England’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
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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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!
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.
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.
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.