York Activities

  • Give you the chance to live the past, not just hear about it
  • A watersports haven
  • Home to World-renowned Racecourses
  • Wild nightlife
  • The Ultimate Stags & Hens Weekend Destination

Stretching at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss, York is a city of culture, art, history and nothing less than an emblem of Britain’s global heritage.

York is home to some of the most impressive historic monuments in England, including the York Minster and Clifford’s Tower. The best thing about these sights is the way they are offered to the public: interactive displays, impersonations and state-of-the-art technology allow visitors not just to learn, but to experience the long-gone past.

Exhibitions like the York Dungeon and the Railway Museum, or the ‘1914’ exhibition, are prime examples.

But York is much more than a lore of England’s history. York is just ideal for cycling, both within and outside the city, it boasts some of England’s best adventure parks, along with its famous racecourses, and it is a genuine haven for watersports buffs, all year round.

Still, York is probably more famed for its wild nightlife, its exceptional breweries and as England’s capital for stag & hen weekends.

All providers in and near York Activities

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Driverskills
12G Meadows Stockton on the Forest
York, North Yorkshire
DISTANCE: 2.65 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Advanced Driving Course, Drifting Experience...
North of England Activity Centre
Tinker Lane Harewood Whin
York, North Yorkshire
DISTANCE: 3.88 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Archery, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Off Road Driving, Quad Racing, Quad Trekking...
Maximum Adventure Sports
Unit 405 Birch Park Thorp Park Estate
Wetherby, West Yorkshire
DISTANCE: 9.78 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Abseiling, Bouldering, Bushcraft Course, Canoeing, Caving, Climbing, Gorge Walking, High Ropes...
Allerthorpe Lakeland Park
Allerthorpe
York, North Yorkshire
DISTANCE: 11.77 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Archery, Canoeing, Dinghy Sailing, Kayaking, Powerboating, Sailing Schools, Windsurfing...
Wolds Gliding
Wolds Gliding Club The Airfield
Pocklington, East Yorkshire
DISTANCE: 11.99 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Gliding...
Harrogate Paintball
York Rd Flaxby
Harrogate, North Yorkshire
DISTANCE: 13.43 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Archery, Bushcraft Course, Paintball, Shooting Range, Tank Paintball...
Burn Gliding Club
Park Lane Burn
Selby, North Yorkshire
DISTANCE: 14.51 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Gliding, Tandem Biking, Mountain Biking...
Real Simulation
Real Simulation Limited The Smitheys Haggs Road
Harrogate, North Yorkshire
DISTANCE: 16.25 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Flight Simulator...
TeamWalking
102 Leeds Road
Harrogate, North Yorkshire
DISTANCE: 18.11 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Hiking, Navigation Courses, Orienteering...
The Yorkshire Gliding Club
Sutton Bank
Thirsk, North Yorkshire
DISTANCE: 19.87 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Motor Gliding, Gliding...
Raceway Karting
Tavern Works Skinner Lane
Pontefract, West Yorkshire
DISTANCE: 20.24 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Go Karting...
Log Heights
Ripley Castle Ripley Harrogate Yorkshire
Harrogate, North Yorkshire
DISTANCE: 20.30 Miles
ACTIVITIES: High Ropes Courses, Low Ropes...
Above and Below Pontefract
Above and Below Dive Centre Blue Lagoon Diving & Leisure Northfield Lane
Womersley
DISTANCE: 20.41 Miles
ACTIVITIES: ...
Diggerland Yorkshire
Willowbridge Lane Whitwood
Castleford, West Yorkshire
DISTANCE: 20.62 Miles
ACTIVITIES: JCB Operation, Theme Parks...
Teamsport
69 South Accommodation Road
Leeds, West Yorkshire
DISTANCE: 21.66 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Go Karting...

Things to See & Do

One thing York has in abundance is attractions and sights: visitors have so many options, it would take weeks to explore them all.

Since you don’t have so much time available, let’s see some spots you simply must visit.

York Minster… and you shall Live Happily Ever After!

York Minster, a stunning cathedral known for its medieval stained glass and sculptured masterpieces, shaped not just by human hand, but from centuries of violent history.

You can take a fascinating journey through the centuries underground chambers with audio-visual and interactive galleries that help visitors understand the stories behind Minster’s most significant artefacts.

Children can also join treasure hunts and adventurous discovery trails, while you marvel the stunning views of the surrounding landscape, or even testing the ‘Heart of Yorkshire’ legend, according to which all sweethearts that kiss under the cathedral’s Great West Window will never part from each other.

Be Henry VII for a couple of hours

In Micklegate Bar, York’s emblematic royal gateway, you can experience the everyday life of probably the most famous Tudor King, Henry VII.

A victorious commander, an exiled heir striving to gain support, a great innovator – and you won’t just learn about him, but experience his life, through interactive exhibits and displays.

Barley Hall & Clifford’s Tower

Barley Hall is a beautifully-restored medieval townhouse, featuring probably the only remaining horn window in England. The interior is decorated and equipped as a typical medieval household, and visitors are allowed to use all furniture and everyday objects and understand what daily life meant back then.

Clifford’s Tower, an emblem of medieval English rulers, was originally built by William the Conqueror and rebuilt by Henry III. Its imposing tower took its name from a rather sad incident, but learning it is just a fringe of what this site has to offer. From up there, the majestic panoramic view of York’s impressive landscapes will surely become one of your most cherished memories.

National Railway Museum

Another great option, especially for families, is the famed National Railway Museum, housing numerous legendary trains, like the ‘Mallard’, the world’s fastest steam locomotive, and Queen Victoria’s luxurious personal train chambers.

You will also get a chance of experiencing the working schedule of a station employee, board most of the locomotives, watch trained engineers during work and discover hidden treasures in The Warehouse, while your kids have fun in the well – equipped play areas.

Try to Escape… the York Dungeon!

One of the most thrilling attractions in England, the York Dungeon is designed to take you on a journey to York’s most frightening and darkest tales – and not just hear about them, but experience them. Surrounded by 360 degree sets and state-of-the-art special effects, let the plague doctor examine you the medieval way, face a fierce Viking invasion and discover York’s most haunted spots.

The ‘Trenches’ Terror…

Another great exhibition is ‘1914’ fully devoted to the horrors of WWI and the everyday experiences of the soldiers that lived and died in the trenches. Housed in York Castle Museum, it depicts those dramatic years through the eyes of the Yorkshire men and women.

You and your family or friends will have the chance to witness real people’s stories unfold before you: the prosperous days preceding the war, the recruitment office, your journey to the front and the brutality of awaiting death inside the trenches.

Are you a Chocolate Addict?

York’s ‘Chocolate Story’ is something of an earthly paradise for you!

A fun–packed guided tour through the history of some of the most prominent chocolate-making families and their prime creations. The children will love learning chocolate’s origin and various methods of making it – and, of course, tasting some rare and delicious ‘editions’, or even creating their very own chocolate bars!

Activities

York offers an inexhaustible list of activity options, but let’s mention the most popular.

Join a York Boat City Cruise

One of the best ways to explore York’s multifaceted nature is to join a city cruise. You can take photos of almost all major sights and enjoy a relaxing row. If you wish something even more romantic, we recommend an evening cruise.

York – Ideal for Ardent Cyclists

York is just ideal for cycling. In fact there are cycling guided tours around the city’s monuments and most important buildings and sights. Another great area for cycling is the North York Moors.

The Sutton Bank trails are easy to explore for the whole family and offer some truly stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. Humberhead Levels has some easy trails – ideal for families with small children –, suitable for both walking and cycling. Bicycle hires and helpful information are easy to find in affordable prices.

If you prefer mountain biking, the rougher trails of Dalby Forest suit you best.

Go Ape at Dalby Forest

Well-hidden within the woodland of the Great Yorkshire Forest, you can unleash your wild instincts and have fun with your family and friends!

Stunning scenery, swinging from tree to tree, tunnel and bridge crossing, a formidable 250 m zip wire and lots of hidden surprises guarantee a great day out in the forest.

Fancy a Horse Race?

If you are planning to visit York sometime between May and October, make sure to combine your trip with a one of the 17 horse racecourses held in York – a truly fantastic experience, as the World’s most skilled racehorses will storm towards the finish.

In the meantime, local cuisine, live music and several other family – friendly events add to the entrainment of the day.

The Web Adventure Park

While primarily a great option for families, the renowned and vast Web Adventure Park has something for everyone: a sand and water play area, a netted climbing forest, several ride-ons for little ones, a den building construction zone, landscaped gardens, jungle bridge, wacky swings, a role play area, a High Ropes Center (with challenges for every level of experience), an animal zone with alpacas, ponies, guinea pigs, giant rabbits and many more, along with the celebrated indoor play center, soft play areas, a disco room, ball canons, a sports arena, an inflatable obstacle course and a role play area.

What more could you need for a nice day out with your family?

The Ultimate Watersports Centre – Allerthorpe Lakeland Park

Choose your sport, bring along or hire the equipment, ask for an instructor – if you must – and enjoy your favorite watersport all day long!

The Allerthorpe Lakeland Park offers a safe and well organized environment for persons of all age and experience that love water: pedalos, kayaks, canoes, open water swimming, fishing, windsurfing, sailing, boating and much more.

Stag & Hen Groups

York could easily be described as the capital of Stag and Hen parties. York’s has all the necessary ingredients for an unforgettable and vibrant Stag & hen weekend.

It is so popular that recently some locals have complained about the stag and hen ‘gang raids’ that storm the city during the weekends.

but if you want to escape the customary unstoppable drinking, york has many interesting suggestions for you: 4×4 off road driving, abba dancing, afternoon tea, argocats, belly dancing, bollywood dance, burlesque, cheeky butler, cheerleading, clay pigeon shooting, comedy club, dance workshop, dirty dancing, fame dancing, ghost tours, glee dancing, high ropes course, horse racing, jewellery making, laser combats, murder mysteries, nude life drawing, quad biking and much more.

York’s nightlife poses a serious problem to the visitor: it has too many options, too many great options: from traditional, beamed pubs with fireplaces to stylish bars and sophisticated restaurants.

York has more than 350 pubs and bars; as well as some of the finest breweries around the world.

Summary

Why visit York? Well, first of all, it is extremely family-friendly, combining knowledge and fun in a unique blend that fascinates not just children, but grown-ups too.

York will make you love the past, by taking it off the written pages of books and engraving it to your minds and hearts.

If partying or adventure is more of your thing, then York will surely not disappoint you. A vibrant city, the ultimate destination for stags and hens weekends, a city where one simply cannot be disappointed!