Ten of the best family days out in Yorkshire
PUBLISHED: 12:02 07 July 2014 | UPDATED: 12:50 07 July 2014
Yorkshire days out for children and the young at heart
When the sun comes out, it’s only a matter of time before families follow suit. After a long winter (and chilly spring) cooped up together in the house, there’s something very liberating about a family jaunt. But how do you decide where to go? Well, to stop any bickering before it starts, we’ve come up with ten tantalising family-friendly destinations for you (just bring us back a novelty pencil as a thank you).
Stockeld Park, Wetherby
The Summer Adventure Zone at this magical country park is open from July 19th to September 1st every day from 10am to 6pm (last entry 4pm), and from 10am to 8pm on Saturday to include a two-hour roller disco (last entry 6pm).
Yorkshire Day (Friday August 1st) promises to be a biggie this year, with a giant tea party with the Mad Hatter, face-painting, glitter tattoos (no, we didn’t know they existed either), bun decorating, magic tricks and the chance to meet Fairy Enchantica.
01937 586101; stockeldpark.co.uk
Heeley City Farm, Sheffield
This is a relaxing slice of countryside life in the heart of the city, where you can meet friendly animals, run riot in the playground, browse the garden, learn how to live sustainably and enjoy some healthy vegan and vegetarian food.
It might seem a bit worthy – like a plate full of quinoa and mung beans – but it’s actually a lovely little place that wears its heart on its sleeve in a very good way.
0114 258 0482; heeleyfarm.org.uk
Fountains Abbey, Ripon
A World Heritage Site set in 800 acres of beautiful countryside, this magnificent 12th century abbey provides an awesome backdrop for a picnic.
You can then run off your sarnies and pop with a visit to the deer park, sign up for a kite-making workshop, explore the landscape via geocaching, sneak up on a few birds with your binoculars or indulge in a spot of den-building.
01765 608888; nationaltrust.org.uk
Flamingoland, Kirby Misperton
Journey through The Lost Kingdom’s vast African plains, the clear blue skies of Swoosh! and the wet and wacky world of Splosh! for an adrenaline-fuelled day of screaming (with both laughter and unadulterated terror).
If extreme rides aren’t for you, there’s still the zoo, junior carousels, 4D cinema, play areas and live entertainment.
0871 911 8000; flamingoland.co.uk
National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield
Working down a coal mine is no one’s idea of a fun day out, but visiting the National Coal Mining Museum definitely is.
This is your chance to go time-travelling deep underground, discovering a hidden world of mining through the centuries as well as exploring original colliery buildings, enjoying a nature trail and saying hello to some of the cutest ponies in the world.
01924 848806; ncm.org.uk
Filey Bird Garden & Animal Park
This five-acre, family run park has been specifically designed with families in mind. It gives children of all ages and abilities the chance to meet and feed a variety of friendly animals in spacious paddocks, from giant rabbits and woolly alpacas to spotty pigs and miniature ponies.
There are also plenty of birds to watch, from the exotic to the familiar – some slightly over-familiar, like the turkeys who enjoy a bit of a chat (although their idea of chatting involves saying ‘gobble, gobble’ on repeat).
01723 514439; fileybirdgarden.com
Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington
As we’re commemorating the centenary of the First World War, it might be a good idea to give children a real insight into past conflicts at the largest independent air museum in Britain.
Situated in 20-acres of parkland on the former Second World War RAF Bomber Command Station at Elvington on the outskirts of York, it’s home to more than 60 historic aircraft and vehicles, many of which are in full working order.
01904 608595; yorkshireairmuseum.org
North Bay Miniature Railway, Scarborough
You don’t have to be a train-spotter to see the fun that can be had at the most historic seaside miniature railway in the UK.
Now in its 83rd year, there have been trains operating in North Bay since 1931, taking passengers round Peasholm Park to Scalby Mills station and back again. New for this year is a high-level Sky Trail rope bridge climbing course – not for the faint-hearted (or loose-gripped).
01723 368791; nbr.org.uk
Ripley Castle & Garden
The highly knowledgeable guides at Ripley Castle, which has been in the same family for more than 700 years, have tailor-made a tour especially for children, with the emphasis firmly on entertainment, engagement and fun.
The tour round the castle and gardens takes about 45 minutes and is geared towards children aged 5-16 (accompanied by an adult).
01423 770152; ripleycastle.co.uk
Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster
How would you like to take a foot safari along 800m of pathways through Lion Country or watch three endangered Amur tigers take a shower in their very own waterfall?
Well, what if we threw in a few leopards exercising on a giant climbing frame and a bunch of lovable meerkats mucking about in their own manor house?
01302 535057; yorkshirewildlifepark.com