One of the most-heralded getaway destinations of the past 5 years, Yorkshire is so great because of its wide variety of stuff to do; rolling countryside to stroll through, coastal resorts to visit and lots of fabulous city break destinations primed for exploration too. With Yorkshire Day falling on Monday 1st August, now is the perfect time to To help, we’ve compiled a little cheat’s guide to all the must-dos and must-sees in Yorkshire’s top 5 short break destinations.
1. York Minster is a feat of engineering. One of the largest Gothic Cathedrals in Europe, the Minster is architecturally stunning and incredibly popular – a must-see when in York. Views from the dizzy heights of the Central Tower provide the best views of York by far.
2. With some of the best-preserved medieval city walls in the country, it’s something of a badge of honour to walk the complete loop around the city centre. There’s also no better way to get your bearings!
3. Family-friendly Oscars offer hearty Bistro fare that’s popular with visitors and locals alike. If you don’t plan on visiting Harrogate on your trip, head to Bettys in York instead to soak up some of the traditional café culture and to enjoy a spot of afternoon tea.
4. Let your hair down come evening time in one of York’s sophisticated bars. We recommend the cleverly-crafted cocktails in Evil Eye – a haunt packed with locals, but well worth the wait!
5. The fascinating and subtly educational Jorvik Viking Centre is a great way to delve into this historic city’s past with the kids. Older offspring may prefer the thrills and spills of the scary York Dungeon.
1. The 18th-century stately home of the Lascelles family, Harewood House is set in its own slice of gorgeous Yorkshire countryside. A fantastic choice for a day out, there’s plenty to explore in the 100 acres of lands and the terrific Bird Garden.
2. The Trinity Centre is just one of the major shopping centres in Leeds, but has quickly established itself as one of the finest in the region. Opened in 2013, it’s home to popular fashion realtors, scores of international eateries and a popular arthouse cinema. The Trinity Centre is also within easy walking distance of the posh Victorian Quarter and the huge, quirky Kirkgate Market.
3. Red’s True BBQ is the ultimate pig-out joint; within stumbling distance of the train station, this city centre restaurant is famed for its Big Eats, burgers and ribs. Well worth a visit when you’re absolutely famished.
4. The Alchemist, on the top floor of the Trinity Centre, is home of the trendiest cocktails in Leeds. A great place for a tasty meal too, take a seat out on the impressive terrace on summer evenings.
5. Interesting whatever your age, the Royal Armouries have an awe-inspiring collection of Armour and Weaponry from 1,500 years of British War History – a great way to get kids thinking about the past!
1. Located just three miles outside of Harrogate, Ripley Castle is as pretty as the rolling countryside which surrounds it. Castle tours are a must, and give visitors the chance to learn about the history of Ingilby family, residents at the castle for an incredible 700 years.
2. A traditional spa town, there’s no more iconic Harrogate activity than visiting the relaxing Turkish Baths. Revitalise in the Eucalyptus-infused Steam Room, or unwind in the less-intense Heated Chambers, before jumping in the Plunge Pool to help improve circulation and flush out toxins. Mixed sessions are available 7 days a week.
3. A Yorkshire institution, taking tea at Bettys Tea Room is quintessential. There are a handful of tearooms across the county, but the Harrogate original is the finest of the lot – enjoy a delightfully delicate meal and embrace 100 years of tradition.
4. The Fat Badger is a stylish English pub right in the heart of the town. Friendly, welcoming, and a great place to enjoy some pub grub if Afternoon Tea doesn’t fill you up, The Fat Badger is the place to meet friends, old and new.
5. A fun day trip out of Harrogate, kids love the fascinating balancing rock formations at Brimham Rocks. Free to enter, and home to spectacular views over Nidderdale, reconnect with nature in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
1. Easily one of the best UK theatres outside of London, The Crucible has enjoyed several years of producing fantastic performances; under strong artistic leadership, the programme of shows has stayed compelling year on year. Take in a classic show, discover new writing, or enjoy the high drama of the World Snooker Championships, held here annually too.
2. Meadowhall is the region’s best shopping destination. Up there with the likes of the Trafford Centre in Manchester and Newcastle’s Metro Centre, you could easily spend a whole day here, shopping ‘til you drop – then revive yourself with the varied International cuisine in the huge food hall!
3. Or head back into the city for some of Sheffield’s finest eats at The Wick at Both Ends on West Street. This Gastropub serves up popular cocktails, and modern British cuisine that’s simple, tasty and very affordable for the quality.
4. A stone’s throw from the Town Hall, vibrant Leopold Square is a great alternative venue for a night out. Billing itself as ‘Sheffield’s First Tiki Bar’, our favourite has to be the chilled ambience of The Bamboo Door.
5. With or without the kids, Sheffield’s Winter Garden is very pretty. Finished in 2003, it’s the biggest Urban Glasshouse in Europe, and a fine addition to the city’s impressive collection of attractions.
1. The ruins of the 12th century Scarborough Castle are ideal for checking out the breath-taking views high above the seaside town, and of Yorkshire’s dramatic coastline. Sharing many characteristics with the ever-popular Whitby Abbey ruins further up the coast, Scarborough Castle is another must-see when exploring Yorkshire.
2. The Stephen Joseph Theatre has single-handedly put Scarborough on the Theatre World’s map for 40 years. Having premiered native son Alan Ayckbourn’s plays for so long, the distinctive in-the-round theatre has regularly been a champion of new writing and is a must-visit when in the town.
3. Perhaps the most famous place in the country to eat Fish & Chips, Scarborough is the home of the seaside’s favourite cuisine. There are, unsurprisingly, lots of great places to enjoy the battered goodness, but we’d recommend the North Bay Fisheries – a popular choice for locals and visitors alike.
4. Scarborough isn’t known for its cosmopolitan cocktail bars, but honest pubs it does well. For a charming Inn with a friendly vibe, don’t hesitate to enjoy a couple in the King Richard III on Sandside.
5. The Oriental-themed Peasholm Park has been one of the must-visit family attractions in Scarborough for a century. Enjoy gently rowing around the boating lake – the perfect family bonding activity on a pleasant summer’s day!
What are your top tips when visiting Yorkshire? Tell us in the comments section below!