"Pickering - Gateway to the Yorkshire Moors" Pickering by ranger49

Pickering Travel Guide: 28 reviews and 74 photos

A historic, market town in North Yorkshire.

The ancient market town of Pickering is reputed to have been established two or thee hundred years B.C.
Its name is bound up in legend and concerns the loss of a valuable ring by King Peredurus. Sometime later he was served a cooked pike and inside the fish he found the ring, and at once bestowed the name Pike- ring on the the place. Over time it mutated into Pickering. So the story goes.

The town shares certain features with those of my own home town. They are both described as the being “The Gateway to “ - Pickering to the Yorkshire Moors, my home town to Wales. Both have the the ruins of a Norman Castle and a Parish Church with historical significance. Both “nestle “ in surrounding hills. So it was perhaps not surprising that I felt immediately at home there.

The spire of the Parish Church of St Peter and Saint Paul is a constant feature that can be seen from almost everywhere as you walk around the town.

Not only is there plenty to see and do in the town itself but the surrounding area is full of natural beauty and historic interest. The coast is only 20 miles away so Pickering provides an excellent base for every type of holiday maker.

Frequent, heavy showers failed to dampen our spirit and we filled every day doing something different.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

This Plaque on the Walls of the Black Swan Inn was unveiled by HRH The Duchess of Kent to commemorate the official opening of the Whitby and Pickering Railway on May 26th 1836.
On that occasion 300 people marched from the Railway station to the Black Swan for a "collation" There they were greeted by a cheering crowd of 7,000 of the Populace while cannons fired and brass bands played.

The railway ran successfully until 1966.The line had operated for 130 years as part of the national rail system but was closed following one of the most controversial Reviews of the Rail Network ever undertaken in the United Kingdom.

The plaque also marks the reopening of the line as the North Yorkshire Railway on May 1st 1973 initially only as far as Grosmont, later extended to Whitby.
It is now the longest private steam railway in the country -
thanks to the enormous effort and commitment of local people.

The old stock Market

The sloping Green in front of the Liberal Club ( with yellow door) was once the site of the ancient stock market and the old Market cross still stands on it. In Medieaval times a Royal licence was necessary for a town to hold regular markets and it was from this concentration of trade the the growth of towns developed.
The cross here is a simple pillar with ornamentation at the top rather than a cruciform It was not marked in any way and I wondered if this was in fact a more recent reconstruction. Others I saw in nearby towns were clearly several hundred years old.
You will often see much grander Market Crosses which are in fact small but ornate buildings which often reflected the importance and prosperity of the town.

The Church spire can just be seen in the top left of the picture.

The Liberal Club Building, as well as a meeting place for people of a Liberal political persuasion is also used for various other events, festivities and celebrations.
Indeed there was some kind of party going on there on our last day in town. I can just imagine a Maypole on that Green and would have loved to have seen one there on May Day with dancers.
We also visited Air Museum

  • Last visit to Pickering: May 2009
  • Intro Updated Jul 15, 2009
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Reviews (10)

Comments (15)

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Jun 16, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Hello Barbara, a wonderful page, I enjoyed reading very much. Your cottage accommodation sounds wonderful, and I love the tip about the shops in town, and the historical church!
    I hope to take the steam train from Whitby to Pickering in July.

  • rivercalm's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Great page! I have visited Grosmont last summer and loved the trains with the touch of past - who would have thought they still drive, in 21st century.

  • Balam's Profile Photo
    Jul 23, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    I have been past many times but never had a walk around, it looks great!

  • nickandchris's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2011 at 6:42 AM

    Great page on Pickering. We travelled on the North Yorks train from Pickering many years ago and were treated to a WW2 day where folks were dressed up in that era. We even had the Gestapo on the train checking people's identity!

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2010 at 1:32 AM

    Great page on a wonderful town we always passed during our excursions when I lived in York :) I had missed the "new" Pickering pages so thanks for pointing them out. Now I will update my wishlist ;)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    May 14, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    Nice page Barbara! We would love the Steam train ride. I noticed you have an Esk valley, we have a small township called Esk too!

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2010 at 7:25 AM

    I love painted churches, Pickering's is a beauty. Must get back to this part of England again some time. Nice memories. leyle

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Sep 26, 2009 at 8:14 AM

    I'm a big fan of railways old and new, so I'm sure I would like the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Great idea to restore the stations and also give them tearooms that reflect different eras of the Line’s history. I love local history museums, too.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Aug 31, 2009 at 7:41 AM

    Barbara, fantastic little page about this Yorkshire gem. Especially the accomodation seems to be a real good find. I have only been to York and some cities at the coast, like Whitby, Scarborough, Staithes and Robin Hoods Bay in this region.

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Jul 15, 2009 at 1:27 PM

    My daughter and Son in Law were out your way and he is now at Oxford studying for the week. They just love the area and viewed London 4 days, but wanted to get out west your way too.

ranger49

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