Day Trip from York UK

9 Best Day Trips from York

Planning a trip to York? Whether it’s a cultural getaway to one of the most historic cities in Europe, or a budget staycation that needs bolstering with a host of day trips, you’re spoiled for choice here.

This mesmerizing city is on the doorstep of some of the finest rural landscapes in the country, while the centuries-old city is packed to the rafters with inspiring sights and exciting things to do.

With so much on offer, you’ll have no shortage of things to do, with pursuits and attractions on offer that’ll accommodate any budget.

1. Explore the North York Moors

York already enjoys proximity to some of the most gorgeous scenery in Yorkshire, but if you’re looking to get back to nature, a day trip to the North York Moors is definitely worth your time.

Officiated as a National Park in 1952, this sprawling landscape of heather moorland covers more than 540 square miles. In addition to its beautiful moorland, there’s also plenty of forested landscapes, not to mention some of the most inspiring coastal stretches in Yorkshire.

The perfect getaway if you’re on a budget, you can enjoy a stroll about the countryside, or indulge in more high octane adventures if you’re travelling with little ones looking to burn off some energy.

Traditional thatched cottage in Rievaulx village
Traditional thatched cottage in Rievaulx village

2. Be by the Seaside in Whitby

Visitors to York often overlook its many coastal towns and seaside resorts. One of the best is Whitby, situated on the border of the North Riding of Yorkshire.

Reliable train services and coach shuttles make a day trip from York to Whitby incredibly simple, while the seaside town itself offers countless delights to keep you and the whole family entertained.

The town sits alongside the North York Moors, meaning Whitby still enjoys a relatively laid back approach to modern life. Fashionable with tourists since the 19th century, you’ll find all the traditional pursuits of a seaside haunt here. A great place to head with young and old alike.

199 steps Whitby in North Yorkshire UK
199 steps Whitby
Accommodation in Whitby

3. Head to the Lakes

It’s a bit more of a trek than the nearby moorland, but the Lake District makes a delightful day trip for those prepared to brave a slightly longer trek.

This gorgeous corner of the UK is host to some of the most magnificent bodies of freshwater in the UK, with the historic Lake Windermere a particularly popular destination. With quaint cafes and bistros, traditional hotels, bed and breakfasts galore and much, much more, you can transform an afternoon in the Lake District into a mini break in and of itself.

Lake Windermere in England
Lake Windermere in England

4. Walk the Walls

You don’t need to stray too far to enjoy a day-long excursion in York. This historic city dates back centuries and is one of the oldest known examples of a walled city in Europe.

You can browse the perimeter walls yourself, or join one of many tours to learn more about how this historic fortification protected the people of York from nefarious invaders for hundreds of years.

5. Marvel at Historic Landmarks

A simple stroll through York is a walk through history, but if you’re looking to marvel at some truly terrific sights, grab your camera and hiking boots and pencil a few standouts onto your bucket list.

Both Castle Howard and York Minster can be arrived at by foot from York. To get the best out of these locations, make sure you schedule in a few hours to explore the ins and outs of each.

Medieval walls surrounding York UK
Medieval walls surrounding York

6. Yorkshire Dales

Another icon of rural Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Dales offer endless rolling hills and valleys.

It’s hard to find landscapes like this outside of the rural north, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve plenty of time to take it all in. The Dales are also home to numerous cave systems which make for a one-of-a-kind afternoon potholing for the adventurous. Internationally celebrated systems like Gaping Gill, Mossdale Caverns and Leck Fell are all worth your time.

Burnsall village in England
Burnsall village

7. Take a Trip by Train

One of the best ways to savour the sights of Yorkshire is by train. This part of the UK is home to many still operating steam trains and you’ll find numerous operators offering steam train tours of the county for those on a budget.

If you’re tight for time or need something to accommodate a smaller budget, why not stay closer to the city itself and head to the National Railway Museum to see where many of these locomotives first started.

North Yorkshire Moors vintage steam train
North Yorkshire Moors vintage steam train

8. Feast on Local Food

It’s not all about picturesque scenery in Yorkshire. This part of England is also well known for its mouth-watering menus and local flavours. Take a day out from your trip to explore the many homegrown favourites of Yorkshire.

A foodie capital of Yorkshire, York itself is home to a cosmopolitan range of restaurants, bistros and eateries that rival the likes of London when it comes to choice. If you’re after something more authentic, there’s countless pubs and gastro jaunts serving up a mouth-watering selection of more traditional fare.

9. Visit the Neighbours

It might be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, but York isn’t alone in spectacle when it comes to this beautiful county. If you’re looking to keep yourself busy on a budget, why not grab a rental car or splash out on a day ticket and venture out to explore nearby towns and villages.

Ramble through the Dales to explore smaller corners of the county, or spend longer soaking in the marvels of nearby coastal towns like Scarborough, or head into the cosmopolitan attractions of Leeds.

Scarborough UK beach view
Scarborough beach and coast view
Accommodation in York