We apologise for being quiet on the blog front, but we are back with a bang, as we tell you all the latest goings on and upcoming activities and attractions to visit this Half Term and beyond, in glorious Yorkshire!
Dark Skies Festival – 14th Feb – 1st March
The stunning dark skies of the National Park are so free from light pollution and are one of its very special qualities.
To celebrate, the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks – together with Nidderdale AONB – are teaming up to hold their fifth annual Dark Skies Festival, with loads of great activities for all to enjoy.
Find the full programme on the special dark skies website
36th Jorvik Viking Festival – 15th – 23rd February
Recognised as the largest event of its kind in Europe; visit York this February 2020 for an exciting programme of events, including; living history encampments, markets, workshops, talks, tours and dramatic combat performances.
Whether you’re well-versed in the sagas or looking for a thrilling half-term break, there’s something for everyone at JORVIK Viking Festival.
This year’s theme is the Voyages of the Vikings – just like the Norse in the 9th century, journey to York in February half term to discover their extraordinary stories!
Tickets for highlight events are on sale now, with the full programme released in 2020. You can find out more at our dedicated festival website: https://jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk/
Witch & Wizard Festival – 14th & 15th February
Step inside the world of sorcery as your favourite fictional universes come to life at the Witch and Wizard Festival. Leave the boring ‘real world’ behind, grab your wands and join us for a spellbinding session of fantastical escape.
Fun for all ages, the event packs in a host of activities to keep you entertained and amazed during your visit. Dress as your favourite fictional character and we will award prizes for the most creative costumes.
For sorcerers who have long since graduated from Spellman’s Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry, we offer an Adult-only evening where you can enjoy themed cocktails, beers, drinks and live music. Take part in our potions class and learn to make your own, boozy magical concoction.
6.30-10pm – Adults Only (Spellman’s Academy will be closed, but Potions classes will still run) 18+
7-10.30pm – Adults Only (Spellman’s Academy will be closed, but Potions classes will still run) 18+
Snowdrop Days – Sunday 9th February, Sunday 16th February and Saturday 22nd February
Enjoy Snowdrop Days at Goldsborough Hall, where their famous collection of snowdrops features over 100 varieties of snowdrop – some so rare they haven’t even been named yet!
Visitors can enjoy access to the grounds of this private former Royal residence, also taking in delicate hellebores and carpets of winter aconites.
They can enjoy a stroll down the quarter-mile Lime Tree Walk, which was planted by royal visitors to the Hall during the 1920s. Plaques on the trees show the dates when dignitaries including King George V and Queen Mary planted them.
Price & Opening Times:
On Snowdrop Days, Goldsborough Hall’s gardens will be open from 10am – 4pm (last admission), adults £5 and children under 16 go free.
Refreshments will be available in the Orangery.
Please wear warm clothes and bring flat shoes or suitable footwear for the weather conditions. Parking is limited so please travel in groups if possible. Dogs are allowed if they are kept on a lead.
Rhubarb Festival – 17th – 23rd February
Foodie lovers, why not take a trip over to Wakefield for their whopping Rhubarb Festival!
This year’s food and drink market is a gastronomic gala. There are a whopping sixty-seven chalets offering a dizzying array of delights, including plenty of fresh, local products – many with a rhubarb twist.
This year’s markets sees the introduction of a brand new element: arts and crafts. With ten gazebos (find them at Trinity Walk), visitors can choose from a huge range of charming, unusual and independent products, including handmade jewellery, homewares, art – and even rhubarb bath bombs!
2020 also sees the return to the food and drink market of Deliciously Yorkshire. #RhubarbFest veterans, the festival wouldn’t be complete without them.
This year, they’ve got five whole gazebos showcasing the best culinary fare that God’s own county has to offer. Look for their distinctive green and black livery in front of the entrance to The Ridings Shopping Centre.
This is a FREE event!
Spring Quilt Festival Harrogate – 21st – 23rd February
Spring Quilt Festival Harrogate 2020 returns to the Yorkshire Event Centre this month.
This popular patchwork, quilting, craft and needlework show featuring displays from well known quilters and textile artists.
You can shop for all your new supplies and even attend one of the daily workshops for new inspiration and ideas!
Demonstrators are on hand across the 3 day show, sharing techniques and offering advice.
Friday & Saturday 10am – 4.30pm
Sunday 10am – 4pm
Advance: Adults £7, Seniors £6, Children (8-16 years) £2
On the door: Adults £8, Seniors £7, Children (8-16 years) £3
Advanced tickets are available online from January – 7th February 2020. For more information please contact 01406 372 600
Fun for all the family this Half-Term at Fountain’s Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden, including;
Pick up a welly wander trail – Saturday 15 February (until Sunday 23 February) 10am-4pm
Get crafty in Swanley Grange – Visit these old grange buildings to learn more about its past and all the different types of wool and even have a go at some wild and woolly crafts for yourself!
Make a friendship band for someone special – Tuesday 18 February (also Thursday 20 February) 1-3pm
Create a winter scene – Saturday 15 February (until Sunday 23 February) 11am-3pm
Visit their website for more activities this Half-Term and throughout the year – https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey-and-studley-royal-water-garden/whats-on
Gorge Walking – How Stean Gorge
Finally, we give you one for the adrenaline junkies!!
This half day Yorkshire Gorge Walking (often known as Ghyll Scrambling) experience starts with an exhilarating 45ft free hanging abseil into the depths of the Gorge. The only one of its kind in UK!
From this moment, your adrenaline will be pumping as you fight your way upstream against the water. You will be climb over boulders, swim through channels, plunge into deep pools then slide down waterfalls and explore the beauty of hidden caves.
Your highly experienced instructor will guide you on this half day Gorge Walking / Ghyll Scrambling activity, which will be completely tailored to your requirements. So if you are up for a challenge, this activity is the one for you.
All jumps and slides are optional so there is no pressure, this is your experience and we want you to leave your Yorkshire Gorge Walking / Ghyll Scrambling experience buzzing with excitement.
Being cold is not an option….. How Stean Gorge are the only provider in Nidderdale that provide full 2 piece Canyoning wetsuits which are the warmest on the market. You will also the provided with Neoprene sock and gloves.
This Abseiling, Gorge Walking & Ghyll Scrambling activity is suitable for ages 7 + (we have had children from 5yrs when booking sole use of Instructor)
Visit Yorkshire Gorge Walking & Ghyll Scrambling page here to book – http://www.howstean.co.uk/activities/gorge-walking/
With so much going on in our district this week, you’re in for a spooktacular Halloween and half term, as we give you our Top 5 Things to see and do, with fun for all the family!
1. RHS Harlow Carr – Harrogate
Families can enjoy the glorious colours of Autumn at Harlow Carr during half term (26 October – 3 November 2019).
Follow a daily Awesome Autumn trail around the garden, enjoy autumnal crafts and seasonal storytelling with the Garden Detectives.
2. Autumn Open Exhibition – Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate
This prominent and popular northern art exhibition returns for 2019. Embracing of those with a connection to Harrogate, the Mercer Art Gallery Autumn Open Exhibition provides a high profile, visual platform for contemporary regional artists to present their work to the public.
All media are welcomed, including sculpture, ceramics, photography and jewellery.
From hundreds of entries, 120 exhibits will be displayed, with the overall winner announced at a special Preview Evening. Already open for entries, it’s time to get your paint brushes out and embrace the artist within!🖼🎨
Alongside this, throughout half term, the Mercer Art Gallery will also be running their Harrowing Halloween exhibition with seasonal activities for all the family.
– The Monster Mash Show!
– NEW for 2019: Pumpkin Picking!
– Real Witches in the Enchanted Forest!
– Ghouls in the Maze
– Halloween Catwalk!
‘Stockeld Dark’ for teens and older families, opens from from 6-9pm, including:
The Halloween Adventure starts Sat 26th October.🕸🧙🏻♀️🕷
4. Northern Lights – York Minster
See York Minster in a different light this Autumn, as the awe-inspiring Northern Lights returns by popular demand.✨
The sound and light installation, which debuted to sell-out audiences in June 2018, will again transform the cathedral’s cavernous Nave with images and audio inspired by the medieval Minster’s stained glass and stone.⛪️
Visitors will have the chance to explore the empty Nave after dark before the installation illuminates the space, spanning the full length of the ceiling and West End and surrounding the listener with soundscapes and music.🎆🎶
There are two time slots at 7pm and 9pm and tickets are £6 on York Minster’s website.
5. Himalayan Gardens & Sculpture Park – Ripon
Soak up the glorious colours of Autumn at The Hutts Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park before it closes for Winter from Sunday 3rd November. 🍂
The park is a real hidden gem just outside of Harrogate, near Ripon and is home to over 80 Contemporary Sculptures set within 45 acres, inspired by the Himalayas.
The landscape comprises of a beautiful valley with scenic woodland walks, enhanced by three lakes, a pagoda, summerhouse, Himalayan shelter, contemplation circle and Norse Hut!
Visit their website and social sites for more information.🎋🗿
On our Easter blog, we shared lots of things to enjoy with the whole family, so this time, we thought we’d focus more on the grown ups!
However, all of the following can still be enjoyed by all of the family, young and old.
1. Brimham Rocks – Situated on the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on Brimham Moor.🧗🏻♂️🧘🏻♀️
Brimham rocks offers climbing and viewing enjoyment for all abilities, with its giant rock formations that were created by an immense river 100 million years before the first dinosaurs walked the earth!
Some of the most iconic rock formations can be viewed only 10 minutes’ walk from the car park, and it takes around four hours to explore all of this fascinating site, with its enduring landscape and carefully managed environment.
You can walk, cycle, climb and even do yoga at Brimham Rocks, so be sure to check their website for their regular activities and events:
2. Ripley Castle and Gardens – Situated 3 miles from Harrogate in North Yorkshire on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.🏰🌿
Take a guided classic tour through the Castle, where you can enjoy six of the Castle rooms, including the Library, Drawing rooms, Tower room and Knights Chamber.
An entertaining and engaging tour tailored to an adult audience, though inclusive to all and families with children (ideally over 5 years) are welcome to join these tours.
Wildlife lovers, take a stroll into the deer park, where you will see lots of varied wildlife.
The park walk takes you round the castle’s large ornamental lake, across the waterfall and into the deer park itself.
Also partnering up with ‘Live For Today Adventures’, you can enjoy outdoor activities in Ripley Castle’s undulating and varied parkland
For upcoming events at Ripley Castle, have a look at their website:
3. Pateley Bridge – A small market town in Nidderdale in the Borough of Harrogate, which lies on the River Nidd.🌺🍬
There are numerous quaint local shops and pretty little tea rooms in Pateley Bridge and no visit would be complete without a stop off at England’s Oldest Sweet Shop to stock up on your favourite traditional childhood sweets!
Pateley Bridge is the starting and finishing point on the Nidderdale way, where you can take in some spectacular landscapes in an area which is renowned for its floral beauty and charm.
It is also home to the annual Nidderdale Show every September.
4. Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden – Ancient abbey ruins and an awe-inspiring water garden at this World Heritage Site.🏞️⛲️
There is so much to explore at the abbey, where you can learn all about it’s turbulent history and soak up the fascinating ruins of the abbey.
The impressive water garden was designed in the early 18th-century by John Aislabie, who had great plans to impress visitors to his Yorkshire estate, turning the wild and wooded valley of the river Skell into one of England’s most spectacular Georgian water gardens, that we see today.
There is lots more to explore and many activities happening throughout the year here, so be sure to check their website for more information:
5. Berlin Circus – From the producers of the Moscow State Circus and Circus Extreme.🎪🤹🏼♂️
Bringing it home to Harrogate with our 5th recommendation, it’s the incredible and jaw dropping Continental Circus Berlin.
Clown Angelo will guide you through this super show which also includes beautiful Aerialist’s, whirlwind jugglers, a laser duo sending laser beams from their fingers and the sensational wheel of death, rotating into the roof of the Big Top.
The motorcycle stunt riding team will be performing the Globe of Steel, the most death-defying act ever completed!
Watch as the group speed around at up to 70mph, experiencing G-force similar to that of an astronaut. Witness them loop vertically and horizontally while enclosed in a steel sphere!
On top of this, there will be amazing high wire walkers , rola rola balancing on a motorbike and lightning fast quick change, all performing their acts with ther unique style.
You can see the Berlin Circus in Harrogate on the Pannal Car Boot Site, from 29th May to 2nd June.
For more information on booking, visit the website:
We hope this has given you some inspiration to get out and explore our wonderful district this May Bank Holiday and Half Term!