5 free things to do in Yorkshire

Date Posted: 23/08/2018

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire has seen the biggest rise in visitor interest, according to an annual report by VisitEngland, so we round up five of the best free attractions that groups will love.

1. National Railway Museum

The National Railway Museum in York features a range of locomotives, telling centuries of railway history. The museum houses more than one million objects and artefacts. Highlights of a visit include discovering the stories and unknown facts behind the collections, which include 260 locomotives and vehicles, photographs, books and paintings. 

Objects on display include medals from pioneering train drivers and items belonging to influential engineers. Coach parking is available for an added cost, and groups can benefit from discounts in the gift shops and a free hot meal for coach drivers.

2. Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Those who enjoy art should visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and enjoy an Art & Landscape Tour, which is also free. Groups will go on a guided walk exploring the art and sculptures on display both within the museum and outside in the park. 

Current exhibitions include Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads which is running until June 2019 and Katrina Palmer, as part of the 14-18 NOW programme looking at artwork depicting World War One.

Wonderlab

Pictured: Wonderlab at the Science and Media Museum.

3. National Science & Media Museum

Visit the museum in Bradford for free and enjoy a number of fun displays, giving visitors the chance to interact with science. Wonderlab is a permanent gallery which explores light and sounds through live shows. 

Other galleries include Alternative Realities, Life Online, Kodak Gallery and TV Gallery. Group tours are available and include a member of the curatorial team guiding you around the collections and giving behind-the-scenes glances at the exhibits on display.

4. Sheffield Botanical Gardens

If the weather's nice, visit Sheffield Botanical Gardens and explore the 19 acres of blooms and parkland. The gardens are listed by English Heritage as Grade II with special historical and architectural interest surrounding them. There's also glass pavilions to discover exotic and temperate plants and overall there are 18 different garden areas with different themes. 

Groups will enjoy the tea rooms for homemade cakes, and there’s also guided tours available and an Open Air Theatre which hosts shows on selected dates throughout the year.

5. Hull Maritime Museum

Hull Maritime Museum invites visitors to learning about the area's maritime heritage. Housed in the Victorian Dock offices in Queen Victoria Square, you'll discover artefacts from Hull's whaling, fishing and merchant trade dating back to 1760. 

Combine this with a visit to the Hands on History Museum also in Hull. Housed in an old grammar school that politician William Wilberforce once studied, the museum tells the story of the people of Hull. Featuring artefacts and tales of Victorian times and an Egyptian gallery, you'll find plenty of intrigue at the attraction.

Find out what England’s most visited free attractions are by reading our story on Visit England’s report.

Lead image: Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

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