7 amazing days out from Leeds by train

3rd February 2023

Pretty villages, beautiful countryside, seaside resorts and historic towns are all just a train ride away from the “unofficial capital of Yorkshire”. Here are 7 of the best days out from Leeds by train – which you can enjoy for less with a Railcard. 



Take the short train ride to Saltaire for world-class art and Unesco heritage. 


A model village built to house Victorian mill workers, Saltaire’s pretty honey-coloured streets are packed with independent shops, trendy pubs and brilliant restaurants.  


The village’s centrepiece, the cathedral-like Salts Mill, is home to the David Hockney gallery, housing some of the Bradford-born artist’s greatest works. Stop for lunch at Salts Diner and you might even see the legend himself. 


Journey time: 15 minutes approximately 

Station: Saltaire 

CO2 emissions: Train: 0.75 KG CO2 e | Car: 2.5 KG CO2 e 



Not got your full art fix yet? West Yorkshire’s cultural offerings continue in Wakefield at the world-renowned Hepworth Gallery. 


Home to sculpture and modern works from some of Britain’s greatest artists, the gallery could easily take up most of the day on its own. As you’d expect, some of the best bits are by Barbara Hepworth herself. 


Before you head back to Leeds, be sure to make time for Wakefield’s gothic cathedral, too. 


Journey time: 15 minutes approximately 

Station: Wakefield Westgate, Wakefield Kirkgate  

CO2 emissions: Train: 0.57 KG CO2 e | Car: 1.92 KG CO2 e 



With its ancient, cobbled streets, medieval castle and one of the finest cathedrals in Europe, York is more like an open-air museum than a city. 


Any visit here should start with York Minster, a masterpiece of English Gothic at the centre of the old town. Next, stroll along the Shambles, one of the oldest streets in York.  


Travelling with kids? Don’t miss Jorvik Viking Centre, an interactive museum that delves into York’s Viking past – smells and all! 


Journey time: 25 minutes approximately 

Station: York 

CO2 emissions: Train: 1.55 KG CO2 e | Car: 5.19 KG CO2 e 



Craving fresh air? Hop on the train to Ilkley, a lovely spa town surrounded by steep green hills and classic Yorkshire countryside. 


A hotspot for hikers, Ilkley’s eponymous moor is traced with walking routes suitable for all abilities. 


If you’re after something a little more challenging, Ilkley is also one of the best places in west Yorkshire for rock climbing.  


Journey time: 30 minutes approximately 

Station: Ilkley  

CO2 emissions: Train: 1.03 KG CO2 e | Car: 3.44 KG CO2 e 



Another spectacular spa town, Harrogate is the place to go for rest and relaxation.  


Take your pick from a handful of spas in and around the town. If a treat is on the cards, head to Rudding Park, a swanky hotel surrounded by acres of bucolic British countryside. Alternatively, the Turkish Baths offer a spa experience authentic Anatolia style. 


Before heading back to Leeds, be sure to grab a cream tea and a Fat Rascal at the Yorkshire institution that is Bettys, a traditional tea room that first opened in 1919. 


Journey time: 30 minutes 

Station: Harrogate 

CO2 emissions: Train: 0.98 KG CO2 e | Car: 3.29 KG CO2 e 



Step into Brontë country with a trip to Howarth, a small village surrounded by the bleak moors of West Yorkshire. 


Start your day trip from Leeds by train with a visit to the Brontë Parsonage. Now a museum, the historic building is where the sisters wrote most of their best works. 


On weekends, catch a vintage train on the Keighley & Worth Valley line from Keighley. 


Journey time: 50 minutes approximately 

Station: Keighley (then B3 Bronte Bus to Haworth) 

CO2 emissions: Train: 1.09 KG CO2 e | Car: 3.66 KG CO2 e 




Donkey rides and penny arcades await in Scarborough, a seaside town on the north Yorkshire coast. 


One of the oldest holiday resorts in Britain, its 2 broad, sandy beaches have been pulling in visitors since Victorian times. 


Today, Scarborough still ticks all the boxes for a day at the beach, with tasty chippies, classic amusements and a cutting-edge aquarium.  


Journey time: 1 hour 30 minutes approximately 

Station: Scarborough (Change at York) 

CO2 emissions: Train:  4.09 KG CO2 e | Car: 13.7 KG CO2 e 


Explore Yorkshire by rail and save up 1/3 on train fares with a Railcard. Whether you’re a family, student or senior, there’s a card for you.