family days out in yorkshire - bubbablue and me

Ideas for family days out in Yorkshire

We love a day out whether it’s just a weekend day popping out somewhere, or a day out while on holiday.  I’m reliving my childhood visiting around the UK, near home and further away, and love sharing it with N. So if you’re looking for family days out in Yorkshire, you’re in the right place.

This series of days out posts are based on round ups of places we’ve loved on our travels.  Hopefully it’ll make them easier for you to find, especially if you’re looking for recommendations for places to visit. I’ll also be including recommendations from other bloggers, because if you’re looking for guidance on where to go you want to hear from local people as well as visitors.

family days out in yorkshire - bubbablue and me

Family days out in Yorkshire

Museums, culture and history

Yorkshire Museum of Farming, York – find out about the history of farming, see vintage machinery, learn about the landgirls and visit the living viking, tudor, and roman villages around the site, run by Danelaw Centre for Historic Living. 

Lightwater Valley Railway, York – open limited days alongside the Yorkshire Museum of Farming.

Castle Howard – this beautiful stately home and grounds, featured in Brideshead Revisited is 15 miles outside York. Take boat rides, land train, see the famous dome or do children’s trails through the woods. 

York Castle Museum – good value day out, with different sections and temporary exhibitions. You can also walk in Kirkgate, the Victorian street which is great for bringing the era to life for children.

York Minster – one of the most spectacular cathedrals in Britain, and one of only 4 Minsters. Get there for opening time to avoid the queues and have it nearly to yourself. There is an entrance fee, and it’s extra to climb the tower.

York Railway Museum – a free museum in the centre of York, celebrating all things railway and trains

The  Yorvik Centre is one of the most famous and popular attractions in York.  Book early to get tickets on the day you want because it books up fast. There are a few tickets available on the day (timed slots), but be prepared to queue around the shops nearby.

Barley Hall Medieval House, York. A visit to Barley Hall sounds really interesting, a reconstructed medieval home of a wealthy family.  Find out how they lived, dress up, and explore the servants quarters.

Eureka Children’s museum, Halifax . Eureka sounds like a great day out, with several floors, and areas for under 5s. You can change your tickets to an annual pass afterwards.

vaulted ceilings and corridor in york minster
viking tradesman
lake at castle howard

National Trust

Goddards House and Gardens, York – small house, but beautiful gardens complete with croquet and lawn tennis to take part in. Small, more formal tea room than many National Trust properties. No parking, so use the bus out of the city which stops right next to it.

We didn’t make it to Fountains Abbey and gardens, but this beautiful site has lovely water gardens to walk around and enjoy.

Helen shared her day out at Nostell Priory, a house and gardens near Wakefield. Great for outdoor walks around the lake, there’s a good playground for over 4s and the obligatory tea room and bookshop.

Brimham Rocks, East Yorkshire, is an area you can explore and play in the rock formations, just pay for parking if you’re not a National Trust member.

Wildlife and outdoors

Jaime’s family love the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. She says it’s super easy to get to, and you can find something new to discover every time you go.

Samantha says Valley Gardens in Harrogate is a fantastic FREE day out with paddling pool, skate park, play equipment, landscaped gardens and more.

Mother Shiptons Cave, Knaresborough. Mother Shipton was a prophetess, and there’s all manner of strange caves, petrified wall, spooky trees and goings on there.  

Jo suggests Lotherton Hall and Wildlife World.  Visit the hall, gardens, deer park, play areas and bird walk.  There’s an fee per person for parking and entrance

Cannon Hall Farm, Cawthorne, nr Barnsley. You have to pay for parking and entrance, but in the costs have access to activities like the petting barn, tractor rides, ferret racing and sheep racing. As well as the farm animals, there’s also a reptile area. 


Whitby is a traditional seaside town. Take the seasonal lift back up from the beach to avoid the long walk back up, go karting and do mini golf and all the other traditional things at the coast. 

Hannah recommends Danes Dyke, a nature reserve beach between Bridlington and Flamborough with white cliffs, rock pooling and fossil hunting opportunities.

crazy golf at whitby


York’s Chocolate Story – discover the families who brought chocolate to York, and the history of the chocolate itself.

Red bus tour – great for finding your bearings and for hop on hop off at different attractions round the city. Tickets last for a full 24 hours so make sure you make the most of them.

City walls walk – free and open from dawn to dusk, climb the steps up at different wall gates around the city and walk the walls for great views.

York Dungeons – like others around the country, go back in time and experience the stories and atmosphere of the city’s dungeons. We loved visiting the York dungeon when we were kids.  Recommended for older children only.

York’s well known for it’s railway history, and you can ride the steam trains and the railways at several places including Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and Embsay Bolton Abbey steam railway.

Katy recommends Williams Den Adventure Playground, an indoor and outdoor timber based adventure playground. I’ve never seen play equipment quite like it.

Kelly-Anne shares Thornton Hall Farm Country Park for a day out meeting animals,

Forbidden Corner – for unknown fantastical adventures unravelling through outdoor trails,

Nathalie’s taken the family cycling at Sutton Bank National Park Centre near Thirsk. You can hire or buy equipment from the shop there, and cycling is encouraged around the park either on the trails, or try out the mountain bike skills area.

chocolate story displays

Where to stay

Marriott Hotel, York – lovely hotel overlooking the racecourse on the outskirts of the city, with easy bus access if you don’t want to walk. Swimming pool, lovely gardens.

Eating out

Panda Mami, York – world food buffet restaurant. Walk off your meal afterwards with a walk along the river.  

Tong’s Ice Cream Parlour at Manor Farm, Bradford, not only ice cream but a small play area too.

Where do you like visiting in Yorkshire?

Like this post, try these other tips for nearby days out.

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