Malton and neighbouring Norton, on the banks of the River Derwent, have been settled since Roman times and have been associated with the training of thoroughbred racehorses for 300 years. Now billed as 'Yorkshire's food capital', the thriving market town of Malton is making a new name for itself as a foodie destination. Lively market days, and a growing number of artisan producers and places to eat and drink, make the towns a great base for the North York Moors and the nearby Yorkshire Wolds.
What to see and do
As well as Malton's traditional weekly market every Saturday, there's an exciting range of food-related events in town, including a monthly 'Food Market' (second Saturday of each month) – with cooking demos and live music – an annual 'Food Lovers' Festival' (in May), and even a cookery school where you can dine in style at the 'Chef's Table'.
To re-live the dramatic experiences of life during World War II, visit Eden Camp, a former Prisoner-of-War Camp turned modern history museum.
Scampston Hall, 5 miles northeast of Malton, is a fine Regency country house set in a Capability Brown landscape, with beautiful collections of art, furniture and porcelain. It also has a stunning contemporary walled garden (open Easter to the end of October) that's one of the finest in England.
The Milton Rooms on the Market Place puts on an entertaining programme of theatre, music, comedy, craft events, talks and markets.
Palace Cinema is a wonderful independent cinema showing mainstream and art-house releases, as well as live ballet, opera and theatre streamings.
Derwent Pool, Norton, has public swim sessions, swimming lessons and children's activities in school holidays.
Local produce is at the heart of everything that's good about Malton's many cafes, pubs and restaurants. The town's flagship venue is the Talbot Hotel, while summer al fresco dining in the market place adds a European flavour to eating and drinking in Malton. Walk out to the original village of Old Malton, a mile out of town, where there are a couple of country pubs in attractive surroundings.
Festivals and events
In October, Malton turns literary at the Ryedale Book Festival, with workshops, readings, performances, book fair, storytelling and concerts.