With more and more places opening up once again, road trips and staycations are very much in this summer – and the rest of the year. If you’ve recently passed your test, or been unable to get behind the wheel over the last few months since receiving your licence, it’s time to put those driving lessons in York to good use. While the city itself is thriving with things to do and see, there’s a reason why the county of Yorkshire has been dubbed ‘God’s own country’ – so let’s round up the top 5 places you need to discover on your next road trip.
If you seek adventure, Dalby Forest is the perfect place for a day out. With dedicated areas for barbecues and picnics, load up the cool box and enjoy a picturesque lunch amidst 8,000 acres of woodland. If you’re into cycling, bring your bike and burn off some energy, or alternatively buy or hire some wheels from The Bike Barn. Adrenaline junkies will enjoy the Go Ape high ropes and zip wires. Or just seek some solitude among the scenery, with numerous walking trails for all abilities. With so much to discover, no two trips to Dalby Forest will ever be the same.
- Directions: Follow the A169 Pickering to Whitby road, following the brown and white tourist signs.
- Opening Hours: 08:00 – 20:00 (visitor centre: 10:00 – 16:00).
- Prices: £9 per car or £5 after 4pm. An additional charge may apply for some facilities and activities.
Whether you’re a literature enthusiast or not, Whitby Abbey is worth a visit – not least to view the imposing ruins that have inspired many throughout history. Just last year, Whitby Abbey was given a revamp, to make your experience even more immersive and enjoyable – with new facilities including a cosy café, tree-lined courtyard and improvements made to the visitor’s centre and museum. Climb the 199 steps the same way that Bram Stoker’s Dracula did and learn more about the ammonite quest. You’ll need to pre-book your timed tickets as limited numbers are currently in operation.
- Directions: Whitby can be reached via the A171, and you’ll need to follow the brown and white tourist signs for the Abbey (postcode: YO22 4JT). Pay and display car park is 100m from the Abbey’s entrance (owned by Scarborough Borough Council).
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 17:00.
- Prices: Free for English Heritage members, or £10 for standard admission.
Wolds Way Lavender & Nature Farm
We’ve had wisteria hysteria, and now we’ve got a lavender love-in – pack your smartphone because photos at Wolds Way aren’t just a must, they’re Insta goals! The lavender farm is packed into 12 acres of land, with over 100 varieties to relax your mind. If lavender isn’t your thing, fear not – as there’s so much else to do at Wolds Way. Discover the Wildflower or Woodland walks, be one with nature with the Bird Hide or Butterfly Garden, and make the most of your visit with the tearoom and shop at your disposal.
- Directions: Wolds Way is located half a mile off the A64 (York to Scarborough road). Follow the brown and white tourist signs. Postcode for sat nav: YO17 8HW.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 17:00 (10:00 – 16:00 during the month of September).
- Prices: £8 for an adult (or £6.50 from September 7th during off-peak season). Season passes also available.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park
If you’re looking for something different for a ‘date day’ or trip with friends, why not visit Yorkshire Wildlife Park? Based in Doncaster, the park reopened earlier this month and is home to nearly 400 animals. Head Into! Africa with its critically endangered black rhino, Eland and Lechwe antelope. Or go Down Under with Wallaby Walkabout. Enhance your visit with a unique experience – Meet the Animals or become a VIP. If you’re making a day of it, you’ll be pleased to know that the numerous eateries and cafés are on the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme this month – so take advantage of some lunchtime savings. At the moment, you’ll need to pre-book tickets, adhering to your arrival timeslot.
- Directions: If using a Sat Nav, the postcode is DN4 6TB. The Wildlife Park is accessed from the M18 via the Great Yorkshire Way (A6182) road. Be sure to follow the brown and white tourist signs.
- Opening Hours: Throughout August, Sunday to Thursday: 08:00 – 19:00 and Friday to Saturday: 08:00 – 21:00.
- Prices: Online, an adult ticket costs £19.50, or £17.50 if you have a valid student or NUS card.
Harrogate is home to some of the best attractions in all of Yorkshire, so a daytrip to this town is an absolute must – and it’s only about 20 miles from the city of York itself. No matter what your hobbies and interests, you’ll find the perfect activities to suit you. A particular place of note is the iconic Bettys Tea Rooms, which celebrated its centenary last year. If activity and thrills is what you desire, there’s the Yorkshire Dales and their trails. For relaxation and indulgence, there are plenty of spas, so why not unwind and treat yourself? From historical sites and picturesque gardens, to themed attractions and a vibrant arts and culture scene, you’ll be totally spoilt for choice.
- Directions: The quickest route in terms of time and distance is to go via the A59. On a good day, it should take less than 40 minutes.