Finding something to keep kids happy can always be something of a challenge but we think a break to Yorkshire will bring a smile to children’s faces - whatever age they are.
You’ll find historic castles that are ripe for adventure, exciting attractions for fun-filled days out and two National Parks to explore. There are activities for sunny days, rainy days and those in-between days when you’re never quite sure what weather you might get.
So take a look at some of our favourite things to do and make sure you keep the whole family entertained on your next short break or holiday in Yorkshire.
The great outdoors
Yorkshire is the perfect choice for some good old-fashioned family fun in the great outdoors. You can hark back to a time before kids were glued to their smartphones and enjoy nature trails, bike rides and treasure hunts in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks. Here are just some of the outdoor activities to try:
- Keep things simple with a walk through the countryside and see what you can spot along the way. We’ve put together some of our favourite family-friendly walking routes to try in the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales.
- Head to the Yorkshire Coast for some fun by the sea - there are swathes of sandy beaches to play on and lots to do in towns and villages such as Scarborough, Whitby and Robin Hoods Bay. Take a look at 10 reasons to visit the Yorkshire Coast.
- Spend the day at Dalby Forest which has cycle trails, nature walks, Go Ape treetop experiences and adventure playgrounds - all the ingredients for a fun-filled day out.
- Try a bike ride along the Swale Trail from Reeth to Keld - this easy-to-follow, valley bottom cycle route runs through the Yorkshire Dales National Park and has been specially designed for families.
- Burn off some energy at Brimham Rocks by clambering up and running around the impressive rock formations.
You’ll find a wide range of family-friendly attractions in Yorkshire - everything from theme parks (Lightwater Valley and Flamingo Land) to historic houses with beautiful gardens. Here is just a small selection of the attractions that are well worth visiting during your break to Yorkshire:
- Children will love meeting the meerkats and wallabies at Thorp Perrow Arboretum near Bedale. There’s also adventure playgrounds, fun trails and acres of beautiful woodland to explore.
- Forbidden Corner is a must-visit attraction on a family holiday to Wensleydale. You never quite know what’s lurking around the corner in this fabulous folly which is full of mysterious creatures, magical tunnels and hidden surprises.
- There’s lots to delight children on a visit to Newby Hall including an adventure playground, miniature railway and Gyles Brandreth’s Teddy Bear Collection.
- Children have a choice of five adventure playgrounds at Stockeld Park near Harrogate. There’s also an enchanted forest, roller skating, a giant maze and electrically-powered Buccaneer Boats to keep kids entertained all day.
- Castle Howard has been the setting for a number of films and TV series and there’s always something going on at this impressive stately home. Illustrated trails, puzzles and spotter sheets will keep kids happy as you go exploring around the beautiful house and gardens.
Rainy day activities
There’s no need for rain to call off play in Yorkshire with lots of indoor attractions to visit if you don’t fancy getting wet, and a fabulous water park if you do!
- Delve into York’s Viking past with a visit to Jorvik Viking Centre where a ‘time-travel’ capsule will immerse you in the sights (and smells) of 10th century York.
- Head even further back in time at Yorkshire’s Jurassic World exhibition in York which features a life-size plesiosaur and CGI dinosaurs. Children also get the chance to feed lunch to a sauropod dinosaur thanks to a Virtual Reality headset.
- Younger children will have hours of fun at the Eureka! museum in Halifax. This popular attraction has been specially designed for under 11's and manages to be fun and educational at the same time with interactive exhibits that include a child-sized town.
- For one of the best aquariums around, head to The Deep in Hull where you can see tropical fish, sharks and a pair of rescued Loggerhead sea turtles in zones such as Endless Ocean and Lagoon of Light.
- Embrace getting wet at Alpamare in Scarborough. This brilliant water park combines thrilling state-of-the-art slides with heated pools and a relaxing spa.
Family-friendly holiday cottages
Yorkshire has plenty of family-friendly holiday cottages that come with games rooms, twin bedrooms and gardens that are just right for a BBQ. Everything you need for the perfect getaway! Here is just a small selection of family-friendly Yorkshire holiday homes to choose from:
Roseberry View - sleeps 7
A three-bedroom dog-friendly barn conversion that’s nestled on the edge of the North York Moors with a hot tub, sauna and pool table to keep the whole family happy. There’s even a special chaise longue for four-legged friends.
Curlew Cottage - sleeps 8
This four-bedroom holiday home is nestled in the pretty village of Goathland which is just a few miles from the popular coastal town of Whitby. The spacious garden is great for BBQs and outdoor games - guests also have access to the owner’s private estate where you can spot around 80 bird and animal species.
White Cottage - sleeps 4
White Cottage is a two-bedroom cottage (one double and one twin) that’s located close to the market square in Middleham with the beautiful countryside of Wensleydale on your doorstep. Watch racehorses walk past your window on their way to the gallops then head out to nearby Forbidden Corner.
The Stables - sleeps 4
Not only does this two-bedroom barn conversion have a private hot tub that looks out over the surrounding Howardian Hills countryside, it also has access to fabulous leisure facilities (shared with another property) that include table tennis, pool table, sauna and mini gym.
Foxy’s Den - sleeps 4
A characterful two-bedroom stone cottage near the village green in Reeth, Foxy’s Den comes with handy bike storage so you can bring your cycles and take a scenic ride through Swaledale to Keld. Afterwards, we recommend grabbing ice cream at the parlour on the green and heading down to the river.
Coverlea - sleeps 6
Coverlea is a beautifully restored three-bedroom Georgian house that has a separate snug (complete with TV and board games) that’s perfect for children to escape to. All three bedrooms have access to their own bathroom and there’s a lovely walled garden where you can make the most of summer.
Ready to visit Yorkshire?
Yorkshire is a great choice for weekend breaks and family holidays. Whether you decide to head to the Yorkshire Dales countryside, spend time at the coast or explore a city like York, there is always lots to see and do in this beautiful region of the UK.
Browse our full range of family-friendly Yorkshire holiday cottages and choose the perfect property for your next trip.