10 places to propose in Yorkshire


If you want the right answer, you've got to find the right venue, says Jo Haywood

Ripley Castle The large drawing room at Ripley Castle offers stunning views of the surrounding parkland and lakes, providing a particularly picturesque background for any proposal. After a historical tour of the house and gardens home to the Ingilby family for more than 700 years you could celebrate your engagement with dinner and an overnight stay (in separate rooms of course) at the Boars Head, where the wine has been chosen by Sir Thomas Ingilby and the menu created by Lady Emma. 01423 770152, www.ripleycastle.co.uk

The Three Peaks If you want to reach the peak of perfection when it comes to your proposal, you’d be hard-pressed to beat one of Yorkshires three peaks (or even all three if you’re feeling particularly energetic). Pen-y-ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside cover 160 square kilometers of upland in the west of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, rising to 736m at their tallest. 0300 456 0030, www.yorkshiredales.org.uk

York Minster Another way to feel on top of the world as you ask your beloved that vital question is by climbing the 275 steps to the top of the central tower of York Minster (although you might need a quick sit down to get your breath back). The tower weighs 16,000 tonnes about the same as 40 jumbo jets and is the highest point in the city with far-reaching views over surrounding countryside to the White Horse at Kilburn and the Yorkshire Wolds. And as an added bonus, you get the chance to buy a commemorative badge to mark the occasion. 0844 939 0015, www.yorkminster.org

Doncaster Racecourse This is one of the busiest racecourses in the country and home to the famous St Leger Festival, making it an odds-on favourite if you want to bet on your marriage going the distance. It recently underwent a massive 34 million redevelopment to create an impressive five-storey grandstand, private suites and luxury dining areas. 01302 304200, www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk

Hardraw Force If you’re looking for a dramatic backdrop, they don’t come much more over-the-top than Hardraw Force, home of England’s largest single drop waterfall. You’ll be following in the footsteps of some of the country’s greatest artists and writers, like Turner and Wordsworth, through the worn flagstone passage of the Green Dragon Inn to watch the stunning 100ft-high cascade. 01969 667392, www.hardrawforce.com

The Serpentine Bridge at Wentworth Castle Wentworth Castle Gardens and Stainborough Park is the only grade one listed landscape in South Yorkshire. It contains a fascinating collection of 26 listed buildings and monuments, including the majestic Stainborough Castle, a romantic folly built by Thomas Wentworth in 1730. This is the obvious place for a proposal, but for somewhere a bit more creatively off-kilter; try the wonderfully atmospheric Serpentine Bridge over the estates unusual artificial river. 01226 776040, www.wentworthcastle.org

North Yorkshire Moors Railway If you’re looking for a bit of Brief Encounter romance (but with a happy ever after ending), a steam train could be the perfect location to keep your proposal on track. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway offers magnificent steam engines, beautiful rural surroundings, cosy wood-panelled carriages and smartly turned out staff. You could pop the question while under steam or at one of the authentic stations on route, such as Goathland which has starred as Aidensfield in Heartbeat and Hogsmeade in the first of the Harry Potter films. 01751 472508, www.nymr.co.uk

Yorkshire Sculpture Park The stunning landscape around this fascinating national centre for the arts was created more than 200 years ago as a private pleasure ground with thousands of imported exotic trees and manmade hills, water features and valleys. 01924 832631, www.ysp.co.uk

Runswick Bay With its painted cottages, neat gardens and sandy cove, Runswick Bay is one of the loveliest and least spoiled coastal havens in the north. This quiet bay has provided safe anchorage for fishing boats for more than 600 years and a life of insular tranquillity for its 40 or so permanent residents the only link with the outside world being a precipitous winding road. Just watch out for the hobs (or goblins) that supposedly live in caves along the southern part of the bay they’re very mischievous and will think nothing of stealing your engagement ring. www.runswickbaycottages.com or www.discoveryorkshirecoast.com

Dalby Forest You could propose while dangling dozens of feet up in the air on one of Dalby Forests Go Ape rope runs if you’re that way inclined, but for those of a less zany (for zany read loony) disposition, the forest floor provides a more romantic natural backdrop. Situated on the southern slopes of the North York Moors National Park, the forest is home to pines, spruce, many broadleaf trees, clear streams, a lake, crossbills, elusive nightjars, roe deer, a flourishing neighbourhood of rabbit warrens and a host of badgers. 01751 460295, www.forestry.gov.uk/dalbyforest


We’d love to know where in Yorkshire you popped the question (or had the question popped to you). Let us know where, when and how it happened by leaving a comment below or tweet us at @Yorkshire_Life with the #loveyorkshire hashtag