Steeped in sweetie History, Pontefract is famed for it’s Liquorice and annually holds a festival in this unique sweet’s honour!
Pontefract has always been one of the main homes of liquorice growing and it is believed, was originally brought to the area by the Cluniac Monks in the mid 1500s, who built a new monastery here at that time.
Liquorice was introduced as medicine and over time, evolved into what we now know and love as a popular confectionery sweet, whilst still remaining at the heart of many medicinal remedies today.
By 1780, liquorice growing was concentrated almost wholly in Pontefract.
However, with the growth of Pontefract cakes as confectionery, the demand for liquorice outstripped the capacity of Pontefract growers to supply.
By the late nineteenth century, the twelve firms producing liquorice confectionery relied mainly on extract imported largely from Turkey.
**FUN FACT** Fresh English Liquorice is bright yellowish brown; the root being soft and pliable, has a peculiar earthy odour and a strong characteristic sweet taste.
The liquorice festival is held across the town and at Pontefract Castle too, with a free ‘Liquoroice Land Train’ running every 15 minutes from the Castle and Town Hall.
There were events happening around the town in celebration of Pontefract’s lovely liquorice, including exhibitions at the Museum and talks at the Library.
There was a community stage on Market Place with family shows happening throughout the day, along with various street entertainers also mingling throughout the day (we bumped into some stilt walkers and a 10ft animatronic dinosaur on our travels!)
Over at the Castle, there were two viewings of the 1971 version of ‘Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory’ on the big screen, which were free to enjoy if you wanted to relax on the grass with a picnic perhaps.
There were more children’s activities and craft stalls up here and there are also Dungeon tours if you want to explore the Castle further, along with the Liquorice Cafe and Castle Gift Shop to enjoy too.
We enjoyed a wonderful day exploring the town and meandering through the festival, learning lots about liquorice along the way.
We even sampled some Liquorice Stout Beer in The Liquorice Bush Pub on Market Place.
Other purchases included some lovely craft and bath bits which we bought as Christmas presents, homemade fudge and brownies and of course some liquorice Catherine wheels and the infamous Pontefract Cakes!
A delicious day out, fun and educational with something for all the family!
There are just over two weeks to go until the massive 160th Great Yorkshire Show in our very own Harrogate!
The Great Yorkshire show celebrates the very best of food, farming and rural life and we have no doubt there will be some extra special surprises this year too, to commemorate this milestone for the show.
It is one of the highlights of the year in the event calendar and people travel from all over world to attend this magnificent show each year!
With a vast array of events, activites and attractions at the show, there is so much for all the family to do and plenty to keep you entertained all day long.
Be sure to pick up a programme on entering the showground, to keep track of what times the various events you wish to see are taking place.
From farming to food, car displays to shopping, agriculture to art, there really is something for everyone at this distinguished show!
Have a read of one of our previous blogs on the show, to give you an idea of what you can expect.
To see what puts the ‘Great’ into the Great Yorkshire Show, check out this marvellous video!
— Great Yorkshire Show (@greatyorkshow) June 12, 2018
We still have some rooms available over the show dates, where you can unwind in complete luxury in one of our beautiful bedrooms, then enjoy our hearty award winning Yorkshire breakfast, before embarking on your day at the show.
Relax in our Bistro and dine in style after the show, whilst enjoying one of our Boutique Beers or a refreshing Gin & Tonic from our extensive Gin menu
Alternatively, we also serve Yorkshire Tea, coffee and soft drinks, alongside our tasty menu, serving locally sourced produce in our appetising dishes!
Our staff are on hand 24/7 to ensure your stay is a most comfortable and enjoyable one.
Give us a call on 01423 505 613 or contact us via our Social Media pages to make a reservation.
For more information on the show, head to their website:
This has been the third year that we have now gotten to witness the spectacular Tour de Yorkshire in glorious “God’s Own County” and as always, it didn’t disappoint!
This year we chose to drive out to Scarborough, since we were experiencing (unusual) wonderful Bank Holiday weekend weather, it was the perfect recipe for a day out at the seaside!
Before we departed, we set the TV off recording (just in case we got to wave to Mum) and we’re so glad we did, as after watching the final Kilometre back on the TV when we got home, we saw just how much of a flat out, frenetic sprint it really was to the finish line at the end of the race, but more on that later!
The race was to pass through Scarborough on it’s way out to Filey, then return again to finish on the sea front of South Cliff, back in Scarborough.
We took up position on the main road near Peasholm Park, along with a multitude of other spectators and awaited the first passing of the race.
(Please excuse the clarity of some of the photos, as they are screenshots of videos)
We didn’t have long to wait as the first few riders soon came zooming around the corner and down the hill towards us!
We had a great position as the peloton groups rode by and the crowd roared and waved their flags in abundance!
There wasn’t now long to go until the race returned to finish on the seafront, so we had time for a quick stroll on the beach and a snow cone, before heading back to find a spot near the finish line, amidst the hordes of people who had flocked in their thousands to see the finale of Stage 3 on this dazzling May afternoon!
We picked our spot just beyond the finish line and awaited the riders arrival. On watching it back on TV when we got home, we saw what a nailbiting race it was to the very end!
Way out in front for a good few kilometres, was French cyclist and three-time Tour de France stage winner, Sylvain Chavanel, but with the final kilometre in sight and his energy levels severely dwindling, the younger riders in the peloton behind hit the gas and pushed on hard towards the finish line, with 23 year old German, Max Walscheid taking the Stage 3 win!
After the race, we wandered through what we dubbed the “Cycle Village” where all the teams’ tour buses were and the cyclists were cooling down and doing interviews after the race.
We stopped and listened to a few and took some more pics, which later turned out we were filming one who was on the TV, Brent Bookwalter of BMC Racing Team!
Yet another outstanding day enjoyed for the 2018 TDY and we cannot wait for the next one!
Be sure to check out the official website for next year’s dates and be sure to book your stay with us in plenty of time for the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire!
Check out Mandy’s Blog from Day 1 of this year’s Spring Show and read what was hot, even though the weather was not!
We look forward with great anticipation to the Autumn Flower Show, that also plays host to the infamous Giant Vegetable Competition, which is always a fantastic spectacle and a literal feast for the eyes!
All the details on the show can be found on their website – https://www.flowershow.org.uk/
Independent Business of the Year
Customer Service Award
“The Yorkshire Choice Awards recognise local people and independent businesses that are an inspiration in their field. The categories cover a wide range of backgrounds and skill sets, yet they all have one thing in common…
THE WILL TO ACHIEVE!”
Voting is open to the general public until Friday 16th March and we would love and appreciate your votes!
It seems quite fitting that we are also celebrating the ‘Year of the Woman’ this year, as we recognise the Centenary anniversary, marking 100 years since women won the right to vote and being named after The Kimberley diamond mining region of South Africa, we’d love your votes for this woman!We are so very proud to be an independent business, meaning we can go the extra mile and give that little bit extra attention to detail, going above and beyond for each and every guest that comes to stay with us.
We pride ourselves on being a home away from home and we hope we have achieved that luxurious, yet homely feel for our residents, something which can often be lost in chain hotels, which can sometimes lack that personal touch.
As previously mentioned, we thrive on going the extra mile for our guests, who often become our friends, returning again and again to stay with us.
You can purchase tickets for this glitzy event in April here:
We are blessed to receive such lovely reviews on a regular basis from guests new and old that visit us here at The Kimberley.
We love going the extra milke, after all, it’s never crowded and we are very proud of what we do, but don’t just take our word for it.
Here are some lovely recent guest reviews, which make our jobs in Hospitality a breeze and pleasure and so very worthwhile!
Excellent stay in this friendly hotel in great location – recommended
We recently spent two nights here celebrating a birthday and anniversary. The hotel is in a good location, very close to the conference centre and just a short walk into the town centre. We had an exec room which was clean, comfortable and had a roomy bathroom with a great shower.
Without exception, the staff are all friendly and helpful and a credit to the hotel. Food and service in the dining room was good. We were tempted to eat there both nights but with so many options in the town centre and the menu choice the same each night, we went out on our second night.
Unlike other reviews , we didn’t have any problem parking although it may be limiting if the hotel is full. We thought the cost to be reasonable at £6.00 for 24 hours. The beautifully tended Valley Gardens are worth a visit and the theatre is another good option. We would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone.
A convenient and very comfortable hotel:
Within easy walking distance of town centre. A well equipped and very comfortable room for a 2 night stay. Good breakfast choice and evening meals excellent. All staff were helpful and friendly. First visit to Harrogate and found it a really special town. if you like quality shops this is the place for you. Would not hesitate in returning to the Kimberley as a base for revisiting Harrogate or exploring further afield.
Certainly four star accommodation or better:
We based ourselves in Harrogate, as our friends from Bermuda had expressed a wish to visit the Yorkshire moors, and I managed to find a four day break staying at the Kimberley hotel on Kings Rd. in Harrogate. This was indeed fortunate as the hotel turned out to be very good. The rooms were a very good size with a seating area as well. Ours overlooked the small car park at the rear of the building, so was very quiet at night. The rooms had all the modern facilities you would expect of a boutique hotel, and I especially enjoyed the wonderful rain shower in the bathroom.
We were only on a bed and breakfast basis but the first night’s dinner was also included. The menu was fairly limited but enough to suit everyones tastes. The breakfasts were excellent, either the DIY buffet, or the cooked to order dishes. The service from all the restaurant and bar staff was very good, and the housekeepers maintained the rooms in fine order. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff and they made sure we had a bucket of ice each evnening.
The location is excellent, being a few steps from the magnificent convention centre in the middle of Harrogate. It is five to ten minutes walk to the centre where you will find everything you need. Also it is ideally situated to travel by the main roads to Skipton, Knaresborough, Ripon, Wetherby and the Dales.
You can park in the hotel car park for a fee of £6 per night or the reception desk will give you a token disk to park on the surrounding roads, but you need to find out the times you can park or you may get a ticket.
Certainly one of the best UK hotels I have stayed in for a long time, and I can recommend this hotel for a very comfortable stay which won’t break the bank.
We look forward to welcoming you to stay with us or return to stay with us again soon.
It may be cold outside, but our Yorkshire countryside makes for excellent exploring, whatever the weather, so this Season, wrap up warm and enjoy some wonderful Winter walks!
We recently enjoyed a trip to Malham Cove for the first time and how breathtaking it was!
Roughly just under an hour in the car from Harrogate, Malham Cove is situated in the village of Malham, 13 miles North of Skipton.
On arriving in Malham, we headed straight for The Lister Arms, a lovely Country Inn pub at the foot of the road leading upto the Cove.
We’ve heard and seen lots on the Lister Arms via social media and always promised we’d come and visit one day, as it looks so inviting with their cosy log fires and homemade food!
After washing it down with a refreshing Gin & Elderflower Tonic, we made our way upto the Cove, after putting on a couple more extra layers of fleeces and coats to keep the late afternoon chill at bay!
The pub is very well situated for walkers wanting to visit the Cove, as we merely had to cross a footbridge out of the pub car park and turn right and walk roughly 1 mile up Cove Road.
About halfway up this road on the right is the National Trust Town Head Barn.
The Barn was opened in Malham village in 1997 and shows the interior of a traditional Dales barn with an exhibition on farming practices through the years related to the Dales.
It is open daily in Summer except Mondays, and Sundays only in Winter.
There is lots of information in here too on not only the Barn and Malham Cove, but surrounding areas and other points of interest too!
We continued up the road until we came to some signs and a gate that would lead us up the footpath towards the Cove itself.
The views were absolutely awe-inspiring as we headed along the footpath, drawing ever closer to the Cove itself.
We were very excited, as something you may or may not know is that some of Harry Potter was actually filmed here! It takes place mainly along the tops where there is a large area of deeply eroded limestone pavement, in such a strange pattern they say rarely found in England, which must have attracted the makers of the film to this glorious place!
There was also some stunning craftsmenship in the form of dry stone wall as far as the eye could see!
As we approached the Cove it became more and more impressive and imposing and it is a real wonder to see in all it’s limestone glory!
It’s easy to imagine the water once cascading down all those years ago when it was once a waterfall and I find it quite bizarre and truly fascinating how it is today.
The large, curved feature was formed by a waterfall carrying meltwater from glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age more than 12,000 years ago, but there is still a slight trickle and drips here and there at the base of the cove itself, but further out it’s hard to believe there’s a fully flowing stream!
The acoustics were great in the heart of the Cove, so if you’re a singer, may we recommend your new rehearsal space! We may only be half joking, but we certainly found it a very creative and thought provoking, peaceful spot, which we will definitely be returning to very soon!
As Autumn arrived, so did the darker nights, but this made way for the many light shows, festivals and displays that would continue right through to Decemeber.
After the success of the West Indian Carnival in Leeds back in the Summer, the Carnival were once again asked to return and feature in the Light Night Parade, which opened the two day light show spectacular, Light Night Leeds, an annual free multi-arts and light festival in early October.
There were lots of different things to see and interact with around the City, between 6-11pm on both Thursday and Friday, including; spectacular projections, interactive installations, exhibitions, dance, music and street performances.
Some of our highlights included; walking along Briggate under the incredible illuminated giant desk lamps – Lampounette by French artists, TILT; Harlequin by NOVAK, a spectacular audiovisual projection mapping onto the iconic Queen’s Hotel which was celebrating 80 years of service; Stuart Langley’s Beating Heart, pulsating on the side of the recently refurbished Platform building, symbolising the passion, life and frenetic energy the thousands of people passing through Leeds Station each day bring to the City centre; Aerial Circus by Cirque Bijou, set against the backdrop of the stunning illuminated Trinity Leeds ceiling and finally, Museum of the Moon, a giant illuminated moon suspended over Leeds Dock, featuring detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface.
Next year we will plan to go earlier and maybe even across the two days to ensure we see more!
We definitely recommend planning your visit in advance, as there is so much on around the City, so it was helpful checking online to see what was happening where and when, before we arrived.
Lastly, wear comfy shoes and be prepared for lots of walking!
If you enjoyed Light Night Leeds, may we recommend to you these events happening right throughout December:
Magical Lantern Festival at Roundhay Park, also in Leeds – http://www.magicallantern.uk/magical-lantern-festival-yorkshire
‘Glow’ Winter Illuminations at RHS Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate – https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/harlow-carr/whats-on/christmas-at-harlow-carr
As Summer turned to Autumn, we enjoyed some lovely little adventures in our glorious county of Yorkshire.
A fabulous FREE, yes that’s right, absolutely free (you just pay for parking) day out for all the family to enjoy, is the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, located in West Bretton, near Wakefield.
The Yorkshire Sculpture Park or YSP for short is currently celebrating 40 years of “Art without Walls” and is a pioneering place that aims to challenge, inspire, inform and delight, welcoming over 400,000 visitors, including 48,000 learning visits each year!
The park is set out over many acres, with new exhibitions arriving at the park regularly throughout the year, meaning there’s always something new to see, making it a great attraction to visit and enjoy time and time again.
Of course we didn’t get to see everything the park had to offer on our visit this time, but some of the highlights of our day included:
For more information on all of the exhibitions currently on display at YSP, please see their website – https://ysp.org.uk/exhibitions
The park is open daily except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
10.00–17.00 Grounds and YSP Centre
10.00–16.00 YSP Restaurant and Café (10.00–17.00 Weekends)
10.00–16.00 Underground Gallery
10.00–16.00 Bothy Gallery
17.00 Gates locked
The Chapel, Longside Gallery and Garden Gallery are currently closed and will reopen in 2018 with new exhibitions.
Want to try your hand at Sculpting? Check out “Outdoor Sculpture Building: Come Rain, Come Shine” suitable for all the family –
As mentioned earlier, please see the YSP website for more information on upcoming events at the park!
A few last things to note:
The park is spread out over often uneven terrain, so again, please consult their website for disabled access information.
The park is dog friendly and dog walkers can enjoy many a different walk with stunning views across the park, but please see their website for areas that are not suitable for your dogs.
The park has it’s own restaurant, where visitors can enjoy locally sourced hot and cold food and drink, freshly prepared and served daily, whilst taking a break and enjoying the unspoilt Yorkshire landscape! Open seven days a week from 10.00–16.00 (17.00 in BST). Hot food served daily until 15.00.
We hope this has given you a bit more information on the park if you’re yet to visit and we wish you a thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring day out!
August was a fun filled month, where we firstly headed to York’s very own Comic Con!
On arriving at York racecourse, we were greeted with some fantastic costumes and didn’t mind the entrance queue, as it meant we could have a good look at all the amazing outfits that people had clearly spent a lot of time putting together for this marvellous day!
Once inside, it was apparent there was a lot to see and do, including special guests and interactive activities for kids of all ages!
It was a Geek Haven and Comic Con-er’s Utopia, with stall after stall of wacky wares and we found ourself in a Shooper’s Paradise, picking up all sorts of fabulous finds!
Our buys included some lego characters, Harry Potter jewellery, pixel art, coasters and more and we came away with lots of great purchases to put away for Birthday and Christmas presents too!
We particularly liked the White Fairy https://www.facebook.com/whitefairy.shop/, where we purchased quite a few quirky pieces!
This was our very first Comic Con and most certainly won’t be our last!
Comic Con returns to the Knavesmire next August and you can purchase advance tickets right now – https://www.facebook.com/YorkUnleashed/
If you can’t wait that long, head to Pudsey this coming November https://www.facebook.com/events/1408876052520212/?active_tab=about
The end of the month saw the 50th West Indian Carnival come to Leeds on Bank Holiday Monday and we were so excited to be attending our very first!
The traffic was strong into the City, but we managed to park the car and walk to find a spot by the roadside in time for the Carnival parade going by, where it would then culminate in Potternewton Park, continuing the Carnival vibes late into the evening, in a huge celebration of music, dance and colour, lots of colour!
The costumes were simply out of this world, showstopping pieces, lavishly adorned in sparkling sequins!
The Carnival floats all brought something different and unique to the parade too, each with their own flavour, flare and culture and as day turned to night, the parade turned into a party!
After the parade, we headed down to the Park, stopping for a boogie outside various houses along the way, where folk had brought the party and their sound systems outside!
I’ve honestly never seen anything like it, it was absolutely fantastic and there was a real sense of pride amongst the community too, sharing this experience and making many happy memories together!
The party continued late into the evening in Potternewton Park, where there was a stage with live music, fairground rides and lots more food and drink stalls to enjoy.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable family-friendly day out and we look forward with great anticipation to next year’s event!
Check out these stunning professional photos from the Parade, courtesy of Maria Spadafora and David Lindsay.