Making the most of Yorkshire
When you come to Yorkshire, you’ll quickly realise why locals fondly refer to it as ‘God’s own county’.
Yorkshire has it all, from beautiful national parks and dramatic coastlines, to historical villages and sprawling metropolitan cities packed full of culture. And then there’s the people – us Yorkshire folk are known for our friendliness and you’ll be met by a warm welcome wherever you visit.
Yorkshire is full of brilliant places to see, but here’s our pick of the top destinations to visit if you’re venturing out of Leeds.
WhitbyThe charming seaside town of Whitby is set in the dramatic North York Moors and is famous for its beautiful beaches, historical buildings and its atmospheric ruined abbey atop the East Cliff, which was the inspiration and setting for part of Bram Stoker's Gothic horror story Dracula.
With pubs aplenty, a brilliant collection of unusual gift shops and some of the best fish and chips in the UK, a trip to Whitby is a must when you’re in Yorkshire. There’s also amusement arcades, numerous festivals like the famous Goth weekend, and a Dracula museum to keep you entertained. And, if you’re staying for longer than a day, we’d recommend taking a trip down to the nearby coastal towns of Robin Hood's Bay and Scarborough, or doing one of the many walks across the North York Moors.
Yorkshire Dales National ParkThe sprawling Yorkshire Dales National Park is a vast expanse of stunning countryside dotted with villages and towns full of historic character and charm. If you love the countryside and want to experience the tranquil side of Yorkshire, then a visit to the Dales is for you.
YorkJust half an hour away from Leeds by train or car, the medieval town of York is steeped in history. The centre of town – a maze of narrow cobbled streets – is surrounded by magnificent 13th-century walls, and at its heart lies the stunning York Minster, one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in the world. The town also boasts a myriad of shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs and museums, so you can pack a lot into a day trip here.
Yorkshire Sculpture ParkThe Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an international centre for modern and contemporary art, showcasing work by British and international artists in an open air gallery. There’s not many places where you can view art in the great outdoors, but the Yorkshire Sculpture Park lets you do just that in a stunning setting. Plus, it has a great giftshop and a cafe that serves up the best scones we’ve ever tasted.
Yorkshire Wildlife ParkAn open air wildlife park in South Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Wildlife Park boasts more than 60 different species, including polar bears, tigers, lions, giraffes and black rhinos, making it a perfect day trip for animal lovers.
HarrogateThe town of Harrogate – just 30 minutes away from Leeds – is consistently named the best place to live in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. Head to Harrogate Turkish Baths, a traditional Victorian spa complete with steam room, heat chambers and plunge pool, before treating yourself to afternoon tea at the famous Betty’s Café Tea Rooms. There’s also plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained if you want to stay till late.
KnaresboroughJust up the road from Harrogate and perched on the cliffs above the River Nidd, Knaresborough is a stunning little market town full of gift shops, delicious eateries and great pubs. But the main attraction is the river, where you can hire out rowing boats by the hour and take a scenic tour on the water. And if you go by train, you’ll be met with amazing views of the town, cliffs and river as you head over the famous viaduct just before you arrive.
Harewood HouseOnly a 10-minute drive from Leeds city centre, Harewood House makes for a brilliant day out. The 18th century house is packed full of art collections and sits in over 100 acres of beautiful gardens for visitors to explore. There’s also a bird garden (where you can feed penguins), a farm and numerous festivals happening throughout the year.
Flamingo LandA theme park and zoo in one, Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire is a brilliant place for thrill seekers and animal lovers to visit.
XscapeXscape is an entertainment mecca, offering an indoor snow slope with real snow, a bowling alley, cinema, climbing walls, trampoline park, arcade and golf courses. Just 20 minutes away from Leeds, it’s the perfect place to visit for an active and fun-filled day out.