Off the beaten track activities to do in Yorkshire

09 March 2022

Offbeat activities in Yorkshire

Yorkshire has so much to offer in terms of history, scenery and experiences and there are so many ways to explore the county.

If you are considering staying at any luxurious Whitby hotels this winter and want to explore the county, but also want to avoid the hordes of holidaymakers then there are plenty of offbeat things to do in Yorkshire. Here we take you through the best off the beaten track activities you can try during your holiday.

Go on a smuggling walking tour

Robin Hood’s Bay is a must visit when in North Yorkshire, so when you are visiting the area try to discover the town’s hidden smuggling secrets by joining Paul Johnston of Baytown beers on one of his popular ‘A Taste of Smuggling’ guided walks.

The one hour gentle stroll around ‘old Baytown’ will highlight 18th century smuggling tales and reveal the hidden smuggling secrets of numerous village cottages.

Besides Baytown Bitter being on tap in the local hotel bar area, Baytown’s bottled beers celebrate the village’s smuggling heritage.

Paul says, “The walk offers a rare chance to hear true life tales of Robin Hood’s Bay’s smuggling past. Add in smuggler’s tunnels, hidden chambers and secret doorways and the visitor will be in for a historical treat.”

Smugglers Walk

Go on a trike tour

The award-winning Yorkshire Trike Tours offer visitors the chance to visit many historic and famous landmarks, monuments and tourist attractions around the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The trike tours show people Yorkshire’s great outdoors as you can see, feel & experience the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

There are a variety of tours available from 1-2 hour experiences and half-day adventures, to full-time adventures and 2-day Trike safaris.

Trike tours

Meet some Vikings!

The JORVIK Viking Centre allows visitors to travel back more than one thousand years to a reconstruction of the city of York on the exact spot where it stood in Viking times.

Visitors to the centre will see the reconstructed excavation exposing timber-framed and wattle houses, and other Viking artefacts, and can board a six-seater time capsule to journey through the city of Jorvik.

If that’s not enough there is an ‘Investigate Coppergate’ exhibition where visitors can get an image of what Viking life was like, an Artefacts Alive exhibition where visitors get haunted by four Viking ghosts, and the End of the Vikings exhibition which looks at the final battles of the Viking period in York.

The JORVIK Viking Centre is open every day except 24th, 25th and 26th December.

Jorvik Viking Centre

Eat and drink at an isolated pub

If you are in Yorkshire on a romantic break away with your partner then there are plenty of days out for couples available.

One off the beaten track activity you could do is to head to an isolated pub and tuck into a fabulous meal or drink some local ales.

The Craven Arms, Appletreewick is a pub nestled in the heart of Wharfedale with that ‘something’ extra special. The pub serves real ales and great food, and its real log fires make it really welcoming to visitors, especially during the cold winter months!

Craven Arms

Take a tandem ride in Yorkshire

As the organisers of the Tour de France have recently discovered, one of the best ways to plunge yourself into the beautiful Yorkshire countryside is by cycling.

However, if you want a unique experience then you should try using a tandem cycle, and fortunately for visitors Times Two Tandems offers guided tours in the Yorkshire Dales.

For those that are staying in hotels and accommodation near Scarborough or in the rest of North Yorkshire, you will have to drive to go on a tour or to hire the two-person bikes, but it is well worth it once you are cruising around on a tandem bicycle.

There are a variety of tours on offer from Times Two Tandems, including 25.5 mile rides to rides that will take five days.

Times Two Tandem rides

Walk, cycle and mountain bike in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is one of the most popular attractions in Yorkshire, but despite this it is a great place to visit to get away from it all.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is home to a number of outdoor activities and walking in the Dales is one of the most popular pastimes. There are a variety of different walking trails available to visitors such as Sedbergh to Stone Hall, which is no longer than two miles, or the Bolton Abbey to Grassington walk, a nine mile one-way walk along riverside pastures to Grassington. Find more short walks here.

The Yorkshire Dales also has a number of cycle trails that pass the stunning landscape of this national park. From day rides and family rides to large climbs and cycle tours; there is something for every cycling enthusiast, and you can check out some great cycle routes on the Cycle The Dales website.

If you are slightly more extreme then the Yorkshire Dales is also famed for its mountain bike trails. There are a mixture of surfaces and landscapes and historic tracks available for mountain bikers to try such as the 11-mile Brimham loop or the 25-mile Circuit of Fountains Fell. See more routes here.

Mountain Biking

Visit a medieval townhouse

Barley Hall, a medieval townhouse hidden near York Minster, is another great attraction that is slightly off the beaten track.

Barley Hall is regarded as a hidden gem amongst locals and no wonder as until the 1980s the house was hidden under a derelict office block.

Now the townhouse allows visitors to explore its deep history, including the only horn window in England.

Image Credit: Paul Johnston, Yorkshire Trike Tours, York Archaeological Trust, Craven Arms and Cruck Barn, Times Two Tandems, Yorkshire Dales National Park.

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