35 Things to Do in Yorkshire You Won't Want to Miss

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Emma Lavelle

Yorkshire is a sprawling county with lots to see and do, from dramatic natural landscapes such as Ilkley Moor and Malham Cove to cultural attractions like the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. If you’re planning a visit, we’ve curated a list of the 25 best attractions all around the county.

1. Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Park, Architectural Landmark

A person walks through a field filled with sculptures, Yorkshire sculpture park
@orrell_mount / Unsplash

One of the most exciting outdoor art spaces in the UK, Yorkshire Sculpture Park boasts an impressive collection of sculptures across its 500 acres (202ha), including works by Ai Weiwei, Barbara Hepworth and Antony Gormley.

2. Ingleton Waterfalls Trail

Natural Feature

Follow this 5-mile (8km) circular trail through a wooded glen to view one of the most impressive collections of waterfalls in Yorkshire, including the dramatic 46ft-high (14m) Thornton Force.

3. Malham Cove

Natural Feature

Whether you view Malham Cove from the bottom of the limestone cliff or climb up to stand on the limestone pavement and admire the views from above, you are sure to be impressed at this Yorkshire Dale’s landmark.

4. Bempton Cliffs

Natural Feature

One of the most important seabird colonies in the British Isles, Bempton Cliffs are home to an impressive array of species, including puffins and guillemots. Walks along the chalk cliffs (among the highest in England) offer several viewpoints to admire the wildlife.

5. Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire


This former textile town in the Calder Valley is as well known for being a creative hub as it is for its beautiful surroundings. Visit the independent shops and cafes, or take a stroll through the wooded valleys to understand why so many city folk flock here.

6. Ilkley Moor


Time your visit for late summer when Ilkley Moor explodes with a riot of colour as the purple heather enters full bloom. Ensure that your visit includes a walk to the famous Cow and Calf Rocks to enjoy vistas over the surrounding moorland.

7. Harrogate Turkish Baths


Enjoy a relaxing afternoon bathing and some pampering treatments in the best-preserved baths in the country. Dating back to 1897, the Royal Baths boast beautiful interiors featuring original tiles, painted ceilings and mosaic floors.

8. The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds

Art Gallery

Located in the city centre of Leeds, the Henry Moore Institute is a space dedicated to celebrating sculpture, in particular the works of the eponymous local artist. Talks, discussions and after-hours events complement the rotating series of exhibitions.

9. Saltaire

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

This stunning Victorian village is perfectly preserved, thanks to its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit Salts Mill to view their impressive David Hockney collection, take a stroll past the United Reformed Church, and enjoy a pint from the award-winning brewery.

10. The Forbidden Corner


The perfect place to take children, the Forbidden Corner is an enthralling combination of labyrinths, Victorian follies, pathways to nowhere and underground lairs. Enter, if you dare, and try to tick off every attraction on the unusual map.

11. National Railway Museum


blue train in a warehouse, national railway museum, York
@georgeiermann / Unsplash

Visit York’s National Railway Museum to view the largest collection of railway memorabilia in the world, based in a former steam-train depot in the centre of the city. Admire the collection of Royal trains, and allow your children to explore the carriages.

12. Whitby Abbey


Any visitor to the seaside town of Whitby should climb up to the eerie ruins of the abbey that overlooks the town. There’s a small charge to enter the 13th-century remains, but it’s worth it to soak up the atmosphere that inspired the story of Dracula.

13. White Scar Cave

Natural Feature

The longest show caves in Britain aren’t for the claustrophobic, as you’ll have to crawl and squeeze through narrow gaps to admire the waterfalls, stalagmites, stalactites and gigantic caverns that lurk inside. If you’re up to it though, the subterranean scenery is fascinating to study.

14. Diggerland


Kids will love this JCB theme park in West Yorkshire. Attractions include racing events, digger rides and the chance for kids of all ages to have a go at operating their very own diggers. Keep an eye on the website to find out what’s on.

15. The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield

Art Gallery, Museum

One of the most impressive exhibition spaces outside of London, The Hepworth’s architecture is just as spectacular as the collections housed inside. View rare pieces by famed local sculptor Barbara Hepworth, alongside a series of visiting exhibitions.

16. The Three Peaks


Whether you decide to take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge or simply pick one mountain to scale, a visit to Yorkshire isn’t complete without summiting either Ingleborough, Whernside or Pen-y-Ghent.

17. How Stean Gorge

Natural Feature

One of the best sites in Yorkshire to attempt gorge scrambling, rock climbing or abseiling, How Stean Gorge is a natural limestone ravine that offers excellent walking trails and exhilarating adventure sports.

18. Gaping Gill

Natural Feature

Visit this gigantic cavern looming below Ingleborough on one of the two days of the year that the local potholing club lowers visitors down into its depths on a winch. The cave is so big that it’s rumoured to be able to house St Paul’s Cathedral.

19. Bolton Abbey

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark, Natural Feature

The ruins of the Augustinian monastery are open to the public to wander around and explore. The surrounding area offers beautiful scenery for relaxing walks through the woods and by the river.

20. The Deep


Arguably the best aquarium anywhere in the UK, The Deep is unique in that it was built specifically to help drive up Hull’s tapering tourist trade as well as to support marine conservation. Now, it’s one of the most visually striking and popular attractions in the north, with several living exhibitions and thousands of species on display, including seven types of shark.

21. Brimham Rocks

Natural Feature

Many areas of the Yorkshire countryside look like something out of a fantasy film, and this is especially true of Brimham Rocks. The huge natural rock formations were carved into strange shapes by an ancient river and now sit prominently in the midst of the rolling hills of the Dales.

22. Captain Cook Memorial Museum


Another Whitby attraction, the Captain Cook Memorial Museum is housed in the building where Cook himself got his apprenticeship with the merchant navy in 1747. Now, it sports an ever-growing collection of artefacts and documents relating to Cook’s life and seeks to educate visitors about not only Cook but also the naval and exploratory history of the UK.

23. Brontë Parsonage Museum


Many of Britain’s most well recognised historical figures were born in Yorkshire, and the Brontë sisters are no exception. Kept inside their old house in Haworth, the Passage Museum contains the largest collection of their manuscripts, letters and other writings anywhere in the world. A true beacon of literary history.

24. National Science and Media Museum


There are many different science museums dotted around the UK, but the National Science and Media Museum is uniquely focused on film, photography and television, which is fitting given it’s in Bradford, the first UNESCO City of Film. You can learn all about the history and technology that powers our screens, experience hands-on learning exhibitions and even watch a film on one of the three massive IMAX screens.

25. 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. Recommended by Nicholas Grantham

26. North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Train Station, Natural Feature

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. Recommended by Nicholas Grantham

27. Shambles

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

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. Recommended by Nicholas Grantham

28. Jorvik Viking Centre


Anyone with an interest in the Vikings – kids or adults – will enjoy the Jorvik Viking experience. Built on the site of one of the most important finds in modern archaeology in the UK, the centre has rebuilt the Viking village with incredible detail, revealing what life would have been like on the streets of York over 1,000 years ago.

29. York Minster

Natural Feature

While in York, don’t miss out on visiting the Minster, one of the most impressive religious structures in the whole of Yorkshire. This impressive Gothic building is one of the largest Minsters in Europe and features an impressive collection of beautiful stained glass windows to admire. It’s worth paying to climb the winding steps that lead up to the top of the tower, offering unparalleled views over the city.

30. North York Moors National Park

Natural Feature

Another impressive area of breath-taking natural beauty is the North York Moors, sprawling across the north-eastern part of the county. Explore rugged coastlines, dense forests, heather-covered moorland and luscious green dales, ensuring that you include a visit to possibly the most iconic town in the area, Whitby. Here, you can sample the best fish and chips in the region and visit the dramatic abbey that looms on the cliffs above the town.

31. Fountains Abbey


There are plenty of ancient abbeys to explore and admire in Yorkshire, but if you only have time to visit one, Fountains Abbey is perhaps the most impressive. Located just outside Ripon in West Yorkshire, the ruins of this Cistercian have been remarkably preserved. There is also an attractive water garden and a deer park on the estate, making this the perfect option for a family day out.

32. Flamingo Land Resort

Amusement Park

The most exciting theme park in Yorkshire, Flamingo Land is a popular attraction with families. Boasting a zoo and a resort village alongside the traditional theme park attractions, even those that don’t enjoy rides will find something to keep them entertained. Bird lovers will love the conservation project where they can admire the huge flock of flamingos alongside 129 other avian species.

33. Skipton Castle

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

The pretty market town of Skipton holds many attractions, such as its lively weekly markets, but it is the medieval Skipton castle that really pulls in the crowds. Incredibly preserved, even after 900 years, the castle is open to the public to explore and experience life as it would have been in medieval times. Anyone claustrophobic may want to miss out the dank dungeons from their tour!

34. Peak District National Park

Natural Feature, Hiking Trail

Peak District, Castleton, Hope Valley, UK
@mikeballet / Unsplash

The third National Park on this list, the Peak District spreads out into other counties, but the Yorkshire section of the park is one of the most scenic areas of the entire county. Again, there’s too much to see in just one trip, but plan in at least one walk around the Dark Peak to enjoy uninterrupted views of the area.

35. Eureka!


Anyone with children should plan a visit to Eureka! the National Children’s Museumlocated in Halifax. There are hundreds of interactive exhibits aimed at children of all ages, focused around themes such as electricity, the human body, sound and everyday life. Entrance is only charged once a year, so if you live locally you are free to come and play as often as you like.

Additional reporting by Callum Davies

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