7 of the Best Family Days Out in Yorkshire

by eHeritage Blogazine
December 9, 2021 | 8 min read

7 of the Best Family Days Out in Yorkshire

The parents amongst us will be all to aware of the challenges faced when looking for days out with the kids. visiting somewhere new and untested can often be a disappointed experience, and searching the web endlessly for family days out can be both tiresome and frustrated.

Often, reviews and recommendations of ‘things to do near me’ and ‘things to do this weekend’ are paid adverts or sponsored articles. Rest assured then that these 7 family days out are tried and tested by my own family, and not in any way sponsored or associated with the venues.

So, for anyone looking for things to do with the kids, or for new and unique family days out, here are 7 of my favourite historical days out in Yorkshire that you need to experience in 2020.

Castle Howard

Castle Howard is one of the finest stately homes in the UK, and also makes for an excellent family day out. Still in the trust of the Howard family to this day, construction of this phenomenal stately home was begun in 1699 by the 3rd Earl of Carlisle Charles Howard.

Incorporating both Baroque and Palladian architectural styles, Castle Howard is a real sight to behold. It’s not all history and architecture however. The are an abundance of things to do with the kids. For example, the grounds are huge and incorporate one the best adventure play grounds i’ve ever seen.

You could spend the entire day exploring the formal gardens, woodland, lakes and hidden temples, whilst the more history orientated amongst us can get lost exploring the vast interiors of the magnificent house. There are so many activities to keep the kids (and the adults!) entertained at Castle Howard.

Castle Howard can be an expensive day out with the kids so I would recommend going on a warm, or dry day in order to get the most for your money. Also, you don’t have to pay to go into the house if you don’t want to.

Burton Agnes Hall & Gardens

Burton Agnes Hall from the main gate

Burton Agnes Hall is a wonderful Elizabethan historic house situated in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The construction of this delightful stately home was completed in 1610, and it has been occupied by the Griffiths family and their descendants ever since.

Burton Agnes Hall is a local haunt of mine and they have lots of family activities going on throughout the year. The house looks incredible at all times of the year, but when dressed up for christmas it looks absolutely magical. If I had to name the most beautiful house in Yorkshire, it would probably be this.

Visitors to Burton Agnes Hall will not only be dazzled by the beauty of the house, but also spoilt for choice when it comes to discovering some incredible family activities. This is definitely a day out with the kids where you will want to sit in the gardens and enjoy a family picnic.

The grounds are absolutely lovely and include a woodland trail, a yew maze, formal gardens and a fantastic adventure play area. What I particularly like is the thoughtful placement of baby change facilities right in the centre of the kids play park.

Access to Burton Agnes Hall is reasonably priced, and like Castle Howard is is part of Historic Houses organisation. With Burton Agnes however, you get unlimited access throughout the year and this represents fantastic value for money. This historical attraction has a real family feel to it and is a lovely place to take the kids to learn and play.

Beningbrough Hall

A low shot through the grass of Beningbrough Hall

Beningbrough Hall is one of my local National Trust Properties and also one of my favourites. The house is instantly recognisable by its red brick construction with white trimmings. Situated in York, this quintessentially English Country House is a fine example of the Georgian Baroque style, and is absolutely beautiful.

The grounds are also absolutely stunning and if you visit in the summer, the vibrant and well tended gardens are just to die for. I often take my daughter and we don’t even go inside the house. This is an ideal place to take a few games and a picnic, and just spend the day relaxing and soaking up the wonderful surroundings.

As a National Trust property, access is reasonably priced and members get in for free. With plenty of free parking and a great woodland play area, Beningbrough Hall should be right up there on your list of things to do this weekend.

You can check out Beningbrough Hall’s website here.

Sledmere House & Gardens

A corner shot of Sledmere House

Sledmere House is another beautiful property located in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Situated just a stones throw away from Burton Agnes, this imposing grey brick home was constructed in 1751 by a family of wealthy Hull based merchants. This is a house that has very much evolved with the tastes of its owners.

Following a devastating fire in 1911 the interiors were completely and lovingly restored. The results are some of the finest interiors of any English Country House, and intricate plaster designs run throughout.

The standout family features here however, are the fantastic working farm and the excellent Kids adventure play park. The grounds are also fairly large and incorporate a deer park and a walled garden.

Like Burton Agnes Hall, Sledmere is a ‘lived in house’ and this makes for a very personal visitor experience. The interiors are absolutely stunning and the helpful volunteer staff on hand to maximise your experience are amongst the friendliest I have ever encountered.

Sledmere house is an excellent place to visit if you are looking for days out with the kids. With plenty of activities and events throughout the year, it might be exactly what you are looking for this weekend.

York Castle Museum

A shot of Kirkgate at York Castle Museum

York Castle Museum is my favourite museum in the country and somewhere I have visited frequently throughout my life. This incredible Social History museum, takes you on a fascinating self guided tour through the history of York. Stand out exhibitions include the Georgian prison and the absolutely wonderful Victorian Street Kirkgate.

There are few museum in the county that rival this one, and kids will be absolutely fascinated learning about our heritage by interacting with cast members and the superb interactive exhibitions. York Castle Museum is a fantastic place to spend a family day out, and if you haven’t already, then I urge you to visit!

Whilst this is not the cheapest museum to visit, and car parking can be expensive, Your ticket allows you to come back throughout the year and you are getting access to one of the of the most wonderful museums anywhere in the country.

Temple Newsam

Temple Newsam from the front

Temple Newsam is one of England’s grand country estates. Run by Leeds City Council, families will be find plenty of activities on hand to keep the kids occupied. With massive landscaped grounds to explore, a nice modern play park for kids to let off some steam, a petting zoo, and not to mention a massive Tudor house to explore, Temple Newsam is a fantastic place to visit this weekend.

One of the best things about temple Newsam, is that access to the play area, and grounds is absolutely free. Surprisingly, the car park is also free. So, if you’re looking for a cheap family day out, this would certainly fit the bill.

For the history enthusiasts amongst us, Temple Newsam House is very vast and full to the brims with fascinating historical facts. With links to the Knights Templar, King Henry VIII, and King James VI (James I of England), this is one of the most fascinating historic houses in the country and absolutely worth a visit.

Temple Newsam is very reasonably priced and members of Historic Houses get in for free (Zoo not included).

You can check out the venue’s website here.

Wentworth Castle Gardens

Stainborough Castle against a blue sky

Wentworth Castle Gardens is the latest addition to the National Trust’s property portfolio. I only discovered this one recently and instantly fell in love with it. The gardens tell the story of a huge rivalry between two branches of the Wentworth family, and whilst you cannot enter the house, these are so many other activities to keep you and your family occupied.

These amazing grounds contain vast woodland walks, ancient monuments and temples, formal gardens, adventure play park and an incredible Castle Folly. This is an absolutely magical place to explore, and will likely become one of your favourite regular days out with the kids.

Wentworth Castle Gardens is an excellent place to take your family and will be a regular haunt of mine. The gardens are very much a work in progress for the National Trust and will likely become better and better in the coming years. That said, the gardens and grounds are already looking fantastic and I personally cant wait to get back in the summer.

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Any thoughts, tips or questions?

I’m Mikey Holden. I have a real passion for historical places. I’ve always loved visiting colossal houses and castles, daydreaming about the schemes that have been thought up within their walls, keen to discover the stories waiting to be told. I am a heritage travel blogger with a simple mission: To discover, explore and photograph historical places in Yorkshire and beyond.

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