9 unusual outdoor activities to do in Yorkshire as Spring arrives
If you've been stuck indoors all Winter, desperate to get your hiking boots out, now is the time to get outdoors and try something different. There are an abundance of outdoor activities on offer in Yorkshire, some of which are slightly out of the ordinary, so if you're searching for a tranquil activity or something fuelled with adrenaline, there's a wide range to suit all tastes.
1. Go Caving
The Yorkshire Dales is a great location for anything related to the outdoors, but if you're looking for something more adrenaline-filled than just going for a walk in the countryside, caving provides something a little different. There are an abundance of places you can go caving in the Dales, including popular spots such as Long Churns, Great Douk Cave and Gaping Gill. There are a wide range of caves to explore, including smaller caves in which you can crawl, or caves with high ceilings and grand chambers, therefore suiting a range of caving abilities and needs.
2. Visit a Donkey Sanctuary
Visiting an animal farm or sanctuary is always a fun, family-friendly activity to partake in during the warmer weather and Yorkshire's Donkey Sanctuaries provide a tranquil, yet enjoyable day out.
Wonkey Donkey, located in Knottingley, was established five years ago and now has twenty-one donkeys. You can stroll along the paddock wall and visit the Donkeys in their family groups, relax in the cafe or in the outdoor picnic area. This Sanctuary is a great option for a tranquil weekend activity and is bound to be a success with the little ones.
The Donkey Sanctuary, Leeds, is also a great sanctuary to visit for a day out. Alongside it's indoor arena where the adoption donkeys are brought in for visitors to pet, you can also visit the outdoor stables and see the rest of the donkeys. They also have a children's play area, gift shop and cafe, so there's plenty to see and do.
The Wonkey Donkey Visitors Centre,
Little Oakes Farm,
Off Blackhill Lane,
3. Visit SMJ Falconry
SMJ Falconry offer exclusive experiences and services regarding different birds of prey. Located in the 'Brontë Country' countryside of Oxenhope, SMJ have more than sixty birds of prey, including falcons, hawks, eagles and owls. There are an array of different activities to choose from, including displays where you interact with and handle the birds, watch Static and Flying displays or just gain a further insight into the variety of birds of prey.
Ox Heys Stairs, Hawksbridge Ln, Oxenhope BD22 9QY
4. Go High Wiring
High wiring has been around for quite some time, but Via Ferrata at How Stean Gorge, located in the Yorkshire Dales, offers something a bit different. By using an intricate system of metal wires, you will get the chance to scale rock faces, cross gorges and abseil from a bridge. The 'buddy' system allows you to work with fellow adventurers and is therefore a great adrenaline-filled activity that you can do with friends or family.
Lofthouse, Harrogate HG3 5SF
5. Mountain Boarding
Mountain Boarding, also known as Offroad Boarding or Dirtboarding, is an action sport with similar features to snowboarding. The board includes a deck, wheels and steering mechanisms and can ride over a range of different terrains.
Another World Adventure Centre in Halifax offers Mountain Boarding Adventures, which are now part of the Grass Sledging and Dirt Scooters activity, meaning you can have a go at all three and don't have to choose just one.
Moss Farm,Ogden, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX2 8YB
6. Go on a Ghost Walk
Although ghost walks are a universe away from mountain boarding and high wiring, this is still an adrenaline-fuelled activity in its own rights.
York is renowned for its spine-tingling and goosebumps inducing ghost walks around the city at night, and this activity can be done alone, in a group, with family or with friends. The Original Ghost Walk of York company is believed to be the first exclusive Ghost Walk in the world, and offers a lively walking tour which explores Yorkshire's history through its streets, delving into legends and folklore.
Kings Street, York, YO1 9SN
7. Hike with a Husky
If you want to venture away from an ordinary hike or walk, Pesky Husky, located in the North York Moors offers a hike with a difference. This unique experience involves using specialist belts and equipment which are specifically designed for sled dogs, allowing you to spend quality time with your own designated Husky companion.
This activity is something different from the norm and is great for walking groups, families or even just people who want to learn more about, and spend more time with, the Husky breed.
Meeting House Farm,
8. Outdoor Swimming
If you're brave enough to face Yorkshire's temperamental weather and swim in an outdoors swimming pool, Helmsley Open Air Swimming Pool offers a unique experience. Open from June to September, this pool is open rain or shine. Although it is heated, the faint-hearted amongst us may prefer to wait for a sunnier day.
Baxton's Sprunt, Helmsley, York YO62 5HT
9. Walk an Alpaca or Llama
This unusual activity can be enjoyed with all the family and is definitely something to tell your friends about. Based on a picturesque family farm in Nidderdale, this unique experience allows you to trek with an Alpaca or Llama through the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. Nidderdale Llamas trek all year round, so whether it's a warm sunny day or in the depths of winter, you can experience this fun activity whenever you like.
Kiln Farm, Wilsill, Harrogate HG3 5EE