With its stunning natural landscapes, vibrant towns and cities packed with culture, unique local characteristics and language and huge historical significance, it's probably no surprise that Yorkshire has been the inspiration and setting for some great novels over the past few hundred years.

Here are just a few of the classics and modern day greats set in 'God's Own Country', Yorkshire.


A Kestrel for a Knave

This 1968 book by Barnsley-born Barry Hines follows a day in the life of Billy Casper, a young boy in a Yorkshire mining town who finds solace from his troubled home and school life through his pet kestrel. The book was adapted into a BAFTA winning film - Kes - by Ken Loach in 1969.

Find out more


God's Own Country

The Yorkshire moors are the backdrop for Ross Raisin's debut novel. This is the vivid and darkly unsettling story of Sam Marsdyke, a smart but disturbed teenage farmer who forms a friendship with a young girl who has moved to the area. It’s written from his point of view and in strong Yorkshire dialect, and the sense of menace the bubbles away throughout is compelling.

Find out more


South Riding

The politics, characters and culture in a Yorkshire village between the wars are explored in this novel by Winifred Holtby, best known for her friendship with fellow writer Vera Brittain. Published posthumously in 1936, South Riding is set in a fictional Yorkshire district of the same name.

Find out more


Behind the Scenes at the Museum

This story of a young girl growing up as part of a middle-class family in York and the generations of women who came before her was the first novel by Kate Atkinson, one of today’s most acclaimed writers. The museum in the title refers to York’s Castle Museum.

Find out more


Nicholas Nickleby

Charles Dickens is of course synonymous with fiction set in London, but a significant chunk of his third novel is set in a Yorkshire school, as Nicholas is sent to work as an assistant to the unpleasant and often violent old headmaster, Wackford Squeers.

Find out more