Things to Do in Yorkshire – The Top Attractions & Activities
Top Things to Do in Yorkshire
There is no shortage of things to do in Yorkshire, the largest county in the UK. From the scenic coastlines and quaint rolling hills of the countryside to the hustle and bustle of its city centres, there’s something to please everyone. Yorkshire is best known for its warm and humble hospitality, along with the vast dales and moors just waiting to be explored, this county is truly the treasure of the North. What’s more, the region is home to an exciting and innovative food scene, including 5 Michelin-Starred restaurants – which is exactly why it should be at the top of your bucket list of places to visit.
Due to the new COVID safety measures, please check each venue’s opening times and pricing before visiting
Things to do in East Yorkshire | Things to do in North Yorkshire | Things to do Yorkshire Dales | Things to do in South Yorkshire | Things to do in West Yorkshire | Michelin Starred Restaurants in Yorkshire
THINGS TO DO IN EAST YORKSHIRE
The Deep – Hull
Coined as the world’s only ‘submarium’, The Deep houses thousands of species of fish and sea creatures, appointing it as a landmark in UK marine research and conservation. This is an ideal destination for a family day out to let the kids explore the vast tanks, feed some penguins, or gaze in wonder at the daily dive shows. They are constantly producing new and creative exhibitions, so be sure to head to their website to see what’s on next.
Tower St, Hull HU1 4DP – https://www.thedeep.co.uk/
THINGS TO DO IN NORTH YORKSHIRE
North York Moors National Park
Boasting an extensive 550 square miles of beautiful Yorkshire coastline and countryside, the North York Moors is rich in history and archaeology. The rocky shores of the North Sea meet the vibrant Yorkshire landscape that accommodates the perfect terrain for walking the National parks cliff trails or admiring the ancient woodlands which have been incredibly conserved over the past century. If you’re not up for the walking, the North York Moors is home to a variety of vibrant market towns including Helmsley, Malton and Whitby, presenting you with an extensive range of Yorkshire-grown produce and charming one-off boutiques.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden – Ripon
Just south-west of Ripon is Fountains Abbey, a World Heritage site – a beautiful atmosphere of ancient ruins to explore. Step back into history and admire the water gardens and medieval deer park, where you can enjoy a day spent on one of their many woodland walking trails or natural play areas for the kids. Also, dog-friendly, this site is perfect for anyone looking to spend the day exploring wildlife and serene landscapes.
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Estate Office Abbey, Ripon HG4 3DY – www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Castle Howard – York
One of the oldest private residences and gardens in the UK, Castle Howard is open to tour and view all year round, including a visit to the restaurant or two cafes on the grounds. The house includes an 18th Century chapel on its right-wing, displaying unique and exquisite pre-Raphaelite style decorations which are sure to impress. The house’s garden spreads over an impressive 1,000 acres and is perfect for a day out spent walking and admiring the architectural brilliance of the Howard Family home. One of our team’s favourite things to do in Yorkshire.
Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA – www.castlehoward.co.uk
A beautiful town in North Yorkshire, a day out in Whitby is sure to impress with its winding cobbled streets and seaside scenery. Regularly featured as a top UK holiday destination, this enchanting town is filled with marvellous restaurants and rich in history. From ancient historical sites such as Whitby Abbey to the picture-postcard villages of Robin Hood’s Bay and Staithes, Whitby is ideal for a couples getaway or family trip to the quaint Yorkshire seaside.
A unique set of medieval shopping streets, some dating back as far as the 14th Century, The Shambles is ideal for getting lost in York’s traditional English boutiques and ancient buildings. With its enchanting cobbled streets and narrow walkways, The Shambles has been named one of the most picturesque streets in Britain, while also providing a notable shopping experience – from antique vases to traditional sweet shops.
York YO1 7LZ
Visiting York? Here’s our Ultimate Guide of Things to do in York
Since the 7th Century, the ancient York Minster has been at the centre of worship for Christianity across the North of England. Explore this structure’s rich history through its detailed and handcrafted architectural design to its breath-taking stained-glass panelling which envelops the cathedral. A visit here is sure to transport you back in time, giving you access to over 2000 years’ worth of Roman history and the care it takes to maintain such an important landmark in Yorkshire architecture.
Deangate, York YO1 7HH – yorkminster.org
Harrogate’s Turkish Baths
Need to unwind after a hectic week at work? The Turkish Baths in Harrogate are a journey of relaxation and tranquillity – the heat and steam of the Health Spa are sure to help you experience ultimate euphoria. If you really want to treat yourself, they offer an extensive menu of luxury spa treatments and beauty packages fit for a king or queen! One of the hidden gems of things to do in Yorkshire, these baths will leave you feeling truly rejuvenated whether it’s a spa day spent with friends or a solo trip to de-stress.
Parliament St, Harrogate HG1 2WH – http://www.turkishbathsharrogate.co.uk/
Visiting Harrogate? Get our guide to 15 Things to Do in Harrogate – What to do, see & eat
Jorvik Viking Centre, York
This award-winning Jorvik Viking Centre combines Yorkshire history with a fun-fuelled experience, including their ride which immerses you into the sights and smells of 10th century York. Observe the original archaeological artefacts while learning about the lives and culture of people from this time period. It’s a cutting-edge combination of education and technology and is ideal in showcasing the region’s rich culture and history.
19 Coppergate, York YO1 9WT – https://www.jorvikvikingcentre.co.uk/
A market and boating town near Harrogate, Knaresborough is filled with ancient cobbled streets and breath-taking countryside views, including the ruins of Knaresborough castle – an enchanting medieval castle overlooking the River Nidd. This town is extremely popular among families in the summer for boating and perusing around the cafes and tearooms along the riverside, traversing by rowing down the river and even bringing your own picnic.
Malton – named ‘Yorkshire’s Foodie Capital’
Consider yourself a foodie? The small town of Malton has been crowned as Yorkshire’s foodie capital, with a range of patisseries, brasseries, gastro pubs, and charming cafes to fill any foodies heart (and belly). If you fancy learning more about food and drink, Malton is home to a renowned cookery school where cooks of all abilities can learn all manner of cuisines at affordable prices. Malton also holds monthly food markets and a huge annual food lovers festival every May, filled with live music, celeb chefs and the finest local produce. Malton should be at the top of your list of things to do in Yorkshire.
YO17 – https://www.visitmalton.com/
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Black Sheep Brewery Tour – Masham
A mecca for brewed ales, beers, and bitters, Black Sheep Brewery is an ideal spot for any ale lover wanting to delve into the process of beer making from start to finish. Started in 1992, Black Sheep is an impressive family-run brewery and cask house located in the picturesque town of Masham. Even better, the brewery tour ends with a trip to the bar to taste their full range of delicious beers; so, make sure you’re staying local!
Wellgarth, Masham HG4 4EN – https://www.blacksheepbrewery.com/
Things to Do in the Yorkshire Dales
Yorkshire’s Three Peaks – Settle
This mighty route spreads across 23 miles of three Yorkshire mountains: Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside, and Ingleborough, and is the perfect challenge for any adventure junkie wanting to experience the Yorkshire countryside. The challenge can be self or professionally organised event and takes around 24 hours to complete. So whether it’s for a good cause or simply to try something different, the three peaks are a superb way to soak up the scenery whilst being active.
Pen-y-ghent, Settle BD24 9PW – www.threepeakschallenge.uk
Love walking? You may also like our guide to 10 of the Best Yorkshire’s Walks
One of the first places that come to mind when thinking about things to do in Yorkshire and it’s obvious to see why. These vast dales spread far beyond Skipton and Harrogate and cover 841 miles of stunning landscape, primarily focusing on the preservation of the region’s culture and heritage. The dales are ideal for exploring the striking Malham Cove or Aysgarth Falls, but with it being such an extensive region, you’ll never be short of things to do. So much so that if a day wasn’t enough, there are plenty of attractive cottages and boutique hotels to welcome you for a weekend away.
Yorkshire Dales National Park, Bainbridge, Leyburn DL8 3EL – www.yorkshiredales.org.uk
THINGS TO DO IN SOUTH YORKSHIRE
Sheffield’s Kelham Island
Dubbed ‘the UK’s best neighbourhood’ by the Academy of Urbanism, Kelham Island in Sheffield is a metropolis for fresh and innovative cuisine with the likes of restaurants such as Jöro and the Cutlery Works, the North’s largest independent food hall. Once an important manufacturing centre, Kelham Island has transformed into a post-industrial neighbourhood built around the steel frameworks of old factories and workshops. But inside these structures, you’ll find exciting and new boutiques, arcades, bars, and restaurants – while Kelham’s Island Museum remains as a reminder of the city’s industrial past.
Going to Sheffield? Get our guide to 21 of the Best Things to Do in Sheffield
Things to Do in West Yorkshire
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield
Yorkshire’s oldest open-air sculpture gallery features the works of legendary artists such as Henry Moore and Damien Hirst. Striking, man-made sculptures juxtaposed within the 500-acre, 18th-century Bretton Hall estate. It’s dog-friendly and has a lovely restaurant and café if you fancy a sit-down and a cup of tea to admire the tranquil scenery.
West Bretton, Wakefield WF4 4LG – ysp.org.uk
Leeds city centre is well known for its shopping experience, offering a wide variety of options – from your essential high street shops in Trinity to the exquisite boutiques of the Corn Exchange to the luxury brands offered to you in Victoria gate. Your wallet may not be pleased but you definitely will be! The Corn Exchange specifically has an extensive range of one-off shops where you can spoil yourself on antique jewellery or clothing from cutting edge designers. It’s safe to say that shopping in Leeds is one of the most popular things to do in Yorkshire for these exact reasons!
27 Albion St, Leeds LS1 5AT
Call Ln, Leeds LS1 7BR
Victoria Gate, Harewood St, Leeds LS2 7JA
The Hepworth – Wakefield
An award-winning art gallery exhibiting some of the most modern and contemporary art pieces of this generation – all in the heart of Yorkshire.! The Hepworth opened in 2011, and the building itself is a sight to see, resembling a series of smooth dystopian-like trapezoidal structures which seem to blend seamlessly into the water surrounding it. This museum is a must-visit for any art lover if you fancy seeing one of a kind unique pieces from artists all over the globe – for free!
Gallery Walk, Wakefield WF1 5AW – www.hepworthwakefield.org
The Piece Hall – Halifax
One of the oldest listed buildings in the region, this historic 18th Century cloth hall is open to visit and since it’s £19 million conservation and transformation programme in 2017, the open-air courtyard has been refurbished and filled with a variety of exciting restaurants, shops, and bars. It’s the cultural haven of Halifax and holds a variety of exhibitions and events throughout the year, from exciting live music events to family-friendly winter wonderland workshops. Insider tip, Elder restaurant within The Piece Hall is Good Food Guide recommended and one of our team’s favourites.
Blackledge, Halifax HX1 1RE – https://www.thepiecehall.co.uk/
Yorkshire’s Michelin Starred Restaurants
Over the last few decades, Yorkshire has become a metropolis for fine dining cuisine showcasing locally foraged ingredients at cutting edge restaurants, which is clearly exemplified through the many Michelin Star restaurants in the region. This includes the exceptional Black Swan at Oldstead, serving dishes inspired by the local environment, crowned as the ‘Best Restaurant in the World’ by TripAdvisor in 2017. For the food buffs wanting an adventurous and exciting fine dining experience, look no further than Man Behind the Curtain, a Michelin Star restaurant by Chef Michael O’Hare in the middle of Leeds city centre. The food and restaurant break all sensory barriers, serving the likes of a barbequed langoustine atop a rotary phone to a deconstructed piña colada. One of the very experiences when looking for things to do in Yorkshire.
It is safe to say that Yorkshire’s range of Michelin and Rosette awarded restaurants are sure to impress, whether you’re a self-proclaimed foodie or simply wanting to step out of your culinary comfort zone.