Where To Visit
The White Swan Inn is surrounded by a host of places of interest and activities.
To help you plan and ensure you get the most pleasure from your stay here’s some must see and do attractions. From historic castles and stately homes to pretty market towns and beautiful countryside in which to walk, we hope you’ll never want to leave.
Feast – Our very own deli, cafe and giftware shop next door to the hotel, stocking all things Yorkshire and delicious homemade treats to take home after your visit with us, including meat from The Ginger Pig.
Pickering Castle – Originally constructed by the Normans under William the Conqueror’s reign it was first built using timber and had an earth motte and bailey castle. The stone buildings and construction now scattering the site date from 13th century.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway – Step back in time and ride on the lovingly restored heritage railway with rural stations, magnificent engines and lots of special events.
Beck Isle Museum – Pickering’s award winning museum, housed in England’s first agricultural college displaying all aspects of local, social and family history.
Pickering Church – the sky line is dominated by the spire, almost visible wherever you are in the town. Dating back to 270BC the church features Medieval wall paints.
Castle Howard – Home to the Howard family for over 300 years, Castle Howard is a magnificent 18th-century residence set within 1,000 acres of breathtaking landscape in the Howardian Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Helmsley Walled Garden – Restored Victorian garden complex nestled between the grand Duncombe Park and the historic ruins of Helmsley Castle.
Hovingham Hall – Hovingham Hall is an outstanding example of Palladian architecture, designed c1760 by Thomas Worsley its owner.
Nunnington Hall – A National Trust property nestled quietly on the banks of the river Rye. A picturesque Manor house with organic gardens and one of the world’s finest collections of miniature rooms.
Duncombe Park – Now only the gardens and parkland are open to the public, located on the edge of Helmsley.
Scampston Hall – Regency country house with four acres of formal gardens, parkland featuring woods and lakes. Many events, courses and exhibitions.
Sledmere House & Garden -Designed and built by Sir Christopher Sykes this 18th century house is located in the Yorkshire Wolds with octagonal walled garden with herbaceous border, Mediterranean garden, fountain, summerhouse, fruit trees and vegetables.
Sutton Park – 8 miles north of York, another splendid 18th century private family home open to the public, built by Philip Harland.
Fairfax House – Restored by York Civic Trust, this Georgian townhouseis the finest in England. It house a superb collection of Noel Terry’s(of Chocolate’s fame) 18th century furniture, paintings, clocks and decorative art.
York Museum Gardens – 10 acres of botanical gardens in the heart ofthe historic city of York.
Scarborough Peasholm Park – Part of the North Bay experience, designed with an Oriental theme, it has a tranquil lake with a bandstand in the middle.
Yorkshire Lavender – Award winning visitor attraction located between Malton and York. Lavender farm with specialist plant nursery, deer park, sculpture park and tea room.
Wolds Way Lavender – Another local lavender farm, family run producing many lavender products on site using their steam distillery.
There is plenty to keep the whole family entertained while you’re visiting Pickering and the local area. Here is a selection of our favourites!
Flamingo Land Theme Park & Zoo – Situated at Kirby Misperton between Pickering & Malton, here you can experience the steepest rollercoaster in the world or maybe a gentle riverboat through safari is more your cup of tea. There are plenty of rides for all ages plus the neighboring zoo features more than 120 species with everything from camels to kangaroos and meerkats to mangabeys, not forgetting the three species of resident flamingo.
Dalby Forest – The 8,000 sprawling acres of this working forest northof Thornton-le-Dale offers something for everyone. Waymarkedwalking and cycling trails are perfect for families. There are several all-ability paths, and wheelchairs & electric buggies can be hired from the Visitor Centre.
Go Ape – This fabulous forest adventure will definitely appeal to the adrenaline junkies with hill-to-hill zip wires strung among the high boughs. Ages 10+.
The Deep– The only samarium in the world, the Deep uses interactive displays, audio-visual presentations and breathtaking marine life to tell the story of the world’s oceans in an imaginative & captivating way. Highlights include one of the deepest viewing tunnels & a funky ride aboard a glass lift through a 33 foot tank.
Snainton Riding Centre – This family run business has a large indoor schooling ring with a fantastic viewing gallery as well as an outdoor ménage for those beautiful summer’s days. During the school holidays they also run a ‘Pony Club’ for children.
York Castle Museum – York has many fine museums, this being one of the most popular. Packed with more than 400 years of the city’s history including the favored Kirkgate, a recreated Victorian street which is due to be expanded in summer 2012 so make sure you leave plenty of time to explore! Plus, don’t miss the cell in which Dick Turpin was held before execution.
Yorkshire Air Museum – Marvel at the mighty aircraft which helped to win the Battle of Britain at the largets original Second World War RAF Bomber Command station open to the public. Here you will find a collection of more than forty planes including the Halifax Bomber and more modern jets such as the Harrier & Tornado. The museum hosts a variety of special events and stages ‘Thunder Days’ during which the aircrafts take to the skies and the surrounding parkland feature an enjoyable ‘Nature of Flight’ conservation trail.
York Maze – Created from over 1.5million maize plant’s this award winning family attraction is one of the largest maze’s in the world! Open from mid July to early September, you will find yourselves baffled by the maize maze and don’t miss out on Crowmania ride, water wars, electric quad biking, slides and the hilarious maze of illusions.
York Dungeon – Discover all that is grisly, gruesome & ghostly about York’s eerie past. Chills and thrills are guaranteed, this attraction is not for the faint hearted! Character’s & event’s from the darkest chapter of the city’s 2,000 year history are brought to life vividly and realistically. In the dungeons you will meet Eric Blodaxe, a Viking with murder on his mind, see highwayman Dick Turpin awaiting his date with the hangman and experience the specters who stalk the streets of England’s most haunted city.
National Railway Museum – A must see York attraction. Historic locomotives & rolling stock from Britain and around the world can be viewed up close across a vast site while remarkable displays of railwayana cover everything from engine nameplates to publicity posters. You can see locos being preserved & maintained and enjoy a broad range of fascinating events, demonstrations & talks.
Jorvik Viking Centre – Climb aboard a futuristic time capsule at this cutting edge attraction to experience what living in Viking York was really like, right down to a host of odors! Eavesdrop on the conversations of the people who lived here. This groundbreaking museum is built on the site of the Viking settlement unearthed between 1976 and 1981 by archaeologists. The results of their painstaking excavations can be examined at close quarters with hi-tech audio & visual displays to bring you the sights, sounds and smells of York 1,000 years ago.
Yorkshire Outdoors – Packed full of family fun from 4×4 off road driving & quad biking to clay pigeon shooting there is something for all ages and all abilities. Whether you are looking to try a new experience or build on old abilities, they have the skills, facilities & equipment to make your outdoor experience unforgettable.
Royal Armories – This museum houses a huge collection of arms & armor, more than 8,500 items across five themed galleries, the most compelling being an allied machine gunner in a First World War trench. It is enlivened by regular demonstrations including live drama and mock combat, falconry, horse shows and jousting.
Eden Camp – Travel back in time to a Britain fighting the Second World War. This innovative museum on the site of a POW camp built in 1942 does a brilliant job of depicting the era. The original huts house fascinating scenes themed on the Blit, Women at War, Bomber Ops and the Home Guard. In hut three experience the sheer terror of being in a submarine under attack. The 6-acre site also features displays of aircraft & military vehicles and an assault course for the under 12’s.
Ryedale Folk Museum – More than 20 ages historic buildings from our picturesque corner of North Yorkshire have been rescued & re-erected to produce a fascinating peek into the past. Buildings include an Iron Age roundhouse, craft workshops, thatched cottages, village shops & even a fully equipped Edwardian photographic studio. A wide range of events and exhibitions make the Ryedale Folk Museum a super family destination.
Rievaulx Abbey – Hugely impressive Cistercian ruins set amid trees in the secluded valley of the River Rye. Though the remains of this three-storey structure are substantial, a fair amount was lost to demolition soon after the abbey’s dissolution early in 1538. Rievaulx at its zenith was the centre of a large estate and home to 140 monks and numerous lay brothers. In the hills above the abbey, you will also find the equally beautiful Rievaulx Terraces & Temples, created between 1749 and 1757.
Byland Abbey – The ruins of Byland Abbey have an austere beauty that is guaranteed to stop you in your tracks. This was one of the country’s great monasteries and the surviving remnants are impressive. An adjacent museum contains archeological finds from this significant location and provides an insight into the monastic life.
York Minster – One of the greatest Cathedral’s of the world, the minster dominates the city and surrounding landscape, something best appreciated by climbing the central tower. Though the first Minster rose during the seventh century, today’s majestic structure was erected between the 1220’s & the 1470’s. It’s scale & beauty are a testimony to the power of faith. Be sure not to miss The Eight Wonders of York Minster, a series of trails, tours, talks and exhibitions.
Kirkham Abbey – These ancient ruins founded in the 1120s by Walter I’Espec, are situated on the banks of the River Derwent. Legend says it was founded after the traumatic death of his only son. Kirkham Priory is now in the care of the English Heritage.
Whitby Abbey – These romantic ruins of this Benedictine foundation date from the twelfth century and their stark outline can be seen for miles, both inland and at sea. The east end and north transept are the most obviously visible remnants to survive a combination of time, weather and enemy attack. English Heritage now looks after the Abbey and its seventeenth century style visitors centre.
Fairfax House – This wonderful Georgian townhouse has been superbly restored by York Civic Trust and is complemented by Noel Terry’s collection of 18th century furniture, paintings, clocks & decorative art.
The Scarborough Spa – Playing host to a diverse range of excellent entertainment, conferences, exhibitions and is equipped with its own bar facilities, the unique Spa is the jewel in Scarborough’s crown.
York City Walls – Wonderful year round but especially in spring when the grassy embankments are bedecked with daffodils. Though the city walls, the most complete in England, were built by the Romans and restored by the Danes. Much of what can be seen today dates from twelfth to fourteenth century. A circuit is around two miles of easy walking. For a breathtaking view of the York Minster, go clockwise. Don’t be fooled by a ‘missing’ section alongside the River Foss. The marshes once here were felt to provide sufficient defence from invasion. The six gatehouses guarding entry into the city are the most attractive feature which offers a perspective on York impossible to appreciate from street level.
Bettys – Situated in the beautiful city of York, the larger of the two cafes is on St Helen’s Square and the smaller on Stonegate. The original Bettys was opened in 1919 in Harrogate by a Swiss confectioner named Frederick Belmont & is still a family run business using both Swedish & Yorkshire influences to create traditional meals.