Thirsk is a small market town to the North West of Hovingham. It is best known for being the home of the author James Herriot (Pen name for Alf Wight). In the town you'll find 'the World of James Herriot' which is an interesting visitor attraction where you can get behind the scene of the 'All creatures great and small' BBC TV series. Thirsk is also famous for its racecourse, where race meets are held between April and September.
The town has a large square where parking is still free for 1 hour. Here, you'll find a few pubs, chain shops and some independent retailers.