Embarking on a memorable day out in Yorkshire doesn’t have to drain your wallet. With our guide to some of the best Free days out in the region, uncover many cost-free experiences. Picturesque parks and historical gems, explore Yorkshire’s diverse offerings without spending a penny. Parking charges may apply where on-street Parking is not available.
Please consider that Parking may be charged and on-street Parking may not be available nearby. Please check before travelling. We have listed the free days out first, followed by those that may have parking charges. The parking charges stated are a guide and are subject to change.
We have included some sites that are outside of Yorkshire. They are free and may be worth the visit, especially if you want to experience something new.
Graves Park and Graves Park Animal Farm, Sheffield
Norton S8 8LJ
Parking is Free on-street nearby. Parking charges apply in the car parks.
Graves Park is Sheffield’s most extensive park in the city’s southwest. It offers open spaces and woodlands, featuring streams, a cafe, two children’s playgrounds, and the famous Graves Park Animal Farm. Sometimes, Highland cows are in the field.
The park also has a practice golf course, two bowling greens, and several hard tennis courts. The large play area next to the cafe has a sandpit, toddler equipment, climbing frames, a zip wire, swings, and more. There is a smaller playground on the other side of the park. Remember your duck food, as there are usually plenty of ducks to feed. You can also hire a boat on warmer days.
Graves Park Animal Farm provides a popular home to some of the country’s rarest breeds of farm animals. You can get up close and personal with Tamworth pigs, Highland cattle, Jacob sheep, goats, donkeys, waterfowl, and many more. The animal park is FREE to visit. For additional information, check out the Graves Park Animal Farm Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/gravesparkanimalfarm
Pontefract Castle, Pontefract
The Lodge Castle Chain, WF8 1QH
Free parking directly behind the castle uses postcode WF8 2JF.
The ruins of Pontefract Castle make a great day out. They are rich in history and a nice place to explore. There is also an adventure play area, cafe, and visitor’s centre. https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/museums-and-castles/pontefract-castle
Spofforth Castle, Harrogate
Castle Street, HG3 1DA
Parking is Free on-street.
It’s a lovely little spot with plenty of benches about to make the most of the relaxing environment, and it’s nice that you’re free to wander around the castle remains as you wish. Some excellent signs explain the history, and everything is maintained well. The castle is the perfect playground for children. It has plenty of opportunities to jump, hide, and climb stairs. https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/spofforth-castle/
Wharfe Meadows Park, Otley
Farnley Lane, LS21 2AB
Parking Free on-street
Wharfmeadows Park is a beautiful day out. The park has gardens alongside the river, where people can take boat rides or walk along the banks. There is also a large playground with many things for children to do, including climbing frames and slides. https://www.visitotley.co.uk/outdoors/
Roundhay Park, Leeds
Mansion Lane, Roundhay LS8 2HH
If you’re looking for a fantastic Yorkshire park, look at Rounhday Park in Leeds. With over 700 acres of beautiful woodland and open grassland, this is the perfect spot to enjoy fresh air and escape the hustle and bustle of city life. It also has many different play areas for children, including sandpits, swings and slides, a skate ramp, and adventure trails. https://www.leeds.gov.uk/parks-and-countryside/major-parks/roundhay-park
Millhouses Park, Sheffield
Abbeydale Road S17 3LA
Parking is free on a nearby street; The carparks charge 40p per hour. £2 for the whole day.
Free and open all year round, cafe and toilets, outdoor gym equipment, bike track, water splash play pond, playground, zip line, climbing wall, skate park, bowling green. Multi-games Area with basketball and mini football, all-weather Notts turf football pitch. Boating Lake is open at weekends and during school holidays; from April to October, boats are available for hire, and inclusive ships are available for all needs. You can sail model boats all year round, and the lake is home to the Sheffield Model Boat Society. Enjoy amenities such as a cafe, outdoor gym equipment, water splash play pond, playground, zip line, climbing wall, skate park, and more. The boating lake is open during weekends and school holidays, offering boat rentals and inclusive options for all needs. https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/parks-sport-recreation/millhouses-park
Rivelin Valley, Sheffield
Rivelin Valley Road, S6 5GL
Free parking roadside nearby
You can explore moorland, woodlands, plantations, semi-improved grasslands, agricultural land, horse paddocks, rocky crags, housing, allotments, parks, gardens, a golf course and five reservoirs. Explore the diverse landscapes of Rivelin Valley, which include moorland, woodlands, crags, and reservoirs. Enjoy a paddle in the shallow river or the huge splash park in warmer months. Free Parking is available on Rivelin Valley Road, making it an ideal location for a nature-filled day out. https://rivelinvalley.org.uk/explore-php/
Sandall Castle, Wakefield
Many Gates Lane, Sandal, WF2 7DS
Parking is free.
Sandal Castle is a 13th-century stone castle which is free to visit. It sits atop a hill with great views of the Calder Valley below. There are many informative plaques on-site, and visitors can climb to the top of the motte for a bird’s eye view of the valley and a great view of the ruins below. There is also a family-friendly cafe. Explore the 13th-century stone castle with informative plaques, offering stunning views of the Calder Valley. Visit Sandal Castle, a scene from the Battle of Wakefield in 1460! It was a favourite castle of Richard III and played its part in the Wars of the Roses. Sandall Castle is free to visit and features a family-friendly cafe. https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/museums-and-castles/sandal-castle
Beaumont Park, Huddersfield
75 Beaumont Park Road, HD4 7AY
Beaumont Park is just over 20 acres in size. The park is unique in combining the features of a beautifully maintained, familiar urban park with a slightly overgrown, wilder ‘castle’ area. In addition to the usual play areas, you can find Victorian follies, stunning, unexpected views, and hidden pathways that ignite a sense of exploration. The park also has interactive trails, which you can use with the Love Exploring App. https://www.fobp.co.uk/
Cliffe Castle Museum, Keighley
Spring Gardens Lane, BD20 6LH
Cliffe Castle is a local heritage museum with galleries dedicated to the geology of rocks and minerals and natural history. There is also a cafe, a small petting zoo, and an adventure play area. https://bradfordmuseums.org/cliffe-castle/
Golden Acre Park, Leeds
Bramhope, LS16 8BQ
Golden Acre Park feels much further away from Leeds City Centre than just 6 miles away, and there are almost 180 acres to explore. The park has a large lake, woodland and a lovely cafe. https://www.leeds.gov.uk/parks-and-countryside/major-parks/golden-acre-park
Langold Lake Country Park, Worksop
Church Street, Langold, S81 9NW
The park, designated as a Local Nature Reserve, links into Dyscarr Wood, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) recognised as one of the best examples of limestone ash-wych elm wood in Nottinghamshire.
The park comprises various woodlands, wildlife and butterfly meadows, open grassed areas, a large fishing lake, play areas and much more for families and visitors to enjoy throughout the year.
Facilities include a Fishing Lake. Sea Scoundrel Children’s Water Play splash park, Junior and Toddler Play Equipment, Traditional bandstand/performance area, Skate park, Football pitch, Café, and Public conveniences. The park has several designated walks and footpaths, which will take you around the lake and the surrounding open spaces, linking to public rights of way and bridleways. https://www.bassetlaw.gov.uk/parks-and-open-spaces/langold-country-park/
Greenhead Park, Huddersfield
Trinity Street, Huddersfield, HD1 4DT
Free on-street Parking. Parking in the car park, which is pay & display.
Greenhead Park is a great place for families to spend their weekends. There are two play areas, one for younger and older kids. In the summer, you can paddle in the built-in paddling pool. There are also two cafes and a miniature railway that runs on weekends and school holidays. https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/countryside-parks-and-open-spaces/greenhead-park.aspx
Padley Gorge, Sheffield
Padley Gorge Hope Valley – S32 2HY
Parking is free near Padley Gorge Ice Cream Van S11 7TZ
You’d be hard-pushed to find a more magical spot than Padley Gorge, with gently flowing streams and tumbling waterfalls in a woodland setting. Padley Gorge is photogenic and full of character. Unsurprisingly, it is surrounded by fantastic walks and is a popular spot for picnics and paddling. Splash in the stream and climb the rocks ( not pushchair-friendly). It is a lovely family walk. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/peak-district-derbyshire/longshaw-burbage-and-the-eastern-moors/padley-gorge-and-burbage-brook
Sheffield Botanical Gardens
Clarkehouse Road S10 2LN
Free on-street Parking nearby. Parking charges in a nearby car park.
Wander through 18 different garden areas inspired by geographical or botanical themes. Sheffield Botanical Gardens features unique attractions like the bear pit, the Himalayan Garden, the Marnock Garden, and Victorian carpet bedding. Sheffield Botanical Gardens has several listed buildings to explore. Find bananas in the Pavilions. Relax in the shade of the beautiful trees and sniff out the scented plants in winter. There is always something to enjoy. https://www.sbg.org.uk/gardens-within-the-gardens
Cusworth Hall Museum and Park, Doncaster
Cusworth Lane, DN5 7TU
Parking 1 hour – £1, 2 hours – £1.50, 3 hours – £2.20 All day – £6
The park grounds are open daily, but the museum is closed on Thursdays & Fridays. There is a free museum, cafe, pub, and fabulous playpark for all ages. Children can also play in the woods, roll down the hill to feed the ducks, and walk around the lake. https://www.cusworthhall.co.uk/
Anglers Country Park, Wakefield
Haw Park Lane, WF4 2EE
Parking charges – Up to 2 hours £1, Up to 4 hours £2, Over 4 hours £3
Anglers Country Park is a Green Flag location with countryside, woodland, wetland, and trails to explore. Wildlife enthusiasts can enjoy bird hides, feeding stations, and a central lake. Learn how to manage and improve the habitats for wildlife at the Visitor Centre. Explore the Room on the Broom Trail, an entertaining experience for kids around the lake. The park also boasts an exciting adventure play area and a charming cafe with ample picnic tables. https://experiencewakefield.co.uk/venue/anglers-country-park/
Weston Park Museum, Sheffield
Western Bank, S10 2TP
Parking charges, on-street pay and display, and nearby chargeable car parks
Weston Park Museum tells the stories of Sheffield and its people from prehistory to the present day. You’ll discover everything from archaeological treasures to zoological wonders, meet visitor favourites Spike the Woolly Rhino and Snowy the Polar Bear, and learn more about the people and events that shaped the city we know today. It’s also home to a programme of changing exhibitions and events for all ages. In the Beneath Your Feet gallery, you can explore life in Ancient Egypt and unearth unique artefacts spanning centuries. Over in What On Earth, you’ll learn more about the city’s changing wildlife and environment. In Sheffield Stories and Sheffield Life & Times, you’ll discover the people and events that shaped the city and how life in Sheffield has changed over the years. https://www.sheffieldmuseums.org.uk/visit-us/weston-park-museum/
Clifton Park and Museum, Rotherham
Doncaster Road car park S65 2BQ
Parking charges at both car parks. 1 hour – £1.50, 2 hours – £2.50, 3 hours – £3.50, 4 hours – £4.30, 5 hours – £5.50, All Day – £6.50
Discover Yorkshire’s largest free play area, a water splash park, a Fun Park with rides and rollercoasters, and 18 holes of mini golf at Clifton Park. Explore the Clifton Museum and beautiful gardens, including the dedicated community space in the Walled Garden. Cafe, Gift shop, Garden House and Courtyard, Tennis and bowls. https://www.cliftonpark.org.uk/
Canon Hall Museum and Gardens, Barnsley
Cawthorne, S75 4AT
Parking charges Two hours – £1, All day – £5
Little ones can let off some steam in the fun adventure play area. There are slides, swings, roundabouts, climbing frames, interactives, accessible play equipment, and role-play features in the secure play area. There are also lots of other ways they can play around the parkland. You will find beautiful wooden tepees, balance beams, and assault courses. https://www.cliftonparkrotherham.co.uk/
Pugneys Country Park, Wakefield
Denby Dale Road, WF2 7EQ
Parking charges: 1 hour £1.00, 2 to 4 hours £2.50, Over 5 hours £4.00
Pugneys Country Park has a pirate-themed play area and lots of Room for a walk. You can download the free Love Exploring app to discover dinosaurs and find fairies or follow the Blown Away Adventure Trail on a circular, accessible route around the lake. The park has plenty of open spaces to play outdoor games, walk, cycle, visit the play areas, ride on the miniature train, and feed the birds.
Newmillerdam Country Park, Wakefield
Newmillerdam, WF2 6PZ
Parking charges:- Up to 1 hour 60p, Up to 2 hours £1, Up to 4 hours £1.30, Over 4 hours £1.70
If you want a beautiful walk with a quirky trail for kids, you can’t beat the Gnome Roam for a free Yorkshire day out! The kids will love the walk and finding the funny little gnomes in the woods. An ice cream van is usually parked near the bridge for an end-of-walk treat!
There are toilets (a charge applies), a 1.5-mile surfaced lakeside path. Waymarked trails for walkers, joggers, cyclists, and horse riders, an Orientation course, and geocaching. https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/parks-countryside-and-outdoor-spaces/parks/newmillerdam-country-park/
York City Wall Trails
York City Centre
Parking charges around the city car parks
York’s City Walls are FREE and open daily for walking from 8 am to dusk. Encircling the historic City of York, York’s medieval City Walls (or “Bar Walls”) are a scheduled ancient monument comprising 3.4km (2 miles) of surviving masonry. They are the longest town walls in England. Built mainly of magnesian limestone in the 13th century, they are unique in England because they are set on earthen ramparts.
York’s City Walls offer a splendid elevated walk around the city. Although the accompanying moats have largely disappeared, the slopes of the ramparts are well known for the display of daffodils in March and April.
A walk around the walls takes about 2 hours and offers an opportunity to see the main features of the walls. There are four main bars, or fortified gateways, two smaller gateways with more modern stonework and one postern (a tiny gateway defended by a tower), frequent intermediate towers, and details like windows, arrow slits and gun ports, sculptures, and masons’ marks. There are also good views of many important buildings from the walls. https://www.york.gov.uk/CityWalls
You could also visit the York Railway Museum in the city for free. Our “rainy day free days out” guide is here. It primarily includes indoor activities for when the weather is less than ideal.
Sherwood Pines, Nottingham
Sherwood Forest, Edwinstowe NG21 9JL
Car Parking charges £3.50 for one hour, £6 for up to 2 hours, £9 for up to 3 hours or £10 for the whole day.
Find the characters from the Gruffalo story or take a short walk to the Robin Hood Hideout play area. For younger children, the Mushroom Village play area is ideally located next to the visitor hub. New for 2023 is the Zog activity trail. Download the app, pack, and go on a forest adventure with your favourite dragon! On-site café/restaurant, toilets and Picnic Site. https://www.forestryengland.uk/sherwood-pines
Rufford Abbey Country Park, Nottinghamshire
Ollerton, NG22 9DF
The park offers various play equipment – including a wheelspin roundabout, balancing climbing frame, tunnels, slides, climbing areas, a zip line, and more – for all ages. You will find a Playground, a lake walk, and sculptures here. There is also a huge adventure playground and an exciting mini-golf course. Discover over 875 years of history with a short walk around the abbey ruins. Alternatively, you can take in the breathtaking surroundings, local nature, and wildlife by walking through the scenic grounds and woodland. https://ruffordabbey.co.uk/
Rother Valley Country Park, Sheffield
Mansfield Road, Wales Bar, S26 5PQ
Parking charges Up to 1 hour £1.50 Up to 2 hours £2.50 Up to 3 hours £3.50 Up to 4 hours £4.50 Up to 5 hours £5.50 Over 5 hours / day £6.00
Around the park are many bike tracks to test your skills, suitable for all abilities, along with flat lakeside walks and trails. There is a small play park, and you can watch the water skiers. Sometimes, they do life-saving training with the Newfoundlands. Reconnect with nature: A collection of lakeside country trails to enjoy quality family time amongst nature. https://www.rvcp.co.uk/
Brimham Rocks, Harrogate
Brimham Moor Road, Summerbridge, HG3 4DW
Parking: Pay & Display (coins only). The car park costs £6.50 for 4 hours, £10 per day.
Explore dramatic moorland and rock formations. Weird and wonderfully shaped giant rock formations created by an immense river 100 million years before the first dinosaurs walked the earth. Brimham Rocks’ heather moorland is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), home to three local varieties: ling heather, bell heather, and cross-leaved heath. Facilities include a kiosk and toilets. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/yorkshire/brimham-rocks
Aysgarth Falls, Leyburn
Church Bank, Aysgarth, Leyburn, UK, DL8 3TH
Parking £2.70 for up to two hours, £4.80 for over two hours
Aysgarth Falls are a triple flight of waterfalls, surrounded by woodland and farmland, carved out by the River Ure over an almost one-mile stretch on its descent to mid-Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales, near the village of Aysgarth. The falls are split into upper, middle and lower, and all are easy to walk to. It is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year. Natural and unspoilt. https://www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/places/aysgarth_falls_national_park_centre/
Druids Temple, Ripon
Ilton, HG4 4JZ
A parking fee of £3, which is via an honesty box.
One of our absolute favourites is the Druid’s Temple near Masham. It is not an actual temple but a nineteenth-century folly styled after stone circles and well-known prehistoric monuments such as Stonehenge.
The Druids Temple was built to alleviate local unemployment. It allowed William Danby, a wealthy landowner, to pay workers a shilling a day for their labour.
Although less than 200 years old, it is an atmospheric and intriguing location. It is stunning, with a beautiful woodland walk and a fascinating temple. There is a nearby cafe and Parking. The forest area is well maintained, with clearly marked paths and easy terrain. https://visitharrogate.co.uk/business-directory/the-druids-temple
Markeaton Park, Derby
Markeaton Park Light Railway, DE22 3BG
Parking fees 1 hour – £1.70, 2 hours – £2.70, 4 hours – £4.20, More than 4 hours – £5.20
Markeaton Park in Derby is a delightful destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With its sprawling green spaces, scenic walking trails, and a wide array of recreational activities, this park offers something for everyone.
One of the highlights of Markeaton Park is its picturesque lake, where visitors can enjoy peaceful strolls along the shoreline. The park’s well-maintained gardens and vibrant flower beds add a touch of beauty and tranquillity to the surroundings, making it a perfect spot for relaxation or a family picnic.
For those seeking adventure, Markeaton Park doesn’t disappoint. The park features an exciting adventure playground with numerous slides, climbing frames, and swings that will keep children entertained for hours. The high-ropes course, mini-golf, skatepark, and free paddling pool are also popular attractions that provide thrilling experiences for visitors of all ages. The Craft Village has toilets and refreshments. https://www.inderby.org.uk/parks/derbys-parks-and-open-spaces/markeaton-park/
Wollaton Hall & Deer Park, Nottingham
Wollaton, NG8 2AE
Parking £5 all-day
Museum and park entry is free. You can enjoy the Natural History Collections at the Natural History Museum, including the Bird and Fish rooms, the Long Gallery, The Great Hall, and the Salon. Wollaton Hall is one of the country’s finest Grade I listed Elizabethan buildings and the county’s largest dedicated Natural History Museum. An architectural wonder, explore the Hall’s Tudor Kitchens, Prospect Room and Admiral’s Bath while discovering Wollaton’s incredible history. It houses 750,000 objects, from fascinating fossils to surreal ‘spirit’ jars. From the grandeur of its gardens to the stillness of its Lake, Wollaton’s great outdoors are waiting to be explored.
See wild deer. Since the fourteenth century, herds of deer have roamed Wollaton’s 500 acres of parkland, home to all kinds of habitats, including grassland, wetland and woodland. There are over 90 red and 120 fallow deer at Wollaton. These wild deer are incredible to see. The lake is perfect for walking around and looking for local wildlife. The birds spotted in this area include jay, nuthatch, sparrowhawk and even ring-necked parakeets. At the far side of the lake is a false Bridge, a boathouse designed to enhance the landscape. There have been sightings of northern pike in the lake; the Formal Gardens are located at the back of the magnificent Wollaton Hall and include several statues, a Doric temple and the Camellia House.
The Camellia House is the oldest cast-iron-framed glass house in Europe, from 1823, and is the only remaining one of its kind in this country. The Camellia House is open most days for relaxing, with spectacular views over the Park and Lake, and the camellia flowers usually bloom between autumn and late spring. There are two play areas in Wollaton Park. Explore Wollaton Park with exciting family trails. Hunt for clues, find the answers and claim a prize! Each trail has other fun activities to complete inside. Indoor and outdoor trails are available from the shops. Here, you can also participate in Geocaching, birdwatching (bird hide) and den building. https://wollatonhall.org.uk/
FREE DAYS OUT IN YORKSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE AND NOTTINGHAMSHIRE
We finish with a list of more free places to visit in Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Check the websites for more details. Parking charges may apply.
Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet Sheffield – S7 2QW
Kelham Island Museum Sheffield – S3 8SA
Heeley City Farm Sheffield – S2 3DT
Endcliffe Park Sheffield – S11 7AB
Bishop’s House Museum Sheffield – S8 9BE
Thrybergh Country Park Rotherham – S65 4NU
Markham Grange Steam Museum Doncaster – DN5 7XB
Danum Gallery & Museum Doncaster – DN1 3BZ
Kirkstall Abbey Leeds – LS5 3EH
Askham Bog Nature Reserve York – YO23 3QX
Tolson Museum Huddersfield – HD5 8DJ
Worsborough Mill Museum Barnsley – S70 5LJ
Street Life Museum Hull – HU1 1PS
Maritime Museum Hull – HU1 3DX
Skipton Castle Woods Skipton – BD23 1AW
Lumsdale Valley & Ruins Matlock – DE4 5LB
Aquarium & Hologram Gallery Matlock Bath (£3.80 Donation Entry) – DE4 3NS
Plague Village & Museum Eyam – S32 5QG
Mam Tor Castleton – Castleton, S33 8WA
Longshaw Estate Trails Hope Valley – S11 7TZ
Stanage Edge Hope Valley – S32 1DU
Monsal Trail Bakewell Station – DE45 1GE
The Millenium Walkway & Mill New Mills – SK22 3ES
Derwent Valley Mills Heritage Site Matlock – DE4 3AG
Nine Ladies Stone Circle & Ancient Moor Stanton- in- Peak – DE4 2LS
The Druid Caves Birchover – DE4 2BL
Arbor Low Ancient Monument Monyash – DE45 1JS
Poolsbrook Country Park Chesterfield – S43 3LH
Linacre Reservoirs Chesterfield – S42 7JW
The Pavillion Gardens Buxton – SK17 6BE
Elvaston Castle & Country Park Derby – DE72 3EP
Pickfords House Museum Derby – DE1 1DA
Museum & Art Gallery Derby – DE1 1BS
Bluebell Dairy Farm Derby – DE21 7AR
Tagg Lane Dairy Hurdlow – DE45 1JP
Magpie Mine Sheldon – DE45 1QU
These are just a few incredible free days out waiting for you in Yorkshire and beyond. Plenty of budget-friendly adventures, from historical sites to scenic parks, can be enjoyed. So, pack your bags and discover the beauty of Yorkshire without spending a penny!
Our “rainy day free days out” guide is here. It primarily includes indoor activities for when the weather is less than ideal. https://thesouthyorkshirescoop.com/2024/02/09/free-days-out-on-rainy-days-in-yorkshire/
Forget to take a packed lunch? Or need money-saving ideas when eating out? We’ve got you covered. Kids can eat free or cheap with our guide. https://thesouthyorkshirescoop.com/2024/02/09/kids-eat-free-or-cheap-in-february-2024/
Do you have a fantastic free day out to share with us? Contact us via our contact form. https://thesouthyorkshirescoop.com/get-in-touch/