from light snacks to indulgent desserts. As you sip your tea or coffee, you'll appreciate the comfortable atmosphere and friendly service found throughout the town.

So, make the most out of your time in Pickering by exploring the multitude of shopping and dining options that this picturesque town has to offer.

Accommodation Options

Image Source:

When planning your visit to Pickering, you'll find a range of accommodation options to suit your needs and preferences. Whether you're seeking luxury hotels, cosy B&Bs, or unique holiday cottages, Pickering has something for everyone.

For those who prefer a more traditional stay, several well-appointed hotels are available. These establishments often provide additional amenities such as on-site restaurants, room service, and leisure facilities. Check out Tripadvisor for an extensive list of hotels in Pickering to find a perfect match for your needs.

Bed & Breakfasts are another popular choice for accommodation in Pickering. These charming lodgings offer a personal touch, with hosts providing a warm welcome, a hearty breakfast, and insider tips on local attractions. You'll find numerous B&Bs throughout the town and surrounding areas.

Holiday cottages are ideal for visitors looking for a home-away-from-home experience. These self-catering properties allow you the freedom to cook your meals and enjoy a more relaxed, flexible schedule. With a variety of sizes and locations available, you're sure to find a holiday cottage that meets your requirements.

For a unique and adventurous accommodation experience, consider staying in a yurt. These round, canvas-covered structures provide a comfortable glamping experience, combining the joys of camping with the convenience of modern amenities. Yurts can be found in various sites around Pickering and often boast picturesque surroundings.

Whatever type of accommodation you choose, your stay in Pickering will surely be memorable, allowing you to explore the numerous attractions and experiences this charming town has to offer.

Events and Festivals

Castle Howard

At the magnificent Castle Howard, you can attend a variety of events and festivals throughout the year. From seasonal celebrations to outdoor concerts and family-friendly activities, the Castle Howard estate offers something for everyone. Keep an eye on their calendar to stay updated on the upcoming events that would fit your interests.

Cropton Brewery

For beer lovers, the Cropton Brewery is a must-visit destination. They host various events, including brewery tours, beer festivals, and tasting sessions. Not only will you get to sample some of the finest ales, but you'll also learn about the brewing process and the history behind this popular drink. Keep an eye on their events schedule to make sure you don't miss out on any of these fantastic opportunities during your trip to Pickering.

With so many events and festivals to choose from in the Castle Howard, Walled Garden, and Cropton Brewery, you'll never run out of exciting things to do during your time in Pickering. Don't forget to check their individual calendars to stay informed, and make the most of your visit with these delightful experiences.

Points of Interest and Landmarks

As you explore Pickering, you'll discover several captivating points of interest and historical landmarks that showcase the town's rich heritage. To begin your adventure, consider visiting Pickering Castle, an impressive fortress nestled atop a hill offering picturesque views.

For a glimpse into the area's intriguing past, stop by the Beck Isle Museum. It's home to diverse exhibits showcasing the rural life of Pickering, including a fascinating collection of period costumes, agricultural tools and artefacts. Additionally, the museum hosts year-round events for the whole family.

Nature lovers should venture to Cropton Forest for a serene escape, and history aficionados will find themselves drawn to Cawthorn Roman Camp, an archaeological site that showcases the remnants of ancient Roman military encampments.

While exploring Pickering, be sure to visit St Peter & St Paul's Church located in the town's Market Place. The church is renowned for its impressive medieval wall paintings, dating back to around 1450.

To fully immerse yourself in the region's history and culture, consider booking one of the many available tours and experiences. Options range from cultural and theme tours to private and custom tours, ensuring there's something for every type of traveller.

With so many points of interest, landmarks, and tours to choose from, your visit to Pickering will be enriched with unforgettable memories and experiences.

Visitor Experiences and Reviews

In Pickering, there are numerous experiences and activities for you to enjoy. Taking a look at travellers' reviews on Tripadvisor, you can get an idea of what's popular and well-regarded by other visitors.

Cultural & Themed Tours: Visitors consistently mention the North York Moors and Whitby Day Tour as an exceptional experience. This historical tour covers beautiful landscapes, picturesque villages, and local history. Be sure to take the chance to explore and learn about this region.

Beck Isle Museum: The Beck Isle Museum is another favourite among travellers. Housed in a Grade-II listed mansion, this museum is dedicated to documenting the social history and rural life of Pickering. Visitors appreciate its well-curated displays and knowledgeable staff.

Pickering Castle: As a historical must-visit, make sure to stop by Pickering Castle. This well-preserved structure offers insights into England's past, and travellers frequently mention the engaging guided tours. Don't forget to bring your camera for some stunning photo opportunities.

While you're exploring the town, consider visiting some of these highly-acclaimed establishments and immerse yourself in the diverse experiences they offer. By incorporating the recommendations of other travellers, you're sure to have a memorable and enjoyable visit to Pickering.

Social Media and Instagram Spots

If you're visiting Pickering and want to share your experiences on social media, especially on Instagram, there are plenty of picturesque locations to capture and post.

One spot you can't miss is the historic Pickering Castle. Snap photos of the stunning medieval architecture and the lush gardens surrounding the castle. Your followers will love the scenic views and rich history of this location.

Next, head to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for a unique adventure. Capture beautiful images of the vintage steam trains, the charming stations, and the scenic moorlands as you travel through the area. This is sure to be well-received by your Instagram audience.

The colourful frescoes at the St Peter and Paul's church offer a wonderful backdrop for artistic portraits. This hidden gem showcases beautiful artwork and interesting stories waiting to be shared with your followers.

Don't forget to explore Dalby Forest, where you'll find plenty of opportunities to showcase the beauty of nature with vibrant woodland scenes, walking trails, and even adventure activities. This is sure to appeal to the outdoor enthusiasts among your audience.

Whatever your social media platform of choice, Pickering offers a wealth of picturesque locations that are perfect for capturing and sharing your adventures. Happy posting!

Getting Around

When visiting Pickering, you'll find a variety of transport options to help you get around and explore the town and its surrounding areas. The most convenient and widely available method of transportation is the bus.

Buses are frequent and reliable in Pickering, connecting you to nearby attractions, neighbouring towns, and beautiful countryside. For example, you can catch a bus from Pickering to enjoy a day trip to the picturesque coastal town of Whitby. Check local bus timetables and plan your journeys in advance to make sure you don't miss any must-see locations.

Another exciting and unique way to explore Pickering and the surrounding areas is by taking a ride on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. You can enjoy a scenic journey through the stunning landscapes, hopping on and off at different stations to discover local attractions.

For those who prefer a bit more independence and flexibility, consider renting a car during your stay. Car rentals offer you the freedom to travel at your own pace and visit off-the-beaten-track destinations. Do keep in mind that the UK follows a left-hand driving system, and local traffic regulations must be followed.

Walking and cycling are also popular options for experiencing the beauty of Pickering and the North York Moors. There are plenty of well-maintained footpaths and cycle routes to help you navigate the town and its surrounding areas. Ensure you have appropriate footwear and gear when embarking on these outdoor adventures.

No matter which mode of transportation you choose, getting around Pickering will be a breeze. Discover the many attractions and natural wonders this charming British town has to offer at your own pace and with your preferred method of transport.

Spread the word

Keep reading