Ryedale Folk Museum

Hutton le Hole YO62 6UA

History museums, dull? Not this one – the super open-air Ryedale Folk Museum tells the fascinating stories behind the lives, culture and trades of the North York Moors. This is genuinely one of those places where there's always something new to see, whichever time of year you come. Volunteers in period costume are hard at work in more than twenty preserved historic buildings, from thatched cottage to manor house, and there are regular workshops, events and craft activities – anything from spinning demos to cookery courses, all using traditional methods and authentic tools and materials (the Christmas craft workshops are really popular). The museum is also pretty proud of its unrivalled collection of everyday antiquities and curiosities, known as the Harrison Collection after its collectors, brothers Edward and Richard Harrison, who have spent forty years amassing anything from cooking utensils to brain-surgery tools. It's a mind-boggling array of gadgets, artefacts and what-on-earth-was-that-for items, some of them dating back as far as the sixteenth century.

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