Country houses for sale

England’s counties: North Yorkshire

County motto: Heed counse

Best thing The ‘red and green valleys’ and hills of the Yorkshire Dales

Local food Wensleydale cheese; Theakston beer; ginger cake at Betty’s Tea Rooms; Black Sheep beer; Harrogate Spa water

Properties for sale in North Yorkshire

Heroes Guy Fawkes; Capt James Cook; Frankie Howerd; Alan Hinkes, first Britain to reach the summits of all 14 peaks higher than 8,000m

Events Ladies Day at Ripon; Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival; the Planting of the Penny Hedge, Whitby, originally a punishment for hunters who killed a monk sheltering their quarry; Goathland Plough Stot and Sword Dance; Scorton Silver Arrow, competed for by archers since 1673

Inventions Sir George Cayley, the father of aerodynamics, built the first glider to carry a human in flight in 1853

Battle The Battle of Towton in 1461 was the biggest and bloodiest of the Wars of the Roses with nearly 30,000 casualties, and secured the throne for Edward IV

Worst thing Beneath the picture-postcard surface, Whitby is the town that inspired Bram Stoker’s story of a certain bloodsucking Transylvanian visitor

What they say ‘I am never at my best in the early morning, especially a cold morning in the Yorkshire spring with a piercing March wind sweeping down from the fells, finding its way inside my clothing, nipping at my nose and ears’ (James Herriot)

Artistic connections Charles Laughton, Academy Award-winning actor; W. H. Auden; James Herriot; Ben Kingsley; Judi Dench

Oldest The world’s oldest surviving lifeboat is the Zetland, built by Henry Greathead in 1802, with a cork layer for buoyancy and housed at Redcar

One for the road The Appletree, Marton, The Good Pub Guide’s Dining Pub of the Year

Titbits Selby Abbey contains the Washington Window, which bears the Washington family’s coat of arms and is said to be the inspiration for the American flag

Houses and churches York Minster; Beningborough Hall; Bolton Castle; Castle Howard; Newby Hall; the ruins of Fountains Abbey