From underground caves to brewery tours, Yorkshire is packed full of awesome days out, even on rainy days…
Even in the middle of summer, you can rely on the good old British weather to foil your plans for adventure, so it’s always good to have a plan B in your back pocket – and we’ve got a whole list of ‘em just waiting to be tried. From intriguing museums to awe-inspiring art galleries, beautiful indoor gardens and incredible aquariums, no matter how soggy it is outside, you can still have a great day out in Yorkshire.
Winners for all ages
We’ve divided this list into family favourites and those great for grown-ups. But first, let’s jump into the all-round rainy day winners that are sure to warm your cockles.
White Scar Cave
Located inside the Yorkshire Dales National Park, White Scar Cave isn’t just one of Yorkshire’s finest natural wonders, it’s also the perfect rainy day activity. Leave the weather behind and enter an underground world full of waterfalls, stalagmites and stalactites. It’s got tight squeezes, echoing chambers and slate beds that are up to 400 million years old, so expect to be wowed, as you take their guided tour. It’s a mile long and lasts 80 minutes, making this the longest cave tour in Britain.
White Scar Cave, Ingleton, Carnforth, North Yorkshire, LA6 3AW. Open weekends only November-February. Tickets cost £10.35 for adults or £6.75 for children (under 3s go free). Family ticket bundles are available too.
York Motorsports Village
Petrol heads with a need for speed will find much to get their pulse racing at York Motorsports Village. This indoor attraction offers a wide selection of racing packages, from easy-to-drive F3 Junior go-karts that whip youngsters around at 10mph, to F1 ‘Pro’ racing experiences for ages 13+. There are timed practices, speed races, team events and even the chance to race in some of the world’s finest cars thanks to high-tech virtual reality headsets and simulators. It’s the next best thing to being a Formula 1 driver, but without a windscreen wiper in sight.
York MotorSports Village, Kathryn Avenue, Monks Cross Leisure Park, York, North Yorkshire, YO32 9JS. Prices vary depending on age, the day, the duration and the type of racing you choose, but typically cost between £15 and £40 per person for 20 to 60 laps.
National Science and Media Museum
Home to interactive galleries, live shows and over three million historical treasures, this museum is one of the jewels in Bradford’s cultural crown and the perfect spot to shelter from a rainy Yorkshire day. With a focus on photography, film and television, guests can immerse themselves in seven floors of exhibitions designed to play with sight, sound and science. Crawl through a laser tunnel, get lost in a mirror maze, or simply sit back in awe with a 3D blockbuster at the in-house IMAX cinema.
National Science and Media Museum, Little Horton Lane, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1NQ. Entry to the museum is free although pre-booking is recommended. Cinema tickets cost between £5.50 and £12.50 for the IMAX.
Jorvik Viking Centre
It’s a hit with young visitors for sure, but all ages can enjoy an amazing day out at the Jorvik Viking Centre. Located just 15 minutes from York railway station, young and old historians can delve into the illustrious (and often a little bloody) history of the Vikings and their rich heritage within Yorkshire. Take a ride through the remains of a 1,000-year-old Viking settlement (complete with characters, exhibits and some rather pungent smells), before getting to grips with the horde of excavated artefacts that were found beneath the site of the very museum you stand on.
Jorvik Viking Centre, Coppergate, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 9WT. Tickets cost £11 for adults or £8 for children and are valid for an entire year from purchase.
The National Railway Museum
Not just for train enthusiasts, York’s National Railway Museum is an indoor attraction for anyone with an interest in the story behind Britain’s railways. Discover how they changed the world and see the technology that made it possible. Their full-size trains are simply awe-inspiring and the accompanying photos, uniforms and retro signs walk you through a nostalgic piece of our railway history. There are other highlights too – take afternoon tea inside a beautifully restored rail carriage, board the former world speed record holder for steam trains, and walk through the only Japanese bullet train outside of Japan.
National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York, North Yorkshire, YO26 4XJ. Entry to the museum is free.
The York Dungeon
If you enjoy your laughs as much as your screams, York Dungeon will strike the perfect balance for your rainy Yorkshire day activity. Gory and ghoulish history comes to life with a full-on 360 degree set teeming with famous characters from York’s dismal past. Expect jumps aplenty as you spend 75 minutes coming face-to-face with haunted pubs, nightmarish labyrinths and enough gruesome guests to keep you permanently skittish. The age limit is 8+, but if you want to go kid-free, adult lates offer even more after-hours, combining booze with the boos.
The York Dungeon, 12 Clifford Street, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 9RD. Tickets start from £12 per person.
It’s only open from February to October, so don’t miss your chance to visit the incredible Ingleborough Cave next time you’re looking for a day out in Yorkshire. Take a guided walk through a series of underground passages, peppered with natural rock formations and artefacts that date back millions of years. The impact of the Ice Age can be viewed from within this marvel of nature, as you discover underground lakes, pitch black potholes and have fun scrambling to give your drizzly day out a real sense of adventure.
Ingleborough Cave, Clapham, North Yorkshire, LA2 8EE. Entry costs £9 for adults or £4.50 for children (under 4s go free). Family ticket bundles available.
National Coal Mining Museum
Yorkshire has a rich mining history and you can spend a rainy day exploring it both above and below ground in Wakefield. Above ground, you can walk through the interactive displays and discover what life was like as a miner. This is your chance to see the machinery that was used and find out why all the family sometimes had to venture beneath the surface. Afterwards, get kitted out with your very own hard hat to descend 140 metres below the ground. You’ll spend an hour meeting miners and discovering the subterranean chambers these workers called home. And if there is a break in the clouds, the 45-acre site is a marvellous spot for a nature-filled stroll afterwards.
National Coal Mining Museum, Caphouse Colliery, New Road, Overton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 4RH. Entry to the museum is free.
A hop, chug and a toot from Leeds city centre, this working heritage railway is run entirely by volunteers and is a charming way to beat wet weather blues. The main attraction is their tiny steam locomotive which pootles along to nearby Middleton Park and back. Remarkably, it’s the oldest working railway in the entire world and your voyage is best followed up with a visit to the adjoining museum (indoors, of course) where you can get up close to artefacts, historical photos and even more steam locomotives. Steps up to each of the cabs mean ‘driving the train’ is an absolute must, whatever your age.
Middleton Railway, Moor Road, Hunsley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 2JG. Steam train tickets cost £6 for adults or £3 for children – they allow for unlimited rides throughout the day. Entrance to the museum is free with your train ticket.
Stump Cross Caverns
Over in picturesque Pateley Bridge, you’ll find a Nidderdale wonder perfect for dodging rainy Yorkshire days. Caverns, carvings and cake are wonderfully combined at the Stump Cross Caverns. Explore the warren of walkways and chambers at your leisure, descending the 65 steps to the incredible limestone formations, beaten out of the rock by underground streams many millions of years ago. Afterwards, return to the cosy cafe for good food and a final chance to eye up the visitor’s centre where the remains of Wolverines, discovered within the cavern, are on display.
Stump Cross Caverns, Greenhow Hill, Pateley Bridge, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 5JL. Tickets cost £8.50 for adults or £4.95 for children (under 4s go free).
If you want to spend your Yorkshire day out uncovering the sights, sounds and smells of wartime Britain, pay Eden Camp a visit. This World War II museum doesn’t just offer an insight into our military history, it actually allows you to experience it, because it’s set in a former prisoner-of-war camp comprising of 33 huts. Each hut has been transformed into a mini-museum focusing on a different facet of wartime Britain. From key figures to air raids, uniforms to battle recreations, it’s possible to spend an entire day wandering between these fascinating outlets. Don’t forget to stop off for lunch at the cafe, which is decked out in full 1940s theme.
Eden Camp, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 6RT. Tickets cost £10 for adults or £8.50 for children.
The Royal Armouries
A city centre delight, the Royal Armouries Museum is a must-visit for anyone who wants a glimpse into the story of arms and armour throughout the ages. This incredible indoor attraction covers five floors and showcases over 8,000 artefacts, with everything from huge elephant armour to Henry VIII’s foot combat armour. Whether you’re marvelling at a 20th-century vampire-killing kit or trying your hand at the museum’s own crossbow range, there’s loads to get stuck into, come rain or shine. And they have a jam-packed events programme to keep both new and regular visitors entertained all year round.
Royal Armouries, Armouries Drive, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1LT. Entry to the museum is free.
York’s Chocolate Story
Melty, gooey, creamy and distinctly yummy, who wouldn’t want to spend the day surrounded by chocolate? And what better excuse than a rainy day in Yorkshire? Learn about the exotic origins of this much-loved treat, how it wound its way from the rainforests of Central America to the cobbled streets of York, and which Yorkshire families turned this sweet treat into a successful business – does Rowntree’s ring a bell? And of course, no tour would be complete without a few demonstrations and a cheeky tasting or two.
York’s Chocolate Story, King’s Square, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 7LD. Tickets cost £12.50 for adults or £10 for children (under 4s go free) with family ticket bundles available.
Did you know you can venture deep beneath the wild Pennine countryside on a boat? Well now you do, thanks to the impressive Standedge Tunnel, Britain’s longest, deepest and highest canal tunnel! If you’re wondering how on earth it can be both the deepest and highest, then book yourself onto your very own tunnel journey to find out. There’s a quick 30-minute voyage or you can go the whole hog and spent two hours discovering the well-lit tunnel up close, as you learn fascinating tidbits about canals, industry and archaeology from the on-board guides.
Standedge Tunnel, Standedge Tunnel Waters Road, Marsden, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD7 6NQ. Tickets cost £5.50 for adults or £4.50 for children for the short boat trip. The 2-hour boat trip is only available to adults and costs £22.50.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
How would you like to journey through 24 miles of stunning Yorkshire countryside from the comfort of a warm, vintage railway carriage? A trip on one of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s six steam locomotives is a truly magical day out. You’ll find yourself transported back to a bygone era, filled with puffing steam trains, heritage carriages and quaint liveries. Gaze out of the window at the wonderful countryside, stop off at old-world railway stations (you may recognise some of them from film and TV) and even enjoy afternoon tea as you travel. Now that beats a soggy picnic, doesn’t it?
North Yorkshire Moors Railway, 12 Park Street, Pickering, North Yorkshire, YO18 7AJ. Ticket prices vary depending on the length and direction of the journey but return tickets during peak season range from £11 to £31 for adults or £8 to £15.50 for children.
Got little ones chomping at the bit to venture outside on rainy Yorkshire days? No need to dread the forecast, there’s plenty of fun still to be had for the young (or simply the young at heart).
National Emergency Services Museum
Head to Sheffield for your next Yorkshire day out and fend off the weather inside this family-oriented museum about our amazing emergency services. You never want to be in a position to need to call 999 but when you do, who’s on the other end of the line? Who will be coming to help you? And how do these modern-day superheroes know what to do next? With over three floors of exhibits to explore, including over 50 emergency vehicles and their own bonafide Victorian police cells, the fascinating history and modern reality of our fire, ambulance and police services is brought to life.
National Emergency Services Museum, West Bar, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S3 8PT. Tickets cost £8 for adults and £6 for children (under 3s go free).
For a day of discovery, play and education masquerading as all-out-fun, take the family to Eureka! in Halifax. If a rainy day indoors is getting them restless, this is the ideal venue to let off some steam thanks to the six unique zones and hundreds of interactive exhibits. The human body, technology, deserts, imagination, theatre and more are all covered here, with loads of hands-on activities and break out areas to prove it’s a children’s museum through and through. Ok, technically it’s learning, but it certainly doesn’t feel like anything other than fun. Even the grown-ups might learn a new thing or two.
Eureka!, Discovery Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 2NE. Tickets cost £12.95 for ages 3+ and are valid for an entire year. It’s £5.25 for kids aged 1-2 and under 1s go free.
Just because you don’t fancy a day out in the pouring rain doesn’t mean you want to be surrounded by water, right? And we’ve got just the thing for sea-life-loving little ones. The Deep is a futuristic attraction that’s home to over 3,500 animals including sharks, turtles, stingrays, jellyfish, oodles of tropical fish and even a colony of friendly Gentoo penguins. With tons of viewing windows, information boards and friendly staff, it’s a marvellous indoor attraction for a rainy Yorkshire day. Round it off in style at the Two Rivers Restaurant where fish swim all around you as you dine.
The Deep, Tower Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1 4DP. Advance tickets cost £12.15 for adults or £10.35 for children (under 3s go free). Family ticket bundles are available.
Why not plunge yourself into a Yorkshire day out full of fun water slides, daring flumes, splash zones and even a sunken galleon to clamber? A trip to Barnsley is in order on the next soggy day to explore this giant indoor water playground. Calypso Cove’s main leisure pool is the hangout of younger children, while the more daring can tackle the Terror Torrent flume or get those timbers shivering on their Walk The Plank diving board. Top the day off with burgers, hot dogs and wraps at the pirate-themed restaurant, The Hideout.
Calypso Cove, Metrodome Leisure Complex, Queens Ground, Queens Road, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S71 1AN. Tickets start from £6.80 for adults, £5.50 for children or £2.20 for under 3s. Spectators are free and family ticket bundles are available.
Xscape is your one-stop-shop for indoor attractions on miserable rainy days. In fact, you may need a couple of rainy days to work your way through everything on offer here. Got your checklist ready? There’s the ever-popular Gravity trampoline park, Snozone indoor ski slopes, ten-pin bowling, LazerZone, a 4D cinema, glow-in-the-dark golf and, for the real little’uns, a soft play centre. If all that indoor adventure sounds like hungry work, you’re well catered for with the likes of TGI Fridays, Pizza Express and Nando’s on-site.
Xscape, Colorado Way, Castleford, West Yorkshire, WF10 4TA. All activities charge separately.
Magna Science Adventure Centre
There’s no adventure like a science adventure, and that’s exactly what’s on the cards at Magna. It’s full of hands-on experiences to ignite the most curious of young minds. The wonders of science and technology can be explored through four different sections – Fire, Water, Earth and Air. Their interactive exhibits and mind-boggling experiments are enough to turn a miserable day out into a mesmerising one. The Big Melt show is particularly good – it harks back to the area’s industrial past with an impressive pyrotechnic display around an original steel furnace. Impressive stuff.
Magna Science Adventure Centre, Sheffield Road, Templeborough, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S60 1DX. Advance tickets cost £10.95 for adults, £8.95 for children aged 4-15 or £4.50 for children aged 2-3.
Creepy Crawlies at The Web Adventure Park
Although Creepy Crawlies has oodles for you to do outdoors, they also have a fantastic indoor play area that makes it the perfect choice for rainy days out in Yorkshire. The highlight is their four-lane Astra slide – it’s one of the biggest in the country and the little ones will love whizzing down it before heading back to the top. But that’s just one of the attractions here – there’s soft play, complete with ball cannons, as well as crafts, a dressing up station and a mini disco. Don’t forget to stop by The Animal Zone, where the kids can meet chipmunks, guinea pigs, giant rabbits and ponies.
The Web Adventure Park, Cliftongate Business Park, Wigginton Road, York, North Yorkshire, YO32 2RH. Tickets start from £1.75 for adults, £6.50 for 4-15 year olds, £5.50 for 1-3 year olds and £1.75 for under 1s.
Linked to the nearby Jorvik Museum, Jorvik DIG will give your young archaeologists the chance to venture into four indoor excavation pits and use their trowels to uncover the artefacts lying beneath the synthetic soil (that means no dirty kneecaps). What ensues is a journey through 2,000 years of York’s history as each artefact is uncovered and it’s past brought to life by knowledgeable guides. Explore objects from the Roman, Viking, Medieval and Victorian times for a perfect blend of imagination and discovery.
Jorvik DIG, St Saviour’s Church, St Saviourgate, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 8NN. Tickets cost £6.50 for adults and £6 for children. Family ticket bundles are available.
Tropical World Leeds
When the rain is falling and the wind is blowing, what could be better than a trip to Tropical World Leeds? Leave the rainy Yorkshire weather behind you and head into this indoor wildlife park to meet some of the zoo’s wild residents. Here you’ll find a host of intriguing creatures, with everything from snakes and creepy crawlies to crocodiles, piranhas and monkeys. You’ll travel through rainforests, mangroves, deserts and even step into a nocturnal world filled with bats, armadillos and more. Don’t miss the meerkats – you can see them playing on land and get a glimpse into their underground world.
Tropical World Leeds, Princes Avenue, Roundhay Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2ER. Tickets cost £6.20 for adults or £3.10 for children (under 5s go free).
Bradford Ice Arena
Get the whole family involved in this little slice of nostalgia and spend a wobbly day out careering around Bradford Ice Arena. Penguin and snowman stands are available to prop up your less confident skaters, but otherwise the slippery floor is all yours. Family sessions are the perfect introduction, so you can teach the little ones to skate in a fun and safe environment. Swing by the unpretentious cafe for a bargain basement post-skate snack. It’s not glamorous but it’s honest, old-fashioned fun.
Bradford Ice Arena, 19 Little Horton Lane, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD5 0AD. Tickets start from £5 (under 5s go free) with family ticket bundles available.
Another seaside saviour for a rainy day in Yorkshire, Alpamare Waterpark is a must for water-lovers. Catch a ride on the indoor wave pool which erupts with metre-high waves every half an hour, take a hair-raising run on one of the slides, or frolic in the Splash and Play area where you can get to grips with shooting water fountains, flutes, barrels, cannons and buckets. There are outdoor pools too and both the infinity pool and garden pool are kept at a balmy 35 degrees all year round, so a spot of light rain shouldn’t stop you from relaxing in their bubble recliners and admiring the far-reaching views out over the ocean.
Alpamare, North Bay, 28 Burniston Road, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO12 6PH. Tickets cost £20 for adults or £16 for children with family bundle tickets available.
Scarborough SEA LIFE Sanctuary
Jellyfish, penguins and turtles… on the Yorkshire coast? It’s true and you’ll find them in Scarborough SEA LIFE Sanctuary. Their lively talks and animal feeding sessions are not to be missed, but make sure you leave time for the Claws Invasion enclosure, where over 20 species of crabs are ready and waiting to make your acquaintance alongside a range of interactive displays and treasure trails. Don’t miss the chance to walk among the penguins too, an exclusive experience to SEA LIFE in Scarborough.
Scarborough SEA LIFE Sanctuary, Scalby Mills Road, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO12 6RP. Tickets start from £9.50 for adults or £8 for children (under 3s go free).
In need of a wallet-friendly, all-day destination for a rainy Yorkshire day? Doncaster Dome certainly fits the bill. This no-fuss indoor destination is home to three family-friendly indoor attractions – swimming, ice skating and the two-tier soft Playzone. The pool is a must-do. Along with structured lessons, youngsters can join The Big Splash swimming sessions, which are designed especially for families and make the most of the centre’s water slides, geysers, fountains and pools. There’s even a ten-pin bowling alley just across the road (if you have any energy left by the end of your visit, that is).
Doncaster Dome, Doncaster Lakeside, Bawtry Road, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN4 7PD. A family of four can purchase a Swim & Skate family ticket for just £25, allowing all four family members access to the swimming pool and ice rink during the day.
Great for grown-ups
Just because you’re all grown up, doesn’t mean you should stay cooped up inside on rainy days. Instead, use the bad weather as an excuse for cheese-chomping, beer-guzzling and culture-vulturing.
Black Sheep Brewery Tour
Here’s one that needs little persuasion. Beer lovers will be in their element on a trip to the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham, where you’ll embark on an extensive tour of this famous Yorkshire brewhouse. Watch the beer bubbling in the fermenting rooms, find out how the carefully-chosen ingredients are selected and enjoy a few snifters along the way. Someone will have to be designated driver, but soft drinks are available for children and abstainers.
The Black Sheep Brewery, Wellgarth, Masham, North Yorkshire, HG4 4EN. Tickets cost £9.50 for adults or £4.95 for children.
If beer isn’t your bag, maybe a crumbly slice of Wensleydale cheese will hit the spot instead? Nothing says Yorkshire quite like it, and you can delve inside Wensleydale Creamery’s gloriously cheesy world thanks to their museum and Cheese Experience. This indoor attraction takes you through the art of Wensleydale cheese making, all 1,000 years of it, including precisely how a single 500g block of the cheese is crafted from eight pints of milk. Watch the experts do their thing, before getting stuck into their tastings. All in the name of education, of course.
Wensleydale Creamery, Gayle Lane, Hawes, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, DL8 3RN. Tickets cost £3.95 for adults or £2.45 for children.
A truly modern art gallery, chances are you won’t have visited an exhibition space quite like The Hepworth in Wakefield. Since opening in 2011, it’s quickly become one of Yorkshire’s top attractions – and it’s no secret why. Inside you’ll find displays of key works by Barbara Hepworth, from whom it takes its name, as well as exhibitions from contemporary artists and items from Wakefield’s art collection, which spans over 500 years. Have a wander around the galleries, visit the shop, enjoy lunch at one of the indoor picnic tables and those rainy days will fly by.
The Hepworth, Gallery Walk, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 5AW. Entry to the museum is free.
Harrogate Turkish Baths and Spa
Turn your day indoors into a day of indulgence with a trip to the Turkish Baths and Spa in Harrogate. Although this is no ordinary spa. The Moorish design has been restored to its former glory with vibrant glazed brickwork, painted ceilings and ornate tiles in every room. It’s a stunning place to relax and float between heated chambers, relaxation beds and personalised treatments. Just because it’s wet outside, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good soak indoors.
Harrogate Turkish Baths and Spa, Parliament Street, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 2WH. Spa days cost from £95 per person including full use of the facilities, lunch and a treatment.
The impressive architecture of this former industrial mill has been brilliantly adapted to offer an exemplary rainy day bolthole in Yorkshire. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Salts Mill has been transformed from a cloth factory into a hub of creativity. Wander the 1853 Gallery which features works by legendary artist David Hockney, before making a pit stop at the ginormous, light-filled book shop on the second floor. Independent cafes and restaurants mean lunch is taken care of, and that’s before you’ve even visited any of the charming shops or the Saltaire History Exhibition.
Salts Mill, Victoria Road, Shipley, Saltaire, West Yorkshire, BD18 3LA. Entry to the mill is free.
How many times have you walked past York Minster but never actually ventured in? Make it your mission on the next overcast day, for York Minster really is a sight to behold. It’s an iconic piece of Yorkshire architecture and has been standing proud since 1472 as the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. Inside, there’s loads to do. Once you’re done gaping at the interior, join a free guided tour to learn more about its 800 year history or climb the Central Tower to admire views of the city from the highest point in York. The Undercroft Museum is a must for history buffs, while the Hidden Minster tours explore spaces usually closed to public access.
York Minster, Deangate, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 7HH. Tickets cost £10 for adults (under 16s go free) and are valid for a year from purchase.
The Brontë Parsonage
Yorkshire and the three Brontë sisters will be forever entwined, thanks to them using our fine county as a source of inspiration in their books. The Parsonage is the Bronte’s former family home, beautifully preserved as a museum since 1893. It’s tucked away in the Pennines, so rainy days are a regular occurrence here, but inside the house you’ll find a safe haven to pore over letters, documents and writings from the famous authors. The house itself gives you a unique insight into what life was like for them, as well as other locals in Yorkshire during the 19th century.
The Bronte Parsonage, Church Street, Haworth, West Yorkshire, BD22 8DR. Tickets cost £8 for adults or £4 for children (under 5s go free).
The Piece Hall
The sheer scale of the recently restored, Grade I listed Piece Hall can make it easy to forget you’re on a Yorkshire day out, rather than exploring Rome. Originally an 18th-century cloth hall, this sprawling building features a colossal interior piazza surrounded by three tiers of balcony style walkways. It’s now been taken over by an array of independent shops, unique eateries and a free museum which tells the history of the building. Keep your eyes peeled for the music concerts, theatre performances and food festivals that make a rainy day visit even more special.
The Piece Hall, Blackledge, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1RE. Entry is free.
Leeds Art Gallery
Just a quick dash from Leeds station, Leeds Art Gallery is ideally positioned for those relying on public transport to keep the rainy day blues at bay. It’s home to one of the best collections of 20th-century British art in all of the UK. Here you’ll find works by the likes of Francis Bacon, Henry Moore and Edward Armitage, alongside a range of modern artists. Wander up the stairs where you’ll find Lothar Götz’ colourful commission, Xanadu, and swing by Alison Wilding’s giant ‘Arena’ sculpture, which sit under their beautifully restored barrel-vaulted glazed roof.
Leeds Art Gallery, The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AA. Entry to the museum is free.
Sheffield Winter Garden
The clue is in the name, really. Sheffield’s Winter Garden is an indoor attraction designed to be enjoyed whatever the weather. It’s a true city centre oasis – the 22-metre arcing greenhouse (one of the UK’s largest temperate glasshouses to be built over the last 100 years) houses more than 2,500 different species of plants from all around the world. It’s a little slice of the tropics in a busy city and offers a peaceful retreat from the bustle outside. There’s a cafe too, so if the heavens really open simply grab a cuppa and make the most of the excuse to linger a while longer.
Sheffield Winter Garden, 90 Surrey Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 2LH. Entry is free.
Once the world’s largest carpet factory, Dean Clough remains an ever-evolving space. Today, the industrial building, with its collection of 19th-century mills, has been put to good use – they’ve transformed it into a maze of quirky shops, cafes and restaurants, with enough art-filled corridors and galleries to spend a rainy day getting lost in. Northern artists both past and present are championed in the permanent collection, where paintings representing the north of England over the last 30 years are proudly displayed.
Dean Clough, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX3 5AX. Entry is free.
Land Rover Experience Yorkshire
It’s not an indoor attraction as such, but zooming around the wild terrain of the Yorkshire Dales behind the wheel of a Land Rover is certainly an adrenaline-packed way to say screw you to rainy weather. With 3,000 acres of off-road tracks, steep inclines and muddy waterways to play with, this experience day at Broughton Hall Estate is a fine wet weather companion. Taster sessions, half or full day expeditions can all be bought, each with plenty of time to admire the amazing views from the on-site cafe after your exhilarating ride.
Land Rover Experience Yorkshire, Yellison Farm Barns, Broughton Hall Estate, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 3HS. Taster sessions cost £99 per person, half day experiences start from £225 and full days from £325.
York Cold War Bunker
As the Cold War raged in 1961, this two-storey bunker was constructed to house up to 60 volunteer Royal Observer Corps members in the event that a nuclear bomb went off. Fortunately, it never had to be used, but it still stands today on an otherwise unassuming residential street in York. Members of the public can get a much sought after glimpse into this compact semi-subterranean space on their guided tours. Traverse between fully equipped operational rooms and dormitories, absorbing the bravery of the volunteers and the stark reality of preparing for an impending nuclear war.
York Cold War Bunker, Monument Close, York, North Yorkshire, YO24 4HT. Tickets cost £7.65 for adults and £4.60 for children (English Heritage members go free).
If you’re the type of person who takes rainy day activities seriously, you may wish to assemble an A-Team of pals and troop down to iCombat. Why? This is a battlefield arena where Call of Duty meets Laser Quest, complete with advanced laser technology, realistic weapons, customisable games and a range of challenging mission objectives. Work in teams to capture the flag, band together to gain more kills than your opposition, or simply go freestyle with every man for himself. If you constantly quibble with friends about who has the best gaming skills, now’s your chance to settle the debate once and for all.
iCombat, 164 Armley Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 2TY. Games start from £6.50 per person.
The Hyper Reality Experience
When you just want to shun the reality of yet another drizzly Yorkshire day, The Hyper Reality Experience is your go-to attraction. Leeds-based escape room company, Tick Tock Unlock, has kicked the genre up a notch with the introduction of virtual reality headsets. Located in Trinity Leeds (so you don’t even have to trudge around in the rain to find it), Hyper Reality Experience is the first of its kind in the UK and combines VR headsets with real-life actors, props and even smells. You’ll have just 15 minutes to puzzle it out, but if you’re hungry for more, there are seven other Leeds-based escape rooms to choose from.
Hyper Reality Experience, Arena 1, Trinity Leeds, 27 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5ER. Tickets start from £7.50.
The Henry Moore Institute
An art gallery of international significance and an important part of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle, the Henry Moore Institute is the perfect rainy day out. Head into this cavernous gallery where you’ll find their latest exhibition. They have a reputation for attracting world-class contemporary artists, like Senga Nengudi, Jean Tinguely, Jiro Takamatsu, Roy Ascott and Gego, to Leeds. Follow the exhibition through into Leeds Art Gallery to double-up your day out, without stepping back out into the rain.
Henry Moore Institute, 74 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AH. Entry is free.Cover image credit: Tony Bartholomew/Turnstone Media