Family holidays in Yorkshire

Take a blissful break in the Yorkshire Dales

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Kai Sedgwick

Kai Sedgwick
HomeAway travel expert

Whitby YorkshireEngland’s largest county, Yorkshire is home to two national parks and two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. But Yorkshire is much more than simply a stretch of countryside to be visited on sunny Sundays. Its four ridings demonstrate English diversity at its finest, with bustling, eclectic cities stood proudly between stretches of countryside: the vibrant shops of Bradford, for example, are less than an hour’s drive from the wild moors that inspired Wuthering Heights.

So whether you’re looking for active adventures, a superior shopping spree or a relaxing retreat, it’s possible to incorporate all these elements into a single break without too much planning. As one of England’s most popular regions, Yorkshire’s cities and tourist attractions are extremely well prepared for family days out, poised to entertain kids large and small. HomeAway has a host of holiday rentals that are perfect for engaging with both sides of this wonderful county, from city breaks to countryside escapes.


Five places to take the family in Yorkshire


York Family breaks in York

Yorkshire's former capital is the region's most popular tourist destination. The city's rich history is readily accessible, from the miniscule Richard III museum hidden in one of the ancient city gates, to the more recent Castle Museum and Jorvik Viking Museum, which hosts an ongoing archaeological excavation 'DIG' which anyone can take part in. A walk around the city walls is fun and free, and there’s always the option of indulging your sweet tooth at Chocolate, which provides a snapshot of the city's chocolate-making industry.

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Leeds and Bradford Family holidays in Leeds and Bradford

Renowned for its music scene and boutique shopping, Leeds is about the hippest city in the North. Coupled with neighbouring Bradford it offers a rich, multicultural environment. Leeds’ famed Corn Exchange houses an array of vintage clothing stalls, and Bradford's Wool Exchange is the most spectacular shopping centre in the north. After sundown, you’ll find the most exciting acts on the northern scene in the two cities’ many venues. All this makes these cities an excellent destination for families with fashion-conscious teenagers or hard-to-please big kids! 

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Skipton and the Yorkshire Dales Family holidays in Skipton and the Yorkshire Dales

If you’re looking for an active holiday, the Yorkshire Dales are the perfect playground. Skipton, known as ‘Gateway to The Dales’, is a picturesque town on the south-eastern edge of the national park. It’s a wonderful base for an outdoor family holiday, offering atmosphere, amenities and access to the area’s finest walking routes and mountain bike trails, as well as popular rock climbers’ playground of Malham Cove. When you need a day off, there’s the series of waterfalls at Aysgarth, where a day’s relaxation costs nothing but time.

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Whitby Whitby family holidays

Originally a sleepy fishing town on Yorkshire’s east coast, Whitby has become a popular tourist spot due to its rugged character and notorious association with Dracula. All this sounds interesting, but relatively unhelpful if you’re looking for a family holiday destination. However, Whitby is home to the most prestigious goth festival in Britain - but its appeal stretches much further than those who label themselves goths, and you’ll find the finest acts in the alternative music, burlesque and cabaret scene here, with friendly daytime programming for younger families.

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Sheffield Sheffield family breaks

Sheffield has always been a city in limbo; a city with both forward vision and a firm grasp of its heritage, and this is partly what makes it such a delightful family holiday backdrop. It’s unsurprising that the university city that inspired the Arctic Monkeys and Pulp still has a thriving music scene, but the steel city’s history runs even deeper. These include nearby Magna, a ‘science adventure experience’ that is in equal parts exciting, inspiring and educational for all. Perfect for a family holiday.

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Family holiday accommodation in Yorkshire

Vacation home Cleveland Cottage in Staithes, North - 3 persons, 2 bedroom(s)

Property details building and outdoor: Port Mulgrave 3 km from Staithes: Comfortable bungalow Cleveland Cottage. In a quiet, sunny position, 400 m from the sea, in the countryside. Private: garden. Garden furniture, parking at the house. Shop 5 k...

Vacation home Thornwick Cottage in Staithes, North - 5 persons, 2 bedroom(s)

Property details building and outdoor: Beautiful cottage Thornwick Cottage, terraced. In the centre of Staithes, 100 m from the sea. Private: patio, garden furniture, barbecue, public car park. Shop 400 m, bar 50 m, railway station Saltburn 13 km...

Apartment Berkeley Mansions in Whitby, North - 4 persons, 2 bedroom(s)

Property details building and outdoor: Beautiful apartment block Berkeley Mansions, detached. In the centre of Whitby, 230 m from the sea. Public parking. Shop 1.5 km, bar 850 m, bus stop North Terrace 40 m, railway station Whitby 1.3 km. Golf co...

Vacation home The Captain's Store in Robin Hood's Bay, North - 2 persons, 1 bedroom(s)

Property details building and outdoor: Cosy cottage The Captain's Store, semi-detached. In the centre of Robin Hood's Bay, 100 m from the sea. Stepped path (5 steps) to the house. Shop, grocery, supermarket, restaurant 50 m, bus stop Thorpe Lane ...

Vacation home Minstead Cottage in Robin Hood's Bay, North - 4 persons, 2 bedroom(s)

Property details building and outdoor: Cosy, comfortable cottage Minstead Cottage. 300 m from the sea. Shop, grocery, supermarket 15 m, restaurant 25 m, bus stop 400 m, rocky beach 200 m. Golf course (9 hole) 17 km, tennis 200 m, riding stable 1 ...
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