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25 Things to Do in West Yorkshire ASAP

· Ali Turner · Culture

Get out and explore West Yorkshire while you're young and fancy-free.

Ilkley Lido

Explore West Yorkshire and save on your travel with the MCard. Get unlimited bus and train travel throughout West Yorkshire when topped up with a weekly, monthly or termly ticket. Get a free 19-25 or Student PhotoCard now!

How much of West Yorkshire have you discovered? Tick off our bucket list and make the most of everything the region has to offer…

There’s loads of exploring to do in West Yorkshire and no better time to do it than now, so make the most of your free time by working your way through all these adventures ASAP. From music festivals to virtual reality gaming and an outdoor swimming pool that looks out on the moors beyond, you’d be amazed at all the incredible things you can do so close to home.

Even better, everything on this list can be reached by public transport and you can get unlimited bus and train travel throughout West Yorkshire with the 19-25 or Student PhotoCard. Top it up weekly for £23.40 or monthly for £88.60. Find out more…

1. Go bouldering at Caley Crags

Otley is a half hour bus ride away and it has some of the best bouldering problems in Yorkshire. Make a beeline for Caley Crags, in the Otley Chevin Forest Park – it has something for everyone, whether you’re a total beginner or an absolute pro. In fact, the choice is mind-boggling – there are over 600 different problems here, from the reassuringly easy Flue Crack to the ridiculously difficult No Pebble Wall. Need to learn the ropes before you go? Try The Climbing Lab in Kirkstall.

Caley Crags, Otley Chevin, Pool in Wharfedale, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 3BP. Use your MCard to catch the X84 bus from Leeds to Otley. Plan your journey…

2. Scare yourself silly at Yorkshire Scare Grounds Scream Park

Zombies, vampires, ghosts – it’s time to live out your worst nightmares at Yorkshire’s most frightening attraction. The Yorkshire Scare Grounds Scream Park is like a real-life horror movie and it’ll take you inside a series of spine-tingling tales. They think up new scares every year, so you could do anything from venturing into a haunted house to tip-toeing around a creepy slaughterhouse. They use CGI, moving sets and live actors to make the whole experience feel real – so you’re in for a terrifying treat.

Yorkshire Scare Grounds Scream Park, Horse Race End, Hell Lane, Heath, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 5SG. Use your MCard to get the train to Wakefield Westgate, then the 189 bus. Plan your journey…

3. Immerse yourself in your favourite films at Kirkstall Abbey

Have you heard of Sneaky Experience? They create immersive cinema experiences in unusual settings – and you simply have to try it. This summer, they’re bringing a medley of classic movies to life at Kirkstall Abbey – you could see The Goonies on the big screen with circus acts, real-life mermaids and an 80s cabaret tent or catch The Princess Bride with worldly street food, sword sparring and a pirate’s rum shack. It’s the perfect excuse to take in the scenic surroundings of one of the best remaining examples of a Cistercian abbey in the UK.

Sneaky Experience at Kirkstall Abbey, Abbey Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS5 3EH. Use your MCard to catch the 33 bus, then it’s just a short walk to the venue. Plan your journey…

4. Go swimming outdoors at Ilkley Lido

Ilkley Lido

Credit: Bradford Council

You don’t get many open-air swimming pools in the UK – and you probably won’t find another as scenic as this. Ilkley Lido isn’t like other pools, it’s nestled in the middle of the Yorkshire countryside with the Moors as its backdrop, so you can expect stunning vistas while you swim. They have two pools, a massive 45-metre number outside and a smaller 25-metre pool inside, so if it does rain, you can retreat indoors. While you’re here, you can picnic, play tennis or even have a go at bowls – it’s a ready-made day out.

Ilkley Lido, Denton Road, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 0BZ. Use your MCard to get the train to Ilkley, then it’s a short walk to the Lido. Plan your journey…

5. See a trio of firsts at the National Science & Media Museum

The National Science & Media Museum

Credit: The National Science & Media Museum

You’d be amazed at what you can find at the Science & Media Museum. They have over 3 million items in their collection, and while they aren’t all on display, you can see some seriously cool artifacts, like the oldest surviving negative in the world, the earliest television footage, and the camera that made the earliest moving pictures in Britain. And that’s just a taste of what you can see here because they continually attract and create interactive exhibitions to tell the story of image and sound technology.

The National Science & Media Museum, Pictureville, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1NQ. Use your MCard to get the train to Bradford Interchange, then it’s a short walk to the museum. Plan your journey…

6. Try virtual gaming at VR-Immersion

Virtual reality gaming has arrived in Yorkshire. VR-Immersion uses the latest HTC Vive technology to transport you to another world – you can hurtle into the future where robots have replaced humans, step into the ring and try your hand at boxing or venture into space to fight aliens. They even have the world’s only VR-climbing game. And with a mix of one-player and multi-player games, you can come alone or round-up your mates for an incredible day out.

VR-Immersion, Black Dyke Mills, Brighouse Road, Queensbury, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD13 1QA. Use your MCard to get the train to Bradford, then the 576 bus. Plan your journey…

7. Go on a treetop adventure at Go Ape

Go Ape

Credit: Kelly Last licensed for commercial use under Creative Commons.

Tucked away in the Menagerie Woods at Temple Newsam, you’ll find the new Go Ape Adventure Park. It’s exactly what you’d expect – an obstacle course of stepping stones, Tarzan swings, log-balances and zip wires high in the treetops. If you’re feeling brave, take on their Level 3 challenge – it’ll give you access to their toughest loops, which sit 15 metres above the ground, and you’ll get 3 hours to scramble, balance and jump your way through it.

Temple Newsam, Temple Newsam Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 0AE. Use your MCard to catch the 19 bus from Leeds. Plan your journey…

8. Make clubbing colourful at Holi Festival

Holi Festival

Although Holi originated in India, you don’t have to travel quite that far to celebrate the ‘Festival of Colours’. Every year, Mint Warehouse brings the colour for a night of DJs, live entertainment and street food. Once inside, you’ll find yourself in a feel-good party atmosphere where balls of paint powder are thrown willy-nilly in every direction. Come in a white t-shirt, leave in a rainbow of colours.

Mint Warehouse, Aquatite House, Water Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 9UD. Use your MCard to get the bus or train into Leeds. Plan your journey…

9. Get a proper roast dinner for a bargain price at Man v Roast

Man v Roast

© Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Joseph Sheerin

If you haven’t tried the roast dinners at Man v Roast yet, you need to get on it. It’s a carvery with a focus on quality ingredients – they get all their meats from Sykes House Farm, so you know it’s the good stuff. You can get all your favourites, from pork loin, turkey breast and rotisserie chicken to shoulder of lamb and gammon. Coupled with proper roasties, a huge Yorkshire pudding and all manner of veg, it’s a real treat – and you can have it any day of the week for just £7. Why not get it to take away and eat it picnic style in Hyde Park?

Man v Roast, 144c Cardigan Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1LU. Use your MCard to catch the 19 bus, then it’s just a short walk to the venue. Plan your journey…

10. Go BMXing at Leeds Urban Bike Park

Middleton Park is now home to an exciting new attraction – Leeds Urban Bike Park is a custom-built mountain biking trail with 6 kilometres of tracks and trails to take on. They also have a mini and full-sized pump track with everything from switchbacks to tabletops, berms and roll downs, so you can put your BMX skills to the test. Don’t have a bike? You can hire a BMX or mountain bike at the centre.

Leeds Urban Park Bike Hub, Ring Road, Beeston Park, Middleton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 3TN. Use your MCard to catch the 481 bus. Plan your journey…

11. Unleash your inner child at Eureka!

Lates for adults at Eureka! The National Children's Museum

Credit: Jonathan Pow

Eureka! is the National Children’s Museum, and usually, it’s all about the kids, but once every 6 months, it becomes a playground for grown-ups. Eureka! Lates gives you the chance to explore at your own pace, with no kids around, and have loads of fun while you do it. You can look up a giant nose as you learn about the body, create noises with Orby the alien in the Soundspace and play cool technology games in the Spark Gallery. To top it off, they serve up street food and alcoholic drinks.

Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, Discovery Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 2NE. Use your MCard to get the train to Halifax, then it’s just a short walk to the venue. Plan your journey…

12. Roam free amid the art at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

© Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Ali Turner

We’re very lucky that we have one of the most impressive art galleries in the north right on our doorstep – and it’s a little unconventional. You see, this is a 500-acre park complete with scenic vistas and roaming highland cattle. As you wander around, you’ll find yourself face-to-face with incredible works of art by the likes of Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Joan Miró, but they also attract modern artists, like Chiharu Shiota – right now, you can see her web of inter-woven threads at the Beyond Time installation in the 18th-century Chapel.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 4LG. Use your MCard to get the train to Wakefield Kirkgate, then the 96 bus, or get the train to Wakefield Westgate and the 435 bus. Plan your journey…

13. Speed down the slopes at Snozone

Skiing at Snozone, Xscape

Ever tried skiing? Now’s your chance because you’ll find one of the country’s best real snow slopes just 40 minutes away in Castleford. Snozone is a winter wonderland all year round, with fresh powder laid every morning. If you’ve never been before, you’ll need to book a lesson, and you can try either skiing or snowboarding, whichever you prefer. Once you’ve learned the ropes, you can go it alone or even try their freestyle sessions.

Snozone, Colorado Way, Glasshoughton, Castleford, West Yorkshire, WF10 4TA. Use your MCard to get the train to Glasshoughton, then it’s just a short walk to the venue. Plan your journey…

14. Swim in a giant ball pool at Ball Mania

Ball Mania Shooters

Ball Mania is coming to Leeds. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you need to jump on it while you can. The 80 square metre pool will hold half a million balls and it’ll be open for just three and a half weeks from Tuesday 17th July 2018. You can jump in, swim, wrestle your mates and generally embrace your inner child – the bar will be open, the lights will be turned down low and they’ll have a live DJ on the decks. It’s fair to say that this is the ultimate night out.

Ball Mania, 123 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5RD. Use your MCard to get the bus or train into Leeds. Plan your journey…

15. Go freejumping at Oxygen

Trampoline Park Leeds

Oxygen Freejumping is like an adult-sized adventure playground. Step inside and you’ll find yourself surrounded by 100 inter-connected trampolines, split into 10 different jumping zones. But that’s only the beginning. They have a foam pit, a giant airbag and a speed reaction wall, not to mention an obstacle course race where you can duck, dodge and climb your way to the finish line in an attempt to beat your mates.

Oxygen Freejumping, Cardigan Fields Leisure Park, Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2DG. Use your MCard to catch the 33, 33a, 508 or the 670 bus. Plan your journey…

16. See your favourite bands play live for half the price of Leeds Fest

Bingley Music Live

Credit: Bradford Council

It may not be as famous as Leeds Fest, it may not even be as big, but for half the price and with a line-up that’s downright impressive, Bingley Music Live ain’t pulling any punches. It takes place at Myrtle Park on the first weekend in September, tickets cost just under £100 for the entire weekend and you can see the likes of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Cribs, Shed Seven, Ride, Gomez, Jake Bugg and The Sherlocks. This is the full festival experience for a bargain price.

Myrtle Park, 45 Back Sycamore Avenue, Bingley, West Yorkshire, BD16 1HH. Use your MCard to get the train to Bingley, then take the short walk to the park. Plan your journey…

17. Take on My House Diner’s Pancake Challenge

My House Diner Pancake Challenge

Some things are worth going out of your way for – My House Diner’s Pancake Challenge is one of them. This is a humungous feed, but if you’ve got a sweet tooth, an unlimited appetite and a competitive streak, it’s a must-do. They’ll serve you up a pile of 20 pancakes, smothered in syrup and ice cream – it’s £7 if you can’t finish, but if you do, you’ll get the whole thing free and your name will go onto their Wall of Fame. Think you’ve got what it takes? It’s time to find out.

My House Diner, 54 Belle Isle Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 3EY. Use your MCard to catch the 12, 13 or 13a bus from Leeds. Plan your journey…

18. Spend a day exploring Roundhay Park

Roundhay Park

Credit: Jerry Jone & LEP

It may sound obvious, but this is a right of passage if you’re new to Leeds. There’s more to Roundhay Park than meets the eye, so don’t think you’re done with one visit – this is one of the biggest urban parks in Europe and it covers a massive 700 acres. Within that space, you’ll find rolling hills, two lakes, a skate park and a whole medley of landscaped gardens. Plus, there’s a castle folly, a wonderful gorge walk and the famous Tropical World – not just for kids, this is your chance to see piranhas up close and fall in love with their resident meerkats.

Roundhay Park, Mansion Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2HH. Use your MCard to catch the number 2, 12, 13 or 13a bus. Plan your journey…

19. Follow in the footsteps of three of the world’s greatest novelists

Bronte Parsonage Museum

Credit: Man Alive licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

Ever wanted to see the moors that inspired Wuthering Heights or the place where the famous Brontë sisters grew up? You can do it all in one day with a trip to Haworth. First, head over to the Haworth Parsonage – it’s been turned into a museum and it’s filled with a treasure trove of letters, papers and early edition novels that will give you a unique glimpse into the sisters’ lives. Afterwards, take a walk to Brontë Falls, Brontë Bridge and the Brontë Stone Chair.

Brontë Parsonage Museum, Church Street, Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD22 8DR. Use your MCard to get the train to Keighley, then the B2 bus to Haworth. Plan your journey…

20. See some of the best DJs in the world at Cocoon

Cocoon In The Park 2015

It’s one of the biggest events in the UK dance calendar and 2018 is a big year for them – they’re hitting the big one-o and they’ve put together an incredible line-up to celebrate. Sven Vath, the guy behind the Cocoon record label, will take to the decks, alongside some of the biggest DJs in the world, including Apollonia, Seth Troxler, Rossko and Annie Errez. It all goes down at Temple Newsam on Saturday 14th July 2018.

Temple Newsam, Temple Newsam Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 0AE. Use your MCard to catch the 19 bus, then it’s just a short walk to the venue. Plan your journey…

21. Immerse yourself in modern art at The Hepworth

Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield Yorkshire

Credit: Hufton and Crow

The Hepworth’s reputation precedes it. The gallery itself is a work of art, created by David Chipperfield, and it has a sculptural design that mimics the displays inside – it truly lives up to the name bestowed on it, that of Wakefield-born Barbara Hepworth. Inside, you’ll find Wakefield’s art collection, alongside an ever-changing array of international and contemporary art. Now that’s got to be worth a visit, right?

The Hepworth, Gallery Walk, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 5AW. Use your MCard to get the train to Wakefield Kirkgate, then it’s just a short walk to the venue. Plan your journey…

22. Take your pick from over 100 bands at Live at Leeds

The Cribs

Credit: Jess Rowbottom

Live at Leeds is one of the biggest events of the year. It’s a day of bar-hopping, as you jump from one gig to the next. This is your chance to see the big hits of tomorrow played in an intimate space, as well as catching top bands like Circa Waves, Peace, The Horrors and British Sea Power. Live at Leeds takes over a host of city centre and suburban venues, so be prepared to hot-foot it from O2 Academy to Brudenell Social Club at record speed.

Live at Leeds takes over venues all over the city on the first May bank holiday. Use your MCard to get the bus or train into Leeds and out to Brudenell Social Club. Plan your journey…

23. Stay up until the AM for Night of the Dead

Have you done Night of the Dead yet? It’s part of Leeds International Film Festival and will see you holed up in the cinema overnight for a horror movie marathon. But these aren’t your usual Hollywood blockbusters – they bring together the best foreign, low budget and critically acclaimed films, as well as a series of shorts to take you from night into day. There’s nothing quite like an overnight movie fest – and you might never get another chance to see these films on the big screen.

Night of the Dead, Hyde Park Picture House, 73 Brudenell Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1JD. Use your MCard to get the train to Burley Park, then it’s a short walk to the cinema, or catch the 56 bus. Plan your journey…

24. Take a stroll with an alpaca

Alpacas

This is Yorkshire, so you’ve got plenty of options if you want to take a stroll in the countryside, but this is more than just a day of rambling. At Apple Tree Farm, you can go out with one of their alpacas. Everyone on your walk will get their own alpaca and you’ll have a chance to get to know their likes and dislikes before you head out. The walk itself is about an hour long and it’ll give you a chance to take in the beautiful scenery of the South Pennines and Calder Valley, while getting to know your new friend.

Apple Tree Farm, Davey Lane, Blackshawhead, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 7JG. Use your MCard to get the train to Hebden Bridge, then the 596 bus. Plan your journey…

25. Explore the only remaining great eighteenth-century northern cloth hall

The Piece Hall

Credit: The Piece Hall

Built in 1779, The Piece Hall was one of the great eighteenth-century northern cloth halls and it’s the only one that remains today. Back then it was used for trading ‘pieces’ of cloth, which at the time was the name for a 30-yard length of woven or woolen fabric produced on a hand loom, but it has since been transformed into a modern meeting place where people can eat, drink and shop together. It’s worth going just to see this stunning Grade I listed building, but with a mix of record stores, ice cream parlours and gin bars inside, you’re sure to come back.

The Piece Hall, Blackledge, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1RE. Use your MCard to get the train to Halifax, then it’s just a short walk to the venue. Plan your journey…