There’s no end to interesting things to do in Yorkshire, the large county offering a vast variety of both indoor and outdoor activities to keep even the fussiest people entertained. Whether you prefer exploring the great outdoors or visiting exciting museums, here are the twelve best things to see and do in the county.
Don’t miss Yorkshire Sculpture Park, an open-air gallery close to Wakefield in West Yorkshire. It’s easy to spend an entire day here, exploring the vast grounds and discovering intriguing sculptures by the likes of Henry Moore, Andy Goldsworthy and David Nash. Alongside the permanent works, expect exciting temporary exhibitions by the likes of Kaws and Tony Cragg.
If you’re at your happiest exploring the great outdoors, make a beeline for the Yorkshire Dales to discover beautiful waterfalls, exciting caves and some of the best walking trails in the county. There’s plenty to discover over an entire week spent in this area, but if you only have a couple of days, make Malham Cove, Ingleton waterfalls and White Scar Caves your first ports of call.
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.
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.
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.
Named after local sculptor Barbara Hepworth, the Hepworth Gallery is one of the most important centres for contemporary arts in the UK. Part of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle, the Hepworth is located close to Yorkshire Sculpture Park, tying in perfectly for a cultured day out. Architecture lovers will be besotted with the dramatic building while art advocates will find plenty to admire inside.
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.
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.
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!
Bradford may not be on your Yorkshire itinerary, but the National Media Museum definitely should be. This incredible, free-to-enter, contemporary museum offers an interesting insight into the media industry through its seven floors of interactive exhibits. Learn about everything from film to photography and video games, before watching a film at the UK’s first 3D IMAX cinema.
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.
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.