March in NY (North Yorkshire)
February 23, 2016 4:09 AM   Subscribe

I'm heading home for a week to visit my elderly but active parents in Knaresborough (between Harrogate and York). Looking for shopping and family outing ideas.

Where are the best shopping areas? Is it worth going to, say, Newcastle (don't they have a huge mall or something)? I'm not looking for anything in particular - it's just interesting to see so much variety after living in S America (past favourites include John Lewis, although I don't know of one near home, and the York Designer Outlet). It would be nice if I could get to some of these by train.

And what can we do as a family for fun? Last visit we went to a brewery (wasn't Theakston's, might have been up round Otley way) which was enjoyable (tour + meal). Dad can drive, but at 80 I don't want to be pushing him to do much, so the closer to Knaresborough the better.

I visit fairly often, and lived there til 18, so its not like I'm a tourist (and in my childhood I did enough rainy walks through the Dales to last me a lifetime, thank-you). But there must be New Things I don't know about.

posted by andrewcooke to Travel & Transportation around Manchester, England (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Shopping: the centre of York has good / interesting shops. Leeds and Harrogate also cater for small amounts of shopping interspersed with cafes. Or if you're after large malls, Meadowhall outside Sheffield is about an hour away.

For things to do, have you considered the Turkish Baths in Harrogate? These were recently restored to their former glory.

Alternatively you could aim for historical houses - for example Castle Howard or Beningbrough Hall.
posted by Stark at 4:25 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

York has a good range of quirky/independent shops, but Leeds has the new Trinity centre (right in the middle of town, on Briggate) that's probably worth a visit. There's an Everyman cinema there as well as lots of eateries, shops etc and a couple of cocktail bars.

There's a new John Lewis/M&S/Next at Monks Cross - well, technically the "Vangarde Shopping Centre" next door. It seems very popular but that's literally all there is there. Not hugely worth it apart from the John Lewis, and the drive (round York ring road) is a pain.

For days out I'd recommend Hebden Bridge, or Saltaire. Both are accessible by train and have plenty of shops/interesting streets to walk down.

Also, how about Richmond? Richmond Castle is pretty cool and the train station, although defunct, has been turned into a cafe/cinema/micro-brewery/art gallery so there's plenty to see and do.
posted by cardamine at 4:49 AM on February 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

Lots of market towns worth a day out: Northallerton's accessible by train (change at York), Ripon's not too far a drive, and Masham has Black Sheep, which is where you might have visited previously. There's horse racing at Catterick on Tuesday if you're inclined to spend a brisk March day watching the gee-gees, and that could be combined with a trip to Richmond.

I like the middle of York for shopping: it's pretty walkable, there are buses if it's raining, it has some of the fancier chains but also lots of little shops that aren't simply serving tourists. Leeds does have Harvey Nichols and other bits of the city centre have got fancy in the past decade or so.
posted by holgate at 7:02 AM on February 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would also recommend Hebden Bridge - it was completely flooded out at Christmas and so is not at 100% at present, but many of the shops there are back, and a lot of the ones which are working on it have temporary 'pop-up' shops that you can visit instead. Many of them have big sales on as well!

I do not live there but a lot of my friends do and they could really do with the business right now. The flood was not kind at all.
posted by HypotheticalWoman at 7:19 AM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

People have already mentioned great day trip locations (Castle Howard and Benningbrough Hall linked by Stark in the first comment would be my faves). Fountains Abbey and York Sculpture Park are also great.

As for seeing things by train: If I can think of anything else, I'll pop back in here and add it.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:50 AM on February 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

And the York Tap is the best station pub I've ever been in.
posted by holgate at 10:55 AM on February 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

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