10 Awesome Days Out in North Yorkshire

God’s own country is ready and waiting to receive visitors, so if you’re looking for awesome family days out in North Yorkshire, you’ve come to the right place. From gorgeous scenery to feats of engineering and rich heritage, there’s something for every kind of visit. See it for yourself with our 10 awesome days out in North Yorkshire.

1. Hike in the North York Moors National Park

Strap up your walking boots and head to the North York Moors National Park for a day you’ll never forget. As one of the best free days out in North Yorkshire, it will treat you to panoramic views of clifftops, greenery and wildlife, perfect for taking the family or even walking the dog. Not sure how hard you want to hit it? Take a look at these trails ranked by difficulty.

Views of North York Moors

2. Explore Scarborough Castle

Family days in North Yorkshire are made complete with a trip to Scarborough Castle. Sitting atop a promontory looking out over the South Bay, this 12th Century ruin has a rich history. In the past, it has survived attacks from Vikings and rebel parliamentarians, as well as served as a Roman signal station. When you visit, be sure to climb up to the viewing platform and look out over the coast. Ideal for the little ones and history buffs, this one should not be missed. It’s so good that it’s topped the list of our best Yorkshire castles!

Scarborough Castle

3. Enjoy a day out in Staithes

Like to think of yourself as something of an artist? You’ll be welcomed with open arms to the village of Staithes, where artists connect over the stunning views on offer. Just a stone’s throw from Whitby, Staithes has connections to Captain Cook, and today features a range of cafés, pubs and shops. Indulge in a spot of birdwatching and even whale watching if you’re lucky, or make sure to swing by when the annual Art and Heritage Festival is in town. You can even test your eagle eyes with the Illusion Trail.

4. Climb Brimham Rocks

Those who love to get active will relish the opportunity to stretch their legs at Brimham Rocks. Part of the National Trust, this 183.9-hectare site features a series of large, naturally occurring rock formations with unmissable Yorkshire views. Take a planned orienteering trail and soak up the Nidderdale vistas, or do your own thing and climb the rocks at your leisure. Be warned – some of the rocks are huge and not for the faint-hearted, so if it’s climbing you’re after, this North Yorkshire day out may be better suited to adults.

Brimham Rocks

5. Take a punt with a Day at the Races

These choice days out in North Yorkshire for adults give you an extra bang for your buck. The county has its pick of racecourses – for large and in charge, head to York, where you’ll find events such as the Ebor and John Smith’s. For smaller but no less fun, head to Ripon and have a flutter on your favourite horses. The racecourses offer a selection of hospitality packages, and if you go on a festival day, you might just be treated to some music after hours, too.

6. Run around the seaside in Whitby

We hope you’ve not got your sea legs on when you come to Whitby. Home to some of the best pubs in North Yorkshire and a whole lot else, this coastal town is a walker’s dream. In particular, you’ll want to climb the 199 Steps, which offer a magnificent reward at the top: the ruins of Whitby Abbey. If you want to know more about Whitby’s history, be sure to stop by the museums or go and have your photograph taken with the Whitby Whale Arch. And when that’s all finished, make sure you partake in a little local seafood, caught freshly each day.

7. Make your way around the National Railway Museum

Known throughout the county as one of the best free days out in North Yorkshire, the National Railway Museum is an enduring hit for children and adults alike. There’s no fee to enter this vast expanse of historic and modern locomotives. Based in the centre of York, the National Railway Museum honours York’s rich railway heritage, featuring seasonal exhibits and classic designs such as the Japanese bullet train. Discover feats of engineering, cafés and kids’ play areas all under one roof.

National Railway Museum

8. Smell the flowers at RHS Harlow Carr

Located in the spa town of Harrogate, RHS Harlow Carr is another perfect day out in North Yorkshire for adults. These awe-inspiring gardens, maintained by the Royal Horticultural Society, feature 14 separate areas of natural beauty, from rock gardens to arboretums and woodlands. The centre also regularly hosts events, including photography shows, festivals and flower shows. Visit throughout the year for both seasonal classics and rare exotic breeds – ideal for taking in a fresh breath of nature.

9. Discover York’s Viking roots

Frequently topping the list for the best family days out in North Yorkshire, the Jorvik Viking Centre is as educational as it is fun. Go back in time to the 9th Century where you’ll discover reconstructions of Viking dwellings, built above 1000-year-old Viking remains. You’ll also enjoy live re-enactments and the chance to dress up like a Viking. If that wasn’t enough, you can learn more about the Vikings at York Dungeons, or explore York’s Roman history with a stroll around the city walls.

10. Roam around the Yorkshire Dales

Yorkshire is home to many stunning waterfalls. The term ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ doesn’t get thrown around lightly – but it certainly applies to the Yorkshire Dales. The National Park features more than 2,000km2 of luscious greenery, plus a whole host of attractions within it. Capture that picture perfect moment at Ingleton Waterfalls, or take a deep dive down into Malham Cove. Wander around Bolton Abbey and take a picnic – you’ll never want to leave.

Sheep on a path in the Yorkhire Dales

Ready to book your next away day to North Yorkshire? Put your feet up and rest your head in our selection of cottages in Yorkshire.