The Best Things to Do in Yorkshire

Yorkshire offers an abundance of scenic and historical sites, such as the ruins of Whitby Abbey
Yorkshire offers an abundance of scenic and historical sites, such as the ruins of Whitby Abbey | © Michael D Beckwith / Unsplash
Rich with history, scenic dales and bustling markets, Yorkshire is guaranteed to impress. It boasts everything from picturesque countryside and vibrant cities to Gothic ruins and country pubs, spoiling visitors for choice. If you’re passing through this English county, here are our top six places to visit and explore.

York Dungeons

Historical Landmark

This popular attraction, situated in the heart of York, immerses guests in an informative journey through 2,000 years of local history. The dungeons have 11 featured time periods and locations, each with a costumed actor who takes audiences through some of the city’s most horrible histories. Featuring favoured medieval torture devices and opportunities to learn how to spot cases of the bubonic plague, the dungeons offer a fun, if sometimes disturbing, day out.

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The Yorkshire Dales

Park
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© Karl Moran / Unsplash
If you fancy a day out of the city, make sure to visit the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Known as ‘The Dales’ locally, the spectacular scenery has plenty of fascinating natural features and wildlife. The park is home to more than a hundred different species, including the endangered red squirrel, and has several protected habitats to give indigenous species a safe space to bounce back. Scattered around the park, a few country pubs offer guests the perfect place to refuel on an authentic pie-and-peas lunch – or even a cheeky pint of country ale.
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Leeds Corn Exchange

Historical Landmark

This Grade I listed building first opened its doors to Leeds residents back in 1863 as a trading building for merchants. Nowadays, the exchange houses a plethora of independent shops and eateries for shoppers looking for something special. From flowers to fabrics, the boutique stores have a wide range on offer, which means you might end up going in for one thing and coming out with something completely different. With plenty of transport links available and nearby car parks, the exchange is easy to find and a must-see if you are visiting Leeds.

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North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Train Station, Natural Feature
North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Vintage steam locomotive railway engine No.80072 pulls train south from Goathland, England, UK
© David Lyons / Alamy Stock Photo
What better way to take in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside than riding on a vintage locomotive through the Moors? The 18-mile-long (29km) track runs from Whitby to Pickering and features an authentic steam engine and wooden carriages. For an extra memorable experience, be sure to book one of the catered trips and enjoy traditional cream teas as you check out the stunning scenery.
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Whitby Abbey

Monastery

Overlooking the picturesque seaside town of Whitby are the Gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey. The abbey has stood in its place since the 7th century and has inspired all those who visit it, not least Bram Stoker, who wrote the classic horror novel Dracula in the shadow of the ruins. With plenty to explore around the national heritage site, this makes for the perfect excursion on a summer’s day.

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The Shambles, York

Historical Landmark
The Shambles street, York, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
© Efrain Padro / Alamy Stock Photo
Supposedly the inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter, this medieval street has been home to York’s traders since the 14th century. Along the narrow street, which is too small for cars, you can find plenty of charming shops and restaurants tucked into its curious crannies. Located in York’s city centre, the street is one of the most visited in Europe and a great destination for visitors of all ages.
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These recommendations were updated on July 31, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.