Days out

Our top pick for a great day out for families

York Maze

Elvington Ln, York YO19 5LT, +44 (0)1904 607341

Our top pick for a day out in summer, York Maze is a fabulous outdoor family attraction, located just 15 minutes from the centre. There’s the UK’s biggest themed maize maze (Jurassic Park this year, Star Wars last year), over 20 terrific activities, rides and shows, pig races, birds of prey, delicious food and super friendly staff, all set on a large farm. There’s lots of special events throughout summer so check their website when you plan to visit . The maze of illusion is always a big hit as is the tractor ride. For warmer days, there’s lots of fun water activities so remember to pack an extra set of clothes and wear comfortable shoes!

They also open for a week in October for halloween. Spooky family fun awaits you. There’s a haunted maze treasure hunt, pumpkin carving, face painting, dog shows in addition to the permanent rides and activities.

For teenagers over 14 and adults, there’s also Hallowscream, a live action scare event with 5 different haunted house attractions for visitors to brave.

Opening hours:

Summer Season: 14th July to 3 September 2018, Halloween by day: 27 October to 4 November 2018, Halloscream: 12 October to 3 November 2018 (tickets must be bought online)

Prices: Adults £15.75, Children £14.75, family and group tickets available

This wasn’t easy but here’s our top 10 day trips in Yorkshire

1. Castle Howard

Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA, Tel: +44 (0)1653 648333

Located in the delightful Howardian Hills, Castle Howard it’s only a 35 minute drive from York. It’s is one of Britain’s finest historic houses and the grounds are magnificent. There’s a huge lake, a fabulous adventure playground, over 1000 acres of parkland to explore and much more. Young ones will adore hopping on board the tractor which runs from the main entrance, past the house to the adventure playground by the lake.

It is possible to get a bus from York centre. It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Castle Howard does offer a discount  if you present your bus pass. Grand Yorkshire offers a guided day trip to Castle Howard, which departs from York Minster

Opening hours: March through to November 10:00 – 17:00

Prices: Adults (house & garden) £18.95. children £9.95, family tickets available

2. Brimham Rocks 

Summerbridge, Harrogate HG3 4DW, Tel: 01423 780688

A great adventure day out for the whole family. We love it! Located in the stunning Yorkshire Dales, Brimham Rocks is about an hour’s drive from York (and it’s a lovely drive at that). There’s balancing rocks of all descriptions to climb and explore as well as woodland and moorland. Pick up an explorer’s pack from the visitor’s centre on arrival. If you’re a fan of geocaching,, there’s lots to find on your digital treasure hunt. Pack a picnic, put on your climbing shoes and explore. There’s also a lovely cafe serving a small selection of sandwiches, hot pies, cakes, coffee etc with plenty of rocky spots to eat on.

You can bring your dog too.

Opening hours: 6am – 5:30pm, 7 days

You just need to pay for parking £6 4 hours, £8 all day (free for National Trust members).

3. Dalby Forest

Low Dalby, Thornton le Dale, Pickering, North Yorkshire Tel: +44 (0)1751 460295

Located in the North Yorkshire Moors and just over an hour by car from York, there’s over 8,000 acres of woodland to explore and enjoy, along with children’s play areas, barbeque facilities and excellent bike trials. For older children, Go Ape is always popular and there’s Tree-top Junior for younger ones. Dalby Forest is a fabulous day out for all ages. Pack a picnic and discover its many delights.

It costs £9 per day for parking but that’s all you need to pay.

Open all year.

4. North Yorkshire Moors Railway

12 Park Street, Pickering, North Yorkshire, YO18 7AJ, +44 01751 472508
There’s something rather special about a day on board a steam train, taking in epic scenery across the stunning Yorkshire Moors. The 18 mile railway line runs between Pickering and Whitby, stopping at Grosmont and Goathland. We hopped on board at the beautifully restored Pickering station and traveled to Goathland (famous now as Hogsmeade Station to Harry Potter fans) and also the setting for Heart Beat, the British police show set in the 1960s (for the slightly older generation)!
It truly is a magical trip and we can’t wait to hop on board again and travel all the way to Whitby. There’s stunning walks near all the stations the railway calls in at, so why not pack a picnic, hop on board and wait for that whistle to blow and the steam to appear.
Price: Pickering to Whitby (return) Adults £31, Child £15.50, Family of 4 £64, Pickering to Goathland Adult £23 Child £11.50

5. Fountains Abbey

Fountains, Ripon HG4 3DY, +44 01765 608888

Run by The National Trust, the magnificent 900 year-old abbey ruins and Georgian water garden at Fountains Abbey are a world heritage sight and a superb day out. There’s a massive 800 acres to explore, including a medieval deer park, Cistercian Mill and an Elizabethan Hall. Young ones will adore the natural playground and playing hide and seek around the Abbey. It’s best to allow at least 4 hours to really maximize your time here.

You can bring your dog on a leash.

Prices: Adult £15.00, Child £7.50

Opening times

6. Whitby

We are very fortunate to reach many beautiful coastal towns easily from York and Whitby must be our favourite.

Whitby is a seaside town in North Yorkshire, once a fashionable spa town attracting many famous authors and artists including Lewis Carroll and Charles Dickens. The ruined Whitby Abbey, set in a spectacular location above the town, was the inspiration for the 1897 novel Dracula. Steeped in history, this is the place where Captain Cook once lived. It’s a charming seaside town to wander around and arguably, the best fish and chips in Northern England can be enjoyed at Magpie Cafe. It’s one of those places you think hasn’t changed much in a century. There’s charming fishermens’ cottages, cobbled streets, a picturesque harbour and some lovely boutique shops.

The drive from York takes just over an hour, taking in epic North Yorksire Moors scenery. Near-by, there’s Sandsend, a bit of a hidden gem, with its gorgeous white sand beach and cafe overlooking the sea. It’s a perfect spot for young ones to play on the beach. If you’re looking for a stylish place to stay, with sea views, we love The Lookout ideal for a family of 3/4 or a couple. It’s been beautifully renovated in 2018 and has those all important sea views. There’s something pretty special about hearing the sea from your bed.

If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, the walk from Whitby to Robin Hoods Bay, 6 miles south, is well worth the effort.

7. Newby Hall

Newby Hall & Gardens,Estate Office, Newby Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 5AE (SAT NAV HG4 5AJ),

+44 (0)1423 322583

Built in 1690 by Sir Christopher Wren and enlarged in the 18th century by John Adam and John Carr, Newby Hall is a fantastic day out. The house is a facinating mix of Georgian and Victorian architecture and  boasts a fine collection of Chipendale furniture, magnificent tapestries, and a statue gallery in the style of a Roman house. Guided tours (included in your ticket price) are well worth joining. They’re very engaging for all age groups. The grounds are gorgeous. There’s one of the best playgrounds for children, we would say, in Yorkshire in addition to a miniature railway, a bear house, an amazing dolls house exhibition and stunning gardens. What’s not to like.

Prices: Adults £12.25. Child £9.25, Family £40

Opening times: April – September

8. Yorkshire Sculpture Park

West Bretton, Wakefield WF4 4LG

Great art in the outdoors!

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an open-air gallery near Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England, showing work by British and international artists, including Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. It’s a 50 minute drive from York and is really only accessible by car. The sculptures and 500 acres of grounds are really spectacular, making it a great day out for groups. There’s special activities during school holidays such as making your own natural sculpture. There’s an indoor family studio space for young ones to create their own masterpieces.

Prices: Just pay for all day parking at £11 per car.

Opening hours: Open daily except Christmas Day and Boxing Day: 10:00 – 17:00

9. Stockeld Park

The Adventure Park, Stockeld Park, Wetherby, North Yorkshire, LS22 4AN, +44 (0)1937 586333

Stockeld Park is a seasonal attraction, opening most school holidays (and a little extra at Christmas). There is a wealth of activities to enjoy, including an enchanted forest, adventure playgrounds, roller skating, a laser zone, electric scooters, an inflatable zone and buccaneer boats, in addition to a maze. On a recent visit during winter, there was magical ice skating as well. It’s worth pointing out that some of these activities incur an additional charge. There’s so much in the enchanted forest alone, it’s a full day out without paying for additional activities.

Stockeld Park hosts a huge number of special events including family sports week, pirate week, fright nights, wizard and witch training amongst others.

It’s pretty fantastic!

Prices: Day pass £14, Family of 4 £52

Opening hours: Summer: late July to early September, Halloween week, Christmas: early November – early January

10. Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey, Skipton BD23 6AL, +44 (0)1756 718000

Located in the heart of the rolling Yorkshire Dales, Bolton Abbey is a great day out. Within the 300 acres, there’s over 80 miles of footpaths to explore the ruins, woodland, and river. The stepping stones are always a big hit as are the flora and fauna. You might be lucky enough to spot a kingfisher or a heron. There’s a large aqueduct crossing the River Wharfe. Dotted along the paths are various activities for young ones. Bolton Abbey has many cafes dotted around the grounds but it’s a wonderful location for a picnic or a BBQ (only allowed near the river carpark). There’s many special events throughout the year including a bonfire night, open air cinema, christmas workshops and a pop up beach!

Prices: You only need to pay £10 for parking

Opening hours: Open every day from 09:00