Things to Do in Barnsley: Discovering Nature and History in One Trip

9 months ago   •   9 min read

By More Yorkshire
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Things To Do In Barnsley

Barnsley, a charming town in South Yorkshire, offers a delightful mix of activities, attractions, and events suitable for all types of travellers. Whether you are looking to explore historic sites, immerse yourself in arts and culture, or spend quality time with your family, there are always things to do in Barnsley!

You can spend your days discovering Barnsley's rich heritage at the museums, strolling through beautiful parks and gardens, or indulging in the town's vibrant arts scene with live performances and exhibitions.

Ensure you make the most of your time in this enchanting town by visiting some of the top attractions and uncovering these hidden gems.

Top Attractions

Barnsley offers a variety of attractions for visitors to explore. In this section, we will highlight the top attractions across categories such as historic sites, speciality museums, water parks, and farms.

Historic Sites

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When in Barnsley, be sure to visit some of the town's historic sites. You can start with the local history museum, "Experience Barnsley", which offers a glimpse into the town's past.

Another must-see is Cannon Hall, a stunning Georgian mansion filled with fine art and period décor.

Speciality Museums

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If you're interested in exploring unique and niche topics, Barnsley has a few speciality museums for you to discover.

The Cooper Gallery showcases a diverse collection of contemporary and historic artworks. Additionally, the Worsbrough Mill Museum & Country Park offers an insight into the workings of a 17th-century water mill.

Water Parks

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For a splash of fun, consider visiting one of Barnsley's water parks, such as Calypso Cove Waterpark. Here, you can enjoy thrilling water slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river for a family-friendly day out.


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Barnsley offers several opportunities for you to visit local farms and experience the countryside.

A visit to a farm shop like Cannon Hall Farm will let you explore the local produce and interact with various farm animals. It is an ideal destination for a relaxing day out, reconnecting with nature, and learning about rural life.

Parks and Nature

There is a range of things to do in Barnsley when it comes to parks and natural attractions. Whether you're interested in taking a leisurely stroll or discovering beautiful gardens, there's something for everyone.

Nature Walks

For nature lovers, a walk around the picturesque Elsecar Park or Wombwell Woods is a must.

You'll find a variety of walking trails that will take you through scenic landscapes, where you can enjoy the tranquil beauty of the reservoir, spot ducks and other wildlife, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of the famous bandstand.


Barnsley is home to several stunning gardens, including those you'll find at Locke Park.

This remarkable Victorian park features a beautiful flower garden, where you can admire vibrant bursts of colour and a vast array of plants.

Additionally, the park boasts a charming conservatory, perfect for a leisurely afternoon exploring the wonders of nature. If you're looking for something more expansive, consider visiting Pugneys Country Park, which offers lush gardens and a dedicated nature reserve.

During your time in Barnsley, be sure to take advantage of the wide variety of parks and natural attractions available for your enjoyment. Whether you're seeking the serenity of a peaceful nature walk or the delightful discovery of exquisite gardens, you'll find these experiences in Barnsley.


Market Kitchen

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When visiting Barnsley, don't miss the opportunity to explore the fascinating Market Kitchen.

This vibrant food hall is located within The Glass Works shopping centre, where you can treat your taste buds to a wide range of delicious dishes.

Here, you'll find a delightful selection of local and international cuisine, all prepared by talented chefs using fresh, quality ingredients.

Cozy and stylish, the Market Kitchen offers the perfect place for a relaxing meal with friends or family.


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If you're an antiques enthusiast, Barnsley is home to numerous antique shops and dealers that you will definitely enjoy exploring.

Wander through charming stores filled with vintage treasures and one-of-a-kind pieces, perfect for adding character to your home or finding a unique gift.

The friendly and knowledgeable staff members are always happy to guide you on your treasure-hunting endeavours.

Farm Shop

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For a distinctive shopping experience, visit a local farm shop in the Barnsley area.

Browse through the shelves stocked with fresh, seasonal produce, handmade artisanal products, and unique gifts from local artisans.

The farm shops around Barnsley pride themselves on offering quality goods and supporting local businesses.

Not only will you discover delicious, wholesome food items, but you'll also contribute to the local community and economy during your visit.


When visiting, you will find a diverse range of things to do in Barnsley including dining options to suit all preferences.

From delicious Italian dishes to succulent Brazilian steaks, the town offers exceptional restaurants, inviting cafes, and cozy coffee shops.

For a taste of Italy, we recommend The Secret Italian, known for its generous portions of classic Italian meals. The Mediterranean atmosphere will transport you to Rome, making it an ideal dining spot for lovers of Italian cuisine.

If you're in the mood for a unique Brazilian experience, don't miss out on Favela Brazilian Grill Barnsley. Offering a rich menu, this steakhouse combines the flavours of Brazil with a welcoming, vibrant atmosphere.

When it comes to coffee shops and cafes, the options are equally tempting. Pop into a quaint café for a freshly brewed coffee and a scrumptious pastry, or enjoy a light lunch in one of Barnsley's cosy spots. Alams Lounge Indian Kashmiri Restaurant & Takeaway Barnsley is another popular choice, offering a delicious selection of Indian and Kashmiri dishes.

For a more casual meal, you can explore Barnsley's street food scene, offering a variety of flavours and cuisines to satisfy your cravings. Stroll through the town centre and take your pick from authentic and experimental dishes, showcasing the best of the local culinary scene.

In summary, while in Barnsley, you'll be spoilt for choice with its vast array of restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops. No matter your preferences, the town's culinary offerings are sure to impress and leave you longing for more.

Animals and Wildlife

Visiting Barnsley offers you a great opportunity to explore various animal and wildlife attractions.

One such place to enjoy a fantastic day out with your family is Cannon Hall Farm.

At the farm, you can come close to a variety of animals, including ducks, goats, llamas, and even reindeer! It features a farmyard, indoor soft play, and adventure playgrounds, catering to people of all ages.

In addition to farms, Barnsley also has impressive nature and wildlife areas. You can find a list of the best nature and wildlife spots in Barnsley on Tripadvisor. These areas are perfect for nature lovers who want to immerse themselves in the beauty of the outdoors while observing a variety of animals and plants.

If you're interested in exploring parks and nature attractions, Tripadvisor offers a list of the top 10 parks and nature attractions in Barnsley. These include well-maintained gardens, playgrounds, and picturesque parks where you can spend a quiet day enjoying the scenic views and observing different species of animals, including birds and insects.

Remember to follow any guidelines and rules when visiting these attractions to ensure your safety and the well-being of the animals. With careful planning and respect for nature, you'll have a fantastic time exploring the animals and wildlife that Barnsley has to offer.

Children's Activities

Kids Play Areas

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Barnsley offers a variety of play areas for children of all ages.

Your little ones can have a fantastic time at the numerous indoor and outdoor play facilities throughout the town.

Indoor soft play areas provide a safe environment for your children to explore, climb, and slide, while outdoor playgrounds often feature swings, sandpits, and scooter tracks, ensuring fun for everyone.

Educational Sites

Barnsley boasts an array of educational sites that cater to kids of all ages.

Many local museums offer interactive exhibits and workshops designed to engage and educate young visitors.

These educational attractions provide a great opportunity for your kids to learn about Barnsley's history, art, and culture in an exciting and interactive way.

Don't miss the chance to enrich your children's minds with these hands-on experiences during your visit to Barnsley.

The TripAdvisor Perspective


On TripAdvisor, you can find a comprehensive list of things to do in Barnsley, ranked by popularity. This is based on exclusive TripAdvisor data collected from user preferences, reviews, and ratings. As a traveller, this could be an invaluable resource for planning your itinerary in Barnsley. The popularity metric helps present you with the most beloved and well-received attractions in the area.

Reviews and Ratings

TripAdvisor provides a platform for travellers to share their experiences and rate the attractions in Barnsley. By perusing the reviews and ratings, you can gain a subjective opinion from fellow travellers who have already explored the available activities in the area. This can help you fine-tune your choices based on your personal interests and preferences. Keep in mind that reviews can sometimes be subjective, so it's essential to read multiple opinions and perform additional cross-checks before making bookings.

Traveller Favourites

Within TripAdvisor, you'll find a curated list of traveller favourites, which includes the highest-rated attractions in Barnsley. These are ideal when you want a quick and reliable reference to the best places to visit, as they have already been vetted by a large number of travellers.

To help you get started with some traveller favourites in Barnsley, consider exploring The Deathly Dark Ghost Tour of York, which is a YorkMix Award Winner 2023, and Mad Alice's The Bloody Tour of York - a Tourism Award Winner.

In summary, using TripAdvisor as a starting point for exploring Barnsley can provide you with a wealth of information and guidance. By focusing on popularity, reviews and ratings, and traveller favourites, you can tailor your trip to include the most appealing attractions and activities, thus making the most of your visit to the charming town of Barnsley.

Planning Your Visit

When planning your visit to Barnsley, UK, there are a variety of activities and attractions to suit everyone's taste. Whether you prefer exploring the outdoors, enjoying a show, or visiting local historical landmarks, Barnsley has something for you. To make your trip enjoyable and convenient, it is essential to plan your transportation, accommodation, and itinerary.

Your journey to Barnsley can be easily arranged by train, bus, or car. If you choose to drive, there are several car parks available throughout the town, ensuring that parking is hassle-free. Some car parks offer both short and long-term parking options, depending on your needs.

Upon arrival in Barnsley, consider stopping by the town centre to get a feel for the local atmosphere and to discover various events happening in the borough. Alternatively, you could explore some of the 22 relaxing activities that Barnsley has to offer, such as enjoying nightlife, bars and clubs, or visiting spas and theatres.

For family days out, there are plenty of options to consider, ranging from park visits to historical sites and museums. Some of the popular attractions in Barnsley include The Deathly Dark Ghost Tour of York and a variety of historical tours.

Finally, when organising your stay in Barnsley, make sure to choose accommodation that best fits your preferences and budget. The town offers a range of hotels, guest houses, and self-catering options. With proper planning, you can ensure that your visit to Barnsley is enjoyable, informative, and unforgettable.

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