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21 of the Best Days Out in Yorkshire

· Ali Turner · Culture

You're not short of options for cracking days out in Yorkshire.

York, Yorkshire

Yorkshire is a place of outstanding natural beauty, but it’s also filled with cities, towns and villages that have everything you need for a cracking day out. So let us introduce you to a few of our favourites…

From the cobbled streets of York to the stunning scenery of the Yorkshire Wolds and the seaside charm of Robin Hood’s Bay, there are loads of awesome places to visit in Yorkshire. So many, in fact, that you’re spoilt for choice – so we’ve rounded up 21 of our favourites to help you see God’s Own County at its best.

1. Leeds

Kirkstall Abbey

Credit: Daria Wszolek

Of course we’re going to put Leeds at the top of our list of the best days out Yorkshire. You’ll find museums galore, with galleries too – and there are plenty of theatres for you to choose from, if that’s your bag. The shopping is excellent, with a host of independent, designer and high street stores for you to choose from, and there’s certainly no shortage of restaurants to sate your hunger or bars to quench your thirst. Plus, if you head into the suburbs, you’ll find gems like Kirkstall Abbey and Temple Newsam.

2. Whitby

Whitby

Credit: Magnus Hagdorn licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

This bustling seaside town is the perfect spot if you want to escape to the coast. It’s got loads of history, with Whitby Abbey tempting you up the 199 steps to get a closer look and a cracking view, as well as a host of eclectic independent boutiques. It’s the home of a certain famous count, so check out the Dracula Experience, or you can learn about the epic voyages of Captain Cook at the Memorial Museum – and don’t forget to order a portion of fish and chips at The Magpie Cafe before eating them down on the beach. Definitely one of the best places to visit in Yorkshire.

3. York

One of the most beautiful cities in the land, York is a must for anyone looking for days out in Yorkshire. Its cobbled streets lead to all manner of delights, with quirky independent boutiques, markets, theatres and bars all vying for your attention. While you’re there, visit York Minster and admire the architecture or take a walk on the city walls. If you’re bringing kids, they’ll love York Dungeons with its theatrical approach to learning – or try Jorvik Viking Centre to experience the sights, sounds and even the smells of days gone by.

4. Yorkshire Dales

Burnsall, Yorkshire Dales

As far as we’re concerned, the Yorkshire Dales are one of the most beautiful places in the world, let alone Yorkshire – and you can explore them by car, bike or even on foot, if you fancy a bit of rambling. You’ll find picturesque villages like Masham, Ingleton and Grassington, as well as a whole host of natural and man-made treasures. Ingleton’s waterfalls are a must-visit, as is Aysgarth Falls – and Bolton Abbey is quite easily a day out in itself.

5. Doncaster

Brodsworth Hall, Yorkshire

Did you just do a double take? Okay, so it’s not the prettiest part of the Yorkshire, but actually Doncaster has a host of attractions under its belt. We’re talking about trips to the beautiful Brodsworth and Cusworth Halls, as well as the racecourse, where you can place a bet or two. Alternatively, check out South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum, which showcases planes from the past.

6. Ripon

It feels like a quaint Yorkshire village, but Ripon is actually a city, courtesy of its cathedral. It’s impressive to behold, and you can even venture inside for a service or visit the Saxon crypt below. Ripon Racecourse is great for Yorkshire days out, and you can also visit a host of museums, with the Workhouse, Prison & Police and Courthouse to choose from. What’s more, Brimham Rocks are only 9 miles away, while Newby Hall and Fountain’s Abbey are even closer – and if you’re looking for adventure, try nearby theme park Lightwater Valley.

7. Wakefield

Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield Yorkshire

Credit: Hufton and Crow

Believe it or not, Wakefield is an artistic haven with a whole host of attractions for you to explore. Home to The Hepworth and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, it’s perfect for sunny and rainy days out, packed with culture. And if you’re not looking for art, you can always visit the site of the Wakefield Battle, take on the Adventure Trail at Anglers Country Park or explore 237 acres of woodland at Newmillerdam Country Park. You see, there’s more to Wakefield than it first seems.

8. Robin Hood’s Bay

Robin Hood's Bay

Credit: deargdoom57 licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

Undoubtedly one of the loveliest seaside villages you’ll find in Yorkshire, Robin Hood’s Bay is perfect for days out, whether you’re travelling with the family or friends. Here, you’ll find a quaint fishing village that’s packed full of charm, with a slew of traditional shops and eateries for you to explore. Then there’s the beach, beautiful and surrounded by cliffs, it’s ideal for picnics, paddling and sandcastle building, as well as just enjoying the view.

9. Harrogate

Harrogate

Credit: Peppermint Creative

The spa town of Harrogate is a beautiful spot to spend the day. Of course, the Turkish Baths & Health Spa are the highlight, but there’s more to be discovered here. You’ll find plenty of shops to keep you entertained, with quirky independents alongside Harrogate’s famed antique stores – and there are loads of parks, with Valley Gardens and The Stray among them. If you want something truly memorable, why not visit Spofforth Castle, catch a show at Harrogate Theatre or head out to the Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden Harlow Carr?

10. Hebden Bridge

Hebden Bridge

Credit: Ali Turner

If it’s a picturesque market town you’re after, Hebden Bridge certainly fits the bill. It’s a beautiful part of the world, perfect for days out. It mixes lovely architecture with scenic Yorkshire countryside, all the while giving you everything you need for a great day out. We’re talking art galleries, gig venues and independent shops, as well as cafes, bars and eateries.

11. Bridlington

Bridlington, Yorkshire

Your typical Yorkshire seaside town, Bridlington has everything you could want. You’ll find stone beaches on one side, with sandy ones on the other – take a walk to enjoy the coastal views or jump on the train. Those of you taking kids will be happy to know that there are plenty of attractions, with loads of fairground rides and arcades to check out, as well as traditional fish and chips to eat on the beach, after a walk down the promenade. Don’t miss the old town, with its bistros and antique stores, it’s a real hidden gem.

12. Ilkley

Carr Bottom Reservoir, Ilkley Moor

Credit: Tim Green. Licensed for commercial use under creative commons.

A beautiful little town in the Wharfe Valley, Ilkley sits on the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales, and as such, it’s surrounded by stunning countryside and more than a few natural treasures. So go for a walk or visit The Cow and Calf, an impressive natural rock formation. In the town itself, take your pick of the many cosy cafes, bars and restaurants, including their very own Betty’s Tearoom – or explore the independent stores that thrive here. Days out in Yorkshire don’t get much better.

13. The Yorkshire Wolds

Yorkshire Wolds

It may not be as famous as the Dales or the Moors, but the The Yorkshire Wolds are well worth a visit. They’ve got a little bit of everything – from scenic villages to lively market towns, epic chalk landscapes to modern art. There are loads of walks and trails for you to choose from, taking you through the countryside, stopping at galleries, heritage spots and farmers markets along the way – and if you don’t want to walk, why not cycle it?

14. Skipton

A surprisingly diverse town, Skipton has lots to offer on days out in Yorkshire. The castle is the main attraction, it’s 900 years old and remains one of the most complete medieval castles in England. But that’s just the beginning. You’ll find a host of traditional pubs and shops here – and if you want to escape, there are two ways to do it. Jump on a canal boat and see the Yorkshire countryside from a new angle or rent a classic car and make exploring even more fun.

15. Sheffield

Sheffield Town Hall, Yorkshire

Sheffield stands in stark contrast to all those pretty country towns, indeed, the steel city is better known for its industrial past, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a visit. In fact, there’s loads to see and do. Check out the Winter Garden, it’s the largest urban glass house in Europe, or visit the New Moor Market, where you’ll be tempted by 196 artisan food stalls. And if that’s not enough, head to the Millennium Gallery, Kelham Island Museum or the Botanical Gardens – there are loads of places to visit in this modern Yorkshire city.

16. Scarborough

Scarborough, Yorkshire

One of the more famous seaside towns on our list, Scarborough is perfect for days out on the Yorkshire coast. It’s thought to be the world’s first seaside resort, and it’s still a great shout today. You’ve got long stretches of sandy beaches to look forward to, along with amusement arcades full of the kids’ favourite 2p machines, ice cream parlours and, yes, you guessed it – more than a few fish and chip shops. You can also get involved with a host of adventure activities or step away from the seaside to enjoy a spot of big band music in Peasholm Park.

17. North Yorkshire Moors

North York Moors

There are loads of places to visit in the North York Moors, from stunning vistas in the heart of the Yorkshire countryside to natural beauty spots – and let’s not forget the scenic villages. Helmsley is a great shout, with its castle ruins and tearooms, while Rosedale is the perfect spot to kick off a nice long walk. Head to White Mare Crag to see a towering wall of limestone, carved out by glaciers during the ice age, or take a walk to the ever-impressive May Beck and Falling Foss. For man made miracles, try Castle Howard or Rievaulx Abbey.

18. Otley

Otley Chevin

Credit: Ali Turner

One of our local favourites, Otley is a lively market town surrounded by the the Lower Wharfedale countryside – and it’s pretty as a picture. True to its roots, the Yorkshire town has a market three times a week, so time your days out around them for an extra special experience. You’ll find a host of small, independent shops and eateries here, perfect for stopping by before a long walk, be it in Riverside Park or Chevin Forest Park, which offers lovely views of the town itself.

19. Haworth

A hilltop village with a real country feel, Haworth is one of those places you simply have to visit in Yorkshire, especially if you’re a fan of literature. It was here that Bronte sisters wrote most of their books. Their old home, Haworth Parsonage, is now a museum, offering a unique insight into their lives. You’ll find many a walk winding away from the village, and with the Bronte Falls, the Bronte Bridge, and the Bronte Stone Chair all within easy reach, it’s well worth exploring.

20. Holmfirth

Holmfirth Food and Drink Festival

Nestled in the Holme Valley, Holmfirth is a picture-perfect town that’s right on the cusp of the Peak District. You can thank the BBC for making it famous, as it was the setting of popular TV show Last of the Summer Wine, but while its fame may come from the show, it’s the village itself that wins folk over. Quaint and oh-so pretty, it’s filled with cosy bars and restaurants, where you can revive yourself after a walk in the country – and don’t miss their markets, selling everything from handmade jewellery and crafts to delicious food sold by the people who make it.

21. Bradford

Cartwright Hall, Bradford

When it comes to days out in Yorkshire, Bradford is often written off from the start, but you might be surprised by what it has to offer. It was the first UNESCO City of Film with a host of filming locations for you to visit, as well as the National Science and Media Museum, which promises an ever-changing array of photography and video exhibitions. Despite the preconceptions, it’s got some beautiful architecture, with Bradford Cathedral and the 55 listed Victorian buildings of Little Germany.

Want more ideas? Well okay then – check out our guide to the top 30 attractions in Yorkshire.