8 Fun & Affordable Ideas For Family Days Out in Yorkshire

Yorkshire is a bustling and historic county in Northern England and is home to a wealth of fantastic attractions from the Scarborough Spa Express to Leeds City Museum. There’s something for everyone, whether it’s exploring a new city, learning about history in a famous museum or simply taking in the glorious scenery. 

So, if you’re looking to have a fun family day out in Yorkshire this spring, stay tuned as we explore some great ideas to keep you busy whilst making valuable memories with your loved ones… 

1. Brimham Rocks

A historical attraction based in Summerbridge, Harrogate, the impressive Brimham Rocks are naturally formed from the remains of a mountain range that stood in the area over 400 million years ago. The Brimham Moorland on which the rocks sit is classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and forms part of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

The area is managed by a team of rangers and staff that offer geological walks and provide handy information packs. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, why not book a day of outdoor exploration with the Harrogate Climbing Centre which runs throughout the year?

The rocks and surrounding scenery are breathtaking and full of adventure for all ages, so pack a picnic, put on your walking shoes, and get ready to marvel at this area of outstanding beauty and its towering rock formations. 

2. Leeds City Museum

The Leeds City Museum was originally established by the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society in 1819 and opened to the public two years later. In 2008 the museum was re-opened and re-located to the historical Leeds Mechanics’ Institute building in Millenium Square. 

The museum currently hosts six galleries across four floors with a range of fascinating installations, including ‘Life on Earth’ with an impressive collection of 800,000 animals, minerals, and fossils. There are also installations about the city, as well as archaeological finds, inventions, and sporting accolades from the area. That’s plenty to interest everybody, right?

3. York

York is a bustling cathedral city founded in 71 AD with Roman origins. It was a major wool trading centre in the Middle Ages and became an integral part of the UK’s rail network during the 19th century. Full of medieval structures such as the city walls, York Minster and York Castle, it’s an ideal place to visit for history enthusiasts of all ages. 

York is also home to a wide range of fun and entertaining attractions. Why not head to the largest maze in Europe – York Maze? Or check out the famous Jorvik Viking Centre which showcases 10th century York?

There are plenty of attractions throughout the city that cater to children, making it the perfect day out for families of all ages and interests. 

4. Scarborough Spa Express 

The Scarborough Spa Express is a heritage steam locomotive service with vintage steam trains and carriages journeying throughout the summer between York and Scarborough. This scenic tour travels through some breath-taking scenery such as the Yorkshire Dales, Lancashire, and the East Coast.

Some of the lovingly restored carriages are among the oldest operating in the country and have even been featured in the popular Harry Potter movie franchise! The service offers a range of different classes catering to families, couples and individuals offering full catering including dining, drinks, and snacks.

5. Skipton Castle

Skipton Castle dates to 1090 when it was built by a Norman baron called Robert de Romille. It’s now a Grade I listed building and has been well preserved over the years. With a stunning Tudor courtyard, banqueting hall, watchtower, and medieval kitchen, it’s open year-round and offers plenty of things to do and see.

6. Sheffield Winter Gardens 

Based in South Yorkshire, the Sheffield Winter Gardens comprises one of the largest urban glasshouses in all of Europe. This impressive multi-award-winning location is home to over 2,500 plant species from around the world.

There are plenty of things to do and see here, and the building is home to several retail units including those serving food and drinks. Close by, you’ll also find the Millenium Galleries full of art and historic installations, and Peace Gardens with calming water features and memorials.

7. Yorkshire Wildlife Park 

Located near Doncaster in South Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Wildlife Park is a popular tourist attraction offering families the chance to see some of the world’s most endangered species, including polar bears, black rhinos, lions and tigers. 

The 100-acre site hosts some impressive enclosures, such as the Land of Tigers situated next to a wetland reserve and the 6,000 square-metre Leopard Heights – claimed to be one of the largest leopard enclosures in the world. 

It’s an ideal place for families with loads of animals as well as several indoor and outdoor play zones and themed dining outlets.

8. Whitby 

Whitby is a seaside town on the East Coast of Yorkshire. It’s loved for its happy-go-lucky spirit, bustling harbour and (of course) their excellent fish and chips. The town is steeped in history, with the ruins of the Whitby Abbey serving as inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula.

There are plenty of things to do in the town, whether it’s climbing the famous 199 steps to the cliff, visiting the Captain Hook Memorial Museum, checking out the Whalebone Arch, or chilling on the beach, you’re sure to find something to keep the whole family entertained. 

Top Tip: If the kids seem to be a bit bored or dazed by the amount of information thrown at them, why not let them run around and boost their well-being with a session in a local playground whilst you grab a bite to eat, or grab a coffee in the town centre? 

These are just a few of the exciting sights and scenes available to visit in Yorkshire, but there are plenty more, including:

Whether you live in Yorkshire or are looking to travel there for a visit, it’s easy to see why the county is a popular destination for families, with its rich history, scenery, exciting attractions, and friendly locals. Where will you head to first?

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