11 Best Family-Friendly Days Out In North Yorkshire

day out in North Yorkshire
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If you're looking for endless brilliant days out, North Yorkshire is one of the best places in the whole country - from the scenery of the Yorkshire Dales to places like York and Harrogate, the whole family will find a world of possibility in this corner of Yorkshire. If you're wondering where to start, Kidadl have got you covered with our guide to the best days out for you and your family.

1) York City Walls

North Yorkshire city walls

Perfect for: children aged 5-12, with a love for history.

A walk along York city walls has something for everyone in the family. It's a great active day out, and also a chance to get an impressive view of York's historic buildings such as the world famous Minster.

  • Where is it? Tower Street, York, YO1 9RY
  • How much to budget for: Entry onto the walls is free.
  • Nearest station: York
  • Don't miss: Stopping off at each historic 'Gate' along the wall, especially to get a look at the Minster.

2) Castle Howard

castle day out yorkshire

Perfect for: Kids of all ages who love a day in the outdoors.

This beautiful 17th century stately home is a perfect location if you are looking for a relaxing day in the sun. The castle offers acres of open space to explore, including beautiful gardens, a forest, and lakes.

  • Where is it? Castle Howard Estate, York, YO60 7DA
  • How much to budget for: Entry costs £12.95 for adults, and £8.50 for children.
  • Nearest station: Malton
  • Don't miss: The wildlife - if your young ones love animals, search for the turtle doves, swans and badgers that live in the grounds.

3) Skipton Castle Woods

kids in yorkshire woods

Perfect for: any young ones who love outdoor adventures.

Hidden away in the centre of Skipton, Castle Woods is one of North Yorkshire's best-kept secrets for family days out. Young ones will have acres of open space to play and explore.

  • Where is it? Mill Bridge, The Bailey and Short Lee Lane, Skipton BD23 1AW
  • How much to budget for: Access to the woods is free.
  • Nearest station: Skipton
  • Don't miss: Walking alongside the river, and visiting the amazing little Yorkshire town of Skipton once you have explored the parks.

4) Bolton Abbey

Perfect for: all ages - especially those who love exploring nature.

These ruins of a monastery offer a brilliant way to get in touch with North Yorkshire's past, as well as offering the chance to explore the grounds of the abbey.

  • Where is it? Bolton Abbey, Skipton, BD23 6AL
  • How much to budget for: If you are visiting by car, parking costs £10.
  • Nearest station: Skipton or Ilkley
  • Don't miss: The stepping stones - they're great fun, and children will love them!

5) Valley Gardens, Harrogate

family day trip yorkshire

Perfect for: kids of all ages who enjoy playing outside in the sun.

Whether you're simply looking to relax and take in the beautiful sights or get active in the sports areas, there's so much to do at Valley Gardens. On top of all that, it's not far from the centre of Harrogate.

  • Where is it? Valley Drive, Harrogate, HG1 2SZ
  • How much to budget for: Entry to the gardens is free.
  • Nearest station: Harrogate
  • Don't miss: Events like concerts in the park - be sure to find out when they are due to happen on their website!

6) North Yorkshire Moors Railway

North Yorkshire railway for families

Perfect for: kids aged 4-12 who love exploring England's natural landscapes.

This heritage railway will take you through the North Yorkshire Moors, combining the unique experience of travelling aboard a steam locomotive with the chance to explore North Yorkshire's incredible scenery.

  • Where is it? There are five different stations on the railway - Pickering, Levisham, Goathland, Grosmont and Whitby. There are car parks at all of these stations apart from Whitby.
  • How much to budget for: An adult ticket costs £35.00. A child ticket costs £17.50.
  • Nearest station: Whitby
  • Don't miss: The cosy tea rooms at the stops along the line for an authentic Yorkshire experience.

7) Brimham Rocks

family day out yorkshire

Perfect for: kids who love learning about the natural world.

These weird and wonderful rock formations are perfect for a family adventure. This National Trust site has all kinds of sights to see, from the huge rocks themselves to the beauty of the surrounding moorlands. You will be able to explore the park's many nature trails, and kids will love being able to interact with the environment by using the park's official app to complete activities. New activities are always being added, so you will be able to return again and again.

  • Where is it? Brimham, North Moor Road, Summerbridge, HG3 4DW
  • How much to budget for: Car parking costs £6 for four hours, or £9 for a day. Admission is free.
  • Nearest station: Harrogate
  • Don't miss: Make sure to download the park's app onto your phone before arriving - it's got a number of activities to keep your kids entertained, such as the '50 Things to Do Before You're 11 3/4 List' - kids will love trying to check off every activity in the park, including things such as spotting a cave or building a den.

8) Museum Gardens, York

family day out yorkshire

Perfect for: all ages who love having open space to explore.

For a day out with your family or friends, the Museum Gardens are a perfect setting. Set amidst the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey, kids will love being able to play in the wide-open spaces. The botanical gardens feature all kinds of wildlife and plant species, and the gardens also feature Britain's oldest working observatory. What's more, it's set just off the river, meaning it's a perfect place to relax after a day walking along the water.

  • Where is it? Museum Street, York, YO1 7FR
  • How much to budget for: Entry is free.
  • Nearest station: York
  • Don't miss: The ruins of the abbey are a fascinating reminder of York's past.

9) Malham Cove

North Yorkshire countryside

Perfect for: kids aged 7-12 with a love for the outdoors.

Malham Cove offers one of the most stunning landscapes in North Yorkshire. The 70-metre high cliff face is made of limestone and has been formed over millions of years, making this a natural landscape of the kind rarely seen in  England. From the top of the cliff, you will be able to walk along a stunning limestone pavement formation, as well as taking in the brilliant views of Malham village below. Be sure to prepare yourself for quite a walk, as parking is only available in Malham village. It will take you around 25 minutes to walk from Malham to the Cove itself, so this might not be suitable if you are carrying a buggy.

  • Where is it? Malham, Skipton, BD23 4DJ  
  • How much to budget for: Entry is free.
  • Nearest station: Settle
  • Don't miss: The fantastic views of the Dales - if you can climb to the top, be sure to do so!

10) RSPB Saltholme

nature in North Yorkshire

Perfect for: kids aged 4-12, and anyone who loves animals.

This amazing nature reserve attracts all kinds of bird species right in the centre of Middlesbrough. The wetlands at the reserve are visited by animals as diverse as peregrine falcons and lapwings. What's more, there's the chance to see seals up close swimming in the water.  Depending on the season, all kinds of new wildlife from around the world will appear, so you can visit all year round and always see something unique.

  • Where is it? A178 Seaton Carew Road, Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough, TS2 1TU
  • How much to budget for: £3 entrance per adult, and £1.50 per child.
  • Nearest station: Middlesbrough
  • Don't miss: Trying to spot some of the rarer breeds of bird - new types are always visiting depending on the time of year.

11) Knaresborough Boats

family day trip yorkshire

Perfect for: kids aged 4-12 who love adventure.

A must-see if you visit Knaresborough, a trip in one of these rowing boats is sure to be a memorable experience. Four different types of boats are available, seating up to ten people at a time, so this is great for family days out. There's also the chance to have an expert guide you down the river, so no need to worry if you're unsure about being in charge of the boat yourself. You won't be able to fit buggies onto the boats, so be sure to plan ahead if you do visit with a baby.

  • Where is it? Waterside, Knaresborough, HG5 9AU. Find the boats just after the bridge, next to the Waterside Wishing Well.
  • How much to budget for: Tickets cost £7 for adults, and £4 for children.
  • Nearest station: Knaresborough
  • Don't miss: The chance to take in the rest of this amazing town - whether it's a visit to the castle or a walk along the river.
Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents. 

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.  

Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong. 

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