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 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 the Malton Monthly Food Market (second Saturday of each month) – with cooking demos and live music – an annual Malton Food Lovers' Festival (in May) and even a cookery school where you can dine in style at the 'Chef's Table'. You get also go behind the scenes of the artisan producers on one of the very popular Malton Food Tours.
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.
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. Track down the artisan units at the Talbot Yard Food Court where you'll find a gin distillery, gelateria, butcher, baker, coffee roaster and a macaron maker.
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
As well as the annual Malton Food Lovers' Festival every May, other food-related events in town, include the Malton Monthly Food Market (second Saturday of each month), Street Food on Summer Sundays, Malton Harvest Food Festival (September) and a Christmas special food market in December.
Malton also turns literary at the Ryedale Book Festival, with workshops, readings, performances, book fair, storytelling throughout the year.