Things to do in Yorkshire

Published 10 February 2016

Visit Yorkshire with art in mind and you'll be spoilt for choice – will it be one of the area's many stunning palaces or an outstanding collection of British and contemporary painting and sculpture?

Theicon signifies when there is a National Art Pass offer
Mr Wood's library with Chippendale furniture, Temple Newsam, Leeds

Temple Newsam House

  • West Yorkshire
Free entry

Mary Queen of Scots's husband, Lord Darnley, was born this fine Tudor-Jacobean mansion. Now redeveloped as a country house museum, it is home to one of the finest collections of paintings, silver, furniture and textiles outside London. Many works of art and pieces of furniture that originally belonged to the house but were subsequently dispersed have been bought back and reinstalled. Don't miss the Chinese room with its exotic oriental decoration or the home farm with Europe's largest collection of rare breeds.



  • West Yorkshire
50% off entry and exhibitions

This stunning Robert Adam palace brims with Old Master paintings, family portraits, Chippendale furniture and Sèvres china. The elegant rooms upstairs are complemented by the well-preserved kitchens, sculleries and servants rooms below. Outside is a fabulous 'Capability' Brown landscape, which offers an ideal opportunity to watch the full array of wild birds that flit through the area.


Mercer Art Gallery

  • North Yorkshire
Free to all

Harrogate's elegant former Promenade Rooms house an art collection numbering around 2,000 works, mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries, which is displayed on a rotating basis. Highlights include moonlit landscapes by John Atkinson Grimshaw, genre scenes by William Powell Frith, and canvases by Edward Burne-Jones, Laura Knight and Alan Davie.


York Art Gallery

  • North Yorkshire
50% off exhibitions

York Art Gallery underwent a massive refurbishment and extension recently, which created 60% more exhibition space, a Centre of Ceramic Art and an artist's garden. In addition to the superlative collection of British studio ceramics there are Italian Old Masters, Victorian paintings (including a several pictures by local artist William Etty) and contemporary works.


Yorkshire Museum

  • North Yorkshire
Free entry

Yorkshire Museum was opened in 1830 by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society and holds nearly one million archaeological finds, among them a ninth-century animal head with protruding tongue and blue glass eyes. The Roman collection is particularly strong, and features a commanding statue of the god Mars as well as a head of human hair found in a Roman burial in York. Among the objects rescued from St Mary's Abbey is a series of 12th-century life-size statues of saints and prophets.


Museums Sheffield: Graves Gallery

  • South Yorkshire
Free to all
10% off

The tranquil galleries of the Graves display highlights from Sheffield's visual art collection of British and European art from the 16th century to the present day. Here you'll find some great works by 19th- and 20th-century British artists such as Edward Burne-Jones, LS Lowry, Henry Moore, Stanley Spencer, Gwen John, Frank Auerbach and Paul Nash. There's a good contemporary art collection too, featuring Hew Locke, Marc Quinn and Sam Taylor-Wood among others.

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