The best things to do in Yorkshire on Yorkshire Day

By Emily Waddell

Typically when you hear about lesser known holidays, be it destination or calendar, they tend to actually be a sneaky marketing campaign designed to squeeze you for a few pounds

Take Blue Monday, i.e. the third Monday in January, which, while touted as scientifically the most depressing day of the year, was actually just a marketing campaign. But August 1st – Yorkshire Day – has been celebrated since 1975 and is a celebration of all things to do with the UK’s largest country, no marketing ploy here.

So why not take this opportunity to explore the best things to do in Yorkshire? Don’t think it’s all flat caps and whippet owners: the Brontë sisters were from Yorkshire and so were Pulp and Patrick Stewart originally. There’s a whole world of culture, history and art to explore, right next door!

Scare Yourself Silly at Pontefract

30 East Drive
Credit to

Trains to PontefractAccommodation from £34

Skip the beautiful historic buildings and head to 30 East Drive, a 1950’s ex-council house which gained notoriety in the 60’s and 70’s due to the unexplained supernatural happenings. Supposedly caused by an ex-Monk who was hung during the Tudors reign, 30 East Drive is now a tourist attraction for amateur ghost-hunters. Dare you stay the night?

KAYAK Accommodation Tip: If you’re very brave, you can actually stay in 30 East Drive overnight, if not the ‘Excellent’ rated King’s Croft Hotel isn’t far and is guaranteed ghost-free for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Enjoy the View in Staithes

This romantic fishing village is the perfect escape from city living and a great way to get a sense of Yorkshire life. It’s a bit of a tourist destination, but not enough to lose its authenticity; Staithes streets are lined with higgledy-piggledy cottages through steep winding streets making it a bit of a labyrinth for an outsider. Visit the Staithes Studio Gallery to see some of the bustling art scene’s ventures.

Staithes is a perfect seaside getaway © Lukasz Pajor/

Trains to StaithesAccommodation from £45

KAYAK Accommodation Tip: The Captain Cook Inn, named after Staithes most famous resident, has spectacular views of the seafront and the owners are brimming with local tips and history.

Discover The Forbidden Corner

Who isn’t a fan of a folly, ay? For those who don’t know what a folly is, it’s a building or area that’s been constructed purely for decoration. The Forbidden Corner is a fantastical folly near Coverdale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Featuring statues, towers, an underground maze and a labyrinth with a revolving floor, it’s the perfect day out for adults and children alike. Due to planning permission issues, only 120 people are allowed in the park at a time, so book ahead to ensure entry.

The Forbidden Corner
Get silly in The Forbidden Corner © WhaleyTim/

Trains to Coverdale Accommodation from £60

KAYAK Accommodation Tip: Get away from it all at Capple Bank Farm, perfectly positioned to visit The Forbidden Corner as well as for sampling other delights of the Yorkshire Dales.

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While away the Time in Whitby Abbey

Perched on the edge of a cliff with the fierce sea breeze clattering against the Gothic Benedictine architecture, Whitby Abbey is atmospheric, to say the least. So atmospheric that Bram Stoker rendered it in his famous novel Dracula, tourists have latched onto this mysterious vibe and the town of Whitby also happens to the host the UK’s biggest Goth festival. Even if you like bright colours and Coldplay, Whitby Abbey is a sight not to be missed.

Whitby Abbey
A Gothic paradise in Whitby Abbey © travellight/

Trains to WhitbyAccommodation from £12

KAYAK Accommodation Tip: The Pier Inn is a classic, historic Whitby accommodation; beautiful sea views, traditional Yorkshire dishes on offer and friendly locals to give you pointers to the best sights.

Are you looking for the perfect hotel in the shopping, sightseeing or party district?Use KAYAK Heat Maps to search for what you want, and we’ll display all the hotels close by on a city map. Simply click on ‘Map View’ in the upper left corner on the hotel search page. Now just click which filter you are most interested in, like ‘Nightlife’, and the party zones and corresponding hotels are highlighted.

York Castle Museum is a Historian’s Delight

Located in the city centre on the site of the original York Castle, built by William the Conqueror, is the York Castle Museum. In another life, the site used to house prison buildings, so not only does the Museum have an extensive history of the original castle, it also has a display about life in the prison. Kirkgate, a recreated Victorian street is a real delight.

York Castle Museum
A rare treat awaits in York Castle Museum © chrisdorney/

Trains to YorkAccommodation from £9

KAYAK Accommodation Tip: Judges Court in the centre of York is a luxury boutique hotel that’s within a 5-minute walk of the central attractions of the city.

Navigate the North York Moors

Over 1,400 miles of natural and tranquil beauty greets you on the North York Moors. Serving as the inspiration for multiple scenes for Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights (and a great Kate Bush song) the Moors have coastlines, forests and ruins to explore. A great way to see the best parts of the Moors is the classic White Horse Walk, a gentle three-mile route to the iconic landmark.

North York Moors
The picturesque North York Moors © Richard Pinder/

Trains to PickeringAccommodation from £63

KAYAK Accommodation Tip: Located just on the edge of the North York Moors is the five-star High Dalby House for a touch of elegance in God’s Own Country.

Walk The Historic Shambles

Walking through the Shambles either you’ll ever feel like you’re in a famous movie about a boy wizard or you’ll be a tad concerned that the buildings are falling in on you. Some of the buildings on this historic street date back to the 14th century, and as such, look like they’re a bit worse for wear. Nonetheless, this rare slice of history is a top attraction in Yorkshire. Make sure you visit Cuffs & Co. which used to the home of Saint Margaret Clitherow, who ultimately died and was sainted for protecting priests.

The Shambles, York
The aptly named Shambles in York © John Robinson/

Trains to YorkAccommodation from £9

KAYAK Accommodation Tip: The delightful guest house of Bishops York is only a five-minute drive from central York and is the perfect weekend getaway spot.

Breathe in that Sea Air at Bempton Cliffs

On the very edge of East Riding lies Bempton Cliffs, a nature reserve that’s home to a whole host of seabirds including the Atlantic Puffin. There are six cliff-edge viewing platforms for those that aren’t afraid of heights and if you want to learn more about the birdlife you can visit the RSPB run Yorkshire Seabird Centre.

Bempton Cliffs
Go birdwatching on Bempton Cliffs © Russell Watkins/

Trains to BemptonAccommodation from £23

KAYAK Accommodation Tip: The five-star Marton Grange Country House is only a short drive from Bempton Cliffs and offers affordable luxury and relaxation for the discerning traveller.

The Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield is a beautiful piece of art itself, the brutalist, blocky-style building stands out amongst the suburban landscape of Wakefield. Winner of multiple awards, The Hepworth is the perfect place to spend the day; permanent exhibitions feature prominent Yorkshire artists and reflect the county’s history and culture.

Hepworth Wakefield
Museum of the Year, Hepworth Wakefield © Iwan Baan

Trains to Wakefield Accommodation from £32

KAYAK Accommodation Tip: Well located in the centre of Wakefield the ‘Excellent’ rated York House Hotel is fantastic value for money and the perfect place to stay to enjoy the town.

Nothing strike your fancy? Yorkshire Tourist Board has your back and has made a list of events happening around the region on August 1st.

Note: These rates are based on search queries made on on July 5th, 2017. The prices are quoted in GBP. Flight prices are based on results for a return economy flight search. Hotel prices are for double occupancy and include taxes and fees. Prices are subject to change, may vary, or no longer be available.