Museums to a day at the races, there’s so much to see and do.
Brontë Parsonage Museum
The Brontë sisters, daughters of a provincial clergyman, grew up to write some of the most powerful novels in the canon. Find out how this family produced not just one, but three great writers at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. The collection of manuscripts, letters and early editions is maintained by the Brontë Society at the parsonage in Haworth, where the sisters lived. There’s a busy calendar of events, as well as a shop and walking tours.
Find out more on the museum website
The Royal Armouries, Leeds
The Royal Armouries is Britain’s national museum of arms and armour – and the Leeds Museum has over 8,500 objects on display. There are five galleries: War; Tournament; Oriental; Self Defence and Hunting. The Tournament Gallery has been recently refurbished, where you can experience the might of Henry VIII, king and sportsman.
Find out more on the Royal Armouries website
Known as the Garden Racecourse, Ripon Races has hosted some of the most exciting horse races in the last 300 years. Ripon itself is quaint and beautiful – well worth an explore before you head to the course for the thunder of hooves.
Find out more on the Ripon Races website
Head to the Montpellier Quarter for exclusive shops, pavement cafes, bars, and some of the best restaurants in town. The quarter is known as the Antiques and Art Centre of the North, so keep an eye out for a bargain. Refuel at Betty’s Tearooms down Montpellier Hill – try a fat rascal rock cake for size. They’re enormous.
Or fill up on history, art and heritage instead: the Mercer Art Gallery, Royal Pump Room Museum and the Valley Gardens will give you a feel for the real Harrogate.
Find out more on the Quarter’s website
Forget the clean white lines of a modern spa, and immerse yourself in the sumptuous decoration of the Turkish Baths. There are mosaic floors, tiled ceilings, and a Moorish arch – and you progress through a steam room to the heated chambers, of warm, hot and hottest. Then there’s the plunge pool, and the relaxation room to end your day.
Find out more on the Turkish Baths website
Royal Pump Room Museum
When Charles Dickens visited Harrogate, he thought it was ‘the queerest place with the strangest people in it, leading the oddest lives’. At the Royal Pump Museum you might see what he meant – there are recreations of Harrogate in a bygone era, from shop windows and a hotel to the Stray Park. There are a number of Egyptian treasures – and of course, the strongest sulphur wells in Europe, which you might smell before you see.
Find out more on the Royal Pump Room Museum website
York Minster dominates the city’s skyline – a masterpiece of stone and stained glass. It is one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals, the second largest in the gothic style in Europe – with a history that stretches back to the seventh century. Explore its vast open spaces, or head to the underground chambers to delve into the cathedral’s history.
Find out more on the York Minster website
National Railway Museum
The UK’s largest railway museum – a must for anyone with a train set. Discover 300 years of the history of rail locomotion – from the gleaming iron of the rolling stock to the jaunty collection of travel posters.
Find out more on the National Railway Museum website
Take a journey through the streets of York in the age of the Vikings, one thousand years ago. Inspired by the excavations that revealed York’s Viking history, the exhibition is a masterful combination of reconstruction and display. It’s one of the most popular visitor attractions in the UK, for good reason.
Find out more on the Jorvik Viking Centre website
Explore the depths of York’s darkest history. The Dungeons takes you on a 70-minute journey into more than 2,000 years of crime and punishment. There’s a cast of theatrical actors, special effects, stages and scenes to bring to life the years of torture, execution and tyrants.
Find out more on the Dungeons website