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Best of Yorkshire’s Wildlife

How many people know just what incredible wildlife there is in Yorkshire?

More to the point, how have the folk of Yorkshire kept it under their hats for so long! Well, not for much longer, those in the know are already aware just what a special place East and North Yorkshire is for wildlife watching. But now wildlife tourism is really beginning to take off. Sally recently visited her native county and here are a just a couple of reasons why Speyside Wildlife is now going there twice a year!

Raptor Lookout

“During our ‘Yorkshire in Summer’ holiday, we shall be looking for wildlife wherever we go, but when you come across a sign that says ‘Raptor Viewpoint’ you know you are in the right place!

Raptor Lookout

On my recent visit to Yorkshire, I took a drive through gorgeous villages towards the North York Moors, which took me into beautiful countryside and forested areas. I was driving through these areas to one of the destinations for our Summer trip, which is one of the best places in the UK to see Honey Buzzard, although I knew they wouldn’t be there yet, I couldn’t resist a quick peek. Not surprisingly no Honey Buzzards, but the pine trees were alive with the calls of Crossbills and Siskin so not bad at all for a quick peek!

Honey Buzzard (Frank X Moffatt)

Honey Buzzard

Honey Buzard (Frank X Moffatt)


I travelled onward through the beautiful dales of North Yorkshire, down narrow lanes and suddenly I spotted a large raptor on a hedge top. As I drew closer my first thought was a Common Buzzard, but closer still and I was eyeball to eyeball with a magnificent female Goshawk – wow, she took my breath away! I have never been so close to one of these birds before, but no sooner had I focused on her, and her on me, she was off and out of sight, truly amazing, she looked straight at me before she disappeared.

Perched female Goshawk (JH)

I know I was checking every hedge top at the time, and I realise encounters like that don’t come twice in a lifetime let alone twice in a day, but…… not much further down the road I spotted two Buzzards displaying, they were joined by two more large raptors, and yes you’ve guessed it, two Goshawks up in the air with two Buzzards – bliss, and I have it on good authority that encounters with Goshawks in this area are not unusual. I can’t wait to get back there in summer!

Our Hotel (SN)

Burythorpe Hotel (SN)

Our hotel

I know everyone wants to come to Yorkshire to watch wildlife, but there are other things that are important too – like a good night’s sleep, decent food and a friendly and comfortable hotel.

So, after a spot of raptor watching I thought I’d nip to look at the hotel Susanne has found for us for our holiday this July and she’s certainly done us proud. I’m afraid I got a bit carried away taking photos, but I wanted to stay in every single room and who ever gets the room with the copper bath……in the bedroom, well, aren’t you the lucky ones!

Bedroom (SN)

Lounge (SN)

The hotel at Burythorpe is stunning, has the biggest beds I’ve ever seen and I (and my mum) received a very warm and friendly welcome from the staff who started pointing out Yorkshires wildlife even in the sitting room, where a family of Jackdaws had started squabbling over nest building in the chimney. I think this hotel and the locations we are going to be visiting are going to be a Speyside Wildlife favourite.”

We have two opportunities this year for you to visit Yorkshire with Sally Nowell and Julian Sykes. Our Summer holiday starts on 29 June and our Autumn week on 5 October. Both are available to book online.

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