Need to inject a little va va voom into your quality time together? No problem, simply whack these beauties on your to-do list.
When bog standard coffee shops and trundles around town no longer cut the mustard, you may want to surprise your loved one with an activity that’s a little more… inspired. Well you’re in luck, because there’s loads of exciting days out in Yorkshire for couples. We’re talking belly-busting food markets, romantic waterfall walks, culture-stuffed day trips and underground cave escapades. Yep, all that is right on your doorstep! Grab your other half and get ready to soak up the best of God’s Own Country, together.
1. Ilkley Moor
An oldie but a goodie, Ilkley Moor has been the stomping ground of romantic days out in Yorkshire for yonks. The allure is clear to see. Heather-covered moors, undulating pathways, tucked-away picnic spots and some of the most stunning views in the entire county all combine to put the city smog far behind you. Pick a well-trodden trail or simply roam the hilltops, hand-in-hand, and see where your feet take you. Wherever you end up, make sure to pay a visit to the cracking Cow and Calf pub along the way – those roaring fires and magical moorland views are the stuff romance novels are made of.
Ilkley Moor, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 9RF.
2. Otley Chevin
Just down the road, Otley Chevin may not have quite the same fame as Ilkley’s moors but it’s no less charming (and usually less busy too). Find your own little slice of serenity as you slowly climb this designated nature reserve, which rises to 280 metres above sea level and is criss-crossed with woodland walking trails. It’s all too easy to get lost inside the cosy canopy, butterfly spotting in the dappled light, but a treat awaits you at the top of the ridge. The aptly-named Surprise View has a magnificent vista across Wharfedale. There’s even a car park if your thighs aren’t up for the hike.
Otley Chevin Forest Park, East Chevin Road, Otley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS21 3HB.
3. Harewood House
When it comes to couples activities in Yorkshire, Harewood House is firing on all cylinders. This 18th-century country estate is an action-packed playground, filled with 100 acres of beautiful gardens, a Grade I-listed historic house, contemporary art exhibitions and luxurious afternoon teas (enjoyed on the al fresco terrace or in the Billiard Room, no less). You can even see penguins. Yes, penguins! And alpacas, pygmy goats, pigs and giant rabbits too, thanks to the Farm Experience. With so much to see, this is one trump card you can play over and over, and never get bored.
Harewood House, Sandy Gate, Harewood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 9LE.
4. Go Ape at Temple Newsam
Nothing says romantic day out in Yorkshire quite like harnesses, high wires and screaming like a banshee, right? Go Ape, a tree top obstacle course set within the beautiful Temple Newsam estate, is just the excuse you need to monkey around with your beloved. Strap up and venture high into the woodland canopy where a series of nerve-jangling zip lines, teetering bridges and rope swings await. Sweetly support your partner through their wobbly knees, or enter beast mode and embark on a head-to-head race right through to the 11-metre Plummet finale. Those red roses and sweet nothings can wait another day.
Go Ape, Temple Newsam, Temple Newsam Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 0AE.
5. The Piece Hall
Is it a Roman courtyard? Is it a Venetian piazza? No, it’s The Piece Hall in Halifax! Britain’s last surviving cloth hall is a Georgian masterpiece, yet it doesn’t always get the love it deserves. Miss it and you’re missing out, because this newly-renovated beauty is packed with things to do for couples in Yorkshire. Discover its heritage on your very own private tour, or show your other half the ropes with a quirky bell ringing experience. Art and craft workshops pop up throughout the year, while independent boutiques and cosy cafes are a mainstay. You’ll be well occupied for hours, especially when you discover the specialist gin bar.
The Piece Hall, Blackledge, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1RE.
6. The Black Sheep Brewery Tour
Do all your dates revolve around knocking back a pint or two of Yorkshire’s finest brews? If so, leave the pub behind for a day and head straight to the source with a Black Sheep Brewery tour instead. Located in pretty Masham, this family run brewery has been in place since 1992 and continues to whip up all manner of thoroughbred Yorkshire stouts, bitters, ales and porters – the water is extracted from their very own on-site bore hole! Stroll through the atmospheric brewhouse, watch the magic in action, chat to the experts and then cheers to ever-lasting love with a few snifters at the bar.
The Black Sheep Brewery, Wellgarth, Masham, North Yorkshire, HG4 4EN.
7. Spirit of Harrogate Gin Tasting
Speaking of Yorkshire’s finest, gin-loving couples will be in their spirit-soaked element at a Spirit of Harrogate gin experience. These are the bods behind award-winning Slingsby Gin, made with Harrogate’s famous spring water, so you can feel smug celebrating local industry as you get well and truly sozzled. Taste your way through the history of gin or flex your creative muscles and create your very own gin blend at the Master Distiller experience. You’ll take a bottle of your own creation home with you, so you can argue in private about who’s more cut out to be a gin bigwig.
Spirit of Harrogate, 5-7 Montpellier Parade, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 2TJ.
8. Newby Hall
An 18th-century manor house complete with award-winning gardens, Newby Hall is a firm favourite for families. But the glorious grounds, Grade I-listed mansion, charming exhibits and afternoon tea delights also make it one of the best days out in Yorkshire for couples. Sun shining? There are gardens galore just ripe to explore. Carve out your own little corner of solitude in the rose, water, woodland or tropical gardens, then soak in the majesty of the mansion interior. From grand libraries to intricate tapestry rooms, it’s a triumph of interior design and the perfect place to get swept up in the old world charm.
Newby Hall and Gardens, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 5AE.
9. Yorkshire Lavender
Looking for couples activities in Yorkshire straight out of a romantic novel? Yorkshire Lavender might just hold the crown for the dreamiest date ever. Time it right (June, July and August are the typical ‘full bloom’ months) and you and your other half can saunter through 60 acres of endless lavender fields, purple flowers dancing in the breeze as far as the eye can see. Join the bees for a lazy bumble through the rows, soak in the smell, snap your obligatory Instagram pics, then stop off in the delightful tea room for afternoon tea or ice cream. Flavour? Lavender, of course.
Yorkshire Lavender, Terrington, York, North Yorkshire, YO60 6PB.
10. Bolton Abbey
Lose yourself in history with a romantic day out in Yorkshire’s own Bolton Abbey. The imposing, 12th-century monastery ruins form a mighty impressive backdrop as you traverse the River Wharfe and stretch out on its picnic-perfect banks. You may be tempted to spend all your time canoodling at the water’s edge and venturing among the abbey ruins, but don’t forget there’s a whopping 30,000 acres of countryside to play with. Skip over the river’s stepping stones and you’ll find 80 miles of woodland trails, valley waterfalls, flower carpets and paths up to the rugged Barden Moor, where sublime views of the Dales await.
Bolton Abbey, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6EX.
11. Cycling on the Swale Trail
Leave your indecision in the dust and speed off into the Swaledale sunset on this countryside mountain biking route. The Swale Trail is a 12-mile, signposted route between Reeth and Keld that takes in native woodland, wildflower meadows, unrestricted Dales views and, most importantly, a couple of pub pit stops along the way. Consider yourselves peddle pros? Take on the entire route along the River Swale and congratulate yourselves with a well-earned pint at either end. Or, simply saddle up for the blissfully flat four-mile middle section and… still treat yourselves to a pint when you’re done. No judgement here!
Pick up the Swale Trail in Reeth, North Yorkshire, DL11 6TN.
12. Malton Monthly Food Market
Think no romantic day out in Yorkshire is complete without stuffing your face with food? We hear you, and Malton is the perfect place to do it. Affectionately known as Yorkshire’s food capital, this tiny-but-hella-tasty town is taken over by 35 of the finest local and independent producers the second Saturday of every month. Follow your nose to the central market place for a serious dose of deliciousness. Traditional butchers, artisan breads, locally-brewed beers and home-churned Yorkshire ice creams are just some of the mouthwatering treats that’ll ensure you leave with tums as full as your hearts. Dig in.
Malton Monthly Food Market, Market Place, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 7LX.
13. Robin Hood’s Bay
Picturesque yet rugged, peaceful yet heavy with stormy history, Robin Hood’s Bay on the North York Moors coast is full of contradictions. Today, the charming old fishing village belies a turbulent past where pirates, bandits and smugglers came out to play. Seek out the local museum to swot up on local history, then turn your attention to the real showstopper – the beach. Fossil hunting, rock pooling and the obligatory sandcastle building all make this a fine day out in Yorkshire for couples, but it pays to explore. Follow the coast south (make sure it’s low tide!) and you’ll be rewarded with a hidden cove called Boggle Hole and a seal colony at Ravenscar – often all to yourself.
Robin Hood’s Bay, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 4SJ.
14. Fountains Abbey
Whatever the season, Fountains Abbey is a total treasure. This National Trust site is a must-do day out for any couple in need of a history hit and fresh air fix. It boasts the largest monastic ruins in the entire country, where you can step inside crumbling walls to explore a captivating network of former chapels, cloisters and dining rooms. The dramatic abbey church, now open to the elements but with expansive arches still rising high into the sky, is nothing short of breathtaking. But make sure to keep some time back. The 800 acres of parkland, tranquil water gardens and herds of deer are calling your name too.
Fountains Abbey, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3DY.
15. Whitby Abbey
Perched high above the much-loved seaside town of Whitby, this hilltop monastery may win first prize for ruins-with-a-view. For nearly 1,500 years, Whitby Abbey’s gothic ruins have inspired awe, art and poetry. You may know that Whitby and the abbey played a key role in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but fewer realise it was also home to the earliest named English poet, Cædmon. Climb the 199 steps from the town to admire the views out to sea, wander the atmospheric abbey, and be spooked and spellbound in equal measure. Top tip, the smashing Whitby Brewery is just round the corner.
Whitby Abbey, Abbey Lane, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 4JT.
16. Ilkley Pool and Lido
When the clouds part and the sun shines bright, few couples activities in Yorkshire are quite as appealing as a dip in an outdoor pool. Luckily Ilkley Lido, open from May to September, has your sun lotion-slathered back. Don your swimmers, pack up your favourite sarnies, and get ready for a day splashing, snacking and snoozing on the grassy picnic area. A mighty popular spot during the summer holidays, you’ll want to lay your towel down nice and early to get a good space. But with views over to Ilkley Moor, ice cream vans and happy bathers dotted all around, the early morning start is more than worth it.
Ilkley Pool and Lido, Denton Road, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 0BZ.
17. Ingleton Waterfalls Trail
Enter a magical world where two tumbling rivers (the Twiss and Doe) guide you on an 8-kilometre circular journey past an array of natural waterfalls, spouts, gorges and forces. Ingleton Waterfalls Trail lets you soak in the best of these phenomena, on a well-kept path that’s ripe for a romantic day out in Yorkshire. As you climb beside the water, watch the scenery develop from heavily canopied woodland, beloved by mosses and ferns, to the wilder open-air brackens and heathers. And at every turn, waterfalls. Trickling, plummeting, roaring and bubbling – it’s a true showcase of our county’s magnificent landscape.
Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, Broadwood Entrance, Ingleton, Carnforth, North Yorkshire, LA6 3ET.
18. Malham Cove
There’s no doubt Malham Cove is a much-loved beauty spot. Formed during the Ice Age thousands of years ago, the magnificent curved limestone cliff adds a huge dollop of grandeur to your usual couples day out in Yorkshire. A number of walking routes take you there, but if you want to pack in as much spectacular scenery as possible, opt for the 4.5-mile circular walk from Malham’s Yorkshire Dales National Park car park. This bad boy fits in three additional waterfalls at Janet’s Foss and Gordale Scar. Still got some juice left? Climb the rough steps beside the cove and survey the panoramic views from the higgledy-piggledy limestone pavement at the top.
Malham Cove, Malham, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 4DJ.
19. Climbing at Almscliffe Crag
You’d be forgiven for thinking Almscliffe Crag is solely country walk territory. Certainly, roaming between the numerous gritstone boulders that form this rocky outcrop is always time well spent. Yet, the crowds come to this hilltop for a different reason – climbing. As one of Yorkshire’s best climbing destinations, you’re just as likely to find numerous roped daredevils tackling the cliff faces as you are bog standard walkers. Want to join the fun together? There are plenty of low level bouldering routes (which don’t require ropes) to cut your teeth on once you’ve got your crash mat and chalk. Those 360 degree views, leaping spring lambs and tucked away picnic spots? Mere bonuses.
Almscliffe Crag, Crag Lane, North Rigton, North Yorkshire, LS17 0ER.
20. Wensleydale Creamery
You know what says ‘I love you’? Cheese. And you know what says ‘I really, really love you’? Copious amounts of cheese. Well grab the chutney, because the romance in your life is about to get seriously cheesy. Wensleydale Creamery is the epicentre of all things Yorkshire and dairy, home to 20 different types of handcrafted cheese, an interactive cheese-making experience and demonstration rooms. Of course there’s more crumbly Wensleydale than you can shake a cracker at, but you’ll also find cheddars, bries and even some Yorkshire yoghurt. Dig into the samples then head to the gift shop to plan your next romantic night in together. Fondue for two?
Wensleydale Creamery, Gayle Lane, Hawes, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, DL8 3RN.
21. Lightwater Valley
You may think theme parks are for kids, but nothing makes you feel young quite like being in the throes of love. So why not embrace your inner child and gear each other up to take on the county’s most rip-roaring rollercoasters at Lightwater Valley? Couples activities in Yorkshire don’t get much more heart thumping than here, where exhilarating rides like Wild River Rapids, Eagle’s Claw and The Ultimate promise to get your pulses racing. There are plenty of more sedate rides for couples who don’t fancy being drenched or chucked upside down, plus it’s possible to sprinkle on a bit of extra romance when you hire a private Swan Boat on the lake.
Lightwater Valley, North Stainley, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 3HT.
22. Ribblehead Viaduct
It’s easy to feel small when standing under the gargantuan Ribblehead Viaduct. Its 24 enormous arches, reaching over 100 feet into the air and built in the 1870s as part of the Settle-Carlisle railway, are simply awe-inspiring. Trains still cross it today! But although you’ll undoubtedly stop for a gawp, it’s a marvellous day out in Yorkshire for couples for much more than that. The former Ribblehead Station building houses a visitors’ centre where you can clue up on its colourful past, oodles of footpaths branch out from the viaduct itself and, for the real trek-heads among you, it also marks the start of the route to the tallest of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, Whernside.
Ribblehead Viaduct, Low Sleights Road, Ribblehead, North Yorkshire, LA6 3AU.
23. Land Rover Experience Yorkshire
Got a need for speed and want to take your partner along for the ride? Buckle up for a white knuckle whizz through the beautiful Broughton Hall Estate in the driving seat of your very own Land Rover 4×4. Your playground? 3,000 acres of farmland criss-crossed with off-road routes to suit every skill level. Newbies can tackle deep water crossings, rock crawls and steep inclines on a one-hour taster drive, while those looking for a greater challenge can settle for anything from half-day experiences to full-blown treks on more demanding terrain. Companions are welcome to join, meaning you can finally test out who’s the better driver, once and for all.
Land Rover Experience Yorkshire, Broughton Hall Estate, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 3HS.
24. The York Dungeon
Clutch your loved one tight as you enter Yorkshire’s spookiest sight… York Dungeon! Ok, it’s not all screams and scares. In fact, you’re just as likely to burst out laughing as you are screech your socks off, but that’s why it’s such a fun thing to do in Yorkshire for couples. Creep through 2,000 years of York’s grizzly history with 11 blood-curdling live shows. Can you avoid the lurgy in The Plague House? Will your secrets be revealed in The Shambles Butcher Shop? Do either of you have what it takes to resist the Torture Chamber? It’s great fun watching your other half get the fright of their life, but when you get picked on by the actors? Then you won’t be laughing.
The York Dungeon, 12 Clifford Street, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 9RD.
25. The Hepworth
For a slightly more cultured couples activity in Yorkshire, The Hepworth doesn’t disappoint. This award-winning Wakefield art gallery, set right on the banks of the River Calder, is a beautiful day out. Once you’re past the dramatic exterior, you’ll find 44 key sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, items from Wakefield’s art collection, plus a range of temporary exhibitions by international and contemporary artists. Even better, it’s free to enter, so from cultural (and cheap!) first dates to making happy memories years later, it’s always an excellent option. Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a mere seven miles away too – why not make a day of it?
The Hepworth Wakefield, Gallery Walk, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 5AW.
26. Swinsty and Fewston Reservoir Walks
When you’re both in need of a ‘get away from it all’ day, it’s worth having these two neighbouring reservoirs up your sleeve. Set in Nidderdale, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, each waterside walk has all the benefits of a delightful country ramble, but with none of the hassle. The paths are super accessible, it’s mostly flat, car parks are right next door and there are a couple of great pubs nearby (The Timble Inn with its exposed beams and roaring fires is particularly romantic). A most flexible thing to do in Yorkshire for couples who want an easy-peasy rural escape.
Swinsty Moor and Fewston Reservoir car park, North Yorkshire, LS21 2NP.
27. Kanyu Escape Room
Ok, you’ll need to get a few of your friends involved in this one, but Kanyu Escape Room is still a cracking day out in Yorkshire for couples. Why? Firstly, it’s team building at its finest. Put your collective noggins together to solve clues, smash challenges and puzzle your way out of three madcap themed rooms. Secondly, it’s an absolute hoot – movie-quality sets, fiendishly fun riddles and an ever-ticking clock to get the adrenaline really pumping. Last but not least, this is probably the closest you’ll get to seeing how well your beloved would cope in a real-life zombie situation. And quite frankly, that’s essential knowledge before you make it long-term.
Kanyu Escape Room, South Lodge, Moor End, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS23 6ER.
28. York Minster
York Minster is a surefire hit when it comes to the most romantic days out in Yorkshire. The building of the magnificent Gothic structure you see today began in 1220 and its beauty has stood the test of time. Walk beneath the Great East Window, the largest example of medieval stained glass in the world, and admire the cavernous limestone nave (quarried from nearby Tadcaster). There’s masses to see, but two experiences are particularly special. Weekly tours allow you access to the Chapter House roof, where you can gaze out over the York skyline, while the Crypt & Passages Tours takes you deep below the surface into spaces the public usually can’t see…
York Minster, Deangate, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 7HH.
29. National Railway Museum
Tired of the same old things to do in Yorkshire for couples? Want to make things a little… steamy? Granted, the National Railway Museum might not be the first thing that pops into mind but hear us out. There’s something undeniably romantic about old fashioned train travel and this is where you’ll find prime specimens from the good old days – The Mallard, Pullman carriages, Royal trains, many of which can be hopped on and walked through. For extra brownie points, book a luxurious afternoon tea in the beautifully restored Countess of York train carriage in the garden. It may not be The Orient Express, but it’s pretty darn close.
National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York, North Yorkshire, YO26 4XJ.
30. Shibden Hall
It’s high time this Yorkshire treasure got the love it deserves. Once the home of landowner, diarist and ’the first modern lesbian’, Anne Lister (also known as ‘Gentleman Jack’), the Grade II-listed Shibden Hall is a treasure trove of interest. From the distinctive Tudor-timbered frontage to an immaculate interior jam-packed with early 19th-century furnishings, it’s a fascinating insight into life at that time. Make sure to leave a couple of hours for the extensive grounds where boating lakes, woodland walking trails, wildflower beds and even a miniature railway promise to keep you occupied for hours.
Shibden Hall, Lister’s Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX3 6XG.
31. York’s Chocolate Story
Forget treating your loved one to a mere box of choccies, there’s one day out in Yorkshire that’s sweeter than all the rest for chocaholic couples. York’s Chocolate Story takes you on a guided tour through the city’s scrumptious past (Rowntree’s, Terry’s and Craven’s factories have all been based here). You’ll get up close and personal to chocolate-making in action and, of course, nibble lots of free tasters. Try your hand at making your very own chocolate lollipop, then cuddle up with a hot choc in the cafe afterwards. It might just be the gooiest date you’ve ever had, so go on, milk it.
York’s Chocolate Story, King’s Square, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 7LD.
32. The North York Moors Railway
Step back in time to an era of steam engines, dining carriages and scenic stations. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a nugget of pure ye olde world joy and ideal for couples as well as train boffs. A volunteer-run line between Pickering and Whitby, you can hop on and off bonafide steam trains at any number of wonderfully preserved stations along the way, many of which have been featured in TV and film (Goathland became Hogsmeade Station in the first Harry Potter film). Chug through the beautiful North Yorkshire scenery, treat yourself to an on-board afternoon tea, nip off for a spot of sightseeing and then take a break from ogling each other to enjoy the views out the window.
The North York Moors Railway, 28 Park Street, Pickering, North Yorkshire, YO18 7AJ.
33. Strawberry picking
Fire up your tastebuds, grab your wicker basket and spend your next sunny day on a deliciously old school couples activity. There are a handful of pick-your-own fruit farms in Yorkshire and there’s nothing quite so charming (or quintessentially British) as meandering through the fields together, sweet aromas in the air, hunting down the most plumptious strawberries to fill your tums. Many farms also have on-site cafes and shops where you can rest your feet and stock up on goodies, but we don’t blame you for wanting to head straight home and create your own fruity masterpiece. Did somebody say pavlova for dessert?
34. Walking How Stean Gorge
If you both share a passion for derring-do and al fresco adventures, there are fewer days out in Yorkshire better for thrill-seeking couples than How Stean Gorge in the Dales. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, the imposing limestone ravine is a natural playground for climbers, mountain bikers and cavers. But to really appreciate the sheer scale of this steep-sided chasm, you simply have to try gorge walking. For three hours you’ll abseil down cliffs, slide through waterfalls, plummet into plunge pools and scramble over boulders along the watery valley floor. Wet suits? Obligatory. Screaming like a baby? Optional.
How Stean Gorge, Lofthouse, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 5SF.
35. RHS Harlow Carr
Prefer relaxing perambulations to hair-raising escapades? The Royal Horticultural Society runs just five public gardens in the entire country, and one is right here in Yorkshire. Whatever time of year, the 58-acre RHS Harlow Carr is heaving with horticultural delights. Cosy up for the Winter Walk and soak in the fragrance of the winter flowering shrubs, return in spring when the wildflower meadows burst into life, kick back in summer with a bunch of al fresco events like outdoor screenings and live music, then bask in the glorious autumn colours as the season changes once more. To finish? Tea for two and a Fat Rascal to share at Betty’s Tea Room next door.
RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 1QB.
36. White Scar Cave
Run out of land-dwelling things to do in Yorkshire for couples? Don’t worry, a whole new world awaits you below the surface! At 6km long, Yorkshire boasts the longest show cave in all of England – White Scar Cave. A network of subterranean nooks, crannies, rock formations and waterfalls, you have 80 minutes to duck, weave, squeeze and gawp on a mile-long guided tour. From expansive caverns to petite passages, hidden faces to Witch’s Fingers, it’s an incredible opportunity to descend into a geological phenomenon thousands of years in the making.
White Scar Cave, Ingleton, North Yorkshire, LA6 3AW.
37. The Deep
It’s time to dive below a different kind of surface at The Deep. This immense aquarium, home to 3,500 different marine animals, is like entering an underwater paradise. Recreate your own Romeo & Juliet moment at the crystal clear fish tanks, lark around with the Gentoo penguins in the Kingdom of Ice, and watch stingrays glide overhead as you pass through the underwater viewing tunnel. It’s a riot of colour and light, strangely mesmerising, and you can dial up the romance with a tank-side table at Two Rivers Restaurant afterwards. They say three’s a crowd, but an exception can be made for sharks, don’t you think?
The Deep, Tower Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1 4DP.
38. Standedge Tunnel
Forget the tunnel of love, make way for Standedge Tunnel instead. Far from your typical dinner and a movie, this three-mile long feat of engineering is one of the quirkiest days out in Yorkshire for couples. But it’s not without romance. Carved right into the hills below the rugged Pennine countryside, a visit to the canal tunnel is a day of two halves. First, enjoy a pleasant stroll along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath, scoff a cake at the Waterside Cafe and swot up on history in the visitors’ centre. Then it’s time to huddle up on a canalboat and leave daylight behind as you venture deep into the pitch-black tunnel itself on a guided tour. Plus, if it’s right up your, um, canal, you can get married here too.
Standedge Tunnel Waters Road, Marsden, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD7 6NQ.
39. Walk York’s City Walls
You may think a jaunt around York’s medieval city walls is more for tourists than couples, but don’t rule it out just yet. It forms part of a hugely romantic day out in Yorkshire and, best of all, it’s free! The circular walk takes you high above the sights, offering a completely different perspective on the ancient city. You’ll pass abbey ruins, fortified gateways, two rivers, hidden masons’ marks, Roman towers, and even some grisly murder holes along the way, not to mention splendid elevated views of York Minster. The entire route takes just a couple of hours, so team it with lunch and you’ve got yourself a fine day out.
York City Walls, York, North Yorkshire, YO31 7PH.
40. Rudding Park Spa
Sometimes, spending quality time together means a day of unadulterated indulgence is in order. The place to deliver it? Rudding Park Spa. This award-winning centre is the epitome of relaxation, it’s a pamper-tastic indoor/outdoor rooftop spa filled with luxurious infinity pools, herbal steam rooms, sunlight therapy rooms, hot tubs, saunas and garden views galore. You’ll be blown away by the attention to detail – even the showers offer a surprise tropical experience! Add on an afternoon tea, Mud Rasul ritual or couples massage for extra romance, then simply spend the rest of day in your robes, dipping into pools and catching some Zs the sun deck. You’ll feel brand new in no time.
Rudding Park Hotel and Spa, Follifoot, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 1JH.
41. The Donkey Sanctuary
If you’re after a real feel-good couples activity in Yorkshire, you need look no further than The Donkey Sanctuary. It’s not a traditional candlelit dinner or spa date, but you’re sure to leave with mighty full hearts nonetheless. The Donkey Sanctuary helps four-legged friends in need, offering them a happy home in grassy pastures and visitors a chance to enjoy the company of these lovely creatures. At designated times, you can pop by to learn about the donkeys’ daily routines, watch them have a kick-about with a ball (seriously, they love it) and maybe even treat them to a cheeky little nose rub too.
The Donkey Sanctuary, Swan Lane, Off Blackhill Lane, Eccup, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 8AZ.
42. Eden Camp
Eden Camp is a World War Two museum like no other. First of all, it’s not really like a museum at all. Rather than a giant building filled with glass cabinets, instead you’ll find yourself at the heart of a former prisoner-of-war camp. 33 separate huts have been thoughtfully transformed to shine a light on a different area of wartime life – both on the Home Front and the Front Line. From immersive Blitz walk-throughs to puppet shows in the Music Hall, air raid shelters to victory gardens, it’s thought-provoking and heart-warming in equal measures.
Eden Camp, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 6RT.
43. Brontë Parsonage Museum
It’s easy to see why the Brontë sisters found literary inspiration in the rugged moors above Haworth village in West Yorkshire, and this is your chance to follow in their footsteps. Their home, the pretty Haworth Parsonage, remains open to the public as a glorious writer’s house museum. You can walk up to the exact table where romantic classics like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre were penned, peek at handwritten notes, view original manuscripts and gain a fascinating insight into 19th-century life with this most artistic family. It’s an utter treasure trove, beautifully preserved and packed with artefacts. Plus, routes up to the moors start right from the doorstep.
Brontë Parsonage Museum, Church Street, Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD22 8DR.
44. Brimham Rocks
Rocky patches are usually the last thing you want in a relationship, but when it comes to things to do in Yorkshire for couples, there’s one big exception. Brimham Rocks may be a National Trust site, but forget the stuffy stately homes and manicured gardens – this is a boulder-strewn wilderness just ripe for a day’s exploring. The enormous natural rock formations cover 400 acres of North Yorkshire moorland, ranging from the precariously balanced to the bizarrely shaped. Kids love to clamber, families love to stroll, couples love to enjoy the spectacle together. No matter how busy it gets, there’s always a quiet corner to be found.
Brimham Rocks, Summerbridge, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 4DW.
45. Aysgarth Falls
When was the last time you rejoiced to see a rainy day? Yonks ago, right? Well next time the heavens open, rest easy knowing that there’s one Yorkshire day out that’s about to get even better. Nestled among woodland in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, Aysgarth Falls is at its most splendid after heavy rain. But this isn’t any old waterfall. Oh no, this is a triple-flight of waterfalls, tumbling over a mile-long stretch of the River Ure. On sunny days, a meander through the fairytale-esque forest and picnic among the seasonal flowers can’t be beaten. But when it pours? The thundering waterfalls make it more than worth the muddy walk. Win-win.
Aysgarth Falls National Park Centre, Aysgarth Falls, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 3TH.
46. Mother Shipton’s Cave
There’s something a little… strange going on in Knaresborough. And if you’re on the lookout for a quirky days out in Yorkshire for couples, Mother Shipton’s Cave might have just the kook you crave. The history of this unusual site stretches back hundreds of years, to a time when a mysterious prophetess was born inside a woodland cave. Today the curious can visit her birth site, hidden among atmospheric woodland, and marvel at the magical Petrifying Well with water that turns all objects to stone (don’t believe us? Look out for the dangling teddies). Granted, it’s not your classic date night, but it sure is memorable. And there’s plenty more conventional beauty nearby along the lovely River Nidd and in Knaresborough’s first-rate pubs.
Mother Shipton’s Cave, Prophecy Lodge, High Bridge, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, HG5 8DD.
47. Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Yorkshire Sculpture Park is where art and the great outdoors join in joyful matrimony. An array of open-air exhibitions and installations are just the fuel you need to power around 500 acres of glorious parkland. British artists take centre stage (or should that be centre field?) with works of art by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Antony Gormley scattered among trees, sat on hilltops and overlooking the lake. There are around 80 al fresco sculptures to track down at any one time, but don’t let a rainy day put you off. Ever-changing indoor exhibitions, creative workshops and free entry make this a year-round couples activity in Yorkshire.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 4LG.
48. Thwaite Watermill
Consider yourselves a culture vulture couple? You may have visited the big museums in Yorkshire, but have you been to Thwaite Mills? Set on its own island in the River Aire, it’s only a few miles from Leeds city centre yet is all too easy to miss. Don’t make that mistake, because this fully restored 1820s water mill is a fine snapshot of Leeds’ industrial heritage. The highlight is undoubtedly watching the two giant, groaning water wheels in action, activated by a dizzying array of cogs and pulleys. But there’s more. The Grade II-listed Thwaite House is teeming with vintage treasures and the riverside nature trails are picnic perfect. Now it’s on your radar, you’ve got no excuse.
Thwaite Watermill, Thwaite Lane, Stourton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1RP.
49. National Science and Media Museum
Buckle in, tech-heads, there’s one Yorkshire museum where you can go to town on all things film, video games, pictures, sounds and animations. It’s Bradford’s National Science and Media Museum and, would you believe, it’s totally free! Curious couples are richly rewarded here, with seven floors of interactive exhibits, permanent galleries and one-off events. Make your first stop Wonderlab, where 20 fun-filled experiences let you get hands on with lasers, echoes, mirrors and more. Next? Lose all sense of time (and possibly decorum) on the retro arcade games, before coming back to the modern day and catching a new release at the biggest IMAX cinema in all of West Yorkshire.
National Science and Media Museum, Pictureville, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1NQ.
50. Hot air balloon rides from Ripley Castle
Got a special anniversary coming up? Want to treat your other half for their birthday? Simply want to scream your love from the rooftops? Make a dent in your bucket list and take to the sky on your very own hour-long hot air balloon ride over the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside. There’ll be oohs and aahs aplenty as, depending on the wind, you join the birds for a view of Ripley Castle, Brimham Rocks, Harrogate’s spa town, Knaresborough’s stunning viaduct and countryside views as far as the eye can see. Could this be the ultimate romantic day out in Yorkshire? We think so.
Ripley Castle, Ripley, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 3AY.
51. Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Give a little grr to your next date and let loose on the great plains of Yorkshire Wildlife Park. It’s a roar-some day out in Yorkshire for couples, a 260-acre swathe of parkland that’s home to nearly 400 different animals. Lions, tigers, leopards, polar bears, meerkats, baboons, otters – they’re all here. But what makes this park particularly special is its attention to detail. The enclosures are vast (expect a lot of walking!), packed with variety and animal welfare is paramount. From happy polar bears playing in the water to cheeky lemurs leaping above your heads in the walk-through experience, it’s a true walk on the wild side.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Brockholes Lane, Branton, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN3 3NH.
52. Pub walks in Yorkshire
You know that saying, variety is the spice of life? It’s true, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fall back on an old favourite every now and then. And when it comes to the classics, a countryside walk and pub lunch simply can’t be topped for couples activities in Yorkshire. Pop your boots on and roam the prettiest corners of God’s Own Country, arm-in-arm, before planning your next adventure over a pint in one of Yorkshire’s many picture-perfect watering holes. Fresh air, breathtaking views, great grub and your favourite person by your side – it doesn’t get any better than that, does it?