Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by Suzy McCullough

There are so many great places to visit in Yorkshire and many of them are free. In this post, I have included places that have free entry but some may have a small charge for parking. Not everyone goes to places by car and often if we do visit by car we expect there to be a fee to park especially if it’s somewhere in the city centre. To make searching easy I have split each county up into sections. You can see each county and then indoor ideas/outdoor ideas.

Please note some places may be somewhere you could visit all day, some for just a few hours and there are a few where you may want to combine your visit with something else to do in the area.

Table of Contents


INDOORS Free Places to Visit

Goole Museum Goole

Address: Carlisle St, Goole DN14 5DS

A Bit About – At the Goole museum, you can discover the history of the UK’s most inland port town. You can view models of vessels built in Goole that sailed from the port over the years. There is also the largest collection of paintings by Reuben Chappell. Britain’s best-known “Pierhead” painter. Children will enjoy the interactive exhibits about living and working in Goole, diving and docks.

The museum is free to visit. There is free long-stay parking behind the building.

Hands-on History Museum Hull

Address: S Church Side, Hull HU1 1RR

A Bit About – In the Old Grammar School where William Wilberforce studied houses the story of Hull and its people. The museum includes a fascinating glimpse into Victorian times, the Story of Hull and there is also an Egyptian Gallery. There is a genuine 2,600-year-old mummy and unique replicas of King Tutankhamun’s treasures.
The museum is only open on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month.

Entry to the museum is free. The museum has no parking so you would need to park in local pay and display car parks.

Hull and East Riding Museum Hull

Address: 36 High St, Hull HU1 1NQ

A Bit About – At this Hull museum, you will enter a world where 235 million years of history are brought to life. From majestic mammoths to Saxon invaders. You can look forward to an experience that is unique, educational and fun. Walk through an Iron Age Village, enter a Roman bathhouse and look at the stunning mosaics.

Entry to the museum is free. The museum has no parking so you would need to park in local pay and display car parks.

Hull Maritime Museum Hull

Address: Queen Victoria Square, Hull HU1 3DX

A Bit About – Currently closed for renovations. Work has started on a major revamp of this Hull city centre museum. The museum is housed in the Victorian Dock Offices in Queen Victoria Square. You will be able to see a full-sized whale skeleton with superb ship models and stunning artefacts from Hull’s whaling, fishing and merchant trade.

Entry to the museum is free. The museum has no parking so you would need to park in local pay and display car parks.

Streetlife Museum Hull

Address: High St, Hull HU1 1PS

A Bit About – At the Streetlife Museum of Transport, you can enjoy all the sights, sounds and smells of the past. Step back in time with 200 years of transport history as you walk down a 1940s high street, board a tram or enjoy the pleasures of their carriage ride.

Entrance to the museum is free. The museum has no parking so you would need to park in the local pay and display car park.

The Treasure House Beverley

Address: Champney Rd, Beverley HU17 8HE

A Bit About – The Treasure House is home to a museum, art gallery, library, gift shop and cafe. The iconic building stands tall in the heart of Beverley within easy walking distance of all the town-centre car parks. You can take the lift or stairs to the very top and enjoy 360-degree views.

There are four gallery spaces to explore with temporary exhibitions and two showcasing highlights of their collection. Including a spectacular South Cave weapons cache which was discovered in 2002. There is dress-up for the kids and interactive exhibits plus craft activities.

Entrance is free. The museum does not have a car park, there are however plenty of pay and display car parks nearby.

Wilberforce House Museum Hull

Address: 23-25 High St, Hull HU1 1NQ

A Bit About – Wilberforce House is the birthplace of William Wilberforce, a famous campaigner against the slave trade. The museum tells the story of the transatlantic slave trade and its abolition as well as dealing with contemporary slavery.

Entrance to the museum is free. The museum has no parking so you would need to park in a local pay-and-display car park.

The Arcitc Corsair and Spurn Lightship are both currently closed for renovations.

OUTDOORS Free Places to visit

Allerthorpe Lakeland Pocklington

Address: Melbourne Road, Pocklington, York YO42 4RL

A Bit About – Allerthorpe Lakeland is a watersports centre with a lake walk in Pocklington. It is free to visit and you do not have to take part in water sports. There is a small charge for parking which must be pre-booked. There are two play areas and two small beach areas where you can paddle in the water. Plus walks around their lakes and you can feed the fish (small charge).

Watersports are at an additional cost with canoes, open water swimming, pedalos, an inflatable aquapark, boats, kayaks, paddleboards and more. They have a pony field, goats, birds and a few small furry animals in their petting corner.

It is free to visit with a small bookable charge to park. Parking for up to 5 people costs £8. Or you can pay per person at £3 each.

Bridlington South Beach and North Beach

Address: South Beach – Princess Mary Promenade, Bridlington YO15 3LG
North Beach – Bridlington YO15 2PL

A Bit About – Bridlington has two large beaches. The south beach has a larger expanse of sand, whereas the north beach has as many pebbles as it does sand but it also has stunning views of Sewerby and Flamborough cliffs. Both beaches have public toilets at various points along the way plus a promenade with no traffic. The south beach also has a small paddling area for kids.

There are plenty of things to do close by (for an additional cost). Don’t forget to check tide times before you visit although both beaches have some sand with somewhere to sit even at high tide.

There is street parking close to both beaches with a small charge to park (pay and display, there are many ticket inspectors in Brid so don’t risk it). Dogs are not permitted on some sections of the beach from May until September.

Danes Dyke near Bridlington

Address: Danes Dyke, Flamborough, Bridlington YO15 1AA

A Bit About – Danes Dyke is a beautiful beach located just a short drive from Bridlington. It has stunning cliffs and a beach covered mostly in huge white pebbles (there may occasionally be seaweed on the pebbles). There is also a 1-mile woodland walk which is equally nice.

The beach and woodland are free to visit. There is a small charge to park at their pay and display car park. Dogs are permitted all year round.

East Hull Community Farm Hull

Address: Barham Rd, Hull HU9 4EE

A Bit About – This is a real working farm that is open to the public. If you are lucky you may get to see lambs being born in the Springtime or sheep sheared in June. The farm is set in almost 7 acres of land most of which is taken up by fields for the animals.

Entrance and parking are free.

East Park Hull

Address: Holderness Rd, Hull HU8 8JU

A Bit About – This is Hull’s largest park with 130 acres of parkland. You can take a stroll around the park, there is a large playground, a water play area (currently under renovation), a free-to-visit animal education centre and a large lake with ducks you can feed. There are some additional activities where a small charge may apply.

The park is free to visit and parking is free.

Flamborough Head Flamborough

Address: Flamborough Head, Bridlington YO15 1AR

A Bit About – Flamborough Head is a stunning headland on the very outer tip of the coastal village of Flamborough. It is a beautiful place to visit with amazing coastal views with cliffs and nesting seabirds. The cliffs provide a great viewing vantage point and there are paths close to the edge. It does erode in places so do take care when visiting. The lighthouse is not free to visit.

Flamborough Head is free to visit. There is a small charge to park in a pay-and-display car park.

Flamborough – Choice of 4 beaches, Selwicks, North Landing, South Landing and Thornwick Bay

Address: Various, All beaches are located within Flamborough with different access points. Please see each individual post linked above for additional information.

A Bit About – Flamborough is a small sleepy seaside village. It hides 4 fabulous and beautiful beaches each with its own character. All beaches have steep access with varying levels of difficulty to get down. All are surrounded by high cliffs and are great for rock pooling. A couple of the beaches even have caves. Further information to be found in the 4 links above.

All beaches are free to visit. All have a pay and display car park. Dogs are permitted on these beaches all year round.

Fraisthorpe Beach near Bridlington

Address: Unnamed Rd, Bridlington, Wilsthorpe, Bridlington YO15 3QL

A Bit About – Fraisthorpe Beach is around a 10-minutes drive from Bridlington. There is direct beach access from the car park to the beach. You can actually see Bridlington but to walk there on the beach would take around an hour. There are many pillbox structures from WWII. It’s a nice stretch of beach and there is a cafe with toilets nearby.

The beach is free to visit. There is a small charge to park. Dogs are permitted on this beach all year round.

Hornsea beach

A Bit About – There is a lovely stretch of beach in the small seaside town of Hornsea. The beach is mostly sand and shingle. It is a popular beach for water sports and even surfing. There is a promenade along the beach plus some places to purchase fish and chips and a small amusement arcade.

There is plenty of parking close to the beach with public toilets dotted along. Dogs are not permitted on some sections of the beach from May until September.
The beach is free to visit. The car parks close by are pay and display.

Humber Bridge Country Park near Hull

Address: Ferriby Rd, Hessle HU13 0HB

A Bit About – The park is around 48 acres in size and is located on the north side of the Humber Bridge, close to the Hessle foreshore. The park is set in woodland with open meadows and wildlife ponds. There are chalk cliffs that surround the park on three sides. There are a few different trails around the park with some sculptures and feeding stations for birds. The park can get quite muddy after rainfall.

The park is free to visit.

Millington Wood Pocklington

Address: YO42 ITZ

A Bit About – There is access for all route that takes you through the main woodland. However steep steps make it impossible for wheelchairs and pushchairs to access the high viewpoint. Picnic benches are available and the walk is around 1 mile long.

The woods are free to visit and there is a small on-site car park.

North Cave Wetlands Brough

Address: Dryham Ln, Brough HU15 2LY

A Bit About – A circular footpath runs around the perimeter of the original section of the reserve, part of which is surfaced and accessible to wheelchair users. There are four hides, three of which are accessible. This path is around 2km long.

The site is free to visit and there is free parking on Dryham Lane.

North Cliffe Wood Nature Reserve Market Weighton

Address: Sand Lane, Market Weighton, YO43 4XE

A Bit About – This is a lovely woodland nature reserve rich in wildlife. In spring, a lilac haze of bluebells stretches out beneath the vibrant green leaves of birch. The walk around the woods is around 1.2 miles.

It is free to visit, there is limited free parking in roadside laybys.

Pearson Park Hull

Address: Holderness Rd, Hull HU8 8JU

A Bit About – Pearson Park is a large park of about 120 acres. It still has its Victorian grandeur and it features an excellent play area and a conservatory greenhouse. The park was established in the early 1860s and it was the first public park in Hull. The park also has a wildlife garden that encourages wildlife to the park.

The park is free to visit and there is local free parking.

Pickering Park Hull

Address: Pickering Rd, Hull HU4 7AB

A Bit About – Pickering Park is an ideal spot for families. It has a toddler play area and a junior youth play area. Pickering Park has various play equipment including a trim trail and zip wire, outdoor exercise equipment, a rock garden, football pitches, a paddling pool, a sensory garden, and an 80eg fishing lake.

The park has an outdoor gym and a permanent orienteering route. Pickering Park provides a variety of physical activities and outdoor sports. It also has beautiful ornamental gardens and a wildlife pond.

The park is free to visit and I can find no information with regards to parking.

Pocklington Canal Pocklington

Address: Pocklington

A Bit About – The Pocklington Canal is a broad canal that runs for 9.5 miles through nine locks from the Canal Head near Pocklington to the River Derwent. There are three working locks. It is one of the finest canals for wildlife, with both national and international protection. It’s a lovely canal to go for a walk and explore Pocklington.

The canal is free to walk along. There may be a charge to park.

Spurn Point Nature Reserve near Kilnsea

Address: Spurn Discovery Centre Spurn Head, south of, Kilnsea HU12 0UH

A Bit About – Big skies and ever-changing wildlife make the evocative landscape of Spurn one of the Trust’s most iconic nature reserves. There are at least 3 miles of walking along the sandy point. It is unsafe to enter the water. Spurn has an extensive human history, leaving a legacy of fascinating but derelict buildings and hidden structures.

Spurn Point is free to visit. There is a small charge to park. Dogs are not permitted.

West Park Hull

Address: Walton Street, Hull, HU3 6JU

A Bit About – West Park is located next to the KCOM Stadium in Hull. It features a wildlife aviary, a children’s playground, an outdoor gym, a skatepark and outdoor table tennis as well as wide open green spaces. There is also a model railway and a paddling pool open in the summer months.

The playground has a nautical theme and the paddling pool has several dancing fountains rather than being a pool.

The pool is free to visit. There is local parking on the street.

Withernsea Beach Withernsea

A Bit About – Withernsea Beach stretches for a couple of miles and has a large expanse of sand and shingle. There is an attractive wide promenade that has been recently renovated. You can find many cafes, fish and chip shops and pubs. Sailing and windsurfing are popular and the beach is patrolled by lifeguards in the summer.

There are a few playgrounds in Withernsea plus a large entertainment centre with amusements, soft play, bowling abbey and cafe. There is also a leisure centre with a pool which has a 70 m water slide. Dogs are not permitted on some sections of the beach from May until September.

The beach is free to visit. The nearby car parks are pay and display.


INDOORS Free Places to Visit

Kirkleatham Museum (plus outdoors) Kirkleatham

Address: Kirkleatham, Redcar TS10 5NW

A Bit About – This is an 18th-century Queen Anne building with exhibits covering local history for the Borough of Redcar and Cleveland. The museum has a treasure trove of artefacts set out across three floors. There are some stunning Anglo-Saxon finds from Northern England plus maritime and industrial heritage exhibitions.

You can also walk around the museum’s grounds where you will find a state-of-the-art play area surrounded by picnic tables and a maze that kids will love to play in.

The museum is free to visit. There is free parking on-site.

National Railway Museum York

Address: Leeman Rd, York YO26 4XJ

A Bit About – Located near York railway station is one of the UK’s largest railway museums. It tells the story of rail and transport in Britain and its impact on society. There is a great hall full of engines and carriages, some of which you can look inside.

There is a small under-5 play area, another exhibition hall with more carriages and outdoor miniature railway train rides for a small fee.

The museum is free to visit. They have a car park but it costs an expensive £10 to park. We prefer to take the park and ride in which is great value for money.

OUTDOORS Free Things to do

Aysgarth Falls Aysgarth

Address: Aysgarth, Yorkshire Dales National Park

A Bit About – Aysgarth Falls are three-stepped waterfalls in Aysgarth. They have been a tourist attraction for over 200 years and are steeped in history. There is a local nature reserve alongside the falls with several easy paths winding through it.

There is a National Park Centre, cafe and car park at Aysgarth so it is easy to visit. You can also park at Bolton Castle and walk to the falls from there.

The falls are free to visit. There is a small charge to park.

Barlow Common Nature Reserve Near Selby

Address: Unnamed Road, YO8 8EZ

A Bit About – There are unsurfaced paths around the reserve with some boardwalks. A wildlife trail leads visitors around a woodland trail with 25 posts to find. With habitats spanning from wetland and wildflower meadows to mature woodland. The circular walk is around 1.5 miles.

The nature reserve is free to visit. Parking is available at the main entrance of the reserve.

Bolton Abbey near Skipton

Address: 6EX, B6160, Skipton

A Bit About – Bolton Abbey boasts over 80 miles of footpaths and you can explore the ruins of the abbey. When the river isn’t flowing too fast there are stepping stones you can cross (all 60 of them). There is a large beach area, popular with families.

Plus a wooden galleon play area and a fun wellies walk for the kids. One of the best walks is the Valley of Desolation and Simon’s Seat where you will be rewarded with a beautiful waterfall and equally beautiful views.

Bolton Abbey is free to visit. There is a charge per car to park.

Brimham Rocks northwest of Harrogate

Address: Brimham Moor Road, Summerbridge, Harrogate HG3 4DW

A Bit About – Brimham Rocks is an amazing collection of natural rock formations in Nidderdale. The rocks were formed millions of years ago and you can explore and climb the rocks as much or as little as you want. Kids will enjoy spotting the ones that have been named after something.

It is free to visit. Members of the National Trust don’t have to pay to park, for non-members, there is a small parking charge.

Byland Abbey Near York

Address: 65, Byland Abbey, York YO61 4BD

A Bit About – The Abbey is maintained by English Heritage and it is free for all to visit. It is a great place to stop off for a look around. It was once one of the greatest monasteries in England and like all abbeys, it is now mostly ruined but there are still some walls that remain today which you can explore.

The Abbey is free to visit. There is a small car park and other parking nearby. Parking is free.

Cayton Bay Beach near Scarborough

Address: Cayton, Scarborough YO11 3NR

A Bit About – This is a stunningly beautiful beach just a short drive from Scarborough. The walk down to the beach is steep but worth it. There are a few pillboxes from WWII on the beach, if the tide is out enough there is fantastic rock pooling and if you head north on the beach it is even more beautiful as the forest meets the beach. There are some public toilets a short walk from the centre of the beach. You can also go for a walk in the woods.

The beach is free to visit. There is free but limited parking on the road. You can park in the Scarborough Surf School car park for a small charge. Dogs are permitted all year round.

Cod Beck Reservoir near Northallerton

Address: Northallerton DL6 3AL

A Bit About – This pretty reservoir is on the western edge of the North York Moors. It’s a popular beauty spot with lovely waters surrounded by attractive woodland and moorland scenery. You can follow the circular walking trail around the reservoir. It runs for roughly 1.5 miles.

It is free to visit and park.

Dalby Forest Near Pickering

Address: Dalby Forest Dr, Low Dalby, Pickering YO18 7LT

A Bit About – The forest has a number of trails and they usually have a special kid’s themed trail. There are 13 walking trails, 6 cycling and 4 running. They also have a Gruffalo orienteering trail. There is a play area with a shallow stream at the bottom perfect for paddling. Plus you could have a go at Go Ape (there is a cost involved).

The forest is free to visit. There is a charge to park.

Druids Temple Masham

Address: Knowle Lane, Ripon HG4 4JZ

A Bit About – You can walk into the woods surrounding the Druid’s Temple. The site contains the main temple along with numerous stone formations dotted around the woodland. It is a short walk around one of Yorkshire’s most interesting follies. It is believed to have been built in the late 1700s by William Danby.

The site and the car park are free although parking is very limited.

Falling Foss Waterfall Near Whitby

Address: Midge Hall, Whitby, YO22 5JD

A Bit About – This is a really idyllic spot. There is the beautiful outdoor Falling Foss tea room where you can eat some fantastic homemade scones. This is above the waterfall. You can walk down but it’s not easy.

You can see the waterfall from a viewpoint at the top and next to the tea room there is a pretty stream where there are some shallow places to paddle. The tea room has a small play area for guests.

It is free to visit. There is a small charge to park.

Filey Beach Filey

A Bit About – Filey has one long stretch of beach although most of it is covered at high tide so do check before you visit. There is sand on the beach often with large deposits of pebbles. There is a promenade alongside the beach which is free of traffic.

This has a crazy golf course and is next to a small area with amusements, cafes and fish and chips. You can also find a small paddling pool near the south end of the beach. Dogs are not permitted on some sections of the beach from May until September.

The beach is free to visit. There is some on-street parking which is pay and display. There is a large car park near Glen Gardens which is also pay and display and a longer walk to the beach (with a hill).

Filey Brigg Filey

A Bit About – At the northern end of Filey, you will find Filey Brigg. It is a long narrow peninsula with steep cliffs at 20 metres high. There is a country park with a playground next to the car park and many people visit here to walk along the cliff-top. It has some fantastic views and there are the remains of a Roman signal station. There are toilets, a cafe and a mini-golf.

Filey Brigg is free to visit. There is a small charge to park.

Filey Dams Nature Reserve Near Filey

Address: 5 Barden Place, Filey, YO14 0DR

A Bit About – This is the last remaining freshwater marsh of any size in the area. It is a great place to see migratory birds with bird hides dotted around. There are permissive paths and a boardwalk. The reserve is 6 hectares in size. The best times to visit are June to September.

The reserve is free to visit and there is a free car park.

Flatts Lane Country Park Near Middlesborough

Address: Flatts Ln, Middlesbrough TS6 0NN

A Bit About – The park has woodland walks, panoramic views, a sculpture trail and an adventure play area. Plus a trim trail, arboretum and pond platforms. There is a cafe. Cyclists and horse riders are welcome but must keep to the marked bridleways.

The country park is free to visit and parking is also free.

Grass Wood Nature Reserve Grassington

Address: Grass Wood Ln, Grassington, Skipton BD23 5NE

A Bit About – Grass Wood is one of the largest areas of broadleaved woodland in the Dales. It is a wildlife-rich woodland occupying an area of carboniferous limestone on the north side of Wharfedale. There is a network of public footpaths and permissive paths through the woodland.

Free to visit with a free car park accessed from Grass Wood Lane.

Grimwith Reservoir Skipton

Address: Skipton BD23 5ED

A Bit About – Grimwith Reservoir provides stunning views of the adjacent moors, the valley and the lower Yorkshire Dales. The walk is 4.5 miles long and features a mostly well-surfaced path with a few unsurfaced areas which can be muddy.

It is free to visit and free to park.

Guisborough Forest and Walkway Guisborough

Address: 8 Old Station Cottages, Pinchinthorpe, Guisborough TS14 8HD

A Bit About – Situated on the northern edge of the National Park. On-site facilities include two play areas, a trim trail to challenge you, a sculpture trail, waymarked circular walks, bike trails and an orienteering course. The trail is 2.5 miles in length.

It is free to visit. There is a small charge to park.

Hackfall Woods Near Ripon

Address: Ripon, HG4 3DE

A Bit About – This ancient woodland has been restored to its former glory and boasts special features such as grottos and glades, rustic temples and waterfalls. As well as carpets of bluebells in spring and an impressive number of woodland birds. The main walking route is 1 mile long.

It is free to visit and limited free parking is available.

Hayburn Wyke Beach and Woodlands Near Scarborough

Address: Scarborough YO13 0HA

A Bit About – If you are visiting the Hayburn Wyke Inn you can park in their car park to then walk through the woodlands and down to the Hayburn Wyke beach to see the waterfall. The bay here is made up of rocks and small boulders and if you’re lucky you may even spot a fossil. It is also accessed just off the popular Cleveland Way coastal walking route via the Cinder Track which is a disused railway track. Dogs are permitted all year round.

The beach is free to visit. There is parking a short walk away and charges apply.

Homestead Park York

Address: The Homestead, 40 Water End, York YO30 6WP

A Bit About – Homestead Park is a pretty 14-acre garden in Clifton, York just 1.5 miles west of the city centre. There is pedestrian access from Water End and Shipton Road. There is a large children’s playground within the park and it’s a nice place to enjoy a walk with some spectacular seasonal floral displays.

The park is free to visit. There is a small car park at the Shipton Road entrance.


A Bit About – There is a pretty riverside walk in Knaresborough. The River Nidd Walk starts at the river by the castle where you head north and then west along the river until you come to High Bridge. Cross to the other side and you can follow footpaths through the woodland on the southern side of the water.

You will eventually come to a footbridge where you can cross to Conyngham Hall. The grounds are free to visit with 3 different trails to follow. There is crazy golf for a small fee. You can then follow the northern side of the river back to the castle. In Knaresborough, there is a free-to-use paddling pool and if you want to spend any money you could go boating on the river or visit Mother Shipton’s Cave.

There are a few car parks to choose from in Knaresborough. One is free although you are not always guaranteed a space. There are also pay and display car parks.

10 Great Things To Do In Knaresborough Family Friendly

Malham Cove Malham

Address: Malham, Skipton BD23 4DJ

A Bit About – Malham Cove is a huge curving amphitheatre-shaped cliff formation of limestone rock. The vertical face is around 260 feet high. The cove looks out over the village of Malham and has been attracting visitors for centuries. There is a good footpath from the road to the foot of the cove. There are steps that lead up to the top of the cove.

Access all year round. There is a pay and display car park a short walk away in the village.

Mallyan Spout Waterfall Goathland

Address: Goathland, Whitby YO22 5AN (this is the address of the hotel where you access the path down to the waterfall, parking is only permitted here if you are eating at or staying at the hotel) For the public car park please head into the village.

A Bit About – Mallyan Spout waterfall is really beautiful. It’s not a full cascading waterfall, more a soft flow of fine water down the hillside. It’s idyllic with all the lush vegetation and the cascades of water to the right of the waterfall. It is the tallest waterfall in the North Yorkshire Moors.

The walk to it is downhill so you will have a relatively steep walk back up again. Access isn’t easy as you have to cross over some uneven and large boulders but this is only for a short part of the walk. You can not see the waterfall without a bit of boulder clambering.

The waterfall is free to visit. There is a pay and display car park in the village which is a short walk away.

Danby Lodge National Park Centre Near Whitby

Address: Lodge Ln, Whitby YO21 2NB

A Bit About – This is a historic visitor centre set in an idyllic spot on the banks of the River Esk, near Danby. You will see moorland, woodland, farmland, historic buildings and all that makes this national park so glorious. There are a number of walks to enjoy with an outdoor play area. There are interactive displays in the centre and an indoor climbing wall plus a cafe and toilets. You can also take part in child-friendly trails.

The centre and surrounding countryside are free to visit. There is a pay and display car park.

Nidd Falls and Scar House Reservoir Near Lofthouse

Address: Lofthouse or Scar House Reservoir, Unnamed Road, Lofthouse, Harrogate HG3 5SW

A Bit About – Nidd Falls is a delightful waterfall on the River Nidd just upstream from Lofthouse. It is easily accessible from either the public footpath from Lofthouse or the access road to Scar House Reservoir. Bizarrely the waterfall is not named on the OS map.

Between Lofthouse and Nidd Falls, there is also a nice series of small waterfalls just above the footbridge crossing the Nidd. Scar House Reservoir is a stunning reservoir built in the 1930s. You can walk the edge of Nidderdale’s most famous reservoir, crossing the immense Scar House Dam with its teetering viewing platform (not for vertigo sufferers) and pass through the lost village of Lodge.

The falls and the reservoir are free to visit. There may be a charge to park depending on where you decide to access the falls and/or reservoir.

North Yorkshire Water Park Near Scarborough

Address: Long Causeway Rd, Wykeham, Lakes YO13 9QU

A Bit About – The water park has a lovely circular walk around the large lake. We visited last year and they have laid gravel around most of the pathway. It’s a great place to spot wildlife and if you look closely you may spot literally hundreds of caterpillars. They aren’t all year round but we’ve not seen anything like it before. The walk took us around an hour with a few stop-offs to watch people enjoying watersports on the lake.

It is free to visit and free to park. Lake activities have a fee.

Pannet Park Whitby (and indoors)

Address: Whitby YO21 1RE

A Bit About – This is a public green space high up in the town of Whitby close to the coast. There are themed gardens, a modern adventure play area for the kids and a local history museum. It has some stunning views and it is a lovely and peaceful park. In the museum, you can explore collections of local fossils, natural history, model ships, carved jet, costumes and social history.

The museum and the park are free to visit. There may be free street parking close by although we usually park in the local pay and display leisure centre car park.

Peasholm Park Scarborough

Address: North Bay, Scarborough YO12 7TR

A Bit About – Peasholm Park, Scarborough originally opened in 1912 and it is an oriental=themed municipal park. It is located at the north end of Scarborough just a short walk from the beach. There is an island in the middle of the main lake with a pagoda and a large cascade waterfall.

You can hire a pedalo to go around the lake (a small charge applies). There are plenty of geese and ducks so make sure you take some duck food and there are even tame squirrels that you can feed. The park also has a couple of putting greens.

It is free to visit the park. There is a small pay and display car park near the north entrance.

Redcar Beach Redcar

A Bit About – The beach at Redcar has a large expanse of sand which means there is plenty of room even on a busy day. It is a popular spot for water sports such as surfing and windsurfing. Most of the beach is backed by sand dunes and although not as pretty to look at with a backdrop of steelworks it is a popular family beach.

The seafront has an esplanade with a nearby museum, amusements and fish and chips.
The beach is free to visit. Most of the parking is pay and display. Dogs are not permitted on some sections of the beach from May until September.

Robin Hoods Bay

A Bit About – Robin Hood’s Bay is a beautiful seaside fishing village set on a steep hill. You have to park in one of the two public car parks at the top of the hill and walk down the cobbled streets. It is a lovely place to visit and you will feel like you have stepped back in time. There are a few shops and places to eat. The beach is vast with big sandy stretches and rock pools when the tide is out.

Robin Hood’s Bay is free to access all year round. There are two pay and display car parks which can be very busy. Dogs are permitted on the beach all year round.

Roseberry Topping Near Middlesborough

Address: Middlesbrough TS9 6QS

A Bit About – Roseberry Topping is a distinctive hill in North Yorkshire. Its summit has a half-cone shape with a jagged cliff. There are three routes to the top with the shortest walk being around 1.3 miles which can be done in around an hour (there and back).

It can get steep in parts so it is recommended for those with a reasonable level of fitness. The walk that starts in the public car park is the best walk for families.
There is a car park with toilets at Newton under Roseberry.

Rowntree Park York

Address: Terry Avenue, Micklegate, YO23 1JQ

A Bit About – The park was a gift to the City of York by Messrs Rowntree and Co in 1921 and it is a memorial to the Cocoa Works staff that fell and suffered during WWI. The park is a short walk from the city centre situated by the River Ouse. The 30-acre park has undergone a £1.8 million refurbishment restoring it to its original splendour.

There is an ornamental lake with ducks and geese. Plus 6 tennis courts, a skate park, basketball court, toilets and a well-equipped children’s play area.

The park is free to visit. The park’s car park is adjacent to the park on Terry Avenue and there is a small charge to park.

Runswick Bay

A Bit About – Runswick Bay is located north of the popular seaside resort of Whitby and just a short drive south of Staithes. The beach is breathtakingly beautiful. Its beauty comes not just from its size and its setting but from how unspoilt this sleepy former fishing village is. I truly hope that despite its award it won’t change and it won’t become overcrowded.

Although the beach is big enough to accommodate lots of people its car parking doesn’t so get there early. There is a general lack of facilities with limited toilets and a small hotel which serves food and drinks. The views of the village once you are down on the beach are simply idyllic. There is a launching area with lots of canoes and a few small boats. The red-roofed houses are full of character and they line the hill on a number of different levels. Dogs are permitted all year round.

The beach is accessible all year round. Please pay attention to tide times before visiting. There are two pay and display car parks.

Saltburn-by-the-sea beach

A Bit About – Saltburn-by-the-sea is one of North Yorkshire’s prettiest seaside resorts. It is a lot smaller than Scarborough and Whitby but there’s still plenty to see and do and the beach is well worth spending some time on. At high tide, there is just a small section of beach accessible on foot but at low tide, there is a vast expanse of golden sandy beach.

The highlight of the town is the funicular railway from 1884. It has stained glass windows and offers rides from the top of the town with its many restaurants down to the beach and its tourist attractions (small charge). There is also a pier on the beach with an amusement arcade. Dogs are not permitted on some sections of the beach from May until September.

The beach is accessible all year round. The car parks closer to the beach are pay and display.

Scarborough North and South Beach

A Bit About – Scarborough has two beaches, one at the north end and one at the south. The beach at the north is the largest although both will only have a small area of sand at high tide. In the south, the beach is next to the main seafront road where you will find amusements and many places to eat.

There is also a pretty harbour where you can enjoy crabbing. The north beach is great for rock pooling especially close to the beach huts. Dogs are not permitted on some sections of the beach from May until September.

The beaches are free to visit. There is a variety of pay and display parking near both beaches although these spaces can fill up fast on busier days.

Skipton Castle Woods Skipton

Address: Access is via three pedestrian entrances; Mill Bridge, The Bailey and Short Lee Lane., Skipton BD23 1AW

A Bit About – Hidden behind one of Britain’s most popular medieval castles is the Woodland Trusts’s, Skipton Castle Woods. It is a rare ancient woodland habitat straight off the high street with a fascinating history that dates back a thousand years.

There is a modern version of a treasure hunt in the woods with six hidden boxes to find. Each contains a notepad for you to leave a message and an ink pad so you can mark your stamp sheet. (link above). The woods are around 36 acres in size and there is a 3km circular walk.

The woods are free to visit. There are three pay and display car parks nearby.


A Bit About – Staithes is a pretty seaside fishing village. Like Robin Hood’s Bay, you have to park in the public car park at the top and walk down the steep cobbled road to the main village below. It was once one of the largest fishing ports in the North East now made famous by the CBeebies program Old Jack’s Boat.

The beach is great for a bit of fossil hunting and rock pooling. There are public toilets at the top and the bottom of the hill. Dogs are permitted all year round.

The village and beach are accessible all year round. There is a charge to park in the council car park at the top.

Staveley Nature Reserve Staveley

Address: Minskip Rd, Boroughbridge, Staveley, Knaresborough HG5 9LQ

A Bit About – This is a superb wetland site lying close to the River Tutt. The site is around 79 hectares in size and there is a large network of surfaced and unsurfaced public and permissive paths.

The entrance is free. There is a small car park just outside the village.

Sutton Bank National Park Sutton Bank

Address: Sutton Bank, Thirsk YO7 2EH

A Bit About – This park has a good range of easy walking routes. There is also a choice of cycle tracks. There is a relatively new visitor centre with a hands-on Window on the Park exhibition.

It is free to visit, there is a small charge to park.

Swinsty Reservoir near Harrogate

Address: Fewston Reservoir car park, Near Harrogate, LS21 2NP

A Bit About – This reservoir nestles in the stunning Washburn Valley and provides breathtaking views across the water and the surrounding landscape. The main walk is roughly 3 miles long.

It is free to visit with free parking.

Valley Gardens Harrogate

Address: Valley Dr, Harrogate HG1 2SZ

A Bit About – The Valley Gardens in Harrogate are a popular award-winning family-friendly park located in the heart of the town in North Yorkshire. It has colourful seasonal flower displays, a modern kid’s playground and an Art Deco pavilion. The gardens are set within 17 acres of English Heritage Grade II listed parkland and feature some lovely themed gardens.

If you want to extend your visit the adjacent Pinewoods is a further 96 acres of woodland with footpaths that lead to RHS Harlow Carr. There is a fantastic and modern adventure playground for kids with plenty to climb and swing on. There is even a paddling pool perfect for warm summer days.

The park is free to visit. Free parking is available on Valley Drive or on Cornwall Road. There are maximum stay restrictions at the lower end of these roads but not further up the hill.

Wharram Percy Deserted Medieval Village Near Malton

Address: Unnamed Road, Malton, YO17 9TD

A Bit About – This is one of the largest and best-preserved yet deserted medieval villages in the UK. Located in the countryside near Malton. Wharram Percy is not a huge site but with the 3/4 mile walk down to the village from the car park you can certainly spend a good one to two hours there.

There is an abandoned farm, a largely ruined church and trace outlines of lost houses on a grassy plateau. There are no facilities and parking is limited.

It is free to visit. For non-members of English Heritage, there may be a small charge to park.

Wheldrake Woods York

Address: York, YO19 6BG

A Bit About – This is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of York and stretch your legs with a woodland walk. With an abundance of wildlife, a mixture of trees and a network of informal paths. Starting from Broad Highway car park you can choose to stay on the main path or for the more adventurous, explore further by branching off on smaller trails.

It is free to visit and there is free parking.

Whitby Beach – Sandsend

A Bit About – The beach at Whitby stretches on for some distance with stretches of golden sand. The beach at Whitby starts to the left of the northern pier. As you leave the area of Whitby the beach then becomes Sandsend. There are plenty of rock pools at low tide and you might even spot some of the famous Whitby jet which is a precious black stone.

There are more facilities the closer you get to Whitby and there is a paddling pool plus donkey rides on the beach. Dogs are not permitted on some sections of the beach from May until September.

The beaches are accessible all year round. There are pay and display car parks near the beaches.

York City Walls York

Address: York City Centre

A Bit About – York’s City Walls are open to walk from about 8 a.m. until dusk daily. It comprises 3.4km of surviving masonry. They are the longest town walls in England. A walk takes around 2 hours to walk and there is a one-way system in place.

The walls are free to walk. There are a number of pay and display car parks nearby or you could use one of the park and rides.


INDOORS Free Things to do

Bishops House and Meersbrook Park (outdoors) Sheffield

Address: Norton Lees Ln, Meersbrook, Sheffield S8 9BE

A Bit About – Bishop’s House is located approximately two miles south of the centre of Sheffield by the top entrance to Meersbrook Park. It is steeped in history and full of charm and is Sheffield’s best-preserved timber-framed building. It is open as a museum and hosts regular events. The park itself has stunning views and a walled garden.

There is a playground and other facilities in the park including a bowling green, skate bowl, multi-use games area and an all-weather football pitch.

There is free entry to the museum. It is usually open at weekends. The park is open all year round. There is a car park in the park and there may be a charge to park.

Boston Castle and Park Rotherham

Address: 33 Boston Castle Grove, Rotherham S60 2BA

A Bit About – At Boston Castle, you can find all about the Earl of Effingham and the castle building. It is now a small visitor attraction with an interactive touch screen, children’s costumes and games. There is also access on request to a Roof Top viewing platform. The park itself covers just over eight hectares and at the side of the park is Canklow Woods, an ancient woodland area. The park has an attractive garden area.

The castle and park are free to visit. There is an on-site car park (I can not confirm that this is free to park in).

Danum Museum and Art Gallery Doncaster

Address: Waterdale, Doncaster DN1 3BZ

A Bit About – Doncaster Museum is full of unique and interesting items charting the history of the borough from the Ice Age to the 21st century. From Romans to railways and everything in between, there’s always something new to discover.

Entrance is free.

Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre Barnsley

Address: Town Hall, Church St, Barnsley S70 2TA

A Bit About – Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre is dedicated to the history and people of the borough. It is an inspiring place for all the family to visit. There is lots of fun to be had in the interactive galleries and the Discovery Centre holds priceless treasures.

The museum is free to visit. There are pay and display car parks nearby.

Sheffield Winter Garden Sheffield

Address: 90 Surrey St, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2LH

A Bit About – The Sheffield Winter Garden is located in the city centre of Sheffield. It is one of the largest temperate glasshouses to be built in the UK during the last hundred years and it is the largest urban glasshouse anywhere in Europe. It is home to more than 2,000 plants from all around the world. Next to the Peace Gardens and the Millenium Galleries, it is a unique experience in the city centre.

The winter garden is free to visit. Parking would be by pay and display.

Weston Park Museum Sheffield

Address: Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TP

A Bit About – This museum is home to a number of exhibits. There are both permanent and visiting exhibitions. It is one mile west of the city centre and it is Sheffield’s largest museum. It is an award-winning family-friendly museum full of treasures. The museum has interactive displays and the nearby park also has a playground. There is plenty there to keep children entertained.

The museum is free to visit. There is no designated parking but there is a pay and display car park nearby.

OUTDOORS Free Things To Do

Cannon Hall Museum and Gardens (and indoors)

Address: Bark House Ln, Cawthorne, Barnsley S75 4AT

A Bit About – Cannon Hall is a stunning Georgian country house museum set in 70 acres of historic parkland and beautifully landscaped gardens. It is an idyllic place for a relaxing walk, family outing or picnic in the park. As well as the museum in the hall there is also a play area in the gardens.

The museum and grounds are free to visit. There is a small charge to park.

Clifton Park and Museum (and indoors) Rotherham

Address: Clifton Ln, Rotherham S65 2AA

A Bit About – Clifton Park Museum is an exciting modern museum that takes you through Rotherham’s rich history. You will encounter the weird and wonderful as you discover the remarkable collections and exhibits. The park has gardens to relax in, a large play park, a splash area with fountains and mini-golf. Plus rides, a land train, a sandpit and more. Some of the facilities have a small charge such as the mini-golf and the rides.

The park is free to visit. There is a small charge to park with a number of car parks to choose from.

Cusworth Hall, Museum and Park (and indoors) Doncaster

Address: Cusworth Ln, Doncaster DN5 7TU

A Bit About – The hall was built in the mid-18th century and today it houses a fascinating museum documenting the daily lives of people in Doncaster from the 18th century to the present day. You can step inside the great kitchen and there are many exhibition rooms to look around. The historic parkland is a lovely place for a walk. There is a playground and accessible paths.

The park and museum are free to visit. There is a charge to park.

Damflask Reservoir Near Low Bradfield

Address: Loxley Village, near the village of Low Bradfield

A Bit About – Damflask is a 47-hectare area of open water which is popular for angling and water sports. The perimeter of the reservoir is great for walking especially since enhancements to the 3 1/4 mile circular route were completed.

It is free to visit and parking is free.

Dearne Valley Country Park Barnsley

Address: 191 Pontefract Rd, Barnsley S71 1HS

A Bit About – This is a tree-lined riverfront site with hiking and biking trails. Plus bird watching, a skate park and a playground. This wildlife haven is less than a mile from Barnsley town centre. The country park extends for two miles and is around 80 hectares in size. There is an extensive network of paths.

The park is free to visit and parking is also free.

Eccleshall Woods Sheffield

Address: Access from Abbey Lane/Cow Lane/Abbeydale Road, Sheffield S8 OBJ

A Bit About – Ecclesall Woods is located in Sheffield’s southwestern corner, near the Peak District National Park border. The Woods are actually three separate woodlands physically divided by roads. Whirlowdale Road runs between Woods 1 and 2, and Wood 3 – the largest – lies to the west of Abbey Lane. 

Together they cover nearly 140 hectares (350 acres) of gently sloping land that is crisscrossed by 15km of public footpaths and bridleways. There are lots of streams and bridges within the woodland.

It is free to visit. There is a small free parking area.

Endcliffe Park Sheffield

Address: Rustlings Rd, Sheffield S11 7AB

A Bit About – Endcliffe Park is a large park in the city of Sheffield. The park was opened in 1887 to commemorate the Jubilee of Queen Victoria. In the summer there are rides for kids which there is a small charge to go on. The park has a playground and there are often trails available around the park. There are woodlands you can explore.

The park is free to visit, with a small charge for rides. There is a charge to park.

Forge Dam Park Sheffield

Address: 9 Whiteley Ln, Sheffield S10 4GL

A Bit About – Near Endcliffe Park you will find Forge Dam Park. If you want to walk between the two it is an approximate 2-mile walk. There is a playground and it’s a great place for kids to paddle in the water. There are usually plenty of ducks so make sure you take some duck-friendly food.

The park is free to visit. Car parking is available at the end of Brookhouse Hill and on Whiteley Lane.

Graves Park Sheffield

Address: Hemsworth Rd, Sheffield S8 8LJ

A Bit About – Graves Park is Sheffield’s biggest park located in the southwest of the city. The park has many facilities including 2 playgrounds, an animal farm and sporting facilities. Plus 9 hole pitch and putt, woodland, nature trails and a fishing lake.

There may be a small charge to use some of the facilities. The animal farm is home to some rare breeds of animals including pigs, sheep, donkeys, goats and more.

The park, animal farm and most facilities are free. The park has two car parking areas the main one being located at the Buntings Nook entrance. There is a small charge to park.

Heeley City Farm Heeley, Sheffield

Address: Richards Rd, Heeley, Sheffield S2 3DT

A Bit About – This is a friendly farm with an environmental visitor centre. You can meet their friendly animals and there is a playground for children under the age of 8. The farm hosts annual events and often has child-friendly activities. Animals include goats, birds, pigs, sheep and more.

The farm is free to visit. It does not have a car park but it is surrounded by roads that you can park on.

Highfield Adventure Playground Nether Edge, Sheffield

Address: Crowther Pl, Nether Edge, Sheffield S7 1BJ

A Bit About – Children and young people love the playground because of its interesting and exciting spaces and play equipment. There is sand play, a tunnel slide, a swing and a water pump. It provides a safe place for children to play with toilets and refreshments. Staff provide a range of activities for children including crafts, cooking and games.

The playground is free to visit. It has a varied opening timetable. If anyone can provide me with information with regards to parking please contact me via Facebook.

Hillsborough Park Sheffield

Address: Parkside Rd, Sheffield S6 2AB

A Bit About – Hillsborough Park is a large parkland area in Hillsborough, Sheffield. It is situated three miles northwest of the city centre. The park features sports facilities, a children’s playground and a walled garden.

Recent work has included rebuilding and extending the pavilion, extending the playground and creating a figure-of-eight jogging track within the park. The walled garden dates back to 1779, it is a hidden gem with fairy houses and flowers. The park also has a duck pond so make sure you take some duck-friendly food.

Journey to Hidden Places Sheffield

Address: ​Start: First Start Children’s Centre, 441 Firth Park Road, S5 6HH.

A Bit About – The route known as A Journey to Hidden Places is the result of a project that took place in the suburb between 2008 and 2011 – a collaboration between artists and local people, from a rich variety of cultural backgrounds, that created a trail of permanent public artworks in the area.

You can wander through ancient Bluebell woods, find the lost gateway, discover an Iron Age hill fort with superb views over the Don Valley and search for 18 fascinating pieces of creative art, old and new, hidden around Firth Park and Wincobank. It is 4.8 miles in length so you may want to attempt the trail over a couple of days and access it from different points.

The trail is free. There is a range of parking at different points for the trail.

Langsett Reservoir near Barnsley

Address: Langsett Barn Car Park, S36 4GY

A Bit About – This reservoir sits at the northeastern edge of the Peak District National Park less than 5 miles southwest of Penistone. It has one of the largest earth embankments in the UK. The shorter walk takes around 2.5 hours.

It is free to visit and free to park.

Locke Park Barnsley

Address: Keresforth Hall Rd, Barnsley S70 6NF

A Bit About – Locke Park is a 47-acre public open space and one of the largest outdoor green spaces in Barnsley. The park is just 1 mile from the town centre and has gardens, trees and open spaces. There is a historic tower and bandstand plus a play area. They have also been busy painting murals from the films Labyrinth and Dark Crystal on their walls plus there is a fairy garden.

The park is free to visit. There is a large free car park.

Longshaw Estate near Sheffield

Address: Longshaw, Sheffield, S11 7TZ

A Bit About – Longshaw is covered with a maze of footpaths. They have three waymarked walks all starting from outside the visitor centre tea room. You can pick up a leaflet or follow the coloured arrows. Walks range from around 1.5 miles to 3 miles.

It is free to visit. National Trust members can park for free. For Non-members, there is a small charge to park.

Millhouses Park Sheffield

Address: Abbeydale Rd S, Sheffield S17 3LA

A Bit About – Millhouses Park is a public urban park located in the Millhouses area of Sheffield. It is approximately 13 hectares in size and there is plenty to do at the park. Facilities include a purpose-built skate park with ramps, rails and kerbs. making it perfect for skaters bikers & rollerbladers alike. There is a boating lake with a range of boats suitable for all (charges apply).

Plus some well-kept gardens, an adventure-style playground with balance beams, chains and climbing bars, a state-of-the-art climbing wall for 4-11 year-olds and a zip wire. There are pony rides in the summer and sports facilities.

The park is free to visit. There may be a small charge for some of the activities.

Norfolk Heritage Park Sheffield

Address: Guildford Ave, Sheffield S2 2PL

A Bit About – The park is one of the oldest in the country. It dates back to Victorian times and is set within an English Heritage Grade 2 star listed landscape. It is located close to the centre of Sheffield. Facilities include a play area with swings, a trampoline, a toddler bike track with road markings and earth mounds. Plus a woodland play area and sports facilities.

The park is free to visit and there is a free car park off Guildford Avenue.

Pot House Hamlet Garden Centre and Petting Farm Barnsley

Address: Barnsley Rd, Silkstone, Barnsley S75 4JU

A Bit About – Pot House Hamlet has a cafe and plant nursery. It also has a free-to-visit petting farm where you can get up close to its animals and stroke/feed them. Their animals are very friendly You can extend your visit by taking a walk down the ancient wagonway alongside Silkstone Beck. The cafe also often has craft sessions for kids with a small outdoor play area for toddlers.

Free to visit. There is a free car park.

Rivelin Valley Nature Trail Near Sheffield

Address: Starts Malin Bridge, Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, S6 5FG

A Bit About – The nature trail runs along the side of the rushing river which is surrounded by attractive woodland. Along the way, you’ll pass a series of wiers and little waterfalls. The walk starts at the car park off the Rivelin Valley road and picks up the waterside trail to the pretty Rivelin Park. The park has a cafe, toilets and a play area. The trail is 2.5 miles long (not circular).

The trail is free and there is a range of charged and free parking in the area.

Rother Valley Country Park Rotherham

Address: Mansfield Rd, Sheffield S26 5PQ

A Bit About – The park is close to Rotherham’s border with Sheffield and Derbyshire. It covers 740 acres and has four artificial lakes, recreational activities and nature reserves. The park has plenty of open space to play games, walk, cycle, visit the play area, ride on the miniature train (small charge), feed the birds and see the animals at the small farm. For a fee, there are watersports on one of the lakes.

It is free to visit. There is a small charge to park.

Sandall Park Doncaster

Address: 43 Sandalwood Cl, Doncaster DN2 5DW

A Bit About – Sandall Park is one of the largest parks in Doncaster. It is home to beautiful scenery, a variety of facilities and it has been awarded the Green Flag award for parks for quite a few years. There are places to play including toddler and junior play areas with a zip-wire and climbing frame plus playing fields and a new woodland adventure play area.

There is a range of sports facilities including outdoor gym equipment. The park has picnic areas and a large lake so make sure you take some bird-friendly food.

The park is free to visit. There is parking nearby.

Sheffield Botanical Gardens Sheffield

Address: Clarkehouse Rd, Broomhall, Sheffield S10 2LN

A Bit About – The Sheffield Botanical Gardens are situated off Ecclesall Road in Sheffield. It has around 5,000 species of plants set in 19 acres of land. The gardens were designed by Robert Marnock and were first opened in 1836. The gardens are listed by English Heritage as a Grade II site of special historic and architectural interest.

The Grade 2 pavilions house a wonderful collection of plants from all around the world. Several winding paths take visitors on an exploration through their 18 different garden areas.

The gardens are free to visit. There is NO parking inside the Gardens. Parking is very limited on roads off Clarkehouse Road and near the Thompson Road entrance.

Sheffield Manor Lodge Sheffield

Address: 197 Manor Ln, Sheffield S2 1UJ

A Bit About – Known locally as Manor Castle this is a lodge built around 1506 in what then was a large deer park southeast of Sheffield. You can explore the story of the lodge including the intrigues and dramas of Mary, Queen of Scots’ time in captivity.

Through costume characters, self-led trails and guided tours. You can wander through a meadow haven and lose yourself in a lavender labyrinth. There are child-friendly nature trails and crafts, you can bring your own bucket and spade for fun in their giant sandpit or there is an adventure playground.

It is free to visit and there is free visitor parking.

Worsborough Mill Museum and Country Park (and indoors) Worsborough

Address: Worsbrough Bridge, Worsbrough, Barnsley S70 5LJ

A Bit About – The country park covers over 240 acres and holds local nature reserve status. The park’s 60-acre reservoir is a haven for wildlife and is open to anglers and bird watchers. The park has well-maintained footpaths and cycle paths. There is a range of walks and a children’s play area. When open you can also visit the mill museum.

It is free to visit. There is a small charge to park.

Wyming Brook Nature Reserve Near Sheffield

Address: Sheffield S10 4QX

A Bit About – You can enjoy a waterside walk through this pretty nature reserve near Sheffield. The footpath takes you through peaceful woodland with a babbling brook, mossy crags, stone steps and wooden bridges. You can start your walk from the car park off Redmires Road just north of the lower reservoir and the Redmires woodland plantation. You then head north through the reserve to Rivelin Dams.

It is free to visit. There is a small car park.


INDOORS Free Things to do

Bagshaw Museum and Wilton Park (and outdoors) Batley

Address: Wilton Park, Batley WF17 0AS

A Bit About – Bagshaw Museum is a former Victorian mill owner’s house set in 36 acres of parkland and ancient woodland. The museum displays a wide range of unusual and exciting collections from around the world, Displays include two local history galleries.

There is an atmospheric Egyptology gallery where dramatic lighting effects are used to recreate the interior of a tomb plus a Victorian seaside gallery with a Punch and Judy show. Plus a playground for young children, a lake, sports facilities, a cafe and a toilet.

The museum is free to visit and there is free parking.

Bankfield Museum Halifax

Address: Akroyd Park, Boothtown Rd, Halifax HX3 6HG

A Bit About – The museum’s displays cover local history, costumes, art, toys, military history and more. They also feature temporary exhibitions. The museum is located in a grade II listed historic house and tells the story of Halifax and Calderdale. The museum is set in the attractive surroundings of Akroyd Park.

The museum is free to visit and there is free on-site parking.

Bradford Industrial Museum Bradford

Address: 235 Moorside Rd, Bradford BD2 3HP

A Bit About – Moorside Mills was built around 1875 as a spinning mill. The mill is now home to an industrial museum with permanent displays of textile machinery, steam power, engineering, printing machinery and motor vehicles.

You can enjoy the splendour of Moorside House where the Mill Manager lives or visit the Mill-workers terraced houses dressed to reflect three different periods of time.

The museum is free to visit and there is free on-site parking.

Castleford Museum Castleford

Address: Carlton St, Castleford WF10 1BB

A Bit About – Step back in time and discover what Castleford was like under Roman rule, celebrate the town’s rugby heritage and explore the works of local sculptor Henry Moore. The museum also has four changing displays and is located on the top floor of the original 1905 Carnegie Library.

The museum is free to visit. There is pay and display parking nearby.

Cliffe Castle Museum and Park (and outdoors) Keighley

Address: Keighley BD20 6LQ

A Bit About – Cliffe Castle was originally the home of Victorian millionaire and textile manufacturer Henry Isaac Butterfield. The castle gardens have been turned into a grand public park and the castle was remodelled to become a free museum. In recent years Cliffe Castle has undergone a major restoration. Visitors can see sparkling Victorian rooms, furniture, paintings and decorative art.

There are special galleries dealing with natural history, archaeology and social history. Things to see in the gardens include marble fountains, a pond, ornamental Victorian rockwork, glasshouses and terraces plus a popular children’s play area.

The museum and park are free to visit. There is a car park nearby.

Colne Valley Museum Golcar Near Huddersfield

Address: Cliffe Ash, Golcar, Huddersfield HD7 4PY

A Bit About – The museum is located in a Grade II listed building. It is housed in four cottages built in the 1840s by a family of independent cloth manufacturers, the Pearsons, whose relatives still live in Golcar today. You can wander through the museum’s period living room, wash kitchen and more.

The museum is free to visit. Parking is available on the main road opposite the church or in the free car park on Town End. It is not possible to park outside the museum itself.

Leeds City Museum Leeds

Address: Millennium Square, Leeds LS2 8BH

A Bit About – Leeds City Museum was originally established in 1819 and reopened in 2008. It is housed in the former Mechanics’ Institute built by Cuthbert Brodrick. The museum has six galleries and a programme of family-friendly exhibitions in the heart of the city of Leeds. You can get close to amazing animals, uncover buried archaeological treasures and discover the incredible story of Leeds’s history.

The museum is free to visit. There is pay and display parking nearby.

National Coal Mining Museum for England (and outdoors) Near Wakefield

Address: Caphouse Colliery, New Rd, Overton, Wakefield WF4 4RH

A Bit About – The museum is based at the site of Caphouse Colliery in Overton, Wakefield. It keeps the stories of coal mining alive by creating an enjoyable and inspiring way to learn. There are a series of buildings with exhibitions some of which are interactive.

You can also book a guided tour and take the lift down to where the site was once mined for coal. There is an outdoor adventure playground and a small indoor play area for toddlers.

The museum is free to visit, there is a small donation for the tour although you can ask for this back. It is free to park.

National Science and Media Museum Bradford

Address: Pictureville, Bradford BD1 1NQ

A Bit About – Please note they are currently closed for major renovations – This is a modern museum located in the centre of Bradford. The museum has permanent and temporary exhibitions. Permanent exhibitions include a Kodak gallery where you can step into a 19th- Century portrait studio and see hundreds of photography-related objects. Then there is Wonderlab where there are 20 interactive exhibits.

You can learn and experiment with light and sound. Plus there is a games room where you can play all manner of vintage games. (admission into this part is £2 pp).

The museum is free to visit. There is a small charge for the games room. There is a pay and display car park nearby.

Royal Armouries Museum Leeds

Address: Armouries Dr, Leeds LS10 1LT

A Bit About – This is a large museum where you can see the national collection of arms and armour. There are a number of galleries including hunting, Oriental, self-defence and more. The museum also hosts a number of annual family-friendly events.

The museum houses a collection of over 75,000 objects. You can see armour and weapons through the ages from early medieval knights to the modern-day soldier. There are exciting hands-on history activities and live combat demonstrations.

The museum is free to visit. There is a pay and display car park.

Salts Mill Saltaire

Address: Victoria Rd, Saltaire, Shipley BD18 3LA

A Bit About – Salts Mill is set in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire. The Grade II listed historic mill building is now home to the largest collection of David Hockney art, shops, a cafe and restaurants plus another gallery that takes a fascinating look at Saltaire’s history from 1853 to the present day. The village is also worth a wander around with a play area in the local Roberts Park.

The Mill is free to visit. The car park is also free.

The Hepworth Wakefield

Address: Gallery Walk, Wakefield WF1 5AW

A Bit About – The Hepworth in Wakefield is an art museum with galleries that display sculptures and paintings with a focus on modern art. There are small ‘play’ stations for toddlers. There is also a small play area outside.

The museum is free to visit. There is a pay and display car park nearby.

Tolson Museum and Ravensknowle Park (and outdoors) Huddersfield

Address: Ravensknowle Park, Wakefield Rd, Moldgreen, Huddersfield HD5 8DJ

A Bit About – This museum tells a vivid and intriguing story of the area and its people. Starting from prehistory to the present day with unique collections. From Roman finds to textiles and birds to transport. It is a treasure house of the fascinating, the curious and the amazing. The grounds are expansive with a children’s playground, bowling area and lovely areas for games.

The museum and park are free to visit. There is ample free parking in the main car park.

Wakefield Museum Wakefield

Address: 159 Mulberry Way, Wakefield WF1 2UP

A Bit About – Wakefield Museum is a stimulating and vibrant part of the new and prestigious Wakefield One building in the heart of Wakefield. The museum is located on the lower ground floor along with Local Studies where you are invited to explore and engage with the history of the people of Wakefield.

History comes to life in The Front Room with a Victorian Kitchen and a 1940s living room. Here children can become characters from the past by trying on our dressing-up collection inspired by the costumes on display in the museum, whilst adults can take a trip down memory lane with our 1950s display.

The museum is free to visit. There is a pay and display car park nearby.

OUTDOORS Free Things to do

Anglers Country Park near Wakefield

Address: Haw Park Ln, Wintersett, Wakefield WF4 2EB

A Bit About – The park has a huge lake that you can walk all the way around. There is a Room on the Broom trail going around the lake which you can walk around for free. If you want the activity pack it costs £2. There is also a play area. The walk around the lake is 2.5 miles, there are also further walks away from the lake.

The park is free to visit. There is a small charge to park.

Beaumont Park Huddersfield

Address: 74 Beaumont Park Rd, Huddersfield HD4 7AY

A Bit About – This is a magnificent park with ornate features, cascades, grottos, steep cliffs and picturesque woodland walks for all the family. There are play areas and a visitor centre plus other facilities. There is even a hidden castle waiting to be found. The park is just over 20 acres in size.

The park is free to visit. There is parking on the road adjacent to the park.

Bingley St Ives Park Near Bingley

Address: Harden, Bingley BD16 1AT

A Bit About – This 550-acre park is a real gem and it is a great place for wildlife lovers. There are many paths crisscrossing the estate. There is a massive play area and a cafe.

It is free to visit. There is no charge to park.

Bramley Fall Park and Woods Leeds

Address: 77 Town St, Bramley, Leeds LS13 1HL

A Bit About – This is a large park and woods with a playground, playing fields and a trim trail. The wood backs onto the Leeds Liverpool Canal and there is a walk along the riverside with well-defined paths and some steep steps. The woods are around 1 mile in length and the canal path is longer.

The park is free to visit. There are a number of entrances and car parks. Most parking is free.

Bronte Waterfall Haworth

Address: Haworth Moor, Haworth, Keighley BD22 8DR

A Bit About – The Bronte Waterfall is a small waterfall located about a mile southwest of Stanbury near Haworth. The area surrounding the waterfall is mainly moorland and farmland but is part of Bronte country. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty and is famous for its association with the Bronte sisters.

It takes approximately 45 minutes to walk from Haworth Main Street to the Bronte waterfall or 25 minutes from Penistone Hill Country Park which has free parking. There are opportunities to dip your toes in the water and you will have to cross some larger stones and rougher terrain the closer you get to the waterfall.

The waterfall is free to visit. You will have to pay to park in Haworth or you can park at Penistone Hill Country Park for free.

Chevin Forest Park Otley

Address: The Whitehouse Visitor Centre/Johnny La, Otley LS21 3JL

A Bit About – The forest park overlooks the market town of Otley and it is a designated nature reserve. There are some amazing views from the Surprise View car park. You can walk for almost 3 miles.

The forest is free to visit. There are 5 car parks. I believe they are all free but I can not 100% confirm this is correct.

Cromwell Bottom Local Nature Reserve Brighouse

Address: 427 Elland Rd, Brighouse HD6 2RG

A Bit About – Cromwell Bottom is one of the most important wildlife sites in the Calderdale area. The River Calder runs through the reserve and the wetlands and meadows provide a great habitat for a variety of wildlife. The reserve is wheelchair friendly with many paths being accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

The reserve is free to visit. There is a free car park or you can park in Brighouse and walk along the canal path.

Eccup Reservoir Leeds

Address: Leeds LS17 7RJ

A Bit About – Eccup Reservoir is a wonderful break from urban life right on the fringe of Leeds. It has a circular walk which is ideal for families with plenty to see along the way. The route passes through woodlands and the quaint village of Eccup, over a dam and alongside a local golf course. The reservoir is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is nationally important for birds.

It is free to visit. On-street parking is available on Alwoodley Lane. Please park responsibly.

Goit Stock Waterfalls Harden

Address: Penny Cote, Leech Ln, Goit Stock Ln, Harden, Wilsden, Bingley BD16 1DF

A Bit About – The waterfall is something of a hidden gem located in the secluded Goit Stock Wood on the edge of the south Pennines. There is a circular walk that starts at a parking area by Harden Lane and Mill Hill Top. From here you can pick up footpaths heading east through the woods.

You will see pretty streams and rushing falls along the way with lots of opportunities for a shallow paddle, although do be careful of deeper water. The path is uneven and not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs.

The waterfalls are free to visit. There may be a charge to park.

Golden Acre Park Leeds

Address: Otley Rd, Bramhope, Leeds LS16 8BQ

A Bit About – There is a popular circular lakeside walk in the park with wonderful gardens and a popular tea room. At 136 acres this is a large park and near to two of Leeds’ most treasured nature reserves: Breary March and Abel Dam. There are streams, ponds, a lake and woodland.

The park is free to visit. There are free car parks off Otley Road and Arthington Road.

Greenhead Park Huddersfield

Address: Trinity St, Huddersfield HD1 4DT

A Bit About – Greenhead Park is a beautiful urban park located west of Huddersfield town centre. It was originally opened in 1884 and it still retains much of its charm from the Victorian era. There is a great variety of things to do at Greenhead Park.

The park has a large paddling pool, two play areas, gardens, a pretty pond with ducks you can feed and additional family-friendly activities in the summer which will have a small charge to use.

The park is free to visit. There is a pay and display car park at the park or there may be free parking on the surrounding roads.

Hardcastle Crags Hebden Bridge

Address: Gibson Mill, Midgehole Rd, Hebden Bridge HX7 7AW

A Bit About – Hardcastle Crags offers a chance to walk through some fairly ancient woodland above a stream that has many paths and items of interest. About a mile from the car park is a renovated mill which is worth a look around. There is also a cafe. The valley is crisscrossed with over 15 miles of footpaths, just waiting to be discovered.

It is free to visit. There are pay and display car parks at Midgehole Road, Clough Hole and Widdop Road.

Horsforth Hall Park and Japanese Gardens Horsforth

Address: Hall Ln, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 5JE

A Bit About – Horsforth Hall Park is a large community park about six miles northwest of Leeds city centre. With scenic walks, a trim trail, Japanese garden. Plus an integrated play facility, Spider’s web playground and more.

The park is free to visit. There may be a charge to park.

Ilkley Riverside Gardens Ilkley

Address: 33 Bridge Ln, Ilkley LS29 9EU

A Bit About – The Riverside Gardens alongside the River Wharfe is a lovely park to spend a couple of hours in. The gardens are a popular place for families with an excellent playground. There is a large sandy area next to the river which people use as a beach.

The park is free to visit and there is free parking although this can easily become busy on a sunny day.

Kirkstall Abbey Kirkstall Leeds

Address: Abbey Rd, Kirkstall, Leeds LS5 3EH

A Bit About – This is one of the best-preserved Cistercian monasteries in the country. It was founded over 800 years ago and is just 3 miles from the city centre of Leeds. It is set in a public park on the north bank of the River Aire.

You can explore the historic ruins, wander through the woodlands and there is a visitor centre with interactive displays. There is a large playground in the park and it’s a great space to play and enjoy a picnic.

The abbey and park are free to visit. There is a large free car park.

Lister Park Bradford

Address: Bradford BD9 4NS

A Bit About – Lister Park, also known as Manningham Park, is a picturesque public park in Bradford. It is located a mile from the city centre and is home to Cartwright Hall art gallery. It has many features including a lake with boating, tennis courts, play areas and inspiring Mughal Water gardens.

The park is free to visit. There is a free car park.

Middleton Park / Leeds Urban Bike Park Middleton

Address: Town St, Middleton, Leeds LS10 3SH

A Bit About – This park has a mixture of traditional parkland and ancient woodland. This green space is over 470 acres and has something for everyone including a cafe, playground, fishing lake and more. There is also 200 acres of woodland. The park is also home to Leeds Urban Bike Park.

The park is free to visit. Some facilities may have a small charge. There may be a charge to park.

Newmillar Dam and Gnome Roam Wakefield

Address: Newmillerdam, Wakefield WF2 6QQ

A Bit About – The country park features a central lake surrounded by a surfaced path with surrounding woodland. You can take part in the gnome roam trail where you find the sculptures and complete the activity challenges as you go. There is a 1.5-mile surface lake walk and further walks.

The park is free to visit. There may be a small charge to park.

Oakwell Hall Country Park Batley

Address: Nutter Ln, Birstall, Batley WF17 9LF

A Bit About – The restored gardens are well worth a visit and there are 100 acres of Green Flag award-winning country park. With a visitor centre, gift shop, cafe, nature trail, picnic site and a playground designed for children of all abilities.

The park is free to visit and it is free to park.

Ogden Water Country Park Near Halifax

Address: Ogden Ln, Halifax HX2 8XZ

A Bit About – Ogden Water local nature reserve offers a superb opportunity to escape from the stresses and strains of everyday life. Over 300,000 people visit every year to enjoy picnics, walking, feeding the ducks and nature activities. There are numerous woodland trails and waterside paths to explore including 1 1/4 miles of wheelchair-accessible pathway.

It is free to visit. There is a small charge to park.

Pontefract Castle Pontefract

Address: The Lodge Castle Chain, Pontefract WF8 1QH

A Bit About – The castle is a ruin that stands in the town of Pontefract. It was once a magnificent and extravagant place that today has many stories to tell. You can explore the remnants of ferocious sieges and Victorian pleasure grounds. You can discover the captivating stories of the castle via displays. There is also a fun adventure play area.

The castle is free to visit. There are pay and display car parks nearby.

Pugneys Country Park Wakefield

Address: Asdale Rd, Denby Dale Rd, Wakefield WF2 7EQ

A Bit About – There are a number of walks with good footpath links to Sandal Castle where there are spectacular views to the west along the Calder Valley. Within the park, there is a nature reserve where you can enjoy bird watching and water sports.

The park has a play area, a light railway and cycle paths. Their unique Blown Adventure Trail provide activities that provide a fun outdoor experience for all the family! The Trail is based on the story Blown Away written by local author Conrad Burdekin and illustrated by Lilian Fitchett.

The park is free to visit. It is free to park for 2 hours, after that you have to pay (please get a free ticket from the machine). Some activities may be charged.

Roundhay Park Leeds

Address: Mansion Ln, Roundhay, Leeds LS8 2HH

A Bit About – Roundhay Park covers over 700 acres of parkland, lakes and woodland. It is one of the largest urban parks in the world. There are gardens, a playground, lakes, a land train, a castle folly, cafes and more.

The park is free to visit and free to park. There is a small charge for the land train.

RSPB Fairburn Ings Near Castleford

Address: RSPB Fairburn Ings Visitor Centre, Newton Ln, Castleford WF10 2BH

A Bit About – Nestled between Leeds, York and Wakefield. Fairburn Ings is an exciting site for family activities and serious wildlife watching. Over the last 60 years, it has transitioned from a coal face to a wild place. The circular walk is 5.5 miles.

It is free to visit. Parking is free for members of the RSPB. Non-members pay £4 to park.

RSPB St Aidans Park Leeds

Address: RSPB St Aidan’s Nature Park, Astley Ln, Leeds LS26 8AL

A Bit About – Just a stone’s throw from the centre of Leeds, St. Aidan’s is a stunning park to explore. Whether you’re on foot, on your bike, or have your camera at the ready, take advantage of the amazing views and wonderful wildlife.

The park is free to visit. Parking is free for members of the RSPB. There is a small charge to park for non-members.

Standedge Tunnel and Visitor Centre Near Huddersfield

Address: Waters Rd, Huddersfield HD7 6NQ

A Bit About – Standedge Tunnel is Britain’s longest, deepest and highest canal tunnel. At the Marsden end of the tunnel in their visitor centre, you can learn all about the history of the tunnel. The collection consists of over 12,000 objects. You can also go on boat trips from here although there is a small charge for this.

The boat trips start from Tunnel End Cottages at the tunnel mouth and go about 500 metres into the tunnel. There is a recently refurbished cafe with a small indoor soft play area. There is also the Admiral’s trail which is a great family-friendly trail to help you explore the area.

The visitor centre etc. is free to visit. There is a small charge if you want to take a boat trip. Car parking is in the car park near Marsden railway station. From there it is a pleasant ten-minute walk along the canal towpath to Tunnel End.

Temple Newsam Park Leeds

Address: Temple Newsam Rd, Leeds LS15 0AE

A Bit About – This is a large free park with fantastic views across rolling hills. There are nature trails, walking, cycling and it’s a great place to take a picnic. There is a playground and beautiful gardens. There are other facilities such as Go Ape, a farm and you can look around the house, all of these have entrance fees.

It is free to park and free to visit.

Thornes Park Wakefield

Address: 101 Thornes Rd, Wakefield WF2 8QD

A Bit About – The park is a large public park close to the centre of Wakefield. Along with Clarence Park and Holmfield Park, it forms a large parkland to the southwest of the city. The park boasts a model railway, formal gardens, a lake, a skate park and an aviary.

There is a large children’s play area in Thornes Park with slides, climbing frames, swings and see-saws for children to enjoy. There is also a smaller area for under 5s to enjoy play designed for them with small slides and rocking figures.

The park is free to visit. There may be a small charge for a few of the facilities. There may be a charge to park.

Walton Colliery Nature Park Wakefield

Address: 102 Shay Ln, Walton, Wakefield WF2 6NB

A Bit About – Located 3 miles southeast of Wakefield, Walton Colliery Nature Park consists of lakes and ponds, woodland and grassland and also a section of the Barnsley canal. With a network of paths through the park for walking and cycling. The loop trail is 3 miles in length.

It is free to visit and free to park.

Wharfemeadows Park Otley

Address: 1 Farnley Ln, Otley LS21 2AB

A Bit About – One of the most well-known sights in Otley, lies alongside the River Wharfe and has beautiful gardens where you can take a leisurely walk, or go on the river on a boat or pedalo. There is an extensive playground and you can enjoy ice cream from the cafe that overlooks the river. There is also a skateboard park and an outdoor gym.

The park is free to visit. There may be a charge to park.

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