15 of the best places to visit in Yorkshire

'God's Country' has a multitude of heritage sights, renowned museums and galleries, crumbling castles and some stunning natural wonders.

The gothic glory of York Minster. (Picture: Shutterstock)
The gothic glory of York Minster. (Picture: Shutterstock)

From gothic York Minster to famous film-sets, here are some of the must-visit attractions in Yorkshire.

(York Minster, Deangate, York, YO1 7HH)

Brimham Rocks, Yorkshire. (Picture: Shutterstock)

York Minster is a gothic beauty to behold on a grand scale and its magnificent stained-glass windows are a must-see. The Great East Window had a major restoration in 2018. This vast cathedral has Roman roots and played a role in Viking York.

(West Bretton, Wake?eld WF4 4LG)

This incredible sculpture park is the UK's leading open air gallery and spans 500 acres of the Bretton Estate. The Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle includes the Henry Moore Institute, Hepworth Wakefield and Leeds Art Gallery. If you only have time for one, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park has the bronze Henry Moore sculptures in a beautiful woodland setting as well as major temporary exhibitions. It welcomes over 3000,000 visitors a year and is easy to get to, located just off the M1.

Whitby Abbey at sunset. (Picture: Shutterstock)

(Leeman Rd, York YO26 4XJ)

Train-spotters will love this museum which houses the largest collection of railway objects in the world. There's a huge former steam locomotive depot and kids can climb on board carriages and experience the sights and sounds of an old rail station in the Station Hall. They also have a Royal Train collection.

(Nr Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 4ET)

A fairytale setting often used as a film location, Bolton Castle has a maze, a wild boar park and archery demonstrations. It's so well preserved you can see the old kitchens, dungeon, and Mary, Queen of Scots' bedroom. There are also flying displays with hawks,owls and a falcon.

The atmospheric ruins of Whitby Abbey form the centrepiece of the famous Whitby Goth Weekend. The abbey overlooks the sea and inspired Caedmon the first English poet and Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula. There's a revamped museum and afterwards you can take a walk down the 199 stone steps to the fishing harbour below and the stunning beach.

(19 Coppergate, York YO1 9WT)

The Jorvik Viking Centre is a must-see for history fans and anyone keen on immersive experiences. It shows the ancient site of Jorvik with houses, workshops and backyards of the 1000-year-old Viking city. It's a groundbreaking reconstruction where you can experience the sights, sounds and smells of the Viking Age.

(Branton, Doncaster DN4 6TB)

With leopards, lemurs, polar bears and wallabies, Yorkshire Wildlife Park is fantastic for a walk-through wildlife adventure. You can get up close and personal with the animals with a meet the animal experience. Most of the 70 species at the park are either endangered or threatened and they work with charities to ensure conservation.

Malham Cove

(Malham, Skipton BD23 4DJ)

One of Yorkshire's natural wonders, Harry Potter fans won't want to miss the famous Malham Cove where Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was filmed. The limestone formation also inspired Helm's Deep in Lord of the Rings. The cliff face is 260 feet high and above the cove there's a striking area of extremely corroded limestone paving.

RHS Garden Harlow Carr(Crag Lane, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate HG3 1QB)

The rambling valley garden of Harlow Carr extends to 68 acres with one of the longest stream-side gardens in the country. The RHS run garden makes a colourful visit in every season with everything from woodland to wildflower meadows. There's also a hedgehog-friendly garden, an alpine house and kitchen garden.

(Brimham Moor Road, Summerbridge, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 4DW)

Now cared for by the National Trust, these dramatic moorland rock formations are perfect for exploring on a walk. It's thought they were created 100 million years ago. The weird and wonderful shapes take on familiar creatures and visitors can spot the Dancing Bear, the Gorilla, the Eagle and the Turtle and balance on the Rocking Stones.

Ilkley Moor is a spectacular heather moorland with views over Ilkley and the valley below. It inspired the famous folk song, On Ilkla Moor. It’s an area full of wildlife and rare plants and you can enjoy heritage walks covering neolithic sites, the Cow and Calf Rocks and the Cup and Ring Stones.

(RSPB Bempton Cliffs, Cliff Ln, Bridlington YO15 1JF)

Bempton Cliffs is a nature reserve run by the RSPB. Perfect for bird-lovers, it's a spectacular part of the Yorkshire coast and home to half a million seabirds in summer who raise their families on the high chalk cliffs overlooking the North Sea.

(North Bay, Scarborough YO12 7TR)

Peasholm is an oriental-themed park in Scarborough. With a lake, boats you can hire, a bandstand where concerts take place in the summer and a beautiful pagoda, it's famous for its galas and exhibitions. Entrance to the park is free.

(High St, Hull HU1 1PS)

Hull is home to the Streetlife Museum where you can see the funky Gardner-Serpollet Steam Car of 1901, walk down a 1940s high street, board a tram or enjoy a carriage ride or vintage car ride. It's a unique collection of all forms of transport and a great day out.


The lively medieval market town of Beverley has a thriving music scene, a racecourse, and medieval buildings with its 13th-century Minster. Known as the jewel of East Yorkshire, it has a great variety of independent shops and atmospheric historic pubs.