It’s always a treat to have your children and grandchildren at home for the summer. You can finally spend some quality time with your little ones, knowing that there are no other obligations for you to ferry them between.
The trouble is that everyone else’s children are off school too. As a result, it can be a nightmare trying to get into all the places you might want to visit during summer in Yorkshire.
That’s why it can sometimes be best to wait until the youngsters have returned to school, so that you can make the most of all the activities Yorkshire has to offer.
Here are 10 of the best things to do in Yorkshire once children are back in school.
1. National Railway Museum, York
The National Railway Museum in York is a staple of British culture, and an absolute must-visit.
Combining a gargantuan collection of locomotives from across the ages with amazing storytelling for each one, you’ll be enchanted by the rich, colourful history of railways in this country.
Entry is free and you can stay as long as you’d like, but Tripadvisor suggests spending two to three hours there.
2. Sheffield Botanical Gardens, Sheffield
Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens are a beautiful sight to behold, featuring well-manicured flower beds, exotic plants, stunning water features, and even a fully restored Victorian hot house complete with a glass dome roof.
You can also visit the Curator’s House Restaurant and Tea Rooms within the grounds of the gardens, serving up toasties, jacket potatoes, and soup and sandwiches, as well as daily specials.
The gardens are just a mile away from the city centre, making them easily accessible if you’re planning a day out in the city.
3. Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Auckley
If you’re an animal lover, Yorkshire Wildlife Park is a simply unmissable experience.
Located in Auckley, just a stone’s throw away from Doncaster, the park features some of the most incredible species from around the world.
Expect to see polar bears, rhinos, lions, tigers, giraffes, and around 400 other animals in this festival of fur and teeth.
If you want to be even closer to the action, you could book one of the park’s animal experiences, giving you the chance to get up close and personal with some of these magnificent creatures.
4. The Yorkshire Film Tour, around the counties
Yorkshire is home to many famous writers from across the ages, including Ted Hughes, J.B. Priestley, Gervase Phinn, and current Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage.
But did you know that Yorkshire has also been the setting for several famous blockbuster films?
The Yorkshire Film Tour takes you through a journey of landmark moments in film and TV. From The Railway Children, to Brideshead Revisited, all the way to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, you’ll get a sense of déjà vu with these strangely familiar places that you’ve already seen on the silver screen.
There’s no specific arranged tour, so you’ll need to venture out on your own with this one. But it’s well worth doing to see some of these iconic cinematic landscapes for yourself.
5. York Minster, York
No list of things to do in Yorkshire would be complete without including York Minster.
York Minster is a 7th-century cathedral standing proud in the centre of York, boasting gothic architecture that’s as pulchritudinous as it is impressive.
As one of the largest cathedrals in the whole of northern Europe, York Minster is a remarkable feat of human ingenuity and engineering.
You do have to pay to go inside, but it’s the best way to soak up the immense history of this beautiful building.
6. Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds
Based in the centre of Leeds, the Royal Armouries Museum contains the UK’s most impressive collection of arms and armour.
You’ll experience five different themes while visiting the museum: War, Tournament, Self-Defence, Hunting, and arms and armour of the Orient.
These sections cover nearly every military epoch, reaching from the times of Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great, all the way to a selection of items from the battles between the Duke of Wellington and his infamous nemesis, Napoleon Bonaparte.
The museum is so impressive that it won a Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice award in 2020.
It’s only open Wednesday to Sunday outside of the school holidays, so make sure you factor this in before you travel to avoid disappointment.
7. Brimham Rocks, Harrogate
The Brimham Rocks features a strangely beautiful set of natural rock formations.
You’ll end up wandering around this National Trust site for hours, marvelling at the shapes that the land has managed to contort itself into over the ages.
There are guided tours of the rocks if you want to find out even more about the history of how they ended up as they are.
If the weather’s right, Brimham Rocks is also the perfect spot for a picnic.
8. 199 Steps, Whitby
For an active day out, try heading over to Whitby and scaling the famous 199 Steps.
The 199 Steps lead from the town up to Whitby Abbey, offering glorious views over the rooftops and the harbour.
There’s actually some controversy over how many steps there are, with different numbers having been counted over the years. The only way to find out the true number is to go and count them yourself.
After climbing the steps, don’t forget to take a rest on Whitby Beach with an ice cream – just watch out for the sharks, as some unlucky fishermen found out in 2018!
9. The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
For a truly memorable day out, why not try and catch a show at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford?
The theatre has stood as a cultural landmark of the city since 1914 and features gorgeous Georgian architecture.
Louise Redknapp stars in 9 to 5: The Musical from 7 September to 11 September, before Hairspray comes into town later in the month. Then in October, you can see Derren Brown’s brand-new live show, Showman.
You can see full listings of what’s on at the Alhambra on their website.
10. Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield
Last but by no means least, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is the perfect day out for seeing the work of the best new artists around.
The Park features beautiful, mind-boggling sculptures that simply cannot fail to impress.
There are various galleries to explore, as well as sculptures standing out in the open with glorious views of the rolling Yorkshire hills.
You do need to book tickets in advance, which you can do on the Yorkshire Sculpture Park website.