A captivating blend of idyllic countryside and dramatic coastline, scattered with quaint towns and villages and a wealth of natural wonders, Yorkshire is a wonderful destination for a group holiday.
Two national parks, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, offer a myriad of opportunities for outdoor adventures, above and below ground. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try caving or rock climbing? Or perhaps you’d like to get wet and wild with water sports?
Then there is a treasure trove of family-friendly attractions in Yorkshire, along with an assortment of heritage sites to explore and some of the finest eateries in the country. With so much choice, you might be wondering what to do first. So, we’ve cherrypicked some of the top activities in Yorkshire for big groups, to make deciding what to do that little bit easier – how many can you tick off on your next staycation?
Enjoy water sports along the Yorkshire coastline
If your group is in search of some thrilling salt-water action, then everyone is sure to be impressed by the variety of water sport activities in Yorkshire. Along the county’s spectacular coastline, you’ll find some of the best surfing in the UK as well as a few more daredevil experiences.
The shores around Flamborough Head are perfect for sea kayaking, with sheer chalk cliffs eroded to form natural arches and sea caves to explore – you may even see the odd dolphin! Cayton Bay is a great choice for surfing, while Thornwick Bay is a superb spot for the exhilarating sport of coasteering. Add to this a wealth of venues where you can hire jet skis, paddleboards and sailing boats, and it’s no wonder this is such a popular destination for hen and stag parties.
Water sports providers in Yorkshire:
Go underground in one of Yorkshire’s caves
It’s not just above ground where you’ll find Yorkshire’s best outdoor activities, there’s also an abundance of subterranean fun to be had deep below ground within the county’s labyrinth of winding tunnels and cathedral-like caverns.
Caving and potholing are great group activities, where you can journey underground to discover dazzling waterfalls, hidden lakes and extraordinary geological wonders with an experienced guide. Alum Pot, Gaping Gill, White Scar Caves, Ingleborough Cave and Stump Cross Caverns are just a few of the caves in Yorkshire that you can explore; some involve abseiling into deep crevices, squeezing through tiny openings and wading through mud and water for added excitement.
Caving providers in Yorkshire:
Seek out adventure at Yorkshire’s natural wonders
From wild and windy moorland that has inspired many literary greats to cascading waterfalls and mighty limestone formations, Yorkshire is brimming with natural wonders. These beauty spots are perfect for exploring as a group and can be combined with all manner of outdoor activities along the way.
Why not try bouldering at Brimham Rocks? Or test your mettle with rock climbing, canyoning or canoeing at How Stean Gorge? The Dalby Forest offers a myriad of mountain biking trails if you fancy adventures on two wheels, or you can don your walking boots and hike to the summits of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough as part of the renowned Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge – the possibilities are endless!
Natural wonders in Yorkshire:
Be prepared with these rainy-day activities in Yorkshire
While Yorkshire does receive its fair share of fine weather, it’s always best to be prepared in case the heavens open and you’re looking for something to do. Thankfully, there are many indoor activities in Yorkshire where you can have plenty of fun with your mates until the showers subside.
Whether you’d like to delve into some local history in a museum, enjoy some rip-roaring snow sports, or throw on your swimsuits and dive into an indoor waterpark, there’s plenty to keep all ages entertained, whatever the weather. One of our favourite things to do when it rains in Yorkshire is to hop aboard one of the steam trains on the North York Moors Railway – it’s the perfect way to see the sights, even if there’s a downpour. You can also book the Pullman Dining Train and tuck into an indulgent afternoon tea or a three-course lunch while admiring the scenery of the national park.
Indoor attractions in Yorkshire:
Discover the best kids’ activities in Yorkshire
If you’re planning a family holiday in Yorkshire, you’ll no doubt want to ensure your days are filled with things that everyone will love. You’ll find a fantastic choice of children's activities in Yorkshire, from farm parks bursting with cute and cuddly animals to thrilling theme parks with the biggest rides and rollercoasters in the land.
Why not combine a day of fun with some local history and step back in time at one of Yorkshire’s castles or historic houses? Skipton Castle, Ripley Castle and Middleham Castle are just a few of the mighty fortresses that will enthral young minds, while Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Whitby Abbey, Harewood House and the York Minster will delight all ages with their intriguing pasts and family-friendly entertainment.
Kids’ attractions in Yorkshire:
Take part in thrilling outdoor activities in Yorkshire
For those in pursuit of an adrenaline-fuelled adventure, then a Yorkshire activity centre might just be the answer. There is all manner of places where you and your group can get your hearts pumping, from a range of outdoor activities near York to adventure centres in the national parks.
If you really want to test your mettle to the max, head to How Stean Gorge where you’ll find Yorkshire’s hair-raising Via Ferrata. One of only three in the UK, this challenging aerial network of metal beams, ladders, and cables scales the heights of How Stean’s spectacular limestone ravine. Swinging above the rushing water of the gorge, this is an experience you and your friends will never forget.
Outdoor activity providers in Yorkshire:
Wet your whistle with a Yorkshire brewery or distillery tour
The perfect group activity in Yorkshire for adults, you can find a wealth of breweries and distilleries strewn across the county offering tours and tastings. There are around 300 breweries, 45 gin distilleries, a whisky distillery and even vineyards in Yorkshire, so there are plenty of choices depending on your preferred tipple.
Why not pick up a few bottles to take away with you and continue the merriment back at your Yorkshire holiday accommodation? You won’t find a better way to make a toast to your staycation.
Yorkshire’s breweries and distilleries:
Uncover Yorkshire’s best foodie experiences
If you’ve worked up an appetite with all of Yorkshire’s best group activities listed above, then perhaps it’s time to make the most of the county’s gastronomic offerings. There are some great foodie experiences in Yorkshire which you can participate in as part of a group, discovering some of the most unique local delicacies.
Whether you have a sweet tooth with a craving for a chocolate workshop or you’d like to uncover the fascinating process of cheesemaking, you’ll find a bounty of food tours and cookery schools in Yorkshire that celebrate this fertile land and its rich natural larder.
Foodie experiences in Yorkshire:
Inspiration for your group holiday in Yorkshire
With so many Yorkshire activities to choose from, your group holiday is sure to be as action-packed or chilled out as you want it to be. Why not explore more of ‘God’s Own Country’ with our complete guide to group holidays in Yorkshire? Or discover some of our favourite large holiday cottages in Yorkshire, handpicked for their wow factor.
Looking for more group activities to inspire your big break? We’ve put together a whole host of guides with great ideas for big holidays and special occasions.
Book a large house in Yorkshire
If you can’t wait to start exploring this vibrant county, check out our wonderful collection of large houses in Yorkshire. From big country retreats to chic seaside apartments along the coast, you’re sure to find the perfect setting for your big group holiday.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.