We’re so lucky in the Yorkshire Dales in that there is lots to see and do in our local area, with plenty of tourist attractions and fun days out often just a short drive away! But, as Brits and Yorkshire-folk, we’re always on the look out to save some pennies where we can – especially after the hardship of the last 12 months – and it can often be hard to take the whole family out for the day without spending an arm and a leg. Luckily, lots of our local attractions are free and often only require spending money for parking or an ice cream at the end of the day! To help you to decide where to head off to with the kids in tow, here are some of our favourite recommendations for free and fun days out for all the family!
For a truly ‘another-worldly’ day out, take a walk to The Druid’s Temple near Ripon. Built in the late 1700’s, it is in fact not a real temple, but a nineteenth century folly and is dubbed as one of Yorkshire’s quirkiest follies. It is now part of Swinton Estate and is just a short walk from the Swinton Biovouac, where there’s free parking too.
Itlon, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 4JZ
Foxglove Covert is a beautiful nature reserve of semi-natural woodland covering 100 acres ready and waiting to be explored! Based behind Cambrai Lines, Catterick Garrison, it was the first Local Nature Reserve in Richmondshire, North Yorkshire and the first on Ministry of Defence land in the UK. The patchwork of habitats across Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve is home to more than 2440 species, and often attracts birdwatchers from all over. This is a great day out for immersing yourself in nature and learning about our wildlife!
Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, DL9 3PZ
Skipton Castle Woods
Hidden behind the medieval Skipton Castle, the Woodland Trust’s Skipton Castle Woods is a rare ancient woodland habitat. There’s lots for nature-lovers and families to see and do and with a fascinating history that dates back a thousand years, it’s one the Woodland Trust’s most unique sites – and it’s straight off the high street! It’s a fantastic place for a family walk, with the 36-acres of woodland providing a variety of walks to choose from!
Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 1AW
Aysgarth Falls is the spot of this list closest to our cottages, just 7 miles west from the popular village of Leyburn. This remarkably large waterfall carved out by the River Ure and is comprised of three areas or stages – the upper, middle and lower waterfall. Situated in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, there are public footpaths through the wooded valley alongside the river, offering stunning views of the river and falls. The three stepped waterfalls at Aysgarth have been a tourist attraction for over 200 years, and it’s a firm favourite among many!
Aysgarth, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 3TH
Hackfall Woods is an exciting woodland just outside of Masham – it looks like it’s been there for millennia, but it is, in fact, a man-made landscape designed in the 18th Century. There are four entrances to Hackfall Woods and free parking at the Woodland Trust car park (Post code HG4 3BS). There are numerous routes around Hackfall Woods and each one is full of surprises, including stunning waterfalls and follies, and an impressive fountain! There are over 120 acres to explore so you can choose from short scenic walks to all day adventures.
Grewelthorpe, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3BS