Whether it’s swinging from heights or climbing the wall up the pyramid tower in the popular wilderness play area, fun and games on the lawn, borrowing a bike to ride around the gardens or dressing up as royalty in the hall, Beningbrough is a fantastic family day out.
Pick up a free explorer backpack and go hunting for bugs, bird watching or navigating the gardens with a compass. Or, head inside. The hall can be enjoyed all year round. Get creative in the interactive galleries or let your littlest one amuse themselves in the pre-school playroom.
During school holidays, there are plenty of organised activities to enjoy from the 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ playlist as well as artrageous workshops and interactive trails.
Children’s picnic boxes and delicious meals made from home grown and locally sourced produce are available from the restaurant. Plus ice creams, sandwiches, snacks and drinks from the Brew House during school holidays and on weekends.
“We had a fantastic day at Beningbrough this week. They now let dogs into most of the gardens (just not in the childrens play area and walled garden bit) and there is a place you can sit and have a coffee just close to the adventure playground. My girls loved building the dens and climbing the trees. A fabulous day out. And the for was lovely too!”
Mumbler EP, Jul 18
“My 2 love the adventure play area.”
Mumbler JC, Jan 18
Beningbrough, York, North Yorkshire, YO30 1DD
Dalby Forest, managed by the Forestry Commission, offers over 8,000 acres of woodland to explore, enjoy and discover, including our Grand Father Oak play area for children, family BBQ and picnic areas, adrenalin activities for the thrill seekers and walking and cycling trails for all.
The Visitor Centre houses a café serving a wide range of locally produced snacks and meals for all the family, information point and toilets. Dalby Courtyard is home to craft & business workshops, café and bike hire centre.
Burn off some energy on the cycle trails and explore the forest. Our quality trails range from family routes to highly technical routes. Dalby Bike Barn offers high quality bikes to buy and hire suiting all ages. Visit www.dalbybikebarn.co.uk for more details.
Go Ape’s have adventure courses, with high ropes and zip wires amongst the trees for adults and children, or Forest Segways for fun on the ground. Visit www.goape.co.uk.
For a relaxing stroll within the forest choose a way-marked trail, including some trails classified as suitable for all abilities, wheelchair users and pushchairs.
In the heart of the forest Dalby Activity Centre provides activities including paintballing, archery and many more. Visit www.dalbyactivitycentre.co.uk.
For more information about opening hours and charges visit www.forestry.gov.uk/dalbyforest or call 01751 460295.
“There’s a visitor centre, cafe and a really good play area, which our 2 loved.”
Mumbler GC, Feb 18
“We went to Dalby Forest.. it was a lovely day out”
Mumbler RE, July 17
Dalby Forest, YO18 7LT
T: 01751 460295
Come and take one of our lovely Alpacas for a walk through our Organic farm. The walk will take you through fields and woodland and will give you a unique opportunity to get to know and love these wonderful creature.
We’re taking booking for the Easter holidays – £20 per adult and £5 per child, for more information visit the website, for group booking discounts please contact us.
If you don’t mind travelling that little bit further then don’t forget the Out of York page for Day’s out ideas that little bit further afield.
Do you know of a great walk or somewhere in the great outdoors that’s fun to explore? If yes, please tell us about it here so we can add it to the list.
A small woodland which makes a welcome break in an otherwise urban landscape. Acomb Wood Drive dissects this site from the larger part of the wood to the east. The greater spotted woodpecker, tawny owls and tree creepers have been spotted here. Parking available at the quaker wood pub car park.
Acomb Wood Drive, York, YO24 3XN
Distance from York: 14 miles
“Love this place, would highly recommend for children of all ages and with the dog too and it’s free entry to the park at the moment so a cheap day out (or nothing if you don’t buy a coffee / pop / icecream or go on the pedelos etc”
Mumbler CW, Feb 16
“Absolutely, it’s a massive lake with a lovely walk around it, a big children’s play ground, a sand pit, a cafe, and safe area for paddling/swimming and boat/kayak/pedelo hire! There were kids of all ages there loving it!”
Mumbler CM, April 17
Open Tues – Fri 10am – 4pm & Sat – Sun 9am – 4pm
Open Bank Holiday Mondays
FREE Entry 1st Nov – 31st Jan 17
Closed: 19th Dec – 31st Jan 17
Melbourne Road, Allerthorpe, Pocklington, York YO42 4RL
T: 01759 301444
Askham Bog is great for birdwatching, butterflies and wildflowers. Permissive footpaths all the way round so accessible to wheelchairs and prams. Dogs must be kept on a lead.
Public Transport – Buses stop adjacent to the nature reserve on the A64 and in the nearby village of Copmanthorpe. A cycle track links to both York and Tadcaster. Directions – Approaching York on the eastbound A64 take the A1036 turn off and then turn sharp left in the car park just after the first set of traffic lights.
Just off the A1036, York, North Yorkshire, YO23 2UB
Distance from York: 17 miles
Brayton Barff woodland is a very popular recreation destination for visitors who head there to walk their dogs, enjoy the beautiful scenery and take a gentle stroll. The 1¼ mile circular route flows through densely wooded areas, some of which is ancient woodland. A car park is situated off Barff Lane, west of Brayton near Thorpe Willoughby.
Visited Brayton Barff today on the recommendation of another Mumbler and just want to say it is definitely recommended! Took about an hour and a half to walk around and there is a clear path all the way around so suitable for pushchairs with lots of opportunities to explore further if you want. Dog friendly too.
HT, Dec 16
It’s beautiful once the weather warms up and the bluebells are out too
ES, Dec 16
Brayton Barff, Barff Lane, Brayton
Distance from York: 16 miles
Burnby hall in pocklington is lovely
SM, Oct 2018
Burnby Hall Gardens in Pocklington. Lots of woodland walks around a lake, can feed the fish, there’s a play park and a tea room.
CD, April 2018
Distance from York: 15 miles
Castle Howard is a magnificent historic house in the north of England, the 18th century residence is set within 1,000 acres of breathtaking landscape just outside York. The grounds include lakes, fountains, temples and woodland as well as formal walled garden and children’s adventure playground making Castle Howard the perfect family day out.
“Everyone who worked there was so attentive, knowledgeable and considerate. Such a treat.”
Mumbler CV, Dec 16
“Castle Howard’s lovely to walk round, play area for kids and cafe next to the lake”
Mumbler JC, Dec 17
T: 01653 648333
Clifton Backies Nature Reserve is located in historic York. In May 2002 Clifton Backies was designated as a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) because of its diverse wildlife, its recreational open space and its potential for education. Friends of Clifton Backies hold regular events such as pond dipping, wildflower/butterfly walks.
Car park off Water lane / Woodland Chase, York , YO30 6RE
Distance from York: 32 miles
Enjoy a classic spring walk in the so-called ‘Daffodil Dale’ to see Farndale’s glorious wild daffodils. It’s a straightforward 3½-mile linear route alongside the enchanting River Dove, from Low Mill to Church Houses and back. Depending on the weather, the daffodils are usually out between mid-March and mid-April, but this is a charming walk at any time of year.
Google the daffodil walk, great for picnics, river play and very pram friendly. Ice cream, cafe and pub at the end if wanted.A slight hill at the start but then Very flat path and easy to park and walk.
LB, July 17
Low Mill Car Park for Farndale Daffodil Walk, North York Moors National Park, Low Mill, York, YO62 7UY
Distance from York: 30 miles
Set within the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside, this World Heritage Site offers a great day out for all the family. Hidden within the Skell valley, you’ll find the magnificent ruins of the once great Fountains Abbey and a Georgian pleasure ground to delight your senses. This breathtaking landscape is also home to a Jacobean Manor House, Medieval Deer Park, Victorian church and Cistercian mill.
“Just wanted to massively recommend Fountains Abbey for a day out with small kids. Its glorious for all ages but the friendly staff made it. Plus they have THE best baby room Iv ever used. Wished I had still been breast feeding to make use of the comfy chair in there!”
Mumbler SA, April 16
“There’s so much to see and do whether you have just a few hours or a whole day.”
Mumbler FL March 17
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Estate, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3DY
T: 01765 608888
Distance from York: 7 miles
Hagg Wood is an area of woodland of 107 acres (43Ha), to the east of Dunnington, York towards the River Derwent. The wood was established as a Community Woodland in 2003. The Forestry Commission manages the wood in consultation with the Friends of Hagg Wood. Mumblers report reports bluebells to see in Springtime.
There’s enough pushchair friendly terrain to enjoy a walk, but much more potential for exploring without one
BK, April 17
Head for Intake Lane (you’ll pass the park & keep going). There’s space to park at the end of the lane but no proper car park.
Hagg Wood, Dunnington
Distance from York: 8 miles
Hassacarr Nature Reserve is to the south of the village of Dunnington and can be reached along Hassacarr Lane, which runs off Common Road to the north of the industrial estate. The Hassacarr Nature Reserve is owned by Dunnington Parish Council and managed by Dunnington Conservation Group.
Hassacarr Lane (off Common Road), Dunnington, YO19 5PB
T: 01904 489593
Used for grazing in the summer months but is also a valuable area for wildlife and flora, as well as a recreational area for dog-walkers, footballers, cyclists, pedestrians, birdwatchers and many others.
Friends of Hob Moor website has a list of wildlife to look for.
Hob Moor Drive, York, YO24 4JU (Various points of access)
Distance from York: 15 miles
Historic Kilnwick Percy Hall is a stunning Grade 2* listed building set within 47 acres of grounds with woodland walks, parkland, lake & café. The Hall is home to Madhyamaka Kadampa Meditation Centre and is a relaxing place of peace and tranquility to rest and reflect.
Everyone is welcome and the grounds are open every day dawn – dusk for you to enjoy. Free entry and parking.
Madhyamaka Kadampa Meditation Centre, Kilnwick Percy Hall, Pocklington, York, YO42 1UF
T: 01759 304832
Distance from York: 13 miles
Beautifully placed between the city of York and the town of Malton , the riverside ruins of Kirkham Priory are set in the beautiful Derwent valley near the Yorkshire Wolds.Admission prices apply. Free Parking, shop, picnic area, toilets & baby changing. Open Wed – Sun & Bank Holidays
Whitwell on the Hill, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO60 7JS
T: 01653 618768
A lovely medium sized woodland, popular with dog walkers. Knavesmire woods has a path running from Bracken Road through to the cycle path that goes past the racecourse. Parking can be busy but you can usually get a space on Bracken Road – although it’s a residential area. Knavesmire Wood is an area of 13.8 acres (5.6 hectares) of mature broadleaved woodland just outside the south-west corner of the Knavesmire.
Knavesmire Wood can be accessed from Bracken Road (YO24 1JT), Dringthorpe Road (YO24 1LF), the Knavesmire, National Cycle Route 65, and Bishopthorpe Road (near Middlethorpe Hall).
Distance from York: 15 miles
Lotherton is a very popular place attracting over 3/4 of a million visitors each year
(Wildlife World, House and Chapel, Grounds and Gardens, Outdoor Play, Indoor Play)
“It’s great! They have lots of play areas that your 2yr old would love and baby swings for your 10month old. Lovely to walk around for your dog. They’ve got a bird garden which is lovely to walk around but no dogs are allowed in there just so you’re aware. They house is lovely too but you can’t take a pram around it”
Mumbler RG, Jan 17
“Lotherton is great! I’ve got an annual pass and use it as least once a week!”
Mumbler BH, April 17
Off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds LS25 3EB
We had a lovely afternoon at Nether Poppleton Millennium Green and pond today. It’s a nature reserve with a pushchair friendly flat path, sculptures, a sun dial, lovely orchard, walkways through trees, dens built in the wooded parts, lots of sheep and lambs and you can see trains passing on the nearby railway line. Its only fairly small but a great walk for toddlers our 2yr old loved it (There’s a longer circular walk by the river too) all in all a lovely little hidden gem.
SB, Aug 17
Church Lane, Nether Poppleton, York, YO26 6LF
This small woodland is part of the ancient Forest of Galtres and is ablaze with colour in spring. Snowdrop, primrose, daffodil and bluebell form a backdrop to a succession of mature rhododendrons, azaleas and maple. Fairly flat so will be suitable for most buggies – it’s a circular walk with lots of interest points like carved trees, a tree house and ponds along the way. From York, take the A19 Thirsk road for about 3 and a half miles to Skelton. Turn right off the A19, continue through the village and the nature reserve is another 2 miles further on, on the left of the road. Parking is allowed on the verge near the entrance gate. Unfortunately Dogs aren’t allowed as it’s a nature reserve.
Moor Lane, York, North Yorkshire, YO32 2RE
Distance from York: 24 miles
The sound of children’s joyful laughter rings out as they swing, play, ride, splash, and run in Newby’s legendary Adventure Gardens. A perfect place to meet up with friends; eat, discover, relax, shop and smile all in the stunning setting of Newby Hall. A day with us is a rare thing…truly a day that the whole family will enjoy.
(Paddling) – “Newby hall has lots of water jets and in their own fenced area. My kids loved it as they were the only ones playing in it. They do ask you to wear shoes when you’re in in though. Mine just wore crocs. It’s a bit further to go than some places but I highly recommend it.”
“Newby Hall is great, has a fantastic children’s play area, miniature railway and also nice gardens to look round – just the other side of Boroughbridge.”
Mumbler AE, May 17
Newby Hall, Skelton-on-Ure, Ripon HG4 5AE
T: 01423 322583
Distance from York: 22 miles
Picturesque Yorkshire manor house with organic garden and exciting exhibitions.
“Nunnington Hall (about 45 mins from York) has lovely gardens to run around in/take a rug and have a picnic. Pretty setting by a river in the Howardian Hills.”
Mumbler FB, May 17
“Last time we went there was a mud kitchen in the gardening area ( one of the best I’ve seen ) and there was wooden outdoor games set out ,such as jenga”
Mumbler HF, Feb 17
Nunnington, York YO62 5UY
T: 01439 748283
Some 2000 trees and 1,500 woodland shrubs were planted during the establishment of the Country Park. Developing woodland includes willow, birch and pine with oak and ash. Hawthorn, blackthorn and dog rose thickets give nesting cover and food for an increasing range of birds. The climbing boulder is open for use by the public all day, every day and is free of charge.
Facilities: Country Park office/classroom, children’s play area, toilets at Park and Ride
Rawcliffe Bar Country Park, A1237, York YO30 5RR
T: 01904 883991
You can walk from Millennium Bridge down into town and there is a path all the way so good for buggies.
You pass Rowntrees park with a great play area on the way as well as the reading cafe in the park if you want to stop for a drink or something to eat too.
Millennium Bridge, York, YO10 4FZ
Distance from York: 10 miles
Skipwith Common National Nature Reseve is one of the last remaining areas of northern lowland heath in England. An incredible variety of plants and animals depend on the Common for their survival. The 270 hectares of open heath, ponds, mire, fen, reed-bed,woodland and scrub are an ancient landscape, with its roots in pre-history.
The first part of the walk is along a track that would be suitable for most buggies except in the worst weather. Dogs are allowed on the walk but must be kept on a lead. There is parking at the start of the walk, head out of the village on ‘Common Road’ and it’s approx 1 mile on the right.
Postcode: YO8 5SG
This scale model of the Solar System is spread out along 6.4 miles of the old East Coast main-line railway. Along it you can find scale models of all the planets in our solar system as well as models of the Cassini and Voyager spacecraft. The track is a wonderful nature reserve with many different species of trees along the way, and an abundance of wild life to see and hear.
Route goes via Brunswick Organic Nursery & various pubs for refreshments.
https://www.york.ac.uk/solar/index.html for more information.
The Nature Reserve is open all year round, just come and wander round. Come and explore 24 acres of unique green space on the site of a former rubbish tip. Many birds live on or visit the nature reserve and just under 20 species of butterflies have been recorded. There are all kinds of other insects and some mammals too. There is a great variety of plant species, trees and shrubs.
St Nicks Environment Centre is open: Mondays – Fridays 9am-4pm and during our on-site events
St Nicks, St Nicks Environment Centre (formerly York Environment Centre), Rawdon Avenue, York, YO10 3ST
T: 01904 411821
Distance from York: 8 miles
The nature reserve supports a mosaic of wet heath, dry heath, mire, open water, woodland and acid grassland. Over 150 plant species grow here including marsh cinquefoil, the beautiful blue marsh gentian and carnivorous round-leaved sundew.
Great for…a family day out, butterflies & wildflowers
Common Road, York, North Yorkshire, YO60 7QY
This is a great buggy friendly walk at the racecourse as it’s got a path all the way around.
Accessed easily from Tadcaster road, by the side of the Holiday Inn, there is always plenty of parking space too.
Popular with dog walkers, it’s a great place to wander round with the children while looking at the racecourse stands or (if you time it right) see the hot air balloons taking off!
Knavesmire Road, York, YO231EX
“There are some lovely walks and cycling routes through some interesting architecture, trees, park lands and old formal gardens. The numerous ponds/lakes/bridges means there are lots of ducks to feed and the sheer variety of established planting/trees means there plenty to collect on a nature walk. There are some super picnic spots dotted about as well. Tip: If going on a weekend morning steer clear of the student halls as noisy children aren’t particularly student friendly!”
Mumbler KK, May 17
University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD
T: 01904 430000
Big skies, often full of whirling flocks of birds, stretch out above you, which the wide green expanse of floodplain meadows go for as far as the eye can see. The Derwent flows quietly by, reeds rustle in the breeze and a mysterious ‘plop’ in the ditches might signal a pike, water vole or even otter. In fact, at times in the centre of Wheldrake Ings, it can be so peaceful and remote that you feel like the only person on earth.
Permissive footpaths. Keep to footpaths as there are areas of deep water. The ground is often soft and slippery.
Ings Lane, York, North Yorkshire, YO19 6AX
Often recommended by Mumblers.
Wheldrake Wood is located close to the City of York. It is largely coniferous, growing corsican pine and socts pine as well as larch and some areas of sruce and fir. There are also a great number if individual trees and small stands of oak and birch, as well as a few coniferous rarities such as a giant sequoia.
There is a car park at Hardmoor with many informal footpaths throughout the wood.
(Watch out for dog poo though – there isn’t a bin at the moment so it can be an issue!).
Broad Highway, Wheldrake, YO19 4FF
Kilburn White Horse is the most northerly turf-cut figure in Britain and one of the most famous landmarks in North Yorkshire.
Park at the top where the tourist centre is and there’s an outside mud kitchen, forts and huts etc. We went a few weeks ago spent a good few hours there and took a picnic. That bit is all flat. Obviously you can still go do the walk but very steep for young kids.
KH, April 17
(Free car park: YO61 4AL, but a steep walk)
Sutton Bank Visitor Centre, Thirsk, YO7 2EY
T: 01845 597426
Distance from York: 16 miles
It has a lake , beautiful woods and you can walk from Yearsley to Amplethorpe or Gillling doing as little or much as you like, you can take bikes, dogs and even your horse! It’s beautiful.
TR December 2016
Yearsley woods near Coxwold/Gilling. Huge woods different places to park lovely lakes in part of the wood near Gilling village. A decent pushchair would be fine. Different length walks etc
TW December 2016
Yearsley Woods, North Moor Lane, York, YO61 4SL
On a nice day, there isn’t a much better way to see the beautiful city of York than walking around the walls.
Children can enjoy following the route via the golden disks on the floor and remember to take some paper and crayons so they can complete the map rubbings at each of the bars.
The walls go most of the way around the city, just having to get down to street level a couple of times. Not strictly buggy friendly but I know many who have managed it fine. Always a friendly visitor or local on hand to help!
“Goodramgate to Bootham is my favourite too. Often lots of different flowers to see and benches along the way to rest (but its not far). Sometimes can see squirrels as the big trees grow close to the walls. Carrier is much more suitable than pushchair though (there are steps into and off the walls and the odd one or two on the way around. It’s also very narrow).”
Mumbler VB, March 16
Distance from York: 15 miles
A stunning landscape of parkland, lakes and ponds is the backdrop for a collection of more than 6,000 trees from around the world. Wander off to explore peaceful hidden glades and wildflower meadows, let the children go wild in the woodland playground and enjoy the very best in seasonal, home-cooked food in the café.
“Lots of space for little ones to run round in & a great cafe to boot. Would highly recommend.”
Mumbler MR, Aug 16
“It’s a lovely place. I’ve taken my niece who is now 5 1/2 several times. We go in bear hunts, jump on mole hills, play hide and seek and always finish with a trip to the cafe!!!!”
Mumbler EP, July 15
The Yorkshire Arboretum, Castle Howard, York, YO60 7BY
T: 01653 648598
Distance from York: 13 miles
Walk amongst the lavender flowers, with their stunning array of different colours, a truly wonderful experience.
Come and see our unique Lavender Maze, wander in the Parkland, sit and admire the fabulous views and watch the fallow deer nearby.
We have lavender and herbs for sale, EJ’s Tea Room, Gift Shop, award-winning lavender gardens, deer park and sculpture park. Our panoramic view over the Vale of York is said to be one of the best in Yorkshire!
“It’s a lovely place for a visit if you like a tearoom style cafe and an hour or so wandering around and playing in the grounds. Pretty gardens, good views, maze, wibbly wobbly path (toddlers love it), deer to look at and they’ve done a very small simple playground this year too. We love it and the lavender seems to calm the children!!”
Mumbler JH, June 17
“Lots of open space and activities and play area for the kids”
Mumbler CG, June 17
Yorkshire Lavender, Terrington, York, YO60 6PB
T: 01653 648008