The history of this region is astonishing. The Vikings landed here in the 8th century – before invading York in 866AD – and many of the towns and villages carry place names of Danish origin, most notably Whitby, Boulby and Runswick Bay. Before the Vikings – around 150 million years before, to be precise – dinosaurs roamed this stretch of coast, and if you’re eagle-eyed enough, Jurassic period ammonites and gigantic clawed footprints are commonplace finds. 

Today, thankfully, the locals are far friendlier. This is the perfect place to explore buzzy seaside towns, watch fisherman at work, yomp across vacant expanses of beach and inhale invigorating lungfuls of sea air as you take in the view of the brooding North Sea. If you’re looking for space to breathe, this is the place for you.