Things to do in Thirsk

Thirsk is a charming market town in North Yorkshire, England, known for its picturesque countryside, rich history, and friendly locals. Whether you're a resident or a visitor, there are plenty of exciting things to see and do in this beautiful part of the world. Here are the top 8 things to do in Thirsk.

World of James Herriot

What is it?
The World of James Herriot is a museum and visitor center located in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, dedicated to the life and work of the famous British veterinarian and author, James Herriot. It is housed in the 18th-century building that served as Herriot's surgery during his time in Thirsk.

Why should you go?
A visit to the World of James Herriot is a must for anyone interested in the history of veterinary medicine or the life of James Herriot. The museum offers a fascinating insight into Herriot's life, work, and the rural way of life in Yorkshire during the 1930s and 1940s. The exhibits include original veterinary equipment, displays of Herriot's books and personal belongings, and a replica of his surgery.

The museum also offers guided tours of the town of Thirsk, which was the inspiration for the fictional town of Darrowby in Herriot's books. The tours take visitors to locations featured in the books and provide a fascinating insight into life in rural Yorkshire during the mid-20th century.
Overall, a visit to the World of James Herriot is a perfect day out for history enthusiasts and animal lovers alike. The museum offers an immersive experience into the life of a beloved British author and the history of veterinary medicine.

Sutton Bank National Park Centre

What is it?
Sutton Bank National Park Centre is a visitor center located on Sutton Bank, a prominent hill in the North York Moors National Park. The center provides a variety of activities and services to visitors, including a cafe, gift shop, and interactive exhibitions.

Why should you go?
The center is an excellent starting point for exploring the North York Moors National Park, with a range of walking trails, cycling routes, and scenic drives nearby. The exhibitions offer an insight into the history and geology of the area, as well as the wildlife and habitats that can be found here. The center also hosts events and activities throughout the year, including guided walks and talks.

Thirsk Museum

What is it?
Thirsk Museum is a small, independent museum located in the heart of Thirsk town. The museum is dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of Thirsk and the surrounding area.

Why should you go?
Thirsk Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in local history and culture. The museum has an extensive collection of artifacts, exhibits, and archives that tell the story of Thirsk's past. Visitors can learn about Thirsk's agricultural history, the famous racehorse training industry, and the lives of local people throughout the ages.

One of the highlights of the museum is the Thirsk Yarnbombers exhibition, which features a collection of colorful and quirky knitted artworks that have been created by a group of local artists. The museum also hosts a range of special events throughout the year, including talks, workshops, and guided tours.

The museum is run entirely by volunteers, who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and love of the local area. A visit to Thirsk Museum is a great way to support a community-led initiative while learning more about the rich history of this charming market town.

Thirsk Racecourse

What is it?
Thirsk Racecourse is a popular horseracing venue located in the town of Thirsk, North Yorkshire, UK. The racecourse has been in operation since 1855 and hosts numerous racing events throughout the year, including flat racing and National Hunt racing.

Why should you go?
If you're a fan of horse racing or simply enjoy a fun day out, Thirsk Racecourse is definitely worth a visit. The racecourse is set in beautiful surroundings and offers a thrilling atmosphere with plenty of excitement both on and off the track. You can enjoy betting on your favourite horse or simply watch the races from one of the various viewing areas around the course.

Thirsk Racecourse is also a popular venue for families and groups, with plenty of food and drink options available, as well as children's entertainment and activities. The racecourse hosts a number of special events throughout the year, including themed race days and live music performances.

Whether you're a seasoned racing enthusiast or just looking for a fun day out with family or friends, Thirsk Racecourse is a must-visit destination in Thirsk.

St. Mary's Church

What is it?
Thirsk St. Mary's Church is a historic church located in the center of Thirsk, a market town in North Yorkshire, England. The church dates back to the 15th century and is built in the Perpendicular Gothic style.

Why should you go?
Visiting Thirsk St. Mary's Church is a great way to experience the town's rich history and architectural heritage. The church features impressive stained glass windows, intricate carvings, and a beautiful tower with views of the surrounding countryside. It's also a peaceful and tranquil place to visit, with a serene atmosphere perfect for quiet contemplation or prayer.

Additionally, the church hosts a variety of events throughout the year, such as concerts, art exhibitions, and craft fairs. Visitors can also attend regular services, including Sunday worship and mid-week prayers.

Overall, Thirsk St. Mary's Church is a must-visit destination for those interested in history, architecture, or spirituality.

Thirsk Bird of Prey Centre

What is it?
Thirsk Bird of Prey Centre is a popular attraction in Thirsk that offers visitors the chance to get up close and personal with a variety of birds of prey. The centre is home to over 70 birds of prey, including eagles, hawks, owls, and falcons, and visitors can watch them soar and swoop in the air during the centre's daily flying displays.

Why should you go?
Thirsk Bird of Prey Centre is a must-visit for animal lovers and those interested in learning more about these majestic creatures. Visitors can participate in hands-on experiences, such as handling the birds and even flying them, under the guidance of experienced falconers. The centre also offers a range of educational talks and demonstrations, allowing visitors to gain a deeper understanding of these fascinating birds.

The centre is suitable for visitors of all ages, and children especially will enjoy the chance to get up close and personal with the birds. There is also a play area and picnic area on site, making it a great place for families to spend an afternoon.

In addition to the daily flying displays, the centre also offers special events throughout the year, such as evening owl walks and falconry courses. Visitors can also book private experiences and group visits.

Overall, Thirsk Bird of Prey Centre is a unique and educational attraction that offers a memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

Zillah Bell Gallery

What is it?
The Zillah Bell Gallery is a contemporary art gallery located in the heart of Thirsk. It was established in 2008 and is named after the wife of a wealthy local landowner who lived in the area during the 19th century. The gallery hosts a variety of exhibitions throughout the year featuring works by both established and emerging artists.

Why should you go?
One of the main reasons to visit the Zillah Bell Gallery is to see the diverse range of artwork on display. The exhibitions cover a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, and digital art. There is also a focus on supporting local artists, so visitors can expect to see works by Yorkshire-based creatives.

The gallery also offers a range of workshops and events for visitors to get involved with. These include talks, lectures, and hands-on sessions, providing an opportunity to learn more about art and the creative process. The Zillah Bell Gallery also works with local schools to offer educational programs, making it a great destination for families with children.

Overall, the Zillah Bell Gallery is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and those looking to immerse themselves in Thirsk's vibrant arts scene. With its constantly changing exhibitions and engaging events, there's always something new and exciting to discover at this dynamic gallery.

Ritz Cinema

What is it?
Thirsk Ritz Cinema is a small, independent cinema located in the heart of Thirsk. It has a single screen and shows a variety of films, including new releases, classics, and foreign language films.

Why should you go?
If you're a movie buff, Thirsk Ritz Cinema is a must-visit. It offers a unique movie-watching experience with its intimate setting and friendly atmosphere. Plus, you can enjoy a wide selection of snacks and drinks while you watch your movie. It's also a great way to support a small, local business.