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Day Trips from York

My initial plan for my London trip 2020 was to spend 3 nights in York, and then backtrack through London and spend my final 3 days in SE England before heading back to Gatwick for the flight home. My updated plan for London 2022 is instead to spend possibly 6 nights in York and make day trips north. My inspiration is the Last Kingdom books and TV show, and to drive to Bamburgh Castle (Bebbanburg in the books). What other day trips would you suggest from York? I'm willing to rent a car.

Posted by
1085 posts

Yorkshire Dales.

One of the UKs finest landscapes.

Masham brewery tour.
Forbidden Corner

Malham Cove / Gordale Scar
There's a free small museum at the railway station
the food is outstanding at the Old Hill Inn.

Ingelton waterfalls walk.

Jordas Cave .
Buttertubs Pass.
Tan Hill.
The beautifully Swale valley
Threatre at Richmond and the finest town square in UK.
The roads are pretty quiet too.

Posted by
1255 posts

The whole of the Northumberland coast is spectacular - there’s Alnwick Castle and the shoreline ruin of Dunstanburgh Castle in addition to Bamburgh. Segadunum Roman fort, the end of Hadrian’s Wall in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne (Wallsend to be precise!). It’s not a massive drive out to the best bits of Hadrian’s Wall at Steel Rigg/Housesteads fort. The East Yorkshire coast from Saltburn south to Robin Hoods Bay is rather good too.

I have a soft spot for the North Yorks Moors - another castle at Helmsley - but not everybody is big on ‘big and empty’! Also on the fringes of the NY Moors is the ruined Cistercian Abbey of Rievaulx with its terrace above and a little further north is Mount Grace Priory, the ruins of a Carthusian Abbey.Not too far from York is Ripon and the nearby ruins of Fountains Abbey/Studley Royal ornamental gardens. The still used parish church in the deer park is worth a visit if open. Fans of the Venerable Bede can visit his abbey at industrial Jarrow, while he is buried, along with St. Cuthbert in Durham Cathedral.

Further south from York is the site of Britain’s bloodiest battle at Towton - lots of fields with information boards. Close by is the tiny chapel of Lead, the only building standing in the now deserted mediaeval village, though lumps and bumps in the field show where it once was. In the Yorkshire Wolds there is another deserted mediaeval village at Wharram Percy. Having walked the Yorkshire Wolds Way I can advise that there’s nothing much there either, although Thixendale is quite interesting - the point where up to sixteen dry valleys meet.

Trust this gives you a few to add to the list!


Posted by
2851 posts

By train you can go to Durham (45m direct meaning no changes required).

Posted by
2396 posts

We went to Whitby as part of a van tour from York and I really enjoyed it. I would have liked to have spent more than the two hours we spent there.

Posted by
7176 posts

As a bonus for Hadrian’s Wall, continue a bit east from Wallsend to South Shields, another Newcastle suburb. There’s the site of an ancient Roman fort, with original foundations and some modern reconstructions to see what things were likely like 1,900 years ago. While the Wall didn’t technically go that far, the Roman frontier did, and it’s well worth a visit while you’re in the area. The town and its residents are really nice, too. Bus service is convenient from Newcastle.

Posted by
1282 posts

Skipton is a pleasant market town worth a visit for its castle and high street. Perhaps only a half a day visit with lunch, but you could include another stop along the way (e.g. Harlow Carr if you have an interest in gardens). Skipton is also a "gateway" into the Dales from the south.

If you have an interest in historic houses & their gardens/parks, then Harewood House is one of England's finest. About 45 minutes drive from York. Nearby to Harewood Ho. is Spofforth Castle which is worth a quick visit (if you can park - last time I was there it was almost impossible to find a space).

PS It does depend on your interests. For example if you have a general interest in industrial heritage and/or David Hockney you might consider driving over to Saltaire. But if those two things don't tickle your fancy, then visiting Saltaire probably is not worth the effort for you.

Posted by
14581 posts


Forty five minute train to Huddersfield then 25 minute local bus to Holmfirth.

If you are a fan of a certain TV show, you'll know about Holmfirth. If not, you'll probably find other places more interesting.

Posted by
6324 posts

Bamburgh Castle is interesting, in a scenic windy place (we almost got blown out to sea), but a long way from York and not a bit like Bebbanburg as portrayed in the TV series (set in a much earlier period). I'd suggest Durham for sure if you're interested in cathedrals, and Hadrian's Wall if time allows. Of course our Yorkshire posters must have good suggestions too.

Posted by
9329 posts

Thirsk is close to York where you can visit James Herriot’s home (James Wight was his real name) of All Creatures Great and Small fame. It was a wonderful day trip from York by train for us and a highlight of our trip.

Posted by
6182 posts

I have a couple Holmfirth “Last of the Summer Wine” sights bookmarked for the next time we’re in that part of England, including a side trip to Marsden to see Auntie Wainwright’s shop. We’ll hit those along with the sights from the new “All Creatures Great and Small” in the somewhat nearby Grassington area.

If driving and you like Neolithic and nature sights, The Twelve Apostles Stone Circle and Ilkley Moor Cow & Calf Rocks are not too far from York.

Posted by
3633 posts

You spoke of staying in York and taking day trips, one of them being to Bamburgh Castle.
That is a long, long way for a day trip.
Suggest staying overnight near Bamburgh Castle.
Suggest overnight stays as you work your way north, perhaps a night in Durham, and a night at the lodgings near Alnwick Castle.
If you drive along to get a good look at Hadrian's Wall, there are numerous small hotels and B&B's along the way.
An overnight stay somewhere along there would be a good idea.
Nice and peaceful and in the middle of nowhere.

Posted by
3832 posts

Good grief. I already have 5 nights slotted (and days filled) for York in 2022 (Allan, I promise I am not following you guys around) and almost none of these ideas are on my list. I think I could add another week!

Posted by
6113 posts

York to Bamburgh is a 6 hour round trip by road or train, so it’s not a day trip. If you were to spend a couple of nights in Durham, I would recommend Beamish Museum, but this is a full day.

There are a couple of heritage steam railways in Yorkshire which is a great way to spend a day. Pickering to Whitby on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway passes some stunning scenery including Goathland where Heartbeat was filmed for many years. The Keighley & Worth Valley runs from Keighley and Oxenhope with one popular stop being Howarth, home of the Brontes.

If anyone is visiting Marsden and Holmfirth for LOTSW exploring, I recommend the Riverhead Brewery Tap in Marsden for lunch and for drinks and cake in Holmfirth - Longleys (a local dairy so the ice cream is good), The Carding Shed for unusual decor and The Riverside Cafe.

Posted by
3921 posts

I've got a lot of reading and studying to do this weekend. Thank you. While a 3 hour drive to something and then a 3 hour drive back would be a distance I would consider a day trip at home, I'll have to rethink based on the advice given so far.

Posted by
7479 posts

Castle Howard is a great visit for a day trip from York.

Whitby is a great place to visit, but suggest it needs more time than on a day trip.

We spent two nights in Durham and loved that city.

We stayed in Haltwhistle to see Hadrian's Wall and the ancient Roman fort near there.

Posted by
317 posts

For something perhaps off the normal tourist trail, you could try Wakefield (of War of the Roses fame). 38 min direct, or just under an hour with a change at Leeds, Wakefield Cathedral, the National Coal Mining Museum (use taxi or bus to get there from Wakefield Westgate train station), the Chantry Chapel and Chantry Bridge, all would fill your day.

Oh, and @Travelmom - easy to do in York. The city and Yorkshire are fabulous. If you havent done it, one more for your list is afternoon tea at The Grand in York. You can even make it a Champagne tea, or a Hendricks G & Tea if you prefer something a bit stronger.

Posted by
182 posts

After leaving York we drove through Scarborough (to see the Castle) then to Whitby (to see the Abbey) before turning west to head to the Lake District. Couple of hours in each place and we used our Historic England pass to get into each place, lovely day.

Posted by
1189 posts

Hello from Wisconsin,
Stamford Bridge. It is close by to York.

It is the ignored battle that may have led to the successful Norman invasion of England. We all remember '1066 and All That'. But on Sept 25, 1066 the King of England, Harold, defeated an invading Norwegian force that had already taken the city of York. That invading force was led by Harald (yep, a bit different spelling) and Harold's brother, Tostig. Both were killed in the battle.

Harold after waiting all summer along the south coast waiting for the expected Normand invasion with his '90 day' troops released them to go home Sept 7. On September 21 he learned of the northern invasion by Harald and Tostig. Think of this. In camp all summer. Recollecting as many of his troops as he could. Then marching 185 miles north in four days to the Sept. 25 battle that they won decisively. And then learning of the September 27 Norman, William the Conqueror led, invasion on the south coast.

A return march to the south coast to a defeat on Oct. 14.

Lake District? Well, if you like tourists stacked one on top of another, then go to the recommended locations. Other wise you have to drive the slow rural roads. And it seems you might like to travel too fast for that.

Hadrian's Wall: Pick a good spot to walk a section and by that I mean walk until you are at least out of sight of your car. Pick a good section where there are reconstructions.

Jarrow: And the Venerable Bede. This is early English language's start.

Durham: The Cathedral.

enjoy, and slow down. Less is more when you travel.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
32152 posts


I concur with other suggestions to take a trip on the North York Moors Steam Railway. It's a fascinating glimpse of the past and the scenery along the way is beautiful. A car would be the quickest way to get from York to Pickering. As I recall, the carpark at the Pickering rail station is fairly small, but they used to have an overflow carpark at a trout farm a short way up the road from the station. It's about a 10-15 minute walk from that lot to the station. If you didn't want to go as far as Whitby, you could stop at Goathland and have a pint in the Aidensfield Arms (from Heartbeat fame). I believe the old station in Goathland was used in the Harry Potter movies. I still watch Heartbeat every week, and in fact it will be coming on in about 15 minutes (broadcast on Knowledge Network here in B.C.).

If you're interested in WW-II history, you might also consider a visit to Eden Camp, which used to be a POW camp for German and Italian prisoners during the war. The camp has been voted the top tourist attraction at least twice. Each of the 28 huts is configured with a different theme, and I found it enormously interesting - . Again, a car would be an asset, but Rome2Rio gives all the options.

Posted by
1538 posts

Allan I know you are a baseball guy but you might consider a tour of a soccer stadium to get a feel for the sport and what it means to them. They usually have a museum attached.

As a Liverpool fan I'm loathe to suggest it, but Old Trafford (Manchester United) might be a good stop for you. The attached museum is worthwhile too. (I admit it, we went there).

If your trip evolves to include points further west, definitely hit Liverpool (the city is terrific), and include Anfield (the stadium and museum -- not to be confused with Goodison, the other stadium).

Posted by
3921 posts

This post is a month old and good suggestions keep rolling in giving me things to research. Andrea, a stadium tour, museum and game has always been on my list. I have no favourite team so I'm not fussy. I'm a big sports fan and wherever I go I look at the local teams, no matter the sport.

Ken, I am going to look up the POW camp, thanks for that.

Wayner, Durham is on my list thanks to the Last Kingdom series.

Posted by
1538 posts

Allan since you have no allegiances I think you should take Liverpool on as your team!