Things to do in the area
Castle Howard 14.6 miles
Visit Castle Howard and have fun exploring 1,000 acres of parkland and gardens; jump on the land train to the Great Lake for boat trips and our adventure playground; discover more about the amazing history of the house and gardens with school holiday adventure trails and illustrated quiz sheets.
Family friendly events take place most school and Bank Holidays. Other attractions include a choice of 6 shops, including plant centre and farm shop, as well as 3 cafes serving homemade food to suit all tastes and pockets.
Knaresborough Castle 23.1 miles
A majestic stronghold of medieval kings, even now Knaresborough Castle towers imposingly over the River Nidd and is guaranteed to get little imaginations going! You can explore the atmospheric remains of the King’s tower and check out the displays in the Courthouse Museum, nice and educational but so interesting the kids will barely notice they’re learning!
As well as visiting the Castle and Museum, afterwards you can hire some equipment and enjoy the Castle Grounds with a few family tournaments of Putting and Bowls! An extra element of fun for the trip so long as you’ve got the weather for it.
The Castle site is generally accessible for wheel and pushchairs but there’s pretty limited access to the historic buildings so be prepared to carry the small ones and take a munchkin carrier if you can. The ground floor of the King’s Tower is on a single level, but access to the dungeon and King’s Chambers are down steep and worn stairs, so again the little ones may struggle and it bears some planning.
Knaresborough town is a just short walk away from the castle where you can explore the riverside and see what else you can find along the charming cobbled streets. Lovely!
Ripley Castle 27.8 miles
Ripley Castle, built in 1345, is full of armour, priests hiding holes and lots of great histrorical things to look at. There are also beautiful gardens and a deer park which the smalls will love and a large tropical plant collection to saunter through. Lovely!
Jorvik Viking Centre
Turn your next day out into a discovery expedition back in time as you delve into York’s fascinating Viking legacy at JORVIK Viking Centre. This is your chance to come up close with a unique collection of 1,000-year-old artefacts, learn through cutting-edge technology, and chat with some friendly Viking hosts.
You and are invited to explore the 10th century Viking-Age City complete with all its sights, sounds and smells. You’ll see some of the world’s rarest Viking artefacts – from jewellery and socks to frying pans, and even a fossilised Viking poo; it doesn’t get any more real than that!
Another must-do part of your visit to JORVIK Viking Centre is the Coppergate site. There you’ll discover the best of modern archaeology, starting with a fully immersive display taking you back to the dig in the 1970s. It’s going to be a fun and educational day out for the whole family!
- A must-see attraction in York
- Entertaining and educational
- Meet friendly Viking hosts
Yorkshire Air Museum 5 miles
Experience the tremendous atmosphere of the award-winning Yorkshire Air Museum and Allied Air Forces Memorial whilst admiring fascinating displays, such as the restored Control Tower, Air Gunners Room, Archives, Airborne Forces Display, Squadron Memorial Rooms and Gardens and much more.
- 60+ historic aircraft and vehicles
- Evocative, authentic WWII airbase
- The only WWII Halifax bomber in Europe
- Informative, educational exhibitions exploring the history of flight
- 20-acre aircraft park and Memorial Gardens
Halifax Way, Elvington
Barley Hall 7.3 miles
Step into Barley Hall, a stunning medieval house that was even once home to the Priors of Nostell and the Mayor of York!
The building has been lovingly restored to its former glory, and you can marvel at the beautiful exposed wooden beams and it even features the only horn window in the whole of England. The house has even been decorated to resemble the Snawsell Home, so close your eyes and imagine you’re living in 1483, it won’t be hard considering where you are!
As you wander around this beautiful house, make sure you take a visit to the Great Hall, and don’t forget to have a look at all of the cool artefacts on display.
- Magnificent medieval house
- Loads of history to discover
- Plenty of things to see and do
2 Coffee Yard
Hemsworth Water Park and Playworld
There’s something cathartic about being close to water and wildlife and at Hemsworth Water Park and Playworld you get both!
With not one lake, but two you can grab your fishing tackle and choose between riding pedalos and docking on a sandy beach to a more secluded spot that’s ideal for wildlife spotting. If you can tear yourself away from the lakeside tranquility there’s an adventure playground in the site where children can speed down the tower slide, go up the climbing frame and toddlers can play in the sandpit.
Everything you need to make the most of the space is on site. Hire pedalos, paddleboards and canoes for just £1.00 per person, buy ice creams and bucket and spades from the beach shop and pick up your permit for all day fishing.
Enjoy an accessible and eclectic outdoor space!
Hoyle Mill Road, Kinsley
York Chocolate and Sweet Treasure Trail 7.3 miles
Get out and explore a different side of York with the York Chocolate and Sweet self-guided themed treasure trail!
Suitable for all ages, this trail is ideal for discovering more about the area you live or exploring somewhere new! Along the circular walk hunt for answers to solve the mystery of what happened to local chocolatier ‘Lotta Smarty’s’ as York’s sweet story unfolds. You can go at your own pace, however most people complete the 1.5-mile tour in around 1.5 hours.
The trail can be sent to you in the post or downloaded today for instant trialling fun! There are also free text clues to help you out long the way if you get stuck. You could also be in with a chance of winning some real treasure as every correct answer is entered into a monthly draw for £100!
This Trail can be instantly downloaded as a PDF file for same-day-Trailing-fun, or sent out to you in the post. See Treasure Trails website for more details.
Try something completely different with the family!
- One trail booklet is enough for 4/5 people
- Starts at York’s tourist information centre
- 10% off at York Cocoa House
Yorkshire Museum of Farming 5 miles
Yorkshire Museum of Farming is a great family attraction located in the 16 acre rural setting of Murton Park just outside York that covers the diverse agricultural history of the region from the first farming practices to present day. We have plenty for all ages to enjoy, including events and activities throughout the year.
Our collection is displayed in 2 main buildings, the Four Seasons Gallery and the Livestock Gallery. Both have fun interactive features for children! There are also a variety of open-air exhibits.
We have a collection of livestock kept on site, and visitors can get close to the animals to say hello. Given our rural setting there is also plenty of wildlife to see all year round!
With plenty of open space, Murton Park is great for letting off steam, especially with our adventure playground, toy tractors, and the Millennium walk around the site. The farmhouse cafe also has an outdoor dining area.
The Yorkshire Museum of Farming is also home to the Danelaw Centre for Living History. Apart from during school visiting hours, the reconstructed Viking Village and Roman Fort are available to explore. During the Summer Holidays, costumed interpreters will be on hand every day to lead activities. Also on site is the last remaining stretch of the historic Derwent Valley Light Railway, which visitors can ride on Sundays.
Murton Lane, Murton
Derwent Valley Light Railway 5 miles
The Derwent Valley Light Railway, which is also known as The Blackberry Line, is a heritage railway line running on about half a mile of the original track. If you’re a lover of trains, great news! You can ride as many times as you like on the day!
Fancy a step back into the the Wild Wild West? Then they have the coach for you: Sylvia! Ideal for a great photo opportunity. Kids and adults alike are able to use their imaginations and become Station Master at the ticket office, situated inside the unusual and lovely station building.
The day ticket for Murton Park also allows you to go between the Derwent Valley Light Railway and the many other attractions at Murton Park, as often as you like on the day. The Yorkshire Museum of Farming Museum has two indoor galleries, Four Seasons and Livestock, with fun interactive features for children as well as outdoor exhibits, animals and a nature trail.
Travel further back in time by visiting the full scale reconstructed Viking Village on Murton Park, so that you can experience how the Vikings used to live when the area was part of Danelaw, a region inhabited by the Danes.
Please note that when planning your visit to Derwent Valley Light Railway, you should be aware that the outdoor areas of the site are, in places, uneven and can be slippery in some weather conditions. As a consequence, some areas may be unsuitable for some wheelchairs or mobility aids. Please contact the attraction for further information.
Yorkshire Museum of Farming, Murton Lane, Murton
York Castle Museum 6.9 miles
York Castle Museum is one of Britain’s leading museums of everyday life in Historic England, but especially Historic York. It shows how people used to live by displaying thousands of household objects and by recreating rooms, shops, streets and even prison cells!
The museum, which opened in 1938, was named after the former York Castle, which stood on the site. It is best known for its recreated Victorian street, Kirkgate, amongst the castle walls. There really is something here for everyone, as it’s rich with history dating back to the 18th century Victorian Era, with its cobbled street, to spooky criminals whose history makes an appearance, then right into the 20th century swinging sixties. The York Castle Museum also has numerous displays and collections of historic toys, fashion, armour, weapons, tools, printing presses, cooking utensils, farming equipment and much more! Giving anyone the chance to learn about York’s historic past and with their innovative displays.
A fan favourite of the York Museum is Kirkgate, a Victorian street that literally brings history back to life and it’s one of the oldest recreated indoor streets of its kind in the entire world! It may have also been the first to open in Britain too. It combines real shop fittings and stock with modern sound and light effects, to evoke an atmosphere of Victorian Britain. Once you’ve had your fun at Kirkgate visiting the shops and talking to costumed guides, you can. make your way to the York Castle Prison. Which was part of the Castle buildings and once a Georgian Prison, home to some tragic history. Infamous for its residents and its rough conditions, terrible justice and harsh punishments. Especially their execution process. Conditions in the overcrowded prison were harsh and brutal and the real stories of the prisoners and staff are told in sometimes gruesome detail, so watch out for that if your kids are a bit sensitive!
The museum’s past as two prison buildings is also explored here in York Castle Prison, where visitors come face to face with ex-prisoners including highwayman Dick Turpin, who was hanged in 1739 for horse theft. Turpin spent his last six months in the Debtors’ Prison, which was built in 1705 and today houses half of the museum’s displays. The other half of the museum was originally the Female Prison, built-in 1783.
But other than the tragic history of the prisons, York Castle Museum is the place to be and an incredible family day out if you love a bit of history and admiring the architecture of York’s historic buildings and streets.
Eye of York
City Sightseeing York Hop on Hop off Tour 6.7 miles
York is a medieval city with stunning views and a healthy dose of Viking influence for good measure. See it all on a City Sightseeing York Hop on Hop off Tour.
The recommended route kicks off at York Minster: a Gothic cathedral in the heart of the city and one of the largest in Northern Europe. Next up? Clifford’s Tower, up which you’ll climb a twisty-turny staircase to the top and its amazing views. You and your youngsters can make like conquering heroes as you look out over your domain, before a short walk to The Jorvic Viking Centre which is filled with interactive galleries and animatronics. Horned hat? Check! Animal furs? Check! You’re ready for a Viking adventure!
Other worthwhile sights include The Stonebow and York Racecourse, or the Museum Gardens which are the perfect spot for a stroll as you enjoy the local flora. The 13th-century Guild House is also an impressive sight, just be sure to wrap it all up with a cup of tea and some cake at one of York’s traditional tea rooms.
23 Hospital Fields Road, Fulford
Burnby Hall Gardens 6.1 miles
We offer delightful Gardens nice and close to the centre of Pocklington so easy to access and home to a National Collection of Hardy Water Lilies, the biggest collection of it’s kind to be found in a natural setting in Europe! The 2 lakes that contain the lilies are set in eight acres of beautiful gardens: including rock gardens, a natural shrubbery, formal beds, the Secret Garden, a Victorian Garden and many other fascinating elements too!
They also offer special outdoor concerts in the grounds, and regular events such as falconry displays and those children’s game days we mentioned, so call or check ahead for details especially if the holidays are coming up, it is definitely worth planning your visit to coincide with something special!
Step into York’s fascinating past and journey through 2000 years of history with an immersive adventure at York Dungeon. 11 live shows and a whole cast of actors will bring some of the city’s darkest stories to life, but don’t worry – there’s a humorous twist to it all, so expect laughs, screams and tonnes of fun!
Your 75-minute walk-through experience will bring you face to face with some of York’s most iconic characters – from Guy Fawkes and Margaret Clitherow, to the infamous highwayman, Dick Turpin. You’ll even meet Isabella Billington, who might just turn out to be a real witch…
York Dungeon offers a family experience that will excite history buffs of all ages. Whether you’re standing in front of a horrible judge, facing a merciless torturer, or on your way to meet an executioner – you’ll be fully immersed in the story unfolding around you. Are you ready to uncover the real history of York?
- 2000 years of history
- Immersive walk-through experience
- 11 exciting live shows to see
12 Clifford Street