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There you have it, 11 great ideas for day trips from York, England. From hiking adventures to indulgent destinations, you have a variety to choose from to fit your mood and relaxation needs.
York is an amazing city with old streets and Gothic buildings that add a medieval charisma to the city. This makes it a great option for a day trip from London.
But, the city’s charming characteristics also make it a great home base for a vacation, especially if you grab a York Pass. It’s a fantastic jumping-off point for explorations into some nearby places to visit around York. You will find history and culture in abundance.
Plus, there are reliable transport options, tons of tours to enjoy, as well as plenty of things to do and see. Keep reading and get to grips with the best day trips from York.
York to Castleford
Archaeological evidence indicates that Castleford was built upon an ancient Roman army settlement, called Lagentium, The Place of Swordsmen.
This town is an all-rounder with a variety of attractions ranging from the home Super League team and Burberry’s origin to Europe’s largest indoor snow slope.
How to get to Castleford from York
It’s not difficult to get to Castleford from York. You can grab a train from York, which will take you roughly one hour. Or you can book a taxi or take a car for a 30 to 40-minute journey. If you’re not from around York, renting a car is a good option, then you can zip around at your own pace.
Top Things to Do and See in Castleford
Winter sports fans will love Snozone. The venue offers private and group lessons for beginners and is a firm favourite for snowboarders and skiers, from novice to advanced.
Another great spot to visit, especially if you’re travelling with kids, is Diggerland. Operating a real digger is probably one of those things you’ve never thought to put on your bucket list, but think about it, doesn’t it sound like fun? Plus, there are also other rides like the thrilling Spindizzy and lofty Skyshuttle to enjoy.
For construction’s opposite, head to the RSPB Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve for some serene wildlife watching. And for culture, pop to the Castleford Bridge for a graceful, curving walk over the River Aire.
York to Doncaster
Located at the south of Yorkshire, Doncaster is one of the best places to go near York for horse racing, Georgian architecture, and railway heritage. You’d be surprised to know that Jeremy Clarkson, former host of BBC TV series Top Gear, was born in this town in 1960.
How to get to Doncaster from York
You can travel by train, car, or taxi. A train ride will take you about 20 minutes whereas a car or taxi ride will be about 45 minutes to an hour.
Top Things to Do and See in Doncaster
Meander through Yorkshire Wildlife Park to experience a unique walk-through of the world’s most unique and endangered species, like black rhino, tigers, and polar bears. Place your bets at the Doncaster Racecourse and Exhibition Centre, or take in a live music concert while enjoying the venue.
Architecture admirers must-visit Cusworth Hall museum, an 18th-century country house with Georgian influence. Or, you can always enjoy tea and titbits at Brodsworth Hall while taking in 15 acres of stunning, manicured gardens. You’ll feel like a Lady, even if you only manage to explore the servant’s wing (accessible 7 days a week).
York to Durham
Although close to famed Newcastle, Durham is not to be outshined. Durham is a city filled with fun activities, walking trails, and medieval history. From the River Wear to the interesting Crook Hall with its gardens and maze, you’ll find something to interest you at every quarter.
How to get to Durham from York
Durham is further away than some of the other day trips from York. A train ride will take about 45 minutes of your time. A car or taxi trip will take around an 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Top Things to Do and See in Durham
Durham Cathedral is one of the top attractions near York. As St Cuthbert’s final resting place, many come to visit the church to celebrate the saint. A historical guided walking tour will give you all the details.
The University of Durham also offers some Eastern treasures at the Oriental Museum on Elvet Hill. You’ll see extraordinary art and archaeological collections from the East, including China, Japan, India, and Tibet.
The Durham University Botanic Garden is also a must-see with its impressive glasshouses and variety of plant exhibits from all over the world. If creepy crawlies interest you (i.e. don’t freak you out) you’ll also appreciate the scorpion, tropical bug, stick insect, and tarantula displays.
York to Haworth
Haworth is the land for feminists and Gothic fiction lovers. Known as Brontë country, Haworth is one of the most famous villages in Yorkshire. If you grew up flipping through Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, you’ll love Haworth – even better when you find out it’s also a hub of many festivals and activities.
How to get to Haworth from York
You can get a train from York to Haworth that will take you via Leeds for about a one hour and 40-minute journey. Taking a car will take about an hour and 20.
Top Things to Do and See in Haworth
The Brontë Parsonage Museum is number one on the Haworth to-do list. You can’t visit without paying respects to the three sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, at their lifelong home.
You can book the Brontë’s Parsonage Tour from York and walk through their home, experiencing a day in the life of a Brontë sister. You can also roam the gardens where the sisters spent their summers.
The Brontë Parsonage Museum also has a great arts programme so there’s usually something going on, like talks, events, and festivals. Try and plan your Yorkshire day trip in line with one of these events.
Foodies will love The Hawthorn, a Georgian-period-inspired gastropub that offers “proper” British food. And, a variety of lagers, beers, ciders, wine, and real ales to wash it down with. They also offer menus for vegans and children.
Check here for the best day trips from York to Haworth:
York to Lake District
Lake District offers some spectacular mountains and hiking trails. The highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike, sits here as well as some nice, easy walks for beginners.
If you hate leaving your dogs behind when you take a trip, Lake District is for you. It’s pet-friendly and easy to reach, making it a fun and inclusive destination.
How to get to Lake District from York:
The quickest way to get there is by car – it’ll take you about two hours and 15 minutes. By train, you’re looking at between three and four hours.
Top Things to Do and See in Lake District
Lake District isn’t known as a top UK city break for nothing. The beautiful scenery and surroundings inspired the likes of Beatrix Potter. If you’re a fan, take the Beatrix Potter Tour. You’ll see the Hill Top Farm, where she wrote many of her famous children’s stories and the local village of Hawkshead.
This area has a huge number of natural wonders to explore, like the Lake District National Park, 16 glacial lakes, nearby peaks, and the impressive waterfall, Aira Force.
Aside from nature, there is also the ancient Neolithic Castlerigg Stone Circle to visit as well as the food culture to experience. Try out the Wild Strawberry restaurant for some chocolatey buckwheat crepes filled with crumbled brownies.
Check here for the best day trips from York to Lake District:
York to North York Moors National Park
North York Moors is home to picturesque villages, historic abbeys, interesting sights, and some truly decadent food and vibrant art. The area’s National Park is noteworthy for having one of the largest stretches of heather moorland on the continent.
How to get to North York Moors National Park from York:
By car, you can reach North York Moors National Park in roughly 45 minutes. You can also take a bus from York, which would take you an hour and a half.
Top Things to Do and See in North York Moors National Park
The National Park offers magical woodlands, stunning moors, and a gorgeous coastline, dotted with cliffs, sandy beaches, and rocky shores. If you’re lucky, you might meet Britain’s smallest bird of prey, the Merlin, and other wildlife. The area is also rich with heritage and history.
The North York Moors National Park is huge so it’s great that they offer train travel within the park itself. You can take a steam train from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway – one of England’s favourite heritage railways.
If you want to have a touch of variety in your day trip, why not book a tour that encompasses the North York Moors, Helmsley, and Whitby? That way, you get to experience more of England on your York day trip out.
Check here for the best day trips from York to North York Moors National Park:
York to Saltaire
Saltaire has an industrial heritage and was built in a charming Victorian-style, meaning it has charm and beauty. The village was founded by Sir Titus Salt in 1833. The village’s name came from the combination of Sir Titus’ surname and the river that runs through the village.
How to get to Saltaire from York
You can expect an hour and 15-minute drive from York to Saltaire. By train, it will take you under an hour.
Top Things to Do and See in Saltaire
One of the major landmarks of this area is the Salts Mill. The mill combines retail therapy, art, and dining all in one historic building. Appreciate the artwork of David Hockney in the 1853 Gallery and enjoy fine dining in Salt Mill.
If you fancy a pint with character, head to the Salt Beer Factory to experience their interactive brewery and hop-forward beers.
For some religious inspiration, check out the Saltaire United Reformed Church. It sits on the Saltaire World Heritage Site and is a Grade I listed building. If you like old architecture, this is the ideal destination for a day out near York
York to Sheffield
Award-winning theatre, independent eateries and microbreweries, and the great outdoors – just a few of the things you can expect from Sheffield. Picture a modern cityscape set against a gorgeous natural background, such as the Peak District National Park – it’s spectacular.
How to get to Sheffield from York
Driving will take you an hour and 15 to get to Sheffield from York. By train, you can budget between an hour and 10 minutes and an hour 20 minutes.
Top Things to Do and See in Sheffield
First, there’s a lot to do in terms of nature. Graves Park is Sheffield’s largest public green space with an animal farm housing several rare breeds of farm animals. If the farm isn’t your flavour, there’s the 19-acre Botanical Gardens that showcases over 5 000 plant species.
The late-Gothic Sheffield Cathedral is on the sightseeing list with its curious origins as a parish church dating back to 1100. Art enthusiasts will enjoy the Millenium Gallery with its contemporary art and steelwork.
The gallery is nearby the grand Lyceum and Crucible theatres, which are great places to take in a show. If you’re in Sheffield around April or May, you can even catch some of the World Snooker Championship that’s held annually at the Crucible.
York to Whitby
A seaside town that’s overlooked by an old ruined abbey, Whitby has a wealth of ambience and personality. This ethereal atmosphere is compounded by the misty sea spray and clifftops.
How to get to Whitby from York
From York to Whitby will take you an hour and 15 minutes by car. If you opt to travel by train and bus, you can expect to be en route for anywhere between two hours and 20 minutes to three hours.
Top Things to Do and See in Whitby
Whitby’s almost-spooky appearance may be one of the reasons Bram Stoker set horror novel Dracula here. Curiously, the people reinforce this “horror” feel, because in October every year, Whitby is invaded by Goths, for the annual Whitby Goth Weekend. If you enjoy studying your fellow humans’ subcultures, visit in October.
Whitby’s wild yet tame coastline is another reason to venture here for one of your York day trips away. You’ll find amusement arcades and beaches. Head to the West Cliff Beach to see the colourful beach huts and golden sands for yourself.
You can also learn the history of famed navigator Captain James Cook, who mapped New Zealand and discovered Australia’s east coast. Take a tour to see the place he grew up and to visit the ruined Whitby Abbey.
Check here for the best day trips from York to Whitby:
York to Yorkshire Dales
The Yorkshire Dales is an area in the Pennines in Yorkshire. It’s great for a peaceful retreat from the stresses of life. The Dales are home to beautiful scenery, magnificent castles, and a tranquil atmosphere. One of the more scenic day trips Yorkshire has to offer.
How to get to Yorkshire Dales from York
Getting to the Yorkshire Dales National Park will take you just over an hour by car.
Top Things to Do and See in Yorkshire Dales
Most of the Yorkshire Dales are found within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, established in 1952. In the park, you’ll see the unique limestone formation, Malham Cove and the triple flight Aysgarth Falls.
The region is shrouded in history with tons of historical monuments and attractions to see. Splash about in a boat on River Nidd at Bolton Abbey Priory. Or, explore the labyrinth at statue-riddled Forbidden Corner.
There is a real community spirit in the Dales so if you hit a wrong turn at any point, don’t be shy to ask for help.
Check here for the best day trips from York to Yorkshire Dales:
York to Yorkshire Wolds
Some people when they hear “Wolds”, automatically think of the Cotswolds. Some are surprised when they learn that Yorkshire has its very own “Wolds”.
This is perfect if you prefer an off-the-beaten-track day trip in Yorkshire, as this area is lesser-known compared to the Moors and Dales.
How to get to Yorkshire Wolds from York:
From York to the Yorkshire Wolds Railway, you can expect a 40-minute drive. If you like getting your heart rate up, you can cycle there in just over two hours.
Top Things to Do and See in Yorkshire Wolds
The Wolds have some curious natural attractions. The Gypsey Race is an intermittent waterway that passes through the Great Wold Valley.
You can also get your hiking boots on and hit the Yorkshire Wolds National Trail. Just a bit of it though, because completing the whole trail would take more than one day.
Visit the second highest village in the Wolds (165 metres above sea level) to investigate one of England’s deepest wells. According to local legends, it would take two fit and strong men over 15 minutes to retrieve one bucket of water from this well. You’ll never complain about doing the dishes again.
For the spiritual at heart, there’s the Madhyamaka Meditation Centre. Day visitors can explore the centre’s serene grounds and take part in guided meditations. A great way to recharge and re-centre.
Best Places to Visit Near York – Some Final Thoughts
There you have it, 11 great ideas for day trips from York – all in one post. From hiking adventures to indulgent destinations, you have a variety to choose from to fit your mood and relaxation needs.
The best part is that since these are all day trips, you can pick one, some or all of these places near York for a day trip. Saturdays will never be the same.
If you’re planning a multi-stop trip that includes a stop in the capital, why not check out these 30+ day trips from London.