SOME say that if you live in Yorkshire, you don’t need to bother going on holiday anywhere else in the UK. England’s biggest county has everything you could want right here.

Chris Gee clearly thinks so.

“Yorkshire is a microcosm of England,” he writes in his new book, Walking The Yorkshire Coast. “High peaks; rolling countryside; chocolate box villages; pretty market towns; heather moorland and tumbling can all be found here.”

That’s some admission from a man who grew up in Lancashire – in Salford, to be precise. But Chris, a Network Rail manager who now lives in Wheldrake with his wife Jo, has all the zeal of a convert.

The thing he likes most about Yorkshire, however, is its coastline. It’s the sheer variety that makes it so special, Chris says.

There are Victorian seaside towns like Filey, Scarborough and Saltburn; quaint fishing harbours like Staithes, Runswick Bay and Robin Hood’s Bay; high chalk cliffs; and seabird colonies as fine as any in Britain, where you’ll find gannets, puffins, razorbills, guillemots and kittiwakes by the thousand.

“The smell and the sound, as well as the sight, is overwhelming, as good a wildlife spectacle as you might find on ... the Inner Hebrides,” Chris writes in the introduction to his book.

There are also grey seals – and from Whitby, in summer, you can even go out whale watching, looking for minke whales, harbour porpoises and bottlenose dolphins.

That’s without even starting on the heather moorland of the North York Moors, which rolls down almost to touch the coast and which, in late summer, is a blaze of magnificent purple.

Every Yorkshireman (or woman) knows all this, of course

But how much of it have we actually been out and seen for ourselves?

Chris (right), a keen photographer and walker with a passion for wildlife photography and an interest in industrial archaeology, has written a book which aims to help us do just that.

Walking The Yorkshire Coast is subtitled A Companion Guide – and that’s just what it is.

The book isn’t a walking guide precisely. There are no detailed maps with compass references; no step-by-step descriptions of routes. Instead, there are detailed, neatly written accounts of the different resorts, fishing villages, landscapes and stretches of coastline you encounter as you travel northwards up the coast.

Chris starts his journey at Barmston, just south of Bridlington, and ends it at Saltburn. There’s also a special chapter on Spurn Point, because how could that miracle of geology, wind and sea, that ancient spit of land that is home to a unique range of wildlife, possibly be missed out?

It is a book rich in fascinating stories. So you’ll learn about John Wilkes Unett, the Birmingham solicitor who, in 1835, bought 35 acres of land just south of the old fishing village of Filey to create a fashionable modern resort; the alum-quarrying at Ravenscar which dates back to the time of Henry VIII; and the Viking raiders who destroyed the first Whitby Abbey in 867 AD.

For keen walkers, there are also plenty of suggestions for circular walks starting from various points along the coast. And the whole book is illustrated with Chris’s sumptuous photographs – pictures which capture the full, glorious beauty and variety of this wonderful stretch of coastline.

It’s a book to make you realise once again just how lucky we are to live in this finest of all English counties. As if we’d ever forget...

l Walking The Yorkshire Coast: A Companion Guide by Chris Gee is published by PiXZ Books, priced £9.99.