Gosh it’s been hot recently hasn’t it. Loving it of course and wouldn’t dare complain, but hot and sweaty toddlers at 3am, not so good. Still, summer and children is usually a good mix, and as I keep finding out, Yorkshire + Summer + Children is even better.
So, what to do with the kids over the coming school holidays in Yorkshire? I’ve come up with the ultimate top ten family-friendly Yorkshire attractions this August. Take a look and let me know what you think!
- The Galtres Festival
We keep saying it, but this family-friendly chilled out festival in Yorkshire is just one of the best things ever. It’s at Duncombe Park in Helmsley and this year there’ll be crocodiles and pirates and story-telling and camel races… You can go just for the day (good option if your little ones are very young) or camp there for the weekend. Prices and more info here: www.galtresfestival.org.uk
- Story Trains – North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR)
Love the NYMR at the best of times as do my children, so when I heard about the Story Trains there was much excitement in the Brion household. The trains depart from Pickering every Friday morning heading towards Goathland in the North York Moors. Each Friday has a particular theme, choose from Alice in Wonderland, Hogwarts, Pirates, Nursery Rhymes, The Hobbit or Faires. http://www.nymr.co.uk/special-events/summer-fun-trails-story-trains/
- Mini-beast Hunt – Yorkshire Sculpture Park
My 4 year old daughter is obsessed with bugs. Woodlice, earwigs, worms, slugs – she just can’t get enough. Of course she’s not alone; most kids love anything that wriggles, so this mini-beast hunt is a super way of entertaining them. And afterwards explore the amazing Yorkshire Scuplture Park in its entirety – there are big open spaces, family-friendly exhibitions and striking sculptures making it an ideal place to spend a day with the kids. And you get to feel good about the fact that you’ve sandwiched in a bit of culture amongst all the tearing around and playing. http://www.ysp.co.uk/events/category/ysp-family
- Geoffrey the Lion – Castle Howard
I’m a huge fan of Castle Howard and love taking my children there. Their mascot Geoffrey the Lion will be there for the whole weekend on 24th August, helping you solve a riddle trail and generally being mischievous. All adds to the fun of what is a magical location for children anyway – excellent playground by the lake, secret gardens to run around and mini-trains – good memories guaranteed. http://www.castlehoward.co.uk/DB/Whats-On-View/Meet-Geoffrey-the-Lion-2.html
- 50 Things to do before you’re 11 ¾ – Fountains Abbey
The absolute definitive list of childhood achievements, courtesy of the National Trust. Includes building a den (of course!), rolling down a hill (essential) and playing pooh sticks (ah, many a happy day spent). Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire are challenging you to tick 35 off the list, all in one visit: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/document-1355781315936/
- Knights and Dragons – Bolton Castle
This is the stuff! Get your child’s pulse racing with legendary tales of Knights and Dragons. And when they tire of slaying Dragons there’s kite, mask and puppet making. Fun for boys, girls and grown-ups too. Worth mentioning this is just one of the themed weeks throughout the summer and there are lots of other daily activities that will capture the imagination too. http://www.boltoncastle.co.uk/yorkshire-events/
- The Forbidden Corner
I couldn’t put together a top ten for family-friendly Yorkshire attractions and not mention The Forbidden Corner. It would be like making an omelette without any eggs. The Forbidden Corner is a trippy, crazy world of follies, tunnels, passageways and secret doors. It’s all very Alice in Wonderland, tunnels shrink down towards miniature doors, hexagonal rooms with doors at every angle, creatures in the woods to surprise and delight. Your children will thank you forever for taking them there and guess what, you will love it too. http://www.theforbiddencorner.co.uk/
- Welly Walk – Bolton Abbey
Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of squelching around in the mud? Bolton Abbey have an inspired new adventure trail through the woodland between the world famous stepping stones and the Cavendish Pavilion. All kinds of excitement along the mile long trail including tunnels, slides, a maze and more. Let’s face it, you have to wash their clothes every day anyway so might as well make it worth it. Available every day throughout the summer holidays. http://www.boltonabbey.com/events/welly-walk.html
- Cool off at Newby Hall
Tarantella is the interactive water play area in the Newby Hall gardens. It’s perfect in the warm weather – watch your children shriek with pleasure as the arching jets of water try to catch them out. It’s next to an excellent adventure playground which covers all the bases from toddlers up – sand-pits, pedalos, climbing frames and a castle are amongst the many child-friendly attractions. Remember to bring swimming costumes though – thus avoiding the wet-dog aroma on the way home… http://newbyhallandgardens.com/site/index.php/fun-children/adventure-garden/
- Thorp Perrow Arboretum
Already a safe bet for families (woodland gardens, meerkats, adventure playground) Thorpe Perrow is holding a number of children’s activity days throughout the holidays. Getting messy is again guaranteed – sorry. http://www.thorpperrow.com/diary.html
If I manage to do even half of the above I know we’re in for a good summer. All good old-fashioned fun with the children and something to remember forever. Just hope my washing machine can take it!
We have lots of Luxury Yorkshire Cottages close to all of the above child-friendly attractions in Yorkshire. Take a look at our Family-Friendly Yorkshire Cottages here. All have travel cots and high-chairs available on request and many have much much more including games, toys, stair-gates, monitors etc. Just ask what’s available when you book.