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Yorkshire Pickering

I’ve always liked Pickering. It is a small busy market town on the A170 which is the main road linking Thirsk and Scarborough. It is still very much a local service centre. Even though there are Lidl and Co-op supermarkets on the edge of town, they have not taken trade away from the Market Place. This is lined with small independently owned shops shops and you are spoilt for choice with a butcher, bakers, deli, fishmonger, greengrocer, chemist, bookshop, hardware, outdoor ware, clothes shops, hairdressers. It has a weekly market on a Monday and a farmers market on the third Thursday of the month.



It is less touristy than nearby Helmsley with fewer tourist gift shops. It does have a range of cafes (I can recommend Russell’s Cafe and Traditional Bakers) and there are antique shops on Southgate on the A170.

Pickering Beck runs through the town with ducks.
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There is plenty to attract the tourists to Pickering. The North York Moors Railway starts from Pickering and runs to Grosmont with connections to Whitby. At 18 miles, this is one of the longest of the preserved standard gauge steam railways. It is a splendid run in beautifully preserved coaches and some interesting locos, including visiting steam locos. For Harry Potter fans, Goathland was Hogsmeade station. If your tastes run to Hearbeat, Goathland village was Aidensield.


The ruins of Pickering Castle to the north of the town, is worth visiting. It is one of the best examples of a motte a motte and bailey castle and still has a virtually intact curtain wall.


The Church of St Peter and St Paul stands at the top of Market Place and is a big church.
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Many people pass it by which is a shame as it has some of the best preserved wall paintings in the country. They were covered by whitewash during the Reformation and weren’t discovered until the C19th when they were carefully restored. It really does give an impression of what a medieval church would have been like.
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For those interested in Social History, there is Beck Isle Museum, housed in a lovely old Regency stone building, which was the home of a number of doctors over the years.
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The museum has over 50 thousands objects depicting Pickering’s social, agricultural, and industrial industry. There are 27 themed rooms including the Victorian pub, chemist’s shop, gent’s tailors, hardware store, Victorian parlour… There are photographs taken from 1900-56 and outside is a collection of farm implements and a black smith’s shop.

The Kirk Theatre on Hungate is home of the Pickering Musical Society and hosts a varied programme of theatre, music and arts throughout the year.

There is some parking along Market Place but this is always busy. There is a short term Park and Display car park by the Co-op and long term car parks signed round the edge of town.
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