Things to Do in East Yorkshire: Top Attractions and Hidden Gems

3 months ago   •   10 min read

By More Yorkshire
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Things to Do in East Yorkshire

East Yorkshire offers a diverse array of activities that cater to many interests, whether you're looking for excitement, relaxation, or a touch of history. One of the staple attractions in the area is a visit to Yorkshire's stately homes and gardens, for example, Sewerby Hall's Zoo or Sledmere's Rare Breed Farm Park. These grand houses and luscious grounds provide a peaceful day's exploration amidst beautiful, scenic backdrops. Roaming these properties offers a glimpse into the region's heritage and architectural splendour.

For those who seek a more active holiday, East Yorkshire doesn't disappoint. The mix of self-guided tours and walking tours allow you to uncover the region's charming villages and landscapes at your own pace. Whether on foot or by participating in outdoor activities, you'll find that there's no shortage of ways to engage with the region’s natural beauty. From the bustling streets of Kingston-upon-Hull to the quieter, picturesque paths of Bridlington, East Yorkshire has a wealth of experiences for every traveller.

Moreover, if you fancy some indulgence, consider booking a spa retreat. The region's specialists in spa breaks are at the ready to provide you with a chance to unwind and enjoy some tranquillity. Beyond pampering, the cultural scene in East Yorkshire is vibrant with a selection of speciality museums and a variety of events that showcase the region’s cultural assets and could serve as the perfect complement to your holiday itinerary.

Historical Landmarks

Embark on a journey through time as you explore East Yorkshire's historical landmarks. From awe-inspiring churches to stately homes with rich heritage, these sites are a testament to the region's diverse history.

Beverley Minster

Discover the towering gothic architecture of Beverley Minster, a church renowned for its intricate façades and stained glass windows. Regarded as one of the most beautiful churches in England, the minster's history is intertwined with the town of Beverley, showcasing centuries of religious heritage.

Burton Agnes Hall

Experience the grandeur of Burton Agnes Hall, a magnificent example of an Elizabethan stately home. Wander through rooms filled with art and antiques, and explore the manicured gardens that have captivated visitors for generations. The hall reflects the opulence and elegance of its time, offering a glimpse into the lifestyle of the English aristocracy.

Bridlington Old Town

Stroll along the cobbled streets of Bridlington Old Town, a charming area lined with historic buildings and quaint shops. This part of the town has retained much of its original character, and the landmarks you encounter celebrate Bridlington's rich maritime and social history. It's a living snapshot of a bygone era, inviting you to explore its unique story.

Natural Attractions

East Yorkshire's natural attractions offer you an opportunity to discover stunning landscapes, from dramatic coastlines to serene rolling hills. You'll encounter a wealth of wildlife and picturesque trails that provide both tranquil walks and breathtaking views.

Yorkshire Wolds

The Yorkshire Wolds comprise a series of gently undulating hills and valleys, providing a beautiful backdrop for outdoor activities. As you traverse the Yorkshire Wolds Way, a national trail stretching over 127 kilometres, you'll experience a mosaic of arable land, chalk streams, and vibrant market towns. This route is a canvas of serene beauty, inviting you to explore at your own pace.

Bempton Cliffs

Bempton Cliffs are renowned for their sheer size and as the habitat for the UK's largest seabird colony. Between March and October, the cliffs come alive with the presence of puffins, gannets, and kittiwakes. Here, you can witness nature's drama unfold from one of the six viewpoints along the coast.

  • Wildlife you may see:
    • Puffins
    • Gannets
    • Guillemots
    • Razorbills

Flamborough Head

Flamborough Head offers you craggy white cliffs and an extraordinary coastal landscape. The area is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. Witness the commanding chalk cliffs that shape this dramatic headland, while the surrounding waters teem with marine life.

Key points about Flamborough Head:

  • Notable for its lighthouse and rocky coves
  • Safe nesting grounds for a variety of seabirds

Outdoor Adventures

East Yorkshire offers you a plethora of outdoor adventures perfectly suited for active enthusiasts seeking fun and unique experiences. Embrace the fresh air and scenic beauty as you explore the coast, countryside, and wildlife of this vibrant region.

Paddleboarding on the Coast

Discover the thrill of paddleboarding along East Yorkshire's picturesque coast. The calm waters of the North Sea provide an ideal setting for both beginners and experienced paddlers. You can glide across the water, savoring views of dramatic cliffs and sandy beaches. Local adventure schools offer lessons and equipment hire to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Hiking the Wolds Way

The Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trail offers an impressive 80-mile walking route that will take you through rolling hills and charming villages. Well-signposted and maintained, the trail starts near Hessle and concludes at the coastal town of Filey. It presents numerous opportunities for photography, picnicking, and simply admiring the unique chalk landscapes that characterise the Yorkshire Wolds.

Spotting Wildlife

East Yorkshire is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. As you embark on your outdoor adventures, keep your eyes peeled for a diverse array of birds and animals. Bempton Cliffs is the most notable spot where you can find puffins lining the cliffs and seals lounging on the beaches below.

The Humber Bridge Country Park, near Hessle, is also a notable spot where you can immerse in nature and encounter species in their natural habitat. Observe the seasonal changes and the creatures that thrive in the woodlands, meadows, and wetlands.

Family-Friendly Activities

East Yorkshire offers a diverse range of attractions tailored for families. Engage with marine life, interact with animals, and stroll through enchanting gardens.

The Deep Aquarium

Step into The Deep Aquarium, one of the most spectacular aquariums in the UK, where your family can marvel at the wonders of the deep. With interactive exhibits and a vast collection of marine species, it's an underwater adventure that's both educational and thrilling for the kids.

Bridlington Animal Park

Bridlington Animal Park is a must-visit for animal enthusiasts. Here, you’re invited to meet a variety of animals, including playful meerkats and wise owls. The park emphasises hands-on encounters, ensuring a memorable experience for both children and adults akin to a small zoo.

Sewerby Hall and Gardens

For a more serene experience, Sewerby Hall and Gardens awaits. Explore the beautiful landscaped gardens, lose yourselves in the grandeur of the historic house, and enjoy the outdoor playground. It's an idyllic setting for a family day out with plenty for the kids to discover and enjoy.

Arts and Culture

East Yorkshire's arts and culture scene is richly populated with museums, galleries, and theatres. You'll encounter the fine works of David Hockney, engage with the county's maritime heritage, and enjoy the creative triumphs of local and national artists.

Hull's Maritime Museum

Image Source: Paul Harrop, CC BY-SA 2.0

Immerse yourself in Hull's historic relationship with the sea at the Maritime Museum. Here, you'll explore exhibits showcasing the city's fishing heritage and maritime adventures, all housed in a grand Victorian building in the heart of Hull.

The East Riding Theatre

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For an evening of compelling drama and entertainment, visit the East Riding Theatre in Beverley. This venue is a hub for the region's thespian culture, hosting a variety of performances from classical plays to modern creative endeavours.

Recreation and Leisure

East Yorkshire offers a rich tapestry of recreation and leisure activities that cater to varied interests. Whether you're drawn to the serene coastline for a day on the beach or you prefer a more refined shopping experience in historical market towns, there's something for you here.

Beach Days in Filey

Filey presents a quintessential beach experience, with its long stretches of golden sand and tranquil sea ideal for relaxing. You can stroll along the promenade, bask in the sun, or take a dip in the coastal waters. Protected by Filey Brigg, the beach is also a hotspot for wildlife enthusiasts.

Shopping in Beverley

For a leisurely shopping day, head to Beverley. Its cobbled streets are lined with independent stores and boutiques, each offering unique finds from local artisans. Here are a few highlights:

  • Boutiques: Discover the latest fashion trends from chic boutiques dotted around the town centre.
  • Independent Stores: Support local businesses and purchase one-of-a-kind items that you won't find in high street chains.

Golfing in the Countryside

The countryside in East Yorkshire is interspersed with pristine golf courses. Whether you're a seasoned golfer or a beginner, these courses offer both challenging play and picturesque settings. Take a swing amidst the rolling hills and enjoy a day of sport and leisure.

Food and Drink

East Yorkshire offers an impressive range of dining experiences from fresh local seafood to unique regional produce, all set against the picturesque backdrop of the Yorkshire countryside.

Seafood in Bridlington

In Bridlington, you're in for a seafood treat. The working harbours mean the freshest catch for your plate. Savour the day's haul at award-winning fish restaurants along the seafront or pick up some Bridlington crab from a seaside stall to taste the true flavour of the Yorkshire coast.

Vineyards of East Riding

Your East Yorkshire excursion wouldn't be complete without a visit to a local vineyard. Sample exquisite English wines, with vineyards offering guided tours to show you the process from grape to bottle. The region's unique climate contributes to the distinct notes in each vintage you'll encounter.

Market Town Delicacies

Explore the delightful market towns where you can encounter a variety of local treats. Each town has its distinct flavour, offering everything from artisan cheeses to handmade confections. Be sure to stop by a local restaurant where chefs pride themselves on incorporating these regional ingredients into their stunning dishes.

Seasonal Events

Explore East Yorkshire's diverse events, with each season bringing its unique flavour of festivities. Whether it's a day at the races or embracing the winter chill with heartwarming festivals, there's always something to mark your calendar for.

Beverley Racecourse Events

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At Beverley Racecourse, your love for horse racing and social events blend seamlessly. Celebrate key dates in the racing calendar, where the excitement of each race is complemented by a range of themed events and family days.

  • Family Race Days: Experience the thrill of the races while enjoying a family-friendly atmosphere.
  • Ladies' Day: Don your finest attire and enjoy one of the most glamorous events of the year.

Winter Festivals in Hull

Dive into the festive spirit in Hull during the winter months. The city comes alive with a variety of festivals that encapsulate the warmth and merriment of the season.

  • Hull Christmas Market: Find unique gifts and enjoy seasonal treats in the heart of the city.
  • New Year Celebrations: Join vibrant crowds and ring in the new year with fireworks and festivities.

Driffield Show

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Do not miss the Driffield Show, the pinnacle of the region's agricultural events. Held annually, this one-day show presents a snapshot of rural life.

  • Livestock Competitions: Witness the pride of local farming with top-class cattle, sheep, and more.
  • Local Produce: Sample and purchase the finest local produce, from homemade jams to artisan cheeses.

Frequently Asked Questions

East Yorkshire offers a variety of attractions and activities catering to different interests. Whether you're an adult visitor, a family, a couple seeking a romantic outing, or someone looking to explore without spending money, you'll find suitable options.

What are the top attractions for adults visiting Hull?

In Hull, adults can explore the historic Old Town, visit the immersive Streetlife Museum, or enjoy contemporary art at the Ferens Art Gallery. The city's maritime history can be experienced first-hand at the Maritime Museum.

What unique experiences can be found in East Yorkshire?

Discover the Yorkshire Wolds for an invigorating walk or partake in birdwatching at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. Unique to East Yorkshire, you can follow the Beverley Town Trail or venture through stately homes like Burton Agnes Hall.

Which family-friendly activities are available in East Yorkshire?

Families will find a wealth of activities, from the interactive exhibits at The Deep aquarium in Hull to the sandy beaches of Bridlington. Adventure parks and farm parks in the area also offer entertainment for children of all ages.

How can one enjoy East Yorkshire without spending money?

Take advantage of the region's natural beauty with free activities such as walks on the Wolds Way or beach days on the Yorkshire Coast. Many towns host free-to-enter museums and galleries with heritage exhibitions.

For a romantic day, enjoy the serene gardens of Sewerby Hall or a coastal walk in Filey. Intimate dining can be found in market towns like Beverley, which boasts charming restaurants and cafes.

What historical landmarks should one not miss while in East Yorkshire?

Don't miss the towering Beverley Minster, the historic Burton Constable Hall, or the atmospheric ruins of Whitby Abbey. Each offers a glimpse into the region's rich past intertwined with British history.

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