Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, there is tons to see and do in West Yorkshire. Packed full of incredible scenery, cultural attractions, buzzing cities and much more, there is never a dull day in Yorkshire.
So if you fancy a day trip to a nature reserve, want to soak up some history or just want to wander around a quaint town while window shopping, we’ve got your back.
Highlighting specific cities isn’t as useful in this case, as we will be talking about the absolute best parts of West Yorkshire. This way, if you aren’t in the area for long you know exactly what to visit, not just the cities themselves.
Saltaire is a UNESCO World Heritage site near Bradford, preserving the textile mills, public buildings and worker’s houses of the Victorian era. It’s a former industrial village, and retains the aesthetic and atmosphere (minus the smog and soot) of its industrial past.
The village is free to visit, and you can come and explore the shops and surroundings at your leisure. Salts Mill, which is the former focal point of this industrial town, is also free to enter and is today home to an art gallery, eateries and shopping.
You can also stroll the canal side and take in the natural scenery at Robert’s Park and Hirst Wood.
2. National Coal Mining Museum for England
It might not be glamorous, but it is very interesting! If you enjoy local history and digging into the industrial past of England (excuse the pun) there is no better place to visit than an authentic coal mine. The museum offers a guided tour that is immersive and engaging.
Kids will love the big steam trains on display, and they can even pet a pit pony.
Entry to the museum is free but the tours cost £5. It’s best to book the guided tour in advance, especially during holidays.
3. Adel Dam Nature Reserve
Just outside Leeds you have the chance to see one of the most wonderful nature reserves in the whole of the UK. It’s mostly woodland sprinkled with plenty of wetlands.
Originally meant to be a Victorian garden, however it has since outgrown the title and is today popular with locals and visitors for weekend walks and bird spotting. It also makes a for great day trips for nature lovers – with free entry.
Take a long walk among the high canopy trees and sit near the birdfeeders to see what kind of wildlife there is in the nature reserve. Kids will love bird spotting, so bring some binoculars. Note that dogs are not allowed in Adel Dam Nature Reserve.
4. National Media Museum
Fans of cinema and classic movies will love the National Media Museum in Bradford. Located just outside the centre of the city, the museum features film and TV archives, an IMAX cinema showing old (and old-ish) films and regular showings of stunning natural history and wildlife films. The National Science and Media Museum is home to more than 3 million items of historical and cultural significance and is definitely one for rainy days and repeat visits.
The admission is free, although if you view one of the movie showings you will need to buy an entry ticket. Prices vary, starting from £6.
5. The Dales Way
If you are a fan of outdoor activities and want to take your friends hiking, there is no better place than The Dales Way. The scenery is gorgeous and you can follow the river along if you start in Ilkley. Although the entire walk is around 80 miles, you don’t have to do all of that in one day (obviously) and there are plenty of waypoints and, most importantly, pubs to break up the journey.
It’s perfect for beginner hikers, although if you want to complete the trail it will take up to 10 nights – and you’ll end up in Cumbria. However, it is great for families with smaller children too, since there are plenty of opportunities to stop and rest, and the difficulty of the trail is very easy too.
6. Diggerland Yorkshire
Perfect for families with smaller children, this is one of the more popular theme parks in West Yorkshire. Enjoy loads of rides and experiences all with a digger theme. There is a good mixture of rides for bigger kids and things for toddlers and youngsters to enjoy too, including a soft play and ride on mini diggers.
There are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities that you can explore and there is also an on-site cafe serving kids favourites. You can easily spend a whole day in this parkland.
Diggerland Yorkshire is closed during the winter months, so this is much more a spring and summer activity. At £26 for entry, it’s not a cheap option, but kids under 90cms tall go free – and they will have A LOT of fun.
7. Hardcastle Crags and Gibson Mill
Situated just outside Hebden Bridge, this National Trust property makes for a lovely day out with a mixture of natural scenery and some local heritage too. Hardcastle Crags is a lovely wooded valley, with riverside walks and footpaths suitable for all ages and abilities.
And if you want to relax after all that exploring, you can enjoy the cafes and shopping at Gibson Mill. The old mill now offers art exhibitions and a free tour, and it’s also free to enter. Definitely a lovely way to spend a Sunday (or any day of the week) in West Yorkshire.
8. Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Going to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park will not only mean that you get to spend your time outdoors, but it will also be a mentally stimulating experience. You can find the works of both British and international artists, which is great fun for culture vultures and even kids will love exploring some of the wacky features.
Get your refreshments at one of the various cafes and restaurants, including the excellent Weston, which has some great food and views.
Since it’s an air art gallery, you might want to check the weather before setting off to explore this park.
9. Whistlestop Valley
One of the most popular things to do in Huddersfield, Whistlestop Valley offers a fun mini ride on steam railway experience. It’s a perfect day out for kids, with multiple playgrounds, a picnic area and unlimited rides on the steam trains.
As an outside attraction, Whistlestop Valley is closed for some of the winter months. But check their website for opening times and up to date prices.
10. Real Yorkshire Tours
Whether you’re a tourist or a visitor, one of the best things to do in West Yorkshire is to take a tour with Blue Badge guide Real Yorkshire Tours. Offering a chocolate box selection of Yorkshire tours, Tim Barber can show you the best of the county and its history with his chauffeur driven service.
Enjoy various West Yorkshire tours including exploring the Dales, heading to the coast, or discover filming locations from popular film and TV series. Prices vary, so check his website.
11. East Riddlesden Hall
This restored manor house from the 17th century is a popular National Trust attraction near Keighley. Explore the house and grounds, including the formal gardens, take refreshments in the tearooms and enjoy kid friendly activities such as a mud kitchen (bring wellies and wipes, obviously) as well as a trail.
Entry is £5 for adults, and during the winter months visitors need to book a guided tour to enter the house, which can be done at the gift shop on arrival.
12. Standedge canal tour
Just outside Huddersfield, one of the best days out in West Yorkshire is to explore the Standedge tunnel. The visitor centre is free to visit and full of fascinating info about the tunnel and industrial era.
However if you really want to get the full experience, you need to book onto a narrowboat ride along the canal and through the tunnel. Prices for the canal boat ride are £8 for adults and £6 for children up to 15 years old.
Lots of fun in West Yorkshire
There are tons of things to do in West Yorkshire, whether you’re spending time with family or just getting out and about with friends.
And if you want to explore even more, and save money, make sure to download the LoyalFree app. You’ll find exclusive deals, money saving vouchers and rewards, interactive trails and lots of information about unmissable events.
LoyalFree is free to download – so if you want to make the most of your time in West Yorkshire and across the UK, Click Here Now to download today.Posted on