10 best tours of Yorkshire

A Guides Guide to Yorkshire

We asked 10 of our Yorkshire guides to give us their favourite places in Yorkshire and here are their top tips.

1. Fountains Abbey

“800 years of history set in idyllic surroundings. In 1132 thirteen monks founded what became one of the richest and grandest abbeys in Europe. Explore the ancient mill that once powered the stone masons’ workshop and the sawmill – it was even used for generating electricity.” – Blue Badge Guide Nick Smith.

Fountains Abbey Yorkshire

The cellarage with vaulting beneath the refectory fountains abbey, fountains abbey, North Yorkshire, England.

2. Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth

“One of the great English literary shrines, the parsonage is at the heart of the Brontë story. There are activities for families and children, and the dressing-up box is a must for everyone. A favourite area is the dining room, where the sisters met to discuss their writing. From 2016 until 2020, the parsonage is staging special bi-centenary events.” – Blue Badge Guide Johnnie Briggs.

3. Nymr Railway

“All Aboard! Travel back in time on the North York Moors Heritage Railway. Reopened by enthusiasts in 1973, the 18 mile route carries more passengers than any other UK heritage line, with trains running every hour in summer. Chuff your way through the countryside of the North York Moors in vintage carriages pulled by mighty steam engines. I would suggest a stop off en route to visit the charming village of Goathland, familiar to Muggles and man as Hogsmeade in the Harry Potter films.” – Blue Badge Guide Sarah Cowling.

4. The Deep, Hull

“Hull became the UK City of Culture in 2017. The Deep is the city’s spectacular award-winning aquarium with over 3,500 fish and underwater creatures, including sharks and rays, that takes visitors through four billion years of ocean history. I’m a big fan of the penguins and the slime exhibition, but always finish my visits with the exciting lift ride.” – Blue Badge Sarah Milne-Day.

5. Staithes

Staithes Seaside, Yorkshire

“With its higgledy-piggledy cottages and winding streets, the old fishing village of Staithes has an air of a place lost in time. It is a stunning location for photographers, artists and art lovers. I love to bring families here for fossil hunting, crabbing and exploring rock pools.” – Blue Badge Guide Tim Barber. 

6. Yorkshire Sculpture Park

“Set in beautiful countryside, it is home to the largest open-air collection of bronze sculptures in the world. I always show visitors Antony Gormley’s looming treetop bodycast One & Other. I particularly recommend the special exhibitions, a favourite being the UK first for American artist KAWS and his cartoon inspired works.” – Blue Badge Guide Michele Thompson.

7. Castle Howard

“One of England’s greatest stately homes, it has been home to the Howard family for the last three hundred years. The house shot to international fame as the main location in the TV series Brideshead Revisited.  I love taking people to this baroque mansion and highly recommend the trip across the Great Lake on The Dame – the Howard family’s boat.” – Blue Badge Guide Kirsty Wardle.

8.  Aysgarth Falls

“With three flights of spectacular waterfalls tumbling over limestone ledges, this is my favourite destination in the Yorkshire Dales. It is an oasis of tranquillity, featuring a combination of riverside walks and a wheelchair and pushchair friendly woodland path – a perfect place to take visitors. All nicely rounded off with a visit to the tearoom for delicious fresh scones and traditional Yorkshire tea.” – Blue Badge Guide Tess Pike.

9. York Minster

York Minster blue badge guided tour

“The Minster is the highlight of any visit to York. Taking four centuries to build, it is one of the greatest Gothic churches in Europe, housing some of the finest medieval stained glass in the world. Discover the secrets of the undercroft and remains of a Roman fort, before taking the steps up to the central tower for panoramic views of York.” – Blue Badge Guide David Holt. 

10.  Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

“Once the steel capital of the world, Sheffield’s metalworking story is told at Abbeydale. Uncover the fascinating industrial history of this restored 18th century water-powered mill that once forged metal for the local agricultural industries. Find out about the early steel-makers and watch blacksmiths in the craft workshops.” – Blue Badge Guide Laura Rhodes.

Read more in our free magazine The Guide.