Things to do in North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire, a region filled with quaint market towns, ancient ruins, and spectacular national parks, is a haven for tourists looking for a mix of outdoor and indoor attractions.
Only a stone's throw away from Haven’s Yorkshire holiday parks, there's an abundance of interesting and fun things to do. Activities range from exploring natural wonders to discovering unique museums and historical landmarks. Whatever the weather, there’s no reason to be bored in this beautiful region.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Whitby / Pickering
Board a heritage steam train at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and journey through the heart of the scenic North Yorkshire Moors National Park from Whitby to Pickering and back.
The 24-mile journey, passing through charming stations and idyllic countryside, is an ideal way to take in the landscape. Engage with the historical exhibits at the railway stations for an in-depth understanding of the region's railway heritage.
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden, Ripon
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden features one of the largest and best-preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England.
The enchanting water garden adds to the site's charm, with beautifully landscaped features, ornamental lakes, and mirror-like ponds. This serene setting is perfect for strolls and picnics. For kids, there’s an adventure playground and deer to spot.
The Abbey and grounds are dog-friendly, so long as you keep your pet on the lead.
Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo, Malton
Combining a thrilling theme park with a modern, well-kept zoo, Flamingo Land offers a fun-filled day out. It boasts a range of exciting rides, suitable for all ages, and a diverse zoo featuring exotic animals, from giraffes and tigers to penguins and flamingos.
The park also plays host to summer concerts and the bravest can take a ride on the 10 Inversion rollercoaster including corkscrews and loop-the-loops. Don’t attempt this immediately after lunch!
Yorkshire Dales National Park
For outdoor enthusiasts, the Yorkshire Dales National Park is a paradise of limestone formations, green valleys, dry stone walls, and open moorland.
There's an array of activities to enjoy, from hiking and cycling to fishing and wildlife watching. With a myriad of well-marked trails, it's a great place for an active day out. In many parts of the park, you can let your dog roam free but be cautious during lambing season and follow the advice on any signs.
The World of James Herriot, Thirsk
One of Yorkshire’s most beloved authors is celebrated in this themed museum. Built within the original practice of the famed country vet turned author, it’s a unique, multi-award-winning museum. It provides a fascinating insight into the life and times of James Herriot and the era in which he lived.
If you have a would-be vet in the family, this is a must-see, and fans of the popular TV series based on his books - All Creatures Great and Small - will enjoy the memorabilia on display.
Considered one of the top things to do in North Yorkshire, a visit to Castle Howard is a step into the past. As one of Britain's finest stately homes, it features grand interiors and beautiful gardens. The house has been featured in numerous film and TV productions, most notably Brideshead Revisited.
On site there’s an adventure playground, ornate gardens, and the Castle holds regular events including horticultural tours, gin tastings, and children’s magic shows. The cafe is excellent and there’s a garden centre, gift shop, and farm shop to explore too. Souvenir hunters will not go home empty handed!
RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Harrogate
Owned and run by the Royal Horticultural Society, Harlow Carr offers 58 acres of stunning landscapes to explore. From lush woodland and a lovely children's play area, to its contemporary kitchen garden, the grounds teem with colourful blooms and alpine plants, to the sounds of a trickling stream.
The garden’s tranquil setting makes for a serene day out in North Yorkshire. The nearby city of Harrogate is well worth a visit too, with its Victorian spa and neighbouring, quaint market towns. Plan to make a day of it.
Ingleton Waterfalls Trail
Get back to nature with this hidden North Yorks gem. The Ingleton Waterfalls Trail is a delightful walk through ancient oak woodland and stunning geological formations. The trail highlights a series of beautiful waterfalls, with each turn revealing a new scenic vista.
This tranquil walk is one of the most charming outdoor things to do in North Yorkshire.
Ripon Cathedral, Ripon
With a history dating back over 1300 years, Ripon Cathedral is a remarkable combination of ancient and modern. Its impressive facade, ancient crypt, and beautifully decorated interior make it a spiritual and architectural landmark.
If you enjoy choral singing, the cathedral has a proud musical tradition, and holds regular concerts and a wide programme of events for kids including “Animal Tales and Trails” every Tuesday morning during the summer holidays.