If you’re looking for the best places to visit in Yorkshire to plan action-packed day trips, you’ve came to the right place. We’ve spent a lot of time exploring the countryside, towns and cities of the county and instantly fell in love with its vast green countryside, castles and even the tiny tea-rooms. Whether you’re a local or tourist visiting for the idea, our list of the best places to visit in Yorkshire are all hand chosen by us and there’s something for every interest. 😊 Check them all out below.
Starting with one of our favourite places to visit in Yorkshire, Whitby is a charming seaside town that has voted best place to live and has won many tourism awards in the past few years. Its colourful rows of houses overlook a marina full of boats and a long sandy beach sits just outside of town. Whitby is a great place to explore, especially in the summer months, which can get quite busy! Spend a full day in Whitby walking by the marina, stop for lunch at a traditional fish and chip chop, tour the ancient Whitby Abbey and relax on the beach if it’s hot and sunny. It’s an excellent place to play golf too! Cliffside golf courses are some of the best in the country.
Just along the coastline from Whitby you have the seaside town of Scarborough. It’s one of the best places to visit in Yorkshire for a traditional beach holiday, playing games at the amusements on the promenade, eating fish and chips and relaxing on the beach. As a busy destination in the summer months and a top beach for locals, you could spend an action-packed day in Scarborough and still not see everything. Peasholm Park inland from the coast is another great place to relax in the sun or rent a rowing boat.
Harrogate is the type of village people think of when they envisage Yorkshire. Its quiet country streets, quaint tea-rooms and village setting make it a beautiful place to visit for the day. Browse its small gift shops, stop for tea and scones in the famous Betty’s Tearooms or go for a walk in one of its many gardens and country manor sites. The best thing to do here is simply walking the old town streets gazing at the adorable buildings and relaxing charm to Harrogate. Saying that, you also have to check out the Harrogate Turkish Baths! They’re the best preserved of its kind in the country and a relaxing way to spend a couple of hours.
Yorkshire Dales & Yorkshire Moors
For all you hiking and nature fans out there, there’s two excellent national parks in Yorkshire to explore, and they rival any of the UK’s parks in terms of size and sheer beauty! Strap on those walking shoes and venture to the hills of the Yorkshire Dales or Yorkshire Moors for an action-packed morning or afternoon of exploring nature. Rolling hills, craggy rocks and remote homes and villages can all be found out in the Yorkshire wilderness and you’ll get a good workout at the same time.
Visit either national park for varying scenery and choose a walking route that suits you. A long afternoon hike or casual 2-hour stroll both give you a glimpse of the same beautiful countryside.
Pro-tip: Malham Cove and the surrounding area is one of our favourite spots. 😊
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
To see the Yorkshire Moors at a more leisurely pace, jump aboard an old steam train and capture the countyside from the comfort of your carriage seat. This heritage railway has been in operation since 1836 and offers visitors the chance to experience the early days of train travel at their finest. Board the train at any of the stations on the line and hop on and off at the quaint villages of the North Yorkshire Moors. It’s a place to visit in Yorkshire that we recommend for anyone!
Flamingo Land theme park
For families with kids and those that love rollercoasters, there are two great places to visit in Yorkshire that’ll keep you entertained for the entire day – Flamingo Land and Lightwater Valley. In our opinion, Flamingo Land is the better of the two theme parks and worth visiting whatever your age. In addition to the high-speed rollercoasters you’d expect in a theme park, it has slower moving family-friendly rides, a big wheel and mini zoo with wild animals. Arrive early morning and make the most of a full day in the park.
Pro-tip: Research for a discount in advance as you can often find ‘buy one get one free’ tickets.
York is quite possibly the best place to visit in Yorkshire for first time visitors and a must-see inclusion on any UK itinerary. We absolutely love the medieval architecture and cobbled streets you’ll find throughout the city! Spend your day (and hopefully an evening if you can) in York, seeing key attractions such as the castle, York Dungeons, York Minister Abbey and the National Railway Museum. You also have less traditional things to do and see. Cute corner cafes, high street shopping and lots of ‘Ye Olde’ pubs are all waiting to welcome you… Cosying up in a York pub as the fire rages during winter is an experience in itself!
York Designer Outlets
If your ideal of a great day out in Yorkshire is browsing designer fashion outlets and grabbing a bargain, York Designer Outlets is the place to go. Located just south of the city centre, the outlet shopping centre has over 100 stores, from high street classics to designer fashion brands, claiming that you can save up to 60% versus high street prices. We’ve visited a few times ourselves and many of the shops are definitely good value! Find brands such as Nike, Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and plenty of other homeware, fashion and accessory stores. See the full list of shops on the York Designer Outlets website here.
The Forbidden Corner
Do you fancy yourself as a bit of an Indiana Jones or Lara Croft? If so, The Forbidden Corner is the perfect family attraction and a place to visit in Yorkshire for the kids. Located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, this uniquely built attraction consists of tunnels, chambers, challenges and giant statue carvings, where you have to navigate them successfully to reach the end of the maze. Have fun exploring the labyrinth of tunnels with the children – you’ll enjoy it too! Visit the Forbidden Corner website here for more information and to book tickets.
Fountains Royal Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden
In our opinion, the best places to visit in Yorkshire are all located in its glorious countryside. Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden are a secluded corner of nature just outside the town of Ripon. Encounter the ancient ruins of Fountains Royal Abbey, which is the largest monastic ruins in the country. Surrounding it, you have beautifully maintained gardens, lakes, forests and walking trails. The attraction is a National Trust Park so you’ll need tickets to enter. Buy them on the official website here.
Out of all the beaches we could have included on the Yorkshire coast, we decided on Filey. Its golden sands stretch for 5 miles, meaning that it rarely feels overly busy and you’ll have plenty of space to relax. Low tides and a backdrop of dramatic bronzed cliffs set the scene for a nice place to chill-out for a few hours on a warm summer’s day. You also have the option of fish and chips restaurants and ice cream parlours for those much needs beach snacks!
Ingleton Waterfalls Nature Trail & White Scar Cave
If you’re heading to West Yorkshire and have a day planned in the Yorkshire Dales, travel further west again to the secluded region of Ingleton. Ingleton Waterfalls Trail (view on map ) is a charming place to wind down after an epic hike through the Dales. Bathe in the stream on a warm day or take a leisurely stroll down the walking path. This forested area of Yorkshire is full of nature and a great place for a picnic! Head further up the stream and you have the impressive White Scar Cave. Venture inside to uncover deep caverns that have formed naturally from the rock face.
Rievaulx Abbey & the National Centre for Birds of Prey
Another great combination of places to visit in Yorkshire is the 11th century remnants of an old abbey in the town of Rievaulx and the National Centre for Birds of Prey just down the road in Duncombe. Both attractions are located in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, surrounded by countryside and forests. Arrive at Rievaulx for a morning of touring the old abbey, stop for tea in town and then head to the Birds of Prey Centre for an afternoon of bird shows and interactive experiences. Check out their website here for tickets and more info.
Diggerland is a fun place to visit in Yorkshire if you’re on a family day out. People come from all over the UK to check it out! It’s essentially a unique theme park where children get to drive JCB construction machines, operate mini diggers and interact with the world of construction. It has also theme-park style rides made from the diggers themselves, a train to take you around the park and go karts.
Bempton Cliffs & Bridlington
Reserved for those that admire impressive scenery of coastlines and living and breathing nature, Bempton Cliffs is a spot to visit on the East Yorkshire coast for bird lovers, hikers and passers by. Park up your car and glance out at the vast cliffside, plunging steeply into the water to create interesting rock formations. It’s an idyllic place to visit at sunrise or sunset and you can often see Puffin birds between April and July. Combine your Bempton Cliffs stop-off with an afternoon in the seaside town of Bridlington for a fun day out in Yorkshire.
York Maze & Yorkshire Air Museum
We included York Maze and Yorkshire Air Museum as one idea for places to visit in Yorkshire as they’re just down the road for each other. York Maze is a vast countryside area where a maze has been carved from the corn fields. It also has play areas and activities, making it a cool place to visit for families. The Yorkshire Air Museum on the other hand can be enjoyed by anyone! Walk through the huge hangars for a glimpse at impressive aircraft from throughout the ages. Aircraft exhibitions, armoured vehicles and retired military equipment can all be seen in this open-air museum.
Snozone skiing activity centre
Snozone is an indoor snowboard and skiing centre inside the Xscape Yorkshire complex, located near south-east of Leeds. Take to the manmade snow slopes for an authentic skiing experience that provides the good times of the French Alps in leafy-green Yorkshire. The snow-slopes are some of the best in the UK and have challenges and activities for all levels of experience, include those that haven’t been skiing before, and also small children. The Xscape centre has a variety of other adventure activities and places to eat if you want to make it a full-day out. Visit their website here.
Leeds City Centre
For countless things to do in Yorkshire, all in one place, descend to the biggest city in the region, Leeds. Leeds is a thriving business centre and a great place to live, but it also has lots of tourist attractions. Walk around the market, swing by one of its multiple shopping centres or catch a theatre show on an evening. It’s also the home of the Royal Armouries Museum, which is worth visiting Leeds for in itself!
We recommend exploring Leeds for an entire day and then booking a hotel for the night. It has a great nightlife scene for any interest. For a more chilled area of the city, head to Roudhay Park in North Leeds. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy a picnic. 😊
Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Yorkshire Wildlife Park is entirely outdoors, taking you into the enclosures of wild animals ranging from giraffes and rhino’s to giant polar bears. It has over 400 animals and is set over a large area of land so you’ll appreciate the natural surroundings and amount of space that the animals have to roam. The animals also seem very well looked after and the park operates various conversation programmes.
Location wise, you’ll find Yorkshire Wildlife Park just outside of Doncaster. Check out their website here for more info.
Bolton Castle and Aysgarth Falls
Yorkshire is home to countless castles worth visiting and Bolton Castle is definitely one of them. It strikes us as a castle straight off the set of Game of Thrones, with grand castle chambers, tall turrets and nice views of the countryside. Take a tour of Bolton Castle and then stop by its tea room before exploring the beautifully maintained gardens outside. Combine your trip to the castle with Aysgarth Waterfalls, located only a few minutes down the road. Here you’ll find stacked waterfalls and streams, a picturesque old bridge and quiet picnic spots. It’s Yorkshire nature at its best!
Thanks for reading! After browsing our list of places to visit in Yorkshire, you’ll probably notice that the county is huge and there’s a lot to do! We recommend concentrating your days out on different regions – North, South, East or West. You can always return again for another action-packed day-trip!