Expand your horizons and try something new, with these 10 unusual things to do in Yorkshire…
Yorkshire is full of amazing things to do, but these ten stand out as being a little bit different. From unusual treks in the Yorkshire countryside to caving adventures and survival training – if you want to break out of the norm and have a go at something new, this is a great place to start.
1. Take a ghostly tour of York
Most people think of York as a beautiful, historic town – but it has a darker side and you can learn all about it on one of their ghost tours. Check out The Original Ghost Walk of York, which was created way back when in 1973. It’s not dramatic or false, you won’t bump into characters along the way or set up frights, instead, you’ll be introduced to a world of folklore and legends as you explore the city after dark – and all for just £5 for adults or £4 for kids.
The Original Ghost Walk of York starts at The King’s Arms Pub on Ouse Bridge.
2. Learn some survival skills
The skills you need in the modern world may be slightly different to those required in the great outdoors, but there’s something very therapeutic about learning how to look after yourself in the wild. And where better to do it than the Yorkshire countryside? The folk at Rugged Outdoors will take you deep into the North York Moors and take you through all the basics. From firelighting to foraging, building shelters to animal trapping, you’d be amazed at the different things you can have a go at – and if you ever get stranded on a remote island, well, you’ve got it covered.
Rugged Outdoors, Ryehouse Farm, Acres Lane, Helmsley, North Yorkshire, YO62 5JN.
3. Try your hand at flying a jet
Okay, so you’re not actually going to be flying a jet, but this is the next best thing. It’s a simulation that will see you handling the controls like a real pilot in a F4 Phantom jet simulator. Built for the RAF, the controls are exactly the same as those of a real jet – it even has real ejector seats. Add a day to night visual system, a hydraulic motion system and a proper flying suit, and you’ve got one hell of a day out.
Real Simulation, Haggs Farm Business Park, Follifoot, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 1EQ.
4. York Cold War Bunker
Few people even know it’s there, but York Cold War Bunker offers a unique glimpse into the past. Designed to keep the North going in the event of a nuclear attack, it’ll see you passing through the blast-proof doors and into a bunker that’s actually only recently been taken out of service – it remained active until 1990, after being opened in the 1960s. Now it acts as a lasting reminder of a period of history we hope will never repeat itself.
York Cold War Bunker, Monument Close, York, North Yorkshire, YO24 4HT.
5. Take on a unique high wire
Have you got a head for heights? Well, you’ll need one at How Stean Gorge because this isn’t any ordinary high wires course. You see, this is Via Ferrata – which means you’ll be scaling rock faces and crossing gorges, using an intricate system of metal cables to support you. It requires balance, teamwork and nerves of steel – but the experience is absolutely unforgettable. So if you’ve ticked off the usual adventure activities, make this your next choice.
How Stean Gorge, Lofthouse, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 5SF.
6. Make your great escape
Over recent years, we’ve seen the rise of the escape game – and it’s spread across Yorkshire with Escape Hunt in Leeds, The Great Escape Game in Sheffield and GR8escape in York. Designed to mimic the games you’ve no doubt played on your computer, tablet or mobile, they’ll see you locked in a room with your mates – and the only way to escape is to figure out the clues hidden around the room. Of course, the clock is ticking, because whichever you choose, you only have 60 minutes to get out.
There are a range of escape games throughout Yorkshire’s cities.
7. Delve into Yorkshire’s caving system
Not for the claustrophobic, caving gives you the opportunity to explore the underground world that awaits beneath the Yorkshire Dales. You can join the experts at Live For Today on a thrilling caving adventure. It’ll see you gearing up in safety equipment before heading into the depths where you can expect a mix of walking, crawling, climbing and even abseiling, as you go off in search of underground waterfalls and interesting rock formations, with stalagmites, stalactites and fossils among them.
Live for Today run caving sessions across the Yorkshire Dales.
8. Eat surrounded by sharks
You’ve no doubt heard about The Deep, it’s one of the country’s finest aquariums, with 3,500 marine creatures for you to catch a glimpse of, but have you ever considered eating in their restaurant? It’s pretty incredible, surrounded by clear glass that reveals the ever-moving residents of their main tank. We’re talking sawfish, sharks, rays and more, all weaving their way around the tank as you tuck into their delicious menu.
The Two Rivers, The Deep, Tower St, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1 4DP.
9. Go trekking llamas
There’s nothing unusual about trekking through the glorious Yorkshire countryside… until you add an unusual creature into the mix. There’s one that instantly springs to mind – a llama. The team at Nidderdale Llamas will introduce you to your furry friend and then you’ll take a stroll out into the countryside with a llama in tow. There’s a variety of different treks you can take, with scenic walks and full-day interactive experiences all available.
Nidderdale Llamas, Kiln Farm, Wilsill, Pateley Bridge, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 5EE.
10. Try out mountain boarding
For something a little bit different, why not have a go at Mountain boarding? This intriguing sport is like a mix of snowboarding and skateboarding, but in the scenic setting of the Yorkshire countryside.You can try it at Another World Adventure, where you’ll be kitted out with a board that has four pneumatic wheels and trucks for steering. They have excellent control, so you can pull off a series of tricks as you work your way around the custom-built track. Perfect for snowboarders who feel bereft in the summer months.
Another World Adventure Centre, Moss Farm, Ogden, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX2 8YB.Cover image credit: Coker Designs