Perfect one-week Yorkshire itinerary

The locals affectionately refer to Yorkshire as 'God's Country' and it is easy to see why. From breathtaking scenery to cities with a rich industrial history to charming market towns, this English county will surely captivate you. If you want to experience the best Yorkshire has to offer, consider this one-week itinerary. This itinerary, which starts and ends at Leeds Bradford Airport, includes visits to historic cities, grand manor houses, and stunning nature spots. Along the way, you will see Leeds, York, and Sheffield, as well as some of the best country houses and fantastic scenery. I did this trip by public transport, but it can also be done as a road trip. Have fun!1 itinerary P1334068

Day 1 Leeds

After arrival at Leeds Bradford Airport, the first stop on your way to Leeds is the Kirkstall Abbey ruins.

Kirkstall Abbey ruins

Kirkstall Abbey is a well-preserved example of a 12th-century Cistercian monastery, located along the River Aire in a lush and vibrant natural environment. The visitor centre offers insight into what life was like for the monks who inhabited the abbey, and visitors can walk through the impressive ruins and learn about its history. The abbey was originally founded in 1152 by a community of monks from Fountains Abbey and was wealthy due to the sheep wool trade. In 1540, the abbey was surrendered to Henry VIII as part of the dissolution of monasteries.12 kirkstall P133386110 kirkstall P133385713 kirkstall P1333863

After visiting the abbey, make your way to Leeds.           


Leeds has many things to offer; I will just name a few.

Leeds Corn Exchange

The Corn Exchange was constructed during the latter half of the 19th century to facilitate the trade of corn. Its iconic dome design was inspired by the Bourse de Commerce in Paris. It is one of only three corn exchanges in the United Kingdom that still operates as trading centres.15 corn P133388116 corn P1333885

Banks of River Aire

The River Aire passes through Leeds and continues to near Goole. It played a crucial role in the development of Leeds as an influential city in the North of England. The Centenary Bridge is a great place to observe the architecture and the life along both sides of the River Aire, with renovated warehouses and modern skyscrapers representing different periods. As an example, Bridgewater Place was the tallest construction in Leeds when it was finished in 2005.20 aire P133389621 aire P133389922 aire P1333902

Leeds' shopping arcades

Leeds' shopping arcades are renowned for their attractive architecture, remarkable background, and diverse range of stores.24 arcade P1333878 In particular, Victoria Quarter is one of the city's most popular shopping arcades, as it draws visitors from all over the world to appreciate its architecture and shop in its exclusive stores.

Overnight in Leeds.

Day 2 Harewood House, going to York in the afternoon

In the morning, take a bus to Harewood House.

Harewood House

Harewood House is one of England's Treasure Houses. Built in the 18th century, its art collections are on par with some of Britain's best. Easily accessed from Leeds (10 kilometres [6.21 miles] away) via public bus, the house is a reminder of Henry Lascelles' business success from his West Indies trading. It has been home to the Lascelles family since it was built, reflecting the changing tastes and styles of the past 250 years. 25 harewood P133392526 harewood P133393128 harewood P1333970The Terrace offers amazing views of the countryside and is considered a fine example of a Victorian formal garden.27 harewood P1333953

After visiting Harewood House, make your way to York. Hopefully, you will have time to walk the Shambles in the evening to avoid crowds.

The Shambles, York

York's Shambles is well-known for being one of Europe's best-preserved medieval shopping streets. It is said to have been the source of influence for Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter films. The cobblestones and looming buildings contribute to its quaint ancient vibe. It is best to visit the Shambles in the evening when there are not many tourists around.31 shambles P133413933 shambles P133414233 shambles P1334142

Overnight in York.

Day 3 Castle Howard and York Minster

Since buses go to Castle Howard infrequently, located just 24 kilometres (15 miles) north of York, check the bus schedule in advance. 

Castle Howard

Constructed in the early 18th century and consisting of 145 rooms, Castle Howard has been home to ten generations of the Howard family. Regarded as one of the most impressive works of Sir John Vanbrugh, the castle's art collection includes ancient sculptures, Old Masters, and pieces of Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough.49 howard 20230620 13370550 howard 20230620 10581151 howard 20230620 11125652 howard 20230620 111916 In 1940, a fire broke out, leaving much of the building under the open sky. Later, in the sixties, the dome was reconstructed and refurbished. Since then, the ongoing process of restoring the fire-damaged sections has been taking place as resources allow.

Then go back to York to see the stunning York Minster.

York Minster

York Minster, also known as St Peter's Cathedral and the Metropolitical Church of St Peter in York, is widely regarded as one of Europe's most impressive medieval buildings. The concept of a cathedral was not used until the Norman Conquest, while the term 'minster' was employed by Anglo-Saxons to denote significant religious sites. York Minster is the largest of its kind in Northern Europe and is renowned for its remarkable Gothic architecture, with construction beginning in the 1200s and ending in the 1470s. 35 minster 20230619 18232736 minster 20230619 181128Everyone is welcome to attend the daily services at the Minster, including choral Evensong held Tuesday to Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sundays during term time and sung by the Choir of York Minster. I highly recommend this option as you will get closer to the spirit of the Minster.38 minster 20230620 171914

Overnight in York.

Day 4 Going to Bridlington and visiting Bempton Cliffs

If you decide to go to Bridlington by public transport, I advise taking a train to the picturesque Bridlington train station.
60 bridlington 20230621 114935Upon arrival, drop off your belongings at a nearby hotel and then go to Bempton train station. From there, take a 2-kilometre (1.24 miles) walk to Bempton Cliffs.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Bempton Cliffs is a stunning coastal destination in Yorkshire known for its abundant wildlife. Approximately half a million seabirds come to the cliffs between March and October to breed.79 bempton P133432880 bempton 20230621 14410883 bempton P133433884 bempton P1334342 The area managed by RSPB Bempton Cliffs Nature Reserve features several wooden viewpoints, a gift shop, a café, toilets, and a coastal path. Binoculars can be rented, and guided walks can be booked.

Tip.  If you are hoping to have a close encounter with puffins, you may need to look elsewhere. I would recommend Skomer Island in Wales where they are in abundance.

When you get back, take a stroll around Bridlington.


The streets of Bridlington Old Town are full of character, featuring traditional houses and important historic sites like the Priory Church of St Mary and the Bayle Museum. 65 P1334442The area also features several antique shops, galleries, and cafes. Bridlington Harbour is still used for fishing by local fishermen. It is a lovely place to observe the classic fishing vessels and watch the anglers doing their job. 67 P1334447Additionally, there are several eateries and cafes nearby serving local seafood dishes.

Overnight. Bridlington, Salt on the Harbour. I can only recommend one hotel for this trip: Salt on the Harbour. Just make sure you get a sea view room and you will have a stunning harbour picture straight out of your window.63 bridlington P1334427

Day 5 Burton Agnes Hall and a trip to Sheffield

In the morning, take the half-hour bus ride to Burton Agnes Hall.

Burton Agnes Hall

Since 1598, Burton Agnes Hall has been in the hands of the same family. Sir Henry Griffith was the architect responsible for this Elizabethan stately home's construction, which was completed in 1610. Recently, author Simon Jenkins praised the house as 'the perfect English house' and one of the twenty best English houses. Over the course of fifteen generations, Burton Agnes Hall has been adorned with a variety of objects, including carvings from the time of its erection, French Impressionist paintings, furniture, tapestries, and modern art. The house is full of charm and character, and its Tudor Renaissance architecture shows the architect's skill. 69 agnes 20230622 12270670 agnes P133448372 agnes 20230622 112627The award-winning gardens of Burton Agnes Hall are suited to a wide range of interests, featuring a walled garden with thousands of plant species, herbaceous borders, a jungle garden, a yew maze and giant games, and a peaceful arboretum walk with an adventure playground.73 agnes 20230622 11561374 agnes 20230622 121140

After visiting the stunning Burton Agnes, make your way to Sheffield.

Overnight in Sheffield.

Day 6 Tour of the Peak District and some sights of Sheffield

Peak District

With the Peak District on its doorstep, Sheffield boasts a bounty of beautiful green spaces to explore. If you do not have much time, the Surprise View Car Park is the perfect spot to start your journey – simply hop on bus 271 or 272 or drive there. A short walk will lead you to some spectacular views.72 peak district P1334668

You can choose many other itineraries in the Peak District according to your taste and fitness level.

Overnight in Sheffield.

Day 7 Sheffield sightseeing tour

In my opinion, the top sights of Sheffield are as follows:

Winter Garden

The Winter Garden is one of the largest glasshouses in Europe, boasting over 2,500 plants from around the world. With a height of 22 metres (72 feet) and a length of 70 metres (230 feet), the inside of the garden is a green paradise, just like the tropics.20 winter garden P1334695

Sheffield Botanical Gardens

Sheffield Botanical Gardens, located near the city centre, were opened in 1836 and span an area of 7.7 hectares (19 acres). It is considered the pinnacle of Sheffield's parks, featuring old glasshouses, a bear pit, and a plethora of rare plants and trees. There are 18 different gardens within its area, each with its own unique geographical or botanical theme.39 botanical garden P133470743 botanical garden P1334732

Kelham Island

Kelham Island is a 900-year-old manmade island created when a stream was diverted to power a nearby mill. It was once a hub of industrial activity, but that shifted as times changed. Today, Kelham Island is home to many pubs, bars, cafes, and restaurants, in addition to a growing street art scene.55 kelham P134496279 kelham museum P134496790 kelham P1344990After the Sheffield sightseeing tour, return to Leeds Bradford Airport or a hotel near the airport if you have a morning flight.

Practical information

Below is an approximate map of this itinerary, as Google Maps, due to limitations, does not allow me to make the exact one. 

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Anita 03 18

About the author
Anita is a part-time traveller, passionate photographer and a retired career woman from Latvia, 
travelling mostly solo for more than 15 years. She is a skilled travel planner who plans and executes her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter and Bloglovin.


Anna Schaeffer
The Winter Garden is STUNNING! Wow! Your photos are just beautiful.
I just love the architecture you find in Yorkshire towns and cities. It is 'God's own'.
Josy A
Bempton Cliffs look gorgeous - I did not know about that area (although I really love this part of the UK.) The Peak district and Yorkshire Dales are my favourite spots here, but the cities are nice too. :D
The Shambles is beautiful! I can't believe all the things their are to do here!
Chelsea Messina
Yorkshire looks absolutely picture-perfect, and your photos captured it beautifully. I could walk around all day just photographing the architecture and a trip to Sheffield Botanical Gardens is a MUST. I'm a huge botanical garden fan haaha

Looks stunning! This is definitely inspiration to visit. Thanks for sharing :)
Linda (LD Holland)
I had to read your post to see why Yorkshire was referred to as “God’s Country”. Good to know there is much to see and do for a one week stay. Wide open Abbey ruins fascinate me. And I love when the inside of manor houses and castles are restored to see how people lived in another time. The architecture is a major draw but this outdoor views are stunning. And the bright sunshine surprising!
A beautiful collection of photos as well, very inspiring :D
I grew up not far from this region and had no idea we had gannet colonies so close! I'll have to check that out next time we're in the UK. If you visit York again, check out the Viking musem and York Castle museum. Both are huge highights from my childhood!
anukrati dosi
In India, Kerala is known as God's own country. However, looking at the photos of Yorkshire, I realized both places are utterly beautiful but so different from each other.

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