The summer holidays are fast approaching, with schools preparing to shut up shop and kids eagerly anticipating weeks of fun in the sun. Though this time of year is a happy-go-lucky and (generally) sunny one, there’s always the worry of running out of activities for the children.
Keeping them entertained means keeping the peace – after all, nobody wants to spend a second of their long-awaited summer holiday bored!
If you’re venturing to Yorkshire for a break this summer, staying in one of our gorgeous family-friendly cottages, or even if you’re lucky enough to reside in this beautiful county full-time, rest assured that there are plenty of fabulous days out available.
We take a look at the six of the best places to visit during the six week holiday, giving you plenty of ideas to keep the kids occupied, no matter the budget.
6 of the best days out in Yorkshire this summer
1. Fountains Abbey
One of the best sites in the Yorkshire Dales, Fountains Abbey is a beautiful and atmospheric place that will captivate the whole family. The largest monastic ruins in the country, Fountains Abbey has been drawing visitors for centuries and is now recognised as a World Heritage Site. The old Cistercian abbey is full of secret passages and hidden corners to explore, and there’s also a medieval deer park, a beautiful water garden, and dozens of places to settle down for a picnic. Want to tire the kids out? There’s a great play area along with over 800 acres of parkland and gardens, so after all of that running around, they will definitely sleep well!
££ – Fountains Abbey is open daily from 10am. There are lots of extra family activities this summer including pond dipping and den building
2. Dalby Forest
Located on the southerly slopes of the Moors, Dalby Forest is a brilliant place for a summer trip. With over 8,000 acres of woodland to explore, play areas, cycle paths and hiking trails, you can guarantee a fun-filled day outdoors. There’s also a Go Ape centre for those who are keen for a treetop adventure, but if you fancy something more sedate, there are plenty of easy/moderate walking trails throughout the forest. With a café and shop in the visitor centre, as well a bike shop for hiring, servicing and courses, Dalby Forest offers everything you need for a fun day out.
£ – A toll of £7 is charged to enter by car, but you can park on the outskirts and walk or cycle into the forest for free
3. Flamingo Land
Flamingo Land is the perfect place for animal lovers and adrenaline junkies alike. A theme park, zoo and holiday resort all rolled into one, the site is located in North Yorkshire within a stone’s throw of some of our cottages. There are over 140 species to be marvelled over, including giraffes, tigers and the all-time popular penguins. Your littlest ones will love Dino-Stone Park and Splish Splosh interactive water play area, while older kids can jump aboard the white-knuckle rides including the park’s newest ‘Hero’, an £8m coaster that reaches 66 feet, incorporating swooping turns and heart-stopping drops. For the grownups there are some sedate, scenic rides, such as cable cars and the zoo monorail, as well as a beautiful mansion with tea rooms.
£££ – Flamingo Land’s gates open at 9.30am and attractions commence at 10am. It can be reached easily by car and public transport (The Yorkshire Coastliner bus drops off directly outside the park)
4. Bolton Abbey
Just off the A59 between Harrogate and Skipton, Bolton Abbey is one of the best days out in north-west Yorkshire. There are so many things to see and do, it’s difficult to squeeze it all into one trip: a 12th century Priory, 80 miles of walkways, fishing and two gift shops are just a few of the attractions! There’s also a gorgeous stretch of the River Wharfe and a beach area, which is the perfect alternative to the British seaside (weather permitting, of course.) Kids can paddle, catch fish and build sandcastles, and once they’ve had enough, there’s a tractor and trailer tour and opportunities to tend to the animals.
£ – Bolton Abbey is open from 9am until 9pm during the summer period, and the admission price is only £7 – £8 per car
5. Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Yorkshire Wildlife Park is only a few minutes from Doncaster, situated just off the M18 and with easy access from all corners of the county. Let your kids run wild and get close to nature in this fantastic 70 acre site; an on-foot safari through Lion Country will get them acquainted with one of the world’s biggest cats, a visit to the African Plains will show a spectacular site of zebra, antelope and cattle roaming together, and popping by the Baboon Reserve will introduce the park’s latest additions. The Park won Yorkshire’s Most Magnificent Attraction in 2012, and it’s not difficult to see why: with a wide range of fantastic animals, education programmes and play areas for monkeying around, it’s a great day out for all the family.
£££ – Yorkshire Wildlife Park is open seven days a week from 10am until 6pm during the Spring & Summer Season
6. Brimham Rocks
If you’re bringing the children to Yorkshire you simply cannot miss a visit to Brimham Rocks. A National Trust site on Brimham Moor near Harrogate, this ‘natural playground’ of wonderful rock formations is a truly magical place. The huge, unusually shaped rocks are owed to an enormous cascade off granite mountains over 300 million years ago, a delta which then experienced years of erosion during and after the last Ice Age. The odd formations have been given apt names such as the Boat, the Dancing Bear and the Smartie Tube, and are fantastic fun for kids (and adults!) to climb up and through. Be sure to bring a camera and a picnic – there are some spectacular views and lovely little spots to sit down for lunch.
£ – Brimham Rocks is free to roam around after paying to park, and there is a shop, café and toilets available
Do you have a favourite place in Yorkshire that’s perfect for a summer day out? Tweet us @gorgeouscottage and let us know!