Our Thirsk activities summary includes Sutton Bank and some of the finest views in Yorkshire, James Herriot museums, thrilling farm parks, birds of prey centres and more.
Activities in Thirsk
Local legend and renowned vet James Herriot described the views from Sutton Bank across Yorkshire as the ‘finest in England’. And we’d struggle to argue, especially on a clear day, with sweeping views from the top of the cliff-top escarpment taking in the Vale of Mowbray, the Vale of York and the North York Moors National Park. As well as offering breathtaking panoramas, Sutton Bank is a popular destination for hikers and bikers, with plenty of signposted routes covering a range of difficulties and terrain. As well as a café, bike hire shop, toilets and picnic area, the site has an adventure play area for children including a sandpit, treehouses, mini castles and more.
The White Horse of Kilburn
The White Horse of Kilburn
At more than 300 feet long, The White Horse is an eye-catching chalk hill monument created in 1857 by a local businessman as a homage to southern English chalk hill carvings. The huge horse is covered in white chalk chippings and can be seen on the Hambleton Hills, a few miles from our Thirsk Hotel and just a short drive from Sutton Bank. While walking on the white horse is strongly discouraged, you can take in the views from the White Horse Picnic Area which also has a car park.
Monk Park Farm
A firm family favourite, Monk Park Farm is a great day out packed with attractions. The farm has hundreds of animals to meet and discover including baby goats, wallabies, alpacas and rabbits while the large play area boasts a zip wire, swings, pedal go-karts and tractors and acres of natural woodland to explore. The park is open daily from February until November and is located just a mile east of Thirsk off Moor Lane.
The World of James Herriot
Discover more about the ‘world’s most famous vet’ James Herriot at The World of James Herriot, a fascinating museum in the centre of Thirsk. The museum celebrates the life and times of the All Creatures Great and Small star, with a recreated TV set and surgery where you can try your hand at being a vet. The centre also has a World War II air raid shelter, an interactive gallery and plenty of fascinating memorabilia.
On the other side of the road from The World of James Herriot is Thirsk Museum. Located in the former house of Thomas Lord, the founder of the world-famous Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, the museum explores the game of cricket as well as local life and industry with plenty of fascinating exhibits spanning furniture, costumes and toys. The free-entry museum is open from Easter to November and from Monday to Saturday from 10 am-4 pm.
Thirsk Birds of Prey
With over 70 birds across more than 30 species, the Thirsk Birds of Prey centre is a thrilling hands-on experience. As well as three displays each day, you can book in for half- and full-day packages featuring high-flying displays and bird-handling sessions with up to 10 different types of bird. The centre is open daily from the start of March until the end of October and is located in Newsham, several miles north-west of Thirsk.
St Mary’s Church
Dating back to the 15th century, St Mary’s Church is an impressive Church of England place of worship in the heart of Thirsk. Built on the site of a previous Norman church, St Mary’s has some beautiful architectural touches including historic 500-year-old stained glass windows, a 24-metre-high spire and 17th-century artworks. The active church is open daily and holds guided tours every Tuesday from noon.