Top ten family days out in Yorkshire
PUBLISHED: 13:00 09 March 2015 | UPDATED: 13:50 30 April 2016
Forget lazy and get crazy with our 10 tips for top family days out
Cannon Hall Farm, Barnsley
A winner of Welcome to Yorkshire’s Tourism Experience of the Year title, this popular farm destination attracts almost a quarter of a million peoplea year.
It boasts a £500,000 children’s playground, with a climbing forest and tube maze, ferret and sheep racing (not against each other), sheepdog displays and falconry. Planning permission has also been granted for further developments to the tune of £5 million, including a new farmyard, indoor play space, farm shop as well as an extended tea room.
Cannon Hall Farm, Bark House Lane, Cawthorne, Barnsley, S75 4AT 01226 790427 cannonhallfarm.com. Open every day except Christmas.
Harewood House, Leeds
Harewood is one of the treasure houses of England. Built in the 18th century, it has art collections to rival the finest in the land and also boasts a renowned bird garden, a very adventurous adventure playground and more than 100 acres of glorious gardens.
It hosts numerous events and activities throughout the year, see the website for details.
Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds, LS17 9LG (LS17 9LQ for sat nav)
0113 218 1010 harewood.org.
Eureka! in Halifax
Children and museums often go together like elephants and pogo-sticks, but Eureka! in Halifax is different. This is the National Children’s Museum, where everything has been designed to inspire youngsters to find out about themselves and the world around them through hundreds of hands-on exhibits.They can see their own skeleton, catch a wave, save a polar bear and build a house before grabbing a quick bite to eat and venturing outdoors into the recently-added PlayScape.
Eureka!, Discovery Road, Halifax, HX1 2NE 01422 330069; eureka.org.uk.
Lightwater Valley, Ripon
There are thrills and spills aplenty at Lightwater Valley, set in 175 acres of North Yorkshire parkland and home to Europe’s longest rollercoaster – the hurtling horror that is The Ultimate. If you love mind-blowing rides (or enjoy watching your nearest and dearest scream), you’ll appreciate the dizzying heights of Whirlwind, the spinning explosions of Powder Kegs, the mysterious world of Raptor Attack, the raging torrents of Wild River Rapids and the powerful grip of Eagle’s Claw. Needless to say, it’s probably best to leave granny at home.
Lightwater Valley, North Stainley, Ripon, HG4 3UT 0871 720 0011 lightwatervalley.co.uk.
The Forbidden Corner, Middleham
The word strange doesn’t quite do justice to the wonderful weirdness of The Forbidden Corner, a fantasy world of tunnels, follies and surprises in the beautiful surroundings of Tupgill Park in the Yorkshire Dales.
It was the brainchild of Colin Armstrong, who built it as a private folly in the 1980s and opened it to the public – a tad reluctantly – in 1994. Around 100 people popped along on opening day, and it now welcomes around 100,000 visitors a year.
The Forbidden Corner, Tupgill Park Estate, Middleham, Leyburn, DL8 4TJ 01969 640638 theforbiddencorner.co.uk.
National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield
It’s not every day you get the opportunity to travel 140 metres underground but, then again, the National Coal Mining Museum for England is not an everyday attraction.
Situated in a rural setting, it offers an unusual combination of excitement as you venture down into one of Britain’s oldest working mines and genuine historical insight into the sometimes dangerous and hard-working lives of miners throug the ages.
National Coal Mining Museum, Caphouse Colliery, New Road, Overton, Wakefield, WF4 4RH 01924 848806 ncm.org.uk.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Glorious steam engines take visitors through 18 miles of stunning countryside, stopping at picturesque stations along the way including Pickering, Whitby, Grosmont, Goathland and Levisham.
The railway is famous all over the world, partly because it was used as a location for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with Goathland station standing in for Hogsmeade, where the young wizard arrives to start his unusual education. The railway’s shop on the platform was transformed into the Prefect’s Room and the ladies’ toilets became the Wizard’s Room.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway, 12 Park Street, Pickering, YO18 7AJ 01751 472508 nymr.co.uk. Full timetables online.
Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife & Falconry Centre, Sheffield
Not just for fans of fluttery butterflies, this is a full-on, wild day out. You can get close to lots of free-roaming animals, handle exotic snakes and magnificent birds of prey and feed marmoset monkeys, lorikeets and many more amazing creatures.
Tropical Butterfly House, Woodsetts Road, North Anston, Sheffield, S25 4EQ 01909 569416 butterflyhouse.co.uk.
Flamingo Land, Malton
This family adventure park has more than 100 rides, including the UK’s only motorbike launch rollercoaster, and the UK’s largest privately-owned zoo, home to exotic species like giraffes, lions, rhinoceros and tigers.
For those with a taste for something more spine-tingling than the Tea Cups, you could hop on Mumbo Jumbo, the world’s steepest rollercoaster, which features a force in excess of 4g – close to that experienced by jet fighter pilots. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
Flamingo Land, Kirby Misperton, Malton, YO17 6UX 0871 911 8000 flamingoland.co.uk.
Royal Amouries, Leeds
The Royal Armouries is Britain’s national museum of arms and armour.
There are more than 8,500 objects on display in Leeds, encapsulated in five fascinating galleries: war, tournament, oriental, self-defence and hunting.
You can discover the world of the warrior through the ages from the medieval knight to the modern-day soldier and get within skewering distance of arms and armour from around the globe, which includes Henry VIII’s personal tournament garnitures, the exquisitely-decorated protective plates of the Japanese shoguns as well as the world record-breaking elephant armour.
Royal Armouries, Armouries Drive, Leeds, LS10 1LT 0113 220 1999 royalarmouries.org