Thirsk Local Information


Thirsk is a small old fashioned market town and civil parish situated within north Yorkshire. It is ideally set in the centre of ‘Herriot Country’ with the Gateway to the Yorkshire Dales National Park to the west and the North York Moors National Park to the east. Thirsk has a lot to offer and so it is both a popular tourist destination and a great place to live.

Thirsk Market

Thirsk holds open-air markets within the village on Mondays and Saturdays. It has a great atmosphere and a variety of stalls selling everything from fruit and vegetables, clothing and hardware, to candles, computer games and health food. It was established in 1145 and can be found on the south side of the Market Place.

Thirsk Church

Thirsk is home to a 15th Century Church dedicated to St Mary. It is a Grade I listed building and dates back to over 500 years ago. It is set on the picturesque green bank of one of the willow-bordered streams; definitely worth a visit!

Thirsk Race Course

The race course currently residing in Thirsk was opened in 1923, but racing had been taking place on the old course over 200 years earlier. Thirsk race course is a thorough bred horse racing venue and it consists of a left handed oval of approximately one mile and two furlongs. The race course serves flat racing in the spring and summer months, plus it holds several race meetings throughout the year.

James Herriot (1916-1995)

Thirsk is the birth place of James Herriot (pen name James Alfred Wight) a British veterinary surgeon and writer. He used his years of experience to write a series of books and stories about animals and their owners. He is best known for this work, which is collectively referred to as ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. The veterinary practice located at 23 Kirkgate where he once worked now houses a museum ‘The World of James Herriot’ which is dedicated to his life and works.

Thirsk Museum

Thirsk museum holds exhibits from across the whole history of the town. The museum is located in the house in which Thomas Lord, professional cricketer whom Lord’s Cricket Ground was named after, was born. Permanent exhibitions include the Herriot Room, the Cottage Kitchen and the Georgian Room.


Thirsk Community Primary is the town’s only primary school; it is mixed gender and caters for pupils between the ages of 3-11. It was opened in 1979 and has continued to grow ever since. An extension was added in 1991 providing extra classrooms, a nursery section and medical facilities. Rises in the school population has resulted in further expansion and the addition of temporary build classrooms.


Thirsk lies in the vale of Mowbry, 23 miles north of York. It is surrounded by villages including Sowerby, Thirlby, Boltby and Borrowby. The A61 runs through Thirsk connecting it with Ripon. Local bus services and national Express Coaches call at the bus stop in the market place, and there is a train station about 1.5 miles outside the town centre.

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