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Northallerton, North Yorkshire

Northallerton is a busy market town in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire with a population of over 15,000. Northallerton is in a great location as borders both the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the North York Moors. And it is roughly one hour drive north of York and one hour south of Durham, and very well connected to both as is situated about 15 minute drive off the A1.

Northallerton’s hidden gem, Mount Grace Priory

Mount Grace Priory is a great place to visit especially if exploring ruins is your thing. It is one of England’s most impressive and best preserved Carthusian priories and is only 6 miles north east of Northallerton.

This is a British Heritage site and as well as the priory ruins it also comprises of a small manor house and beautiful gardens. Inside the manor house there is a small but very interesting exhibition which explains the history of the property, who the current owners are and what renovations have taken place. The site also has a reconstruction of the monk’s cells and gardens which gives great insight into the way the monks used to live!

If you are in a hurry then you can explore Mount Grace Priory in about an hour but it is a great day out and many choose to have a picnic in the gardens taking in the superb scenery, while the children blow off some energy. Further to this there is also a lovely woodland walk that can be discovered.

Cod Beck Reservoir

If fresh air is what you seek then head to Cod Beck Reservoir which is a popular man-made lake close to the village of Osmotherley near Northallerton and on the border of the North Yorks Moors National Park. The reservoir inherits the name of the small river that fills it Cod Beck.

It is a popular tourist destination as is very easily accessible despite feeling like you are in the middle of nowhere, has ample parking facilities and is ideal for dog walkers! What’s also great is that it caters for all walking abilities, there are some flat easy walks around the reservoir but if you are after some more challenging walks then there are footpaths which take you to the Cleveland Way.

Children are renowned for spending hours playing in the nearby shallow streams and making dams at the nearby sheep wash (a local beauty spot). But, the best thing is, it’s all free so great for those holidaying on a budget!