Where Can I Go Exploring the UK and Abroad

Burton Leonard Scarecrow Festival, nr Harrogate

May 24th, 2011

Burton Leonard Scarecrow Festival, nr Harrogate

The Burton Leonard Scarecrow Festival takes place every year over the early May Bank Holiday weekend (Saturday to Monday). Burton Leonard is a pretty Yorkshire village a few miles between Harrogate and Ripon and this is a real community event with many villagers choosing to take part. A map showing the location of all the scarecrows being displayed with a list of the themes can be picked up from the village hall in the centre of the village and then you can walk around at your own pace choosing your own route. A few stalls are set up on the village green selling second-hand books and offering tombola prizes.

The Burton Leonard Scarecrow Festival is well worth a visit and children in particular will particularly enjoy the imaginative creations on display, whilst all visitors will appreciate the huge effort that has been put into coming up with the original ideas and then making the scarecrow displays. My favourites this year (2011) included 'His and Hers' illustrating the difference between a typical man's life (think cricket, beer, tv...) and a woman's life (think cooking, washing machine, housework...), and also the Strictly Come Dancing scarecrow display featuring Anton du Beke and Ann Widdecombe, which were very realistic. Other interesting creations included the 'All-rounder sportsperson', the Jolly Green Giant, swimmers in a pool (cleverly done) and characters from the Wind in the Willows. Look out for the Burton Leonard Scarecrow next year and go along and take a look for yourself. [...]

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Great Langdale National Trust Campsite, Langdale

May 20th, 2011

Great Langdale National Trust Campsite

The National Trust Campsite at Great Langdale is a campsite I have stayed at several times over the last twenty years and it has changed very little during that time. I still love it! Its location is fabulous as it's in the sheltered Great Langdale valley surrounded by the impressive Langdale Fells. A relaxed yet well-organised campsite, it caters for everyone from keen walkers to couples to families with young children. The Langdale valley is a great place for a variety of high or low level walks, or it makes a great base for visiting nearby Elterwater, Grasmere or even Coniston. T

The Great Langdale campsite has good, well-maintained facilities including a couple of shower and toilet blocks, washing up areas, and a small shop selling maps, walking information and basic food supplies. The Old Dungeon Gyhll Pub is 5-10 minutes' walk from the campsite (take a torch) or there are a number of good pubs a short drive away such as my favourite, the Britannia in Elterwater. [...]

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Syke Farm Campsite, Buttermere

May 20th, 2011

Buttermere Campsite

Syke Farm Campsite in Buttermere is a peaceful, special place due to its exceptionally scenic location. It lies next to a stream and is surrounded by the majestic Lakeland Fells. It is a basic campsite consisting of a slightly hilly field with some flat areas as well, and the facilities comprise of just two simple toilet/ shower blocks (one for men and one for women). To reach the field you have to park your car in the car park and carry your gear across a small wooden bridge. If you don't mind this and you like simple campsites then this one is definitely worth a stay purely for its beautiful location and tranquillity. Syke Farm campsite is just a couple of minutes' walk from two pubs, the Fish Hotel and the Bridge Hotel, and a cafe, so is great for an evening drink and short stroll back to your tent. We tried both pubs and found them both decent places for food or refreshments.

In good weather the campsite's location is stunning and you could sit happily for hours admiring the spectacular views whilst listening to the bubbling stream. In more unsettled weather the wind and rain can really blow down the valley and it can seem quite a different place so check the weather forecast or just take a chance as we did. [...]

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Huby and Sutton Show, Sutton-on-the Forest, near York

May 20th, 2011

Sutton and Huby Show

The Huby and Sutton Show is an annual event held in the grounds of Sutton Park Stately Home, in the village of Sutton-on-the-Forest, just eight miles to the north of York. We have attended a couple of times and found it to be a very enjoyable day out for people of all ages. The event is largely an agricultural event with the showing of farm animals (including cattle, sheep), show-jumping, dog agility and displays of farm vehicles and vintage vehicles. There is a tent of smaller animals being shown including rabbits and chickens. In addition there are various stalls all over the grounds selling food, garden furniture, crafts and clothing and a marquee of homemade crafts and produce. There is a programme of children's entertainment throughout the day and plenty to keep younger visitors interested.

This year (2011) the Huby and Sutton Show will be held on Sunday 31 July and looks to offer the usual fun events and attractions.
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Ripley Castle, Ripley

May 18th, 2011

Ripley Castle, Ripley

Ripley Castle is located in the estate village of Ripley, just outside of Harrogate in the direction of Ripon. Home to the Ingilby family for over 700 years, the house and gardens are open to the public all year round and the pretty village is also a popular place for visitors to stop off for an ice-cream at the renowned ice-cream shop.

We visited Ripley Castle on a sunny day in the Spring and chose to visit only the gardens. It makes for a delightful and fairly short walk to head down to the waterfall and lake and follow the lakeside path to the far end and back round to the walled gardens and house. Although there were plenty of visitors in the village you can escape the crowds in the gardens where deer and cattle graze. We didn't visit the interior of the castle/house on this occasion but tours are available daily which are supposedly designed to be interesting for both adults and children with some tours offered which are specifically aimed at children. A good way to finish off the walk or visit is to enjoy a drink in the castle's tea room. [...]

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