The Best Parks and Green Spaces in Yorkshire

Yorkshire Sculpture Park combines nature and art
Yorkshire Sculpture Park combines nature and art | © David Warren / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Nicholas Grantham
28 July 2020

With rolling hills and picturesque parks, it is no surprise Yorkshire is home to some of the best green spaces in the UK. From elegant flower beds, welcoming woodland and even contemporary art, there is so much to see and discover. With help from our local guides, we present some of the best parks to visit on your next day trip in Yorkshire.

Oakwell Hall Country Park

Natural Feature, Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark
Map View
Oakwell Hall and Gardens Situated In Birstall Near Batley West Yorkshire England United Kingdom U K Great Britain. Image shot 2006. Exact date unknown.
© Ken Peck / Alamy Stock Photo

Set among 110 acres (45ha), this park, in the grounds of the stately home of Oakwell Hall, offers guests a snapshot into the history of the Elizabethan house as well as a chance to explore the nearby countryside. It’s the perfect way to while away an afternoon. Outside the Grade I listed house, the park has a nature trail around the grounds, a playground for the kids and picnic tables dotted around that offer an idyllic spot for a packed lunch.

Valley Gardens

Natural Feature
Map View

This Grade II listed English Heritage site has plenty to offer its guests, from beautiful scenery, sporting activities and even woodland to explore. The gardens, in the North Yorkshire town of Harrogate, east of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, feature some of the most pristine flower beds in the country, with seasonal displays replanted throughout the year. Outside the gardens, there are also activities available, including mini golf, a kids’ play area and a boating lake, to name just a few.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Park, Architectural Landmark
Map View
Wilsis by Jaume Plensa a tall cast-iron sculpture of a girls face Yorkshire Sculpture Park  YSP West Bretton Wake?eld Yorkshire England UK GB Europe
© eye35.pix / Alamy Stock Photo

Spread over 500 acres (200ha) of the historic estate of Bretton Hall, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park is one of the biggest of its kind in Europe. The park features sculptures from some of the world’s most lauded artists, including Damien Hirst, Ai Weiwei and Tony Cragg, to name a few. Temporary exhibitions run throughout the year, and the park has plenty of workshops and courses on offer for those wanting to try their hand at sculpting.

Greenhead Park

Natural Feature
Map View

Opened in 1884, Greenhead Park near Huddersfield is one of the top attractions for locals. After a major refurbishment a decade ago, the park has seen vast improvements to its landscaping and infrastructure. Ideal for a summer’s day, Greenhead Park has plenty of wide-open spaces for a relaxing picnic. If you want something a bit more active, however, the park also has a skate park, several tennis courts and a paddling pool for younger swimmers.

Manor Heath Park

Natural Feature
Map View
The sunken garden at Heath Manor Park, Halifax, England. 2nd July 2017.
© CARL DICKINSON / Alamy Stock Photo

A gold winner in the Yorkshire in Bloom contest and green flag-awarded park in the heart of West Yorkshire, Manor Heath Park is a huge attraction in the area. There’s plenty to see and do, including the Jungle Experience, a series of converted glasshouses showcasing hundreds of species of plants and animals. The park is free to enter, open all year round and runs workshops with the countryside team for guests to take part in.

Fountains Abbey Gardens

Ruins
Map View
Classed as a Unesco World Heritage site, the grounds of Fountains Abbey feature the oldest monastic ruins in the UK. Outside the 900-year remnants, though, the park has plenty of other attractions on offer, from its traditional English water garden, abundant wildlife and remarkable architecture. Although it’s open all year, come in summer for a chance to see the wildflowers bloom across the grounds.
These recommendations were updated on July 28, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.