Because of public transport, you're often better off driving yourself in Yorkshire - especially the Dales. Just bear in mind that driving conditions are special here. For a start, most roads are fairly narrow country lanes and again this is especially true for the national park areas. Secondly, those roads often have either hedgerows (in the Vale of York) as in the rest of England, or dry-stone walls obscuring your view and before you know it, there's a flock of sheep or a hay transport coming your way at full speed (yep, those sheep know where they're going). In several areas such as on the North York Moors, the roads are full of cattle grids which are metal bars fastened in the road along fields or moors so that you can drive across them but sheep cannot walk across. Thus, sheep often wander around freely as in for instance Goathland where they even rest in the bus shelter.
Castle Howard has beautiful peacocks on the grounds. For the most part, the birds are very understanding of tourists, and generous in their willingness to have their picture taken by strangers. But don't provoke the peacocks - you don't want to cross one of these birds!
Traffic roundabouts are kind of fun if you're a passenger, but they are one major reason why I will never ever drive a car myself while in Britain.
I just know that I would end up going the wrong way around.
Watch your head at Rievaulx Abbey, some of the ceilings are quite low. Monks must have been pretty short back then.
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