From wildlife parks to nature reserves, you can now plan a post-lockdown day out in God’s Own County…
Now lockdown restrictions have been lifted, you’ve got the perfect excuse to get out and explore Yorkshire. You can meet exotic animals at a wildlife park, swing through the forest on a treetop adventure site or enjoy a day of art at an open-air gallery. There’s something for everyone here, so pick a date and plan a big day out. After all, you deserve it, right?
Yorkshire Wildlife Park
You can see over 400 animals spread across 15 different habitats at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. From black rhinos to leopards, lions and polar bears, they have loads of rare species here. All of their indoor and outdoor walkthroughs are back open as is the Tsavo Bakehouse, the Caramba Cafe and the Masai Coffee House. To make your visit as safe as possible, they’ve introduced signage to help maintain social distancing and hand sanitising stations across the site.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Warning Tongue Lane, Branton, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN4 6TB. You need to book ahead online.
The Forbidden Corner
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the Yorkshire Dales, The Forbidden Corner is one of Yorkshire’s most unusual family-friendly attractions. It’s home to a labyrinth of weaving underground tunnels and chambers, with a series of a dead-ends to keep you alert. You’ll walk through four acres of mazy gardens, passing impressive statues and water features as you go. They’ve introduced social distancing measures and hand sanitising stations across the site.
The Forbidden Corner, Middleham, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 4TJ. You need to book ahead online.
Go Ape’s treetop adventure is the perfect way to burn off steam. Strap up and venture through the woodland canopy of the Menagerie Wood as you navigate a series of nerve-jangling zip lines, teetering bridges and nail-biting rope swings, before you reach the stomach-dropping 11-metre Plummet that marks the end of the course. All equipment is sanitised after use, social distancing measures have been put in place and there are hand sanitising stations across the site.
Go Ape, Temple Newsam, Temple Newsam Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 0AE. You need to book ahead online.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Yorkshire Sculpture Park is back and there are over 500 acres of glorious parkland to explore. As you walk, you’ll stumble on a series of captivating exhibitions and installations. British artists like Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Antony Gormley take centre stage, but there are over 80 different sculptures to see at any one time. They’ve introduced a new one-way system, added social distancing measures and installed hand sanitising stations.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 4LG. You need to book ahead online.
St Aidan’s Nature Reserve
If you want to get a breath of fresh air, there are few better places to go than St Aidan’s Nature Reserve. With over 400 hectares of rare reedbeds, walking trails and woodlands to explore, it’s a proper day out. The wildlife here is a real highlight, but you can also discover a remnant of the reserve’s past in the form of Oddball, a massive digger from its days as a quarry. St Aidan’s is back open with limited numbers and social distancing measures in place.
St Aidan’s Nature Park, Astley Lane, Swillington, West Yorkshire, LS26 8AL. It’s open to walk-ins.
The Piece Hall
The Grade I-listed Piece Hall is one hell of a day out. Originally an 18th-century cloth hall, it’s been beautifully restored and is now home to a delightful array of shops, restaurants and museums. The incredible internal piazza is a sight to see, it’s surrounded by three tiers of balcony-style walkways, and there’s never been a better time to visit, because right now it’s empty. They’ve introduced a one-way system, social distancing measures and hand sanitising stations.
The Piece Hall, Blackledge, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1RE. It’s open to walk-ins.
Land Rover Experience
Need to get your adrenaline pumping? Get behind the wheel of a Land Rover on an action-packed day out. There are over 3,000 acres of off-road tracks to explore at Broughton Hall Estate, complete with steep inclines and muddy waterways. You can do taster sessions, half or full day expeditions, the choice is yours. Their cars are throughly cleaned after each session, social distancing measures are in place and hand sanitising stations have been installed.
Land Rover Experience Yorkshire, Yellison Farm Barns, Broughton Hall Estate, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 3HS. You need to book ahead online.Cover image credit: Jonty Wilde