The bevy of things to do in Yorkshire has received much hype of late and for good reason – the four counties within pack so many attractions you can easily spend months touring around and still fail to cover everything.
The North is the largest and also the most beautiful. Untouched by the Industrial Revolution, this place is adorned by great houses, wealthy abbeys, and seaside resorts. To the East, there are rolling farmlands and towns with lots of character.
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Meanwhile, the West has shed its tough ancient textile industry to reinvent itself, creating new museums and galleries to attract tourists. However, its most famous literary export – the Brontë sisters – still remains its biggest draw. Then there is the industrial giant of the South, whose remnants provide travelers a glimpse into the past through its exhibition spaces that surely capture the imagination.
For its great expanse, this top 12 list of the best things to do in Yorkshire is but a fraction of the treasures in store for you but is enough to get you excited.
Table of Contents
1. Castle Howard
Stately homes are all over England but Castle Howard occupies a special place – this ode to the English aristocracy is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, perfectly marrying art, architecture, landscaping, and natural beauty in one unforgettable masterpiece. Must-see!
Price: House and grounds cost £17.50 for adults and £9 for children
Hours: House opens at 10.30 AM to 4 PM; Grounds open at 10 AM to 5 PM
Location: 15 miles northeast of York, off the A64, North Yorkshire, England
Suggested Tour: From York: Moors, Whitby, and the Yorkshire Steam Railway
2. Jorvik Viking Centre
Immersive and humorous, a trip to the Jorvik Viking Centre is one for people seeking offbeat things to do in Yorkshire. Hop aboard the monorail transport and experience the Viking settlement back in the 9th century – smell and all. Displays include artifacts excavated on the site in the 1970s including Viking crafts, manufacturing processes, and surprise – a 9 in. long fossilized human stool.
Price: £10.25 for adults and £7.25 for children
Hours: 10 AM to 5 PM from April to October, 10 AM to 4 PM from November to March
Location: Coppergate Shopping Centre, 19 Coppergate, York YO1 9WT, United Kingdom
Suggested Tour: York City Pass: Access 20 Attractions for One Great Price
3. Cafe Fish
It is all about quality seafood here, simply prepared and at a reasonable price. Get your fingers stuck in and enjoy beautiful local lobster and crab, scallops, oysters, mussels, cod, and haddock. If you crave good eating, add this cafe to your list of the best things to do in Yorkshire.
Price: Mains start at 11
Hours: 5.30 PM to 10 PM
Location: 19 York Pl, Scarborough YO11 2NP, United Kingdom
4. Scarborough Spa
If you are visiting during the summer months, stop by the Scarborough Spa to catch some lively entertainment. Performances include orchestras, variety shows, family entertainment, pop music, and afternoon tea dances.
Location: Foreshore Rd. Scarborough, England
5. Beverley Minster
One of England‘s finest churches, Beverley Minster is a treasure-trove of wonders for travelers looking for the best things to do in Yorkshire. Highlights include the 14th-century north aisle with original stone carvings of musical instruments, the elaborate Gothic Percy Canopy above the tomb of Lady Eleanor Percy, the 10th century Saxon frith stool, and the roof tower.
Price: £5 for the guided tour
Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM every Monday to Saturday and 12 PM to 5 PM every Sunday from March to October; 9 AM to 4 PM from November to March
Location: Minster Yard N, Beverley HU17 0DP, United Kingdom
6. Hull Pier Toilets
This may not be your idea of culture but tourists regularly stop by the Hull Pier Toilets, totally impressed by this Edwardian monument of lavatorial luxury. Tiles glitter in white, the copper piping is perfectly polished, and the potted plants create an adorable mini jungle. How many times in life do you see a toilet as resplendent as this one?
Hours: Open access
Location: Nelson St., Hull, England
7. The Deep
Over 3000 creatures call The Deep home – it is the biggest draw in Hull and the most spectacular aquarium in Britain. Interactive displays and dramatic commentaries transport you deep into the ocean and the colorful coral fishes and a massive array of aquatic life fill your mind with wonder.
Price: £12 for adults and £10 for children
Hours: 10 AM to 6 PM (Last admission is at 5 PM)
Location: Tower St, Hull HU1 4DP, United Kingdom
8. Royal Armouries
Quite possibly one of the manliest things to do in Yorkshire, a visit to the Royal Armouries showcases 3000 years worth of armor, weapon, combat, and self-defense. It started in 1996 to house arms from the Tower of London but quickly expanded to include other fascinating exhibits focused on fencing, Indian elephant armor, and jousting.
Hours: 10 AM to 5 PM
Location: Armouries Dr, Leeds LS10 1LT, United Kingdom
9. National Media Museum
Part of the National Science Museum Group, this glass-fronted museum is the top attraction in Bradford. It features a long history of photography, film, and TV, radio, and the Internet. Highly interactive, visitors can play video games from the 70s and 80s, film themselves, and practice news reading.
Hours: Open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM
Location: Little Horton Ln, Bradford BD1 1NQ, United Kingdom
10. Brontë Parsonage Museum
Balancing the manly vibe of the Royal Armouries is this charming house of the Brontë family overlooking the Haworth church and graveyard. The museum depicts the Brontë era. Personal possessions are on display, plus informative exhibitions including miniature books. If you love the writings of the Brontë sisters, this is definitely one of the top things to do in Yorkshire.
Price: £7.50 for adults and £3.75 for children
Hours: Open daily at 10 AM to 5.30 PM from April to October; 10 AM to 5 PM from November to March
Location: Church St, Haworth BD22 8DR, United Kingdom
Suggested Tour: Haworth and Yorkshire Dales Day Trip
11. Kelham Island Museum
Set on a man-made island, this museum honors the industrial heritage of Sheffield, which played an indispensable role as the crucible of the British iron and steel industries. Exhibits cover every inch of industry, but the true gem is seeing the mighty River Don steam engine – the size of a house and packing 12,000 horsepower, powered twice daily.
Price: £6 for adults; children go free
Hours: 10 AM to 4 PM every Monday to Thursday and 11 AM to 4.45 PM every Sunday
Location: Alma St., Sheffield, England
12. Winter Gardens
A tiny bit of sunshine goes a long way in this award-winning city center garden that is crowned with a soaring glass roof and filled with over 2500 plants from around the world. It is the largest temperate glasshouse in the country and the largest urban glasshouse in Europe. The pride of Sheffield, its 21st-century architecture provide a stark contrast against the nearby Victorian town hall and Peace Gardens.
Hours: Open daily from 8 AM to 8 PM
Location: 90 Surrey St, Sheffield S1 2LH, United Kingdom
Find accommodation in Yorkshire, England
Budget – Campanile Hotel Hull
Mid-Range – Radisson Blu Hotel
Luxury – The Principal York
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