East Yorkshire is perfect for a day trip, especially if you’re on a budget. From the vibrant city of Hull to the glorious Yorkshire Wolds and the unspoiled East Yorkshire Coast, there are plenty of free days out in East Yorkshire to enjoy.
So, if you’ve been wondering ‘where should I go for a day out in Yorkshire?’, you’ll soon see that East Yorkshire – also known as the East Riding of Yorkshire – should be on your bucket list. This beautiful coastal county is more off-the-beaten-path than its better-known neighbours – and that’s precisely why you should visit!
What is the East Riding of Yorkshire famous for?
In addition to its beautiful coast and countryside, East Yorkshire is well known for the fantastic lobsters caught in the chilly North Sea and for a delicious variation of Yorkshire Parkin – a dark, delicious, and chewy traybake made with oats, treacle (molasses) and ginger. You can try plenty of fresh fish and chips in East Yorkshire, plus all of the other foods which Yorkshire is famous for, such as Yorkshire Pudding and Wensleydale Cheese.
25 Inspiring Free Days Out in East Yorkshire
The historic city of Hull is the best place to start for days out in East Yorkshire. Once run-down and unloved, Hull is now a thriving blend of old and new. The legacy of being the UK’s City of Culture on 2007 has left a lasting, positive mark.
Visit Hull’s Free Museums
Hull’s free museums are all located in the City Centre, within a short walk of the bus and train station.
Hull and East Riding Museum
Start at the Hull and East Riding Museum to learn about the region’s history, from the Iron Age to the modern day.
Meet woolly mammoths, visit an Iron Age village and walk through a Roman bathhouse before checking out the impressive wooden warriors and a horde of real-life Viking treasure.
36 High Street, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire HU1 1NE.
The Maritime Museum in the old Victorian Dock Offices contains numerous artefacts such as ship models and an impressive fully-sized whale skeleton.
Streetlife Museum of Transport
The Streetlife Museum in Hull takes you through 200 years of transport history. You can stroll along a perfectly recreated street from the 1940s or take a tram or carriage for an immersive tour through history. It’s the perfect day out in East Yorkshire for history buffs and transport lovers alike.
High St, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire HU1 1PS
Hands on History Museum
This fascinating museum is located in the old Grammar School where William Wilberforce studied. It’s the oldest secular building in the city and home to a fascinating museum that shows what life was like during the Victorian era for the people of Hull.
There’s an Egyptian Gallery too, featuring a 2,600-year-old mummy and replicas of the treasures of Tutankhamen.
If you’re planning to visit Hull Minster, this museum is a perfect addition to your day out in Hull, as it is next door to the minster!
Church Side, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire HU1 1RR
William Wilberforce’s birthplace is now a museum charting the story of the transatlantic slave trade and his fight to end it. It offers thought-provoking and disturbing insight into contemporary slavery. It’s one of the best free things to do in East Yorkshire if social history is your passion.
23-25 High Street, Hull HU1 1NQ
Ferens Art Gallery
Hull’s award-winning art gallery, the Ferens, has several permanent and temporary exhibitions from medieval times right up to the present day. Expect to see Old Masters and marine art alongside sculpture and contemporary works.
Queen Victoria Square, Carr Ln, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire HU1 3RA
The Living Seas Centre
You’ll find the Living Seas Centre in the beautiful chalk cliffs near Flamborough Head. In this marine education centre, you can learn about the local marine life through regular events. The centre is next to the beach, so why not pack a picnic and enjoy a day out?
South Sea Rd, Flamborough, Bridlington YO15 1AE
The Arctic Corsair
Take a free guided tour around the Arctic Corsair, the only working North Sea trawler accessible to the general public. You’ll learn about life at sea and the dangers faced by fishermen during the Cod Wars.
Mooring: Streetlife Museum, High St, Hull HU1 1PS
The Old Penny Memories Museum
Do you remember spending days playing old ‘penny arcade’ games on trips to the seaside?
You’ll feel nostalgic when you visit the quirky Old Penny Memories Museum in the coastal town of Bridlington. There’s a unique collection of fully working antique slot machines for you to discover, some of which are almost a century old!
The Promenades Shopping Centre, Bridlington. East Riding of Yorkshire. YO15 2DX
Explore Hull’s ‘Old Town
For a historical look at Hull, head to the city’s Old Town, with its cobbled streets.
You might like to walk the ‘Wilberforce Trail’ or to drop into the 16th century ‘Ye Olde White Hart’ pub in Silver Street. It’s where the English Civil War was plotted, according to local lore and you can see the ‘plotting parlour’ upstairs!
Spurn Point (or Spurn Head)
Breath-taking and unique, Spurn Point is a 3.5-mile spit of land just 50 metres wide that juts out into the North Sea, protecting the mouth of the Humber estuary.
Home to diverse plants, animals, and birds like bar-tailed godwits, black redstarts and whitethroats to grassland residents like butterflies, dragonflies and moths, Spurn Point is also one of the best places in the UK to see migrating birds and take photographs.
For a small fee, you can also climb the disused lighthouse for a fabulous 360-degree panorama view. Visiting Spurn Point is one of the best free days out near Hull.
If you love cultural exploration and ancient architecture, you might like to spend your East Yorkshire days out exploring the county’s two marvellous minster churches.
Formerly the Holy Trinity Church, the brickwork in the early 14th century Hull Minster is one of the UK’s finest examples of medieval craftsmanship.
With beautiful stained-glass windows and intricately carved pews and floors, Hull Minster is a must-see for your bucket list of free places to visit in East Yorkshire.
Don’t forget to ask about the guided tour of the church and the fantastic bell tower tour!
S Church Side, Hull HU1 1RR
One of the finest examples of gothic architecture in the world, Beverley Minster was completed in 1425. It’s one of the UK’s largest parish churches – one-third bigger than all UK cathedrals!
Inside, you’ll be treated to beautiful stained glass, carved misericords, medieval minstrels and a stunning font dating back to about 1170 that’s made from just one piece of Frosterley marble from County Durham.
Download a free self-guided tour to help plan your day out in this part of East Yorkshire.
38 Highgate, Beverley HU17 0DN
The Spurn Lightship
For almost 50 years, the Spurn Lightship helped ensure safe passage for seafarers through the treacherous waters of the Humber estuary. You can step aboard free of charge to learn how the lightship operated and why it was so important for so long.
The Spurn Lightship, Castle Street, Hull HU1 1TJ
The Humber Bridge
When it opened in June 1981, the Humber Bridge was the world’s longest single-span suspension bridge at 2,220 metres. Today, it’s been surpassed many times and is only the 12th longest.
For the best views of the Humber bridge, the river and the surrounding areas, park at one of the riverside car parks and snap away!
East Yorkshire Beaches
The sand and shingle beach at Hornsea is perfect for exploring and collecting shells and driftwood with the kids, with an award-winning promenade.
Bridlington Beach and South Promenade
Bridlington is a quintessentially British family resort with an award-winning sandy beach and a promenade with a range of family-friendly attractions and picnic areas.
Just along the coast from Bridlington, you’ll find the spectacular ‘Drinking Dinosaur‘ rocks and Flamborough Lighthouse – the most perfect spots for sunrise photos.
Dane’s Dyke Beach
If your idea of a perfect day at the beach is hunting for fossils, head for the white cliffs of Dane’s Dyke beach. When the tide is out, it’s a flat sandy beach with a pebble and rock area as you get closer to the cliffs.
If you don’t find fossils, you can search for crabs and other marine life in the rock pools, but check the tide tables before you go, and don’t get too close to the cliff edge in case of falling rocks!
Access to the beach is by walking from the car park down a steep (no vehicular access) road.
Danes Dyke Nature Reserve, Bridlington YO15 1AA
Many years ago, Fraisthorpe was a nudist beach. Given the average temperature on this bracing coast, it’s no surprise that today’s visitors are far more covered up!
Fraisthorpe is popular with dog walkers as it’s one of the few where dogs are permitted year-round.
Days Out in The East Riding of Yorkshire: Outdoors
Bempton Cliffs is recognised as one of the best places in the UK to see massed seabirds.
The cliffs team with nests of puffins, gannets and all kinds of seabirds. Over 250,000 flock here to find a mate and raise their young. You can get up close to see the birds from one of the six safe cliff-edge viewing platforms.
Hull’s most extensive park, East Park, is rated as one of the best in England! The 120-acre park was opened in 1887 as part of the celebrations for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.
East Park features modern and historical attractions and is regularly used for large-scale open-air events such as the Hull Show and large concerts.
Holderness Rd, Hull HU8 8JU
the Yorkshire Wolds
The scenic area around Millington Dale is a great location for keen cyclists. Start your ride in Pocklington, then head up to the village of Huggate and through the hidden gem that is Warter village.
Along the way, you can enjoy see the countryside that inspired David Hockney – one of the most influential contemporary artists
Londesborough Park once formed the grounds of a manor house and is now the perfect place to visit to spot various rare birds such as Red Kites. It’s also a beautiful spot for a picnic or an easy 2.8 mile (4.5 km) circular walk that takes just over an hour to complete.
One of the best things about walking in this stunning part of the East Riding of Yorkshire is that you might even have the park to yourself – it’s rarely busy!
Londesborough Park, York YO43 3LF
Located close to the North Sea, Hornsea Mere is the largest freshwater lake in Yorkshire and a favourite haunt of keen birdwatchers. Visit during the winter months to see gadwalls, goldeneyes and tufted ducks overwintering here.
The cafe is open on weekends, bank holidays and during the UK school holidays.
By Car: From Bridlington: A165 / B1242, from Beverley: A1035, and from Hull: A165.
Bus: Number 130 from Bridlington or number 246 from Hull / Beverley.
Where to Stay in East Yorkshire
If you’re planning to enjoy a few free days out in East Yorkshire (and you really should), staying locally is the best way to get a real feel for this beautiful county.
We recommend the following hotels in the East Riding of Yorkshire
Cave Castle Hotel & Country Club: Who would pass on the chance to stay in a real castle with fabulous food and comfy beds?
The Beverley Arms Hotel: A stunning 18th-century coaching inn, just 11 minutes walk from the train station.
conclusion: Free Days Out in East Yorkshire
There’s plenty to do in this beautiful part of England. With so much variety in experiences available, it would be hard to choose just one of the best ideas for free days out in near Hull and across the East Riding of Yorkshire. Now that you know what’s on offer are you tempted to stay and explore for longer?