Further afield there is even more to do. For those willing to travel up to a couple of hours for a day trip, there are rewards aplenty. We are not that far from the 24hr European City of Culture of Leeds. On the outskirts of Leeds is Harewood House & Gardens - the award-winning gardens are deemed as among the most beautiful in the country. There's also the impressive Temple Newsam House. Just further north you can visit the medieval Skipton Castle - over 900 years old and tourist information available in 8 languages. Heading in the opposite direction, visit the beautiful Burton Agnes Hall. This charming example of an Elizabethan Home boasts delightful gardens, including a maze, and will enthral the whole family for a great day out. North of Leeds is the lovely Harrogate - and on its outskirts you'll find Ripley Castle and Gardens as well as the RHS Harlow Carr Gardens. Further north is Bolton, whose main attractions include Bolton Castle and Bolton Abbeynestled in 30,000 acres of panoramic countryside. For a wonderful day out closer to Ripon there is the Fountains Abbey & Studley Water Garden and Newby Hall & Gardens. And as one heads towards Middlesbrough there is Ormesby Hall. For a day out of Victorian opulence in South Yorkshire you must visit Brodsworth Hall & Gardens. Or if you are heading further east thenBurnby Hall Gardens & Museum 20 east of York has the biggest collection of hardy water lilies in a natural setting anywhere in the world.
Animal lovers are catered for too in Yorkshire - and there are many local visitor farms of various sizes and areas of speciality. A complete list is available on the Yorkshire Tourist Board website, but some of our favourites include; Cruckley Animal Farm, which has an enormous range of breeds and can cater for large groups complete with its own shop and picnic area - and the Big Sheep & Little Cow farm attraction. For birds of prey we recommend a visit to the Thorp Perrow Arboretumto see their falcons and also the Birds of Prey Centre near Thirsk. Fans of local crafts will have to visit the Yorkshire Dales of Wenslyedale & Swaledale where a whole community of craftspeople live, work and sell. Closer to Thirsk you'll find the Mouseman Visitor Centre, which is a museum dedicated to Robert Thompson, and is more commonly known as the Mouseman of Kilburn. Other local museums for an interesting day out include The World of James Herriot Museum, The Law & Order Museums of Ripon, Royal Armouries Museum and the Beamish Open Air Museum. For more specialised tastes, we also recommend The National Coal Mining Museum and The Museum of Army Transport.