No car, no problem as you can enjoy a day out at Yorkshire’s finest attractions by making the most of public transport.
These day trips prove that you can make the most of Yorkshire, even without a car. You can get to almost all of them in less than an hour on public transport and most have just a few minutes of walking at the other side. From a boozy cruise down the Leeds and Liverpool Canal to a day of relaxation in a Victorian Turkish bath, there’s something for everyone to get stuck into.
Explore a historic mill filled with art, shops and eateries
Found just metres from Saltaire Station, Salt’s Mill was once at the heart of Yorkshire’s textile industry, but today the mill has been converted into an artistic hub, complete with a selection of David Hockney’s art and independent shops. It’s a juxtaposition of old and new, with contemporary art galleries found alongside antique stores, all in a spectacular mill setting.
Salt’s Mill, Victoria Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3LA.
Board a boozy afternoon tea cruise
You can embark on a two-hour afternoon tea cruise, complete with gin, along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal with Skipton Boat Trips, which is just a seven minute walk from Skipton Station. The Big Gin Experience will host your cruise – you can sample five different gins as you head along the water alongside finger sandwiches, fruit scones and a selection of dainty desserts.
Skipton Boat Trips, Coach Street, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 1LH.
Visit a green paradise in the heart of a city
Found slap-bang-wallop in the middle of Sheffield and just over five minutes from the station, Sheffield Winter Garden is a glorious green escape from the bustle of the city. It’s home to over 2,500 plants that have been brought from all over the world and is one of the UK’s largest temperate glasshouses. Once you’ve had a look around, you can stop for a coffee, browse the shop or check out the Millennium Galleries and the Peace Gardens next door.
The Winter Garden, 90 Surrey Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 2LH.
Explore a magnificent cathedral and finish with afternoon tea
The medieval city of York is home to York Minster, which is just 15 minutes from the station and is an absolute must-see. It’s a gothic-style church that looms over the city at 72 metres and despite it being over 1,000 years old, it remains just as grand today. Top off the experience with a climb up the tower, where you’ll be greeted with breathtaking views. Feeling peckish? You can stop off for a luxury afternoon tea at Hotel du Vin.
York Minster, Deangate, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 7HH.
See some of the world’s best artwork at a state-of-the-art venue
The Hepworth is an award-winning art gallery, just seven minutes from Wakefield Kirkgate Station. Housed in this extraordinary piece of architecture is art by world-renowned artists like Barbara Hepworth, L.S. Lowry and Henry Moore. But it’s not just a gallery. Be sure to check out local art in the shop, snaffle a bite to eat in the Hepworth Cafe and roam around one of their regular art fairs.
The Hepworth, Gallery Walk, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 5AW.
Unwind in Britain’s most fully restored Victorian Turkish Bath
For a little R&R in an elaborate Victorian spa, set off on a 10 minute walk from Harrogate Station to the Turkish Baths that date back to 1897. You’ll start in the Frigidarium, a quiet relaxation room, decked out with Italian mosaic floors and Islamic arches, where you can acclimatise to the heat of the baths before you enter the eucalyptus-infused steam room, take a dip in the plunge pool or enjoy a traditional Turkish body treatment that combines a volcanic scrub with warm jojoba.
Turkish Baths Harrogate, Parliament Street, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 2WH.
Visit a cave that turns objects into stone
Mother Shipton’s Cave is a natural wonder found just five minutes from Knaresborough Station. It’s England’s oldest tourist attraction and is said to be the birthplace of the prophetess Mother Shipton in 1488. But what makes this cave spectacular is its ability to turn objects into stone, with a unique silt coating found in the water. After a journey through the woodland, you’ll reach the cave to find petrified teddies and hats that hang in the water’s path.
Mother Shipton’s Cave, Prophecy Lodge, Harrogate Road, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, HG5 8DD.
Explore Yorkshire’s hub of science and media
You can reach the National Science and Media Museum in just five minutes from Bradford Interchange, which gives you plenty of time to work your way through eight floors of artefacts. They have world-famous TV props like the miniature Wallace and Gromit characters, over 35,000 objects in their Kodak gallery and over 20 different interactive science exhibits in their Wonderlab. Fancy a film? You can catch one in 3D on their 60-foot IMAX screen.
National Science and Media Museum, Pictureville, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1NQ.
Visit one of the most impressive pieces of architecture in the North
Historically a cloth hall in the 18th century, The Piece Hall is a spectacular Grade-II listed courtyard and former cloth hall, that’s less than five minutes from Halifax Station. This architectural phenomenon was essential to West Yorkshire’s thriving textile industry and is now home to cool independent shops and eateries. It hosts all kinds of events too, from street food markets to top-notch gigs, all against the stunning backdrop.
The Piece Hall, Blackledge, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1RE.
Hang with the sharks at one of the UK’s biggest aquariums
Filled with nearly 3,500 creatures, The Deep is one of the country’s largest aquariums, and you can do the 20-minute journey from Hull Station by foot or bus. Marvel at stingrays from the underwater tunnel or check out the penguins in the Kingdom of Ice. You can even get a fish-eye view of deep-sea creatures in the Endless Ocean, a tank filled with 2.5 million litres of water and 87 tonnes of salt, which is home to sharks, rays and even sea turtles.
The Deep, Tower Street, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, HU9 1TU.
Soak up spectacular views over Ilkley
Just half an hour on the bus from Ilkley Station, Ilkley Moor is famous for its scenic moorland. It is home to the iconic Cow and Calf Rocks, a rocky outcrop and boulder, which are hugely popular with climbers. Work your way around the impressive landscape, before you settle down for a picnic on the moor or head over the road and wash it down with a pint at The Cow and Calf Pub.
Cow and Calf Rocks, Hangingstone Road, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 8BT.
Visit the village where the Brontë Sisters grew up
You can reach the picturesque village of Haworth with a 20-minute bus journey from Keighley Station. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time as you take the cobbled street up to the famous Brontë Parsonage. Here you can see their 19th century home and rare diary entries by each of the sisters. Afterwards, follow the trail up to Top Withens, which inspired Emily Brontë’s world-famous novel ‘Wuthering Heights’.
Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD22 8DR.
Set off on a world-famous railway through the Dales
The 73-mile-long Settle-Carlisle Railway is a picturesque train ride that weaves its way through the Yorkshire Dales. Simply board the train direct from Leeds Station and soak up those spectacular views of the countryside. It stops at 11 stations, including Settle, the historic market town, and Ribblehead, which is known for its famous viaduct. Along the way you can snaffle cakes from Country Fare’s bakery or sup ale from Eden Brewery.
Board the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle Railway from Leeds Station.
Take a trip to the beach on the Yorkshire coast
Scarborough Railway Station is a mere 10 minute walk from the South Bay seafront, so you won’t have to venture far with your beach gear. It’s a pristine stretch of sand lined with a Victorian promenade and has views of the 11th-century Scarborough Castle. You can enjoy a proper old-school beach experience, with donkey rides, amusement arcades and ice-cream parlours nearby.
Scarborough Beach (South Bay), Foreshore Road, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 1NT.
Head to the races with a trip to the cathedral
You can combine a day at the races with a trip to the 7th-century cathedral in Ripon, which takes around 90 minutes on the bus. The cathedral is a sight to behold, with huge stained glass windows, intricate statues and stunning grounds. Ripon is also famous for its racecourse, which has been attracting crowds for over 300 years – place a few bets and enjoy a few drinks as you enjoy watching the horses.
Ripon Races, Boroughbridge Road, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 1UG.Cover image credit: Harrogate Turkish Baths