Northallerton is a typical, small market town whose place in history has been greatly influenced by its strategic position on the Great North Road. Although the main traffic route has long since bypassed the town, its heart is still the High Street, which is long and broad and each Wednesday and Saturday is transformed into a bustling market place, which attracts shoppers from afar.
One of the features of the main thoroughfare is the prominent white portico of the Golden Lion Hotel, which is surmounted with a statue of a golden lion.
The street is lined with more historic buildings and plaques marking where others have been replaced over the years.
The town boasts a very high proportion of independent local business: along the High Street and within several arcades, together with traditional national high street retailers.