The Dalesman team recommend Yorkshire’s top family attractions
It is no secret that our glorious county is home to a spectacular range of attractions, but why not take some inspiration from us for your next family outing? The Dalesman team share with you our personal recommendations for brilliant days out in Yorkshire – fun for all the family!
Nestled in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, Hesketh Farm Park guarantees a fun day out – no matter the weather! Home to over 1,000 livestock and acres of land, here you can spend your day feeding the animals and enjoying snacks in the café, while the young ‘uns play in a giant sandpit and explore a whimsical straw maze. Even the rain can’t dampen this fun: step inside a cosy, undercover barn to enjoy a fun-packed day at any time of year.
The 500-acre parkland of Bretton Hall hosts many a unique visitor – namely, the sculptures and works of British and international artists. Explore the ever-changing indoor exhibitions that are sure to inspire creativity, or wander around the grounds to peruse the open-air exhibits of modern sculpture. An independent charitable trust striving to ignite and nurture interest in contemporary sculpture, why not pay them a visit?
Over 250 animals, and over 45 different species, are cared for at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, where you can enjoy a breathtaking walkthrough wildlife adventure. A dynamic centre for conservation and welfare, the park features some of the world’s most beautiful and at risk species, and invites us to support their mission of protecting the world around us, while offering a fabulous day out at the same time!
The stunning Georgian mansion, Stockeld Park House, rests on a 2000-acre agricultural estate, which has been creatively diversified by its current owners to provide all that you could want from a venue. Its rolling parkland, indoor adventure play areas, 8-foot-high outdoor maze and go-kart track are only a selection of what it has on offer. And let’s not forget that the park is home to Yorkshire’s largest Christmas tree plantation!
Yorkshire’s very own adventure theme park is always bustling with fun; over 40 rides and attractions reside within the park, offering an exciting tailored experience for under 12s to enjoy. But that doesn’t stop the rest of the family from revelling in the park’s amusements! If you’re looking for a lively day out for the family, then look no further.
Visit Yorkshire’s very own blast from the past, a 1950s-style American diner and ice cream parlour. Transporting you to a new (or rather, past) place and time, drink in an abundance of nostalgia – as well as a delicious milkshake! Greeted by the smell of homecooked meals and cheery music, children can play while the adults soak in the ambience.
Named the Best Large Visitor Attraction in the White Rose Awards, Cannon Hall Farm is the perfect family day out. A family-owned farm nestled in the rolling pennine foothills, go along to meet an array of farmyard animals (you can even adopt some), bask in the scenery and let the kids run wild! There are also a host of events throughout the year for you to get stuck into, such as lambing festivals, seasonal celebrations and falconry weekends.
Next year the National Railway Museum in York turns fifty – and it remains one of the county’s most popular attractions. On Leeman Road, just behind the train station, this is a must for all of the family – and it’s free! There are interactive experiences, a road train, audio trails, model railways – but best of all, some of the greatest engines and carriages built are on display. A great day out.
Mother Shipton’s Cave in Knaresborough is a little older than the NRM, after all, it’s been welcoming visitors since 1630. Folk have been flocking here for centuries to explore the cave system to try and glimpse the soothsayer Ursula Sontheil who called this beguiling place home. No distance from Knaresborough Castle, visit one and you can pop along to the other as well!
A living history museum that recreates the Viking Age in York as an interactive learning experience, Jorvik Viking Centre is an attraction like no other. Situated on the site of a groundbeaking excavation, you’re invited to jump aboard their state of the art ride which takes you back to the year 975 AD to explore the reconstructed city of Jorvik.