North Yorkshire

Unitary authority

Formed from the entire former county, North Yorkshire Council is now the largest unitary authority in England covering 3,109 square miles (8,052 sq km)^.

Even wider areas are covered by the ceremonial county and by the police and fire services bearing the North Yorkshire name.

North Yorkshire stretches across around 92 miles west to east and around 67 miles from its northernmost tip to its southernmost point.

Until April 1, 2023, the North Yorkshire county included seven district council areas -  Craven,  Hambleton,  Harrogate,  Richmondshire,  Ryedale,  Scarborough and  Selby.

North Yorkshire Council now covers previous county council services including highways, schools, library services and health and social care and also runs the previous district authority functions including refuse collection, planning, tourism, sport and leisure, housing, parking, cemeteries, crematoriums and community centres.

More facts and figures about North Yorkshire:

• North Yorkshire has only one city — Ripon.

County Hall, Northallerton• The county town of North Yorkshire and the location of its County Hall is Northallerton, originally the headquarters of the North Riding county.

• North Yorkshire has a total of 731 Parish and Town Councils or Parish Meetings covering almost as many villages and towns. These continue under the new unitary authority.

• At the outset of the new unitary authority, the two largest towns of North Yorkshire, Harrogate and Scarborough, are the only ones without a Town Council.

• North Yorkshire has a population if around 615,500*.

• The county area of North Yorkshire was created in 1974, including much, but not all, of the former North Riding of Yorkshire and also large portions of the West Riding and some areas of the East Riding.

Areas of the North Riding taken out of the North Yorkshire county in 1974 included those that originally formed Cleveland. After a succession of local government changes there since, these areas are now the unitary districts of Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and the part of Stockton-on-Tees borough south of the River Tees. These districts are also part of the Tees Valley Combined Authority. Those areas remain part of the North Yorkshire ceremonial county, but are not part of the North Yorkshire Council area. Another part of the North Riding not included in North Yorkshire in 1974 was a large area south of the River Tees in upper Teesdale which now forms part of the Durham County Council unitary authority. This area, however, was also placed in the County Durham ceremonial county.

• North Yorkshire includes two National Parks, the North York Moors National Park and Yorkshire Dales National Park.

• The Nidderdale and Howardian Hills Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are also within North Yorkshire and the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is partly within North Yorkshire.

• North Yorkshire also has one of Yorkshire's three stretches of heritage coast.

• The highest of North Yorkshire's mountains is Whernside at 736 metres (2,415ft).

• The fastest road journey from North Yorkshire's westernmost village, Low Bentham, to its easternmost village, Speeton, is 112 miles and non-stop would take 2 hours 42 minutes. Low Bentham is fortunate to be one of the few places in North Yorkshire within 30 minutes walk of a railway station and by public transport the journey could be achieved in as little as 5 hours 15 minutes.

• The North Yorkshire unitary authority covers an area 60% larger than the second-largest unitary authority, Northumberland. It is well over double the size (126%) of the third-largest unitary authority, Cornwall. North Yorkshire covers 3.3 times the area of the East Riding of Yorkshire, which is now the eight-largest unitary authority in the country.

^ Area figure from ONS Standard Area Measurements 2022 (converted from hectares).
* Population figure from Census 2021 (combined total of former districts).
Contains public sector information licensed under the  Open Government Licence v3.0.

Places in North Yorkshire

Find city, towns and villages in North Yorkshire:


To help you more easily manage your search we continue to maintain our gazetteers of the former districts:


Links to useful North Yorkshire websites

North Yorkshire Council
Unitary authority providing all main council functions.
 North Yorkshire Council website.

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire
Covers the county of North Yorkshire and  City of York.
 Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire website.

Emergency services

North Yorkshire Police  North Yorkshire Police website.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service  North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

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