Gone in 60 minutes

Getting on a train and visiting the neighbours, it’s the easiest thing in the world. But what if you don’t know what’s at the neighbours? What if you don’t know who the neighbours are? Well, that’s why we’re here…. These are just a few things to do and places to go that are all based less than an hour from Leeds.

Hull (56 minutes)

If you’re coming to Hull with the family, a great excursion is to get yourself down to the Streetlife Museum and experience 200 years of transport including a 1940s street.

Interior shot of hull streetlife muesum showing old shop fronts and an early car

But if your preferred version of Street Life is the Randy Crawford songthen shimmy over to the uniquely brilliant Museum Of Club Culture. How often have you been at some night club and thought “this needs documenting for future generations?” OK not often, but this works because someone did think that and it is fascinating. If you’ve ever been part of a scene, or frankly ever gone out at night, then this place will grab you like a floor-filling banger.

The Hull Truck Theatre is a cultural powerhouse. It has long had a tremendous impact on the city and, from comedians to gripping plays, and screening of National Theatre shows, there is plenty going on here.

Manchester (53 minutes)

Yes. Manchester. We pointed this out last month when we recommended Leeds to Manchester. It seems only dedicated commuters realise that Leeds and Manchester are under an hour away from each other. In either direction it’s a really simple day trip.

But what on earth is there to do in Manchester? Well… let us tell you. Something that’s free and could take you all day is The Museum of Science and Industry. (Although some exhibitions and activities will cost so check their website for details). At the moment their Robots exhibition is a fascinating tour around the unnerving world of androids.

Fancy a cup of tea and a slice of cake in a fabulous space? Us too and that’s why we love The Richmond Tearooms just off Canal Street. It’s ideal for an afternoon of cake, chat and tea and you can always swap the tea for cocktails or champers. If your tastes run more to tapas and you fancy suds rather than sparkles then The Molly House pub is little more than a pout away. In fact the Gay Village deserves a guide to itself, there are so many amazing places to hang out.

The deaf institute entrance

Finally, for an evening out, get to The Deaf Institute and take advantage of those late trains back to Leeds. You can enjoy cask and craft ales, vegan food and, if you’re lucky, The Next Big Thing, live.

Thirsk (from 45 minutes)

Thirsk is a gem, it’s still focussed on its medieval square with its clock tower that dates to 1898, and has, in The Ritz, one of the oldest operating cinemas in the UK. But our focus, just for now, is equine. Why the long face?

OK first up, you’ll need your walking legs. Up here in the North Riding you need to be out and about, embedded in the scenery – and one way to do that is to take the four mile round trip to the White Horse in Kilburn. It’s a longish walk but on a clear day the views from the summit are stunning.

If you prefer horses to do the leg work then head over to Thirsk Racecourse on the western edge of the town. The racing season runs from April to September so make sure to check their website for details.

Image of james herriot holding a pig statue at the world of James Herriot in Thirsk
Finally, Thirsk’s most favourite son (and vet) James Herriot (hey it’s still equine: they treat horses don’t they?) has his own museum, The World of James Herriot. Essentially it’s his house which has been recreated just as it was when he lived and worked there as a vet. In 2014 it was voted Yorkshire’s top tourist attraction – rightly so. There’s a ton to do and see, giving you an immersive dip into the life of a vet in the 1940s.

So there you have it… if you live in or around Leeds there are a ton of places for you to visit and the same is true for the whole region. So have a look around your area and find out where next to head for your trip, book your tickets here.

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