From medieval history and echoes of our industrial past to dramatic landscapes and country houses, Yorkshire has something for everyone
Whether you’re going for a few days or making a summer holiday of it, our guide to these five attractions in Yorkshire will help you make the most of your visit
1. North York Moors
Encompassing moorland, coast, forest and dale, the North York Moors National Park has all terrain covered. Countless walks offer big skies, panoramic views and one of the largest expanses of heather moorland in the UK. For some of the best views – over Hood Hill, Lake Gormire and Vale of Mowbray – head to Sutton Bank for a walk or bike ride.When you’re ready for civilisation, there’s an abundance of quaint market towns and picturesque villages to explore. Hutton-le-Hole, which keeps its village green cropped by sheep, is bursting with history.
In the coastal town of Whitby, home of Captain Cook, visit the famous clifftop abbey ruins, and lose yourself in the cobbled Georgian old town below. Spend long days on the sandy beach and take a stroll around the vibrant harbour. From here you can also catch a steam train and take a scenic trip through the heart of the Esk Valley.
For the kids, there are animal encounters aplenty at Flamingo Land theme park and zoo, where you can get up close and personal with some of the animals.
2. Hull, city of culture
Once immortalised in the Only Fools and Horses Christmas episode To Hull and Back, the old port city would be nearly unrecognisable to Del Boy today, as a popular city break destination. To confirm its improved reputation, it is the 2017 City of Culture, with an arts and cultural programme that celebrates the city’s unique character and history.
Peruse its free museums and galleries – it is also host to the 2017 Turner Prize at the Ferens Art Gallery – learn about its heritage at the Maritime Museum, and take the kids to award-winning aquarium, The Deep (pictured). Explore the cobbled streets of the city’s Old Town and take a walking tour by following the Fish Trail, a unique two-mile, 41-piece artwork comprising an A-Z of fish set into the pavement.
Sheffield has loads to offer, from music, culture and welcoming traditional pubs serving local ales, to a relaxing “Victorian Turkish spa” (https://www.spa1877.com/), independent shops, artisan coffee and restaurants. Take an urban walking tour around its interesting and varied architecture, revealing its industrial heritage.
Visit the Winter Garden, part of the city centre’s regeneration and home to an art gallery and shops, enjoy its green spaces (Sheffield is one of the greenest cities in the UK), wander around the Botanical Garden and lose an afternoon browsing Sheffield Antiques Quarter, featuring more than 60 independent shops.
This beautifully preserved walled city offers a tangle of cobbled streets and culture in a romantic atmosphere. The old Roman city walls are the most complete example of medieval walls still standing in England. And, throughout 2017, you can get up close to some of the greatest Viking discoveries ever made, as York celebrates the Year of the Viking with a brand new exhibition at the city’s Yorkshire Museum.While you’re there, explore the medieval ruins of St Mary’s Abbey in the tranquil York Museum Gardens, where you can also see inside Yorkshire’s oldest working observatory, take in the vast botanical collection, and spot some of the 40 species of bird that live there.
For the best views in York, climb the 275 steps of the central tower of York Minster, the city’s impressive cathedral, listed as one of Visit England's History and Heritage Experiences '101 things to do before you go abroad’. Afterwards, reward yourself with a wander around the variety of independent shops and cafes, or a quiet drink by the river.
The rejuvenated city of Leeds offers more than 16 museums and galleries and a diverse and vibrant cultural scene that encompasses more than 80 festivals every year – it’s bidding to become the 2023 Capital of Culture. Leeds also has several major theatres and a modern arena, 300 bars and restaurants, and enough shops to make it one of the country’s top destinations for those seeking some retail therapy.
For a different way of exploring the city and discovering its heritage, the “Leeds Owl Trail” will take you on a walking tour in search of 25 carved, painted or sculpted owls in locations around the city.
Fans of the ongoing soap Emmerdale can go on a studio experience to see where the series is filmed and pull a pint at The Woolpack. To escape the city, visit one of the area’s historic houses, or immerse yourself in nature at Golden Acre Park.
There are plenty of outdoor adventures for kids, too, including meeting hundreds of child-friendly farm animals at Home Farm at Temple Newsam, or the chance to operate real diggers, dumpers and more full-size machinery at Diggerland
Looking for somewhere to stay in Yorkshire? Boundless members can enjoy a 5% discount with our partner Cottages.com, offering a wide selection of self-catered accommodation, whatever you’re looking for, from farmhouses and gites to thatched cottages and castles.