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With its picturesque and varied landscape, Yorkshire is the perfect backdrop for a family holiday crammed full of activity. The largest county in the UK offers everything from cycling and walking to rock climbing, caving and water sports, and no matter your level of experience, you can be sure to find something that will suit all of you. There are countless guides and maps to help you find your way, or you can opt for a more structured activity with guidance from a professional.
Sturdy shoes and reliable outdoor clothing is the name of the game here to let you take full advantage of the fresh air and open spaces no matter what happens with the weather. But once you are all exhausted and ready for a change of pace, then head to any of the stunning towns or cities for a bite to eat, a dose of culture and to pick up those all-important postcards. Voted the third best place to visit in the world by Lonely Planet, this is a county that is worth exploring and will see you returning to time and time again.
Sian Reynold's guide to activity holidays
Harrogate Climbing Centre
Whether you're already an experienced climber looking to brush up on your skills, or climbing is something that you want to try together as a family, heading to Harrogate Climbing Centre is a good bet. Catering for a wide range of abilities and with sessions ideally suited for families you can climb to your heart’s content, refuel at the café and then head out to explore the beautiful city. Partnered with the National Trust at Brimham Rocks, you can also experience climbing nature's very own adventure playground with help from fully qualified instructors.
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Pennine Way Geocache trails
Geocaching is rapidly gaining in popularity, appealing to all age ranges. Go on your own treasure hunt searching for hidden caches using GPS and Ordnance Survey maps; once you find the box, record your visit in the log, take a treasure and leave another one in its place for the next discoverers. It’s a lot of fun! Several trails have been set up within the Yorkshire Dales National Park but the Pennine Way Geocache Trail has been designed for novices as well as seasoned pros, and you can hire a GPS receiver if you’re just starting out.
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Yorkshire and its moorlands are made for walking and there are an almost limitless number of routes. The Three Peaks Challenge is for those that have more ambitious plans for their holiday, though it can be spread out across three days, and there are many easier but just as beautiful routes. Head to the North York Moors National Park to access around 2,300 kilometres of paths and tracks. Pack a picnic, grab your camera to capture the breathtaking views and get away from it all whilst letting the kids run off some of that energy.
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Take a Llama for a walk
One to appeal to those with younger family members and with more than a little novelty factor, a Llama trek isn’t something that you get to experience every day! A 3.5-mile walk, it will take you over a gentle route of roads, fields and woods through the beautiful Nidderdale countryside within the Yorkshire Dales; and the Llama will carry your picnic! Back at the farm you can spend time getting to know the other (smaller!) animals in residence. Currently ranked as the most popular activity in the whole of Yorkshire on Trip Advisor, this is the kind of thing that memories are made of.
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If you haven’t stepped into the adventurous world of caving then you’re in for a treat. Yorkshire offers the largest caving area in the UK with 2,000 caves and potholes. If you are not sure where to begin then how about a guided tour around a show cave? Head to White Scar Caves near Ingleton or Stump Cross Caverns high above Grassington. No experience is needed and all necessary equipment is provided. You can find out about the geology of the area and discover how the caves are formed. It’s a memorable experience and one that you will be talking about for years to come.
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Blacksmith's Cottage is an end-terraced cottage the village of Hudswell, near the charming town of Richmond. The cottage has a king-size double room on the first floor, with the rest of the accommodation downstairs comprising of a bathroom, kitche...
Field House Farm Cottage is a semi-detached, brick-built cottage surrounded by countryside, one mile from the village of Hunmanby. This cottage sleeps five people in two bedrooms, consisting of one king-size double and a triple bunk with a double ...
Moorland View is a wonderful, ground floor, end-terrace cottage, situated on the outskirts of Oxenhope near Haworth. The cottage has one super-king-size double room, which can be made into a twin on request, with a large TV and an en-suite shower ...
1 Springwater View is a contemporary, semi-detached cottage set on the outskirts of Mickleton near Middleton-in-Teesdale, North Yorkshire. With four bedrooms including two super king-size doubles, which can be converted into twins on request, plus...
The Granary Cottage is a cosy cottage in a group of similar properties in Lingdale near Saltburn. The cottage has two staircases each leading to a double and a twin, a bathroom and a shower room, and the rest of the accommodation is split also, wi...