Summer Tourist Attractions in Yorkshire


Isobel Steed discusses perfect and popular places to visit during the warmer months.

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Image by Christine Matthews

By Isobel Steed

With the Easter break upon us , and summer just around the corner, the possibility of sightseeing over this period has become a hot topic of conversation. People are looking for places to visit on a free afternoon, or planning day trips to look forward to once exam season is finally over. I’ve listed some of the most special locations in Yorkshire to inspire you to travel and experience the best the area has to offer, ranging from locations in the centre of York to those further afield in the rest of the beautiful county of North Yorkshire.

York Minster
If you’re currently living in York, you’re already familiar with the Minster, which is almost certainly York’s most famous building, it stands out from its surroundings by virtue of being the tallest building in the city. However, many York students have never actually been inside the Minster, despite the fact that entry to the Minster is free to anyone residing in York or studying at either of the two universities in the city (University of York and York St. John). If you do make time to visit the Minster, you will be treated to the spectacular sight of the interior of one of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe. People who appreciate art will love the beautiful stained glass windows, in particular the rose window and astounding medieval architecture, and the stories associated with the Minster will excite anyone interested in history. From informative displays about the history of the cathedral to the most recent edition which explores the creation of the Queen Elizabeth II statue that sits to the upper right of the building, there is plenty to learn about.

Castle Howard
Fans of the Netflix TV series Bridgerton (2020-) will be excited to learn that they can visit one of the programme’s most glamorous filming locations, and it’s accessible from York by bus! A return ticket to Castle Howard from the city centre costs £11, which may seem a bit steep but includes some wonderful views of the Yorkshire countryside en route. Entry to the house, which opens for the summer season from 1 April 2023, is likewise expensive (an adult non-member ticket for access to the house and its gardens comes in at around £25) but it’s definitely worthwhile for anyone interested in the history and architecture of this beautiful stately home. There is plenty to explore, with over 100 acres of walkable grounds.

People who love the iconic 1897 Gothic novel Dracula (there are dozens of us! Dozens!) will definitely recognise the name Whitby. This seaside town on the North Yorkshire coast is famous for being the site of Count Dracula’s arrival in England, but it’s also home to landmarks such as the ruins of Whitby Abbey, a medieval religious site that is now looked after by English Heritage.

Recently these two worlds dramatically collided, as  Whitby hosted the largest vampire gathering in the world in and around the abbey grounds. Whitby is also known for frequently putting on a Goth festival which is certainly a sight to behold because there are always some fantastic outfits to see! You’re just Dracula-obsessed or into the supernatural more widely, ghost and vampire walks are held constantly around Whitby, particularly from April onwards. Whitby Walks, who are highly rated on TripAdvisor, conducts two kinds of walks, the classic 75 minute ghost walk and the ‘In search of Dracula’ walk, which delves into the legend of Stoker’s text. These start at 7:30pm and adult tickets cost £7.

The easiest way to get to Whitby from York is by car, but if you don’t have one (or a friend who drives), the journey takes about two hours on the 840 bus from Stonebow bus stop. Whilst its a long trek, the day out is certainly worth it!