Where Can I Go Exploring the UK and Abroad (1)

Newby Hall, near Ripon

May 18th, 2011

Newby Hall Ripon

Newby Hall, near Ripon, comprises of a seventeenth century stately home and very attractive gardens next to the river so it makes for an interesting day out. Although a little pricey (entry for adults is £12.20 house and gardens or £8.70 gardens only, with reduced prices for family tickets and other concessions), they have this year introduced a half price offer on season tickets to encourage people to return for subsequent visits and this provides good value for money (£20 per adult or £10 per child). If you make a day of it there's plenty to see and do and I would recommend taking a picnic on a sunny day. My advice is to look out for '2 for 1' vouchers which appear in tourist publications from time to time.

Newby Hall is home to Mr and Mrs Crompton and as with Castle Howard, is still the family's residence. FOr those interested in historic houses it's worth going on a tour of the house. The extensive gardens with hidden corners such as the rockery are lovely to walk around or you could take the miniature train instead. Boat trips are run on the River Ure at an additional cost. The most impressive feature for families is the exciting adventure playground for children which includes water activities such as water jets, pedaloes and bridges over a large pond with other activities such as aerial slides and swing boats. Take the kids' swim stuff if you're taking children as they're likely to get wet! [...]

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Alne Street Fayre, Alne, near Easingwold

May 18th, 2011

Alne Street Fayre, Alne, near Easingwold

The Alne Street Fayre is an annual event held in the attractive village of Alne, near Easingwold. We have visited the event several years running and it always makes for an excellent day out, especially for families. This year (2011) the Alne Street Fayre will take place on Sunday 12th June.

The main street of the village transforms into a street lined with diverse stalls and entertainment with plenty of interesting things to look at and buy. In previous years stalls have included various home-made crafts, delicious toffee, barbecue food, second-hand books and toys. There is also a field with a tent selling beer and Pimms, and entertainment such as inflatable slides, a coconut shy, plate-smashing, a climbing wall and local bands playing. The event has a very relaxing atmosphere and is always enjoyable. [...]

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Easingwold Point-to-Point

May 18th, 2011

Easingwold Point-to-Point

The Easter Sunday Point-to-Point horse racing in Easingwold took place this year (2011) on Easter Sunday. A local event run by the York and Ainsty Hunt, the event attracts not only those with an interest in horses and racing but also those loking for a fun, family day out. There are food and drink stands, a few craft stalls and entertainment. The location is just outside of Easingwold on farmland (Rising Sun Farm), just off the road to Oulston, and ample parking is available in a couple of fields.

We have visited the Easingwold Point-to-Point two years running despite not being 'horsey people' but just for an entertaining day out and thoroughly enjoyed it, as well as winning enough money on the races to spend buying Hog roast and ice-creams! [...]

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The Dutch House, Crayke

May 18th, 2011

The Dutch House is a recently created venture by a Dutch couple who have relocated to Yorkshire and set up business as a cafe, eco-sculpture garden and arts centre. The Dutch House can be found just outside of the pretty village of Crayke, near Easingwold, on the road to Brandsby (clearly signposted from the road). The cafe has an interesting, varied, continental menu with Dutch specialities including Old Amsterdam cheese with red tomato chutney sandwiches and Dutch (sweet and savoury) pancakes or poffertjes (kind of mini pancakes). We have visited a couple of times and enjoyed our food whilst eyeing up the pancakes of the neighbouring table as well! Prices are very reasonable and there is even a pancakes happy-hour on Saturday afternoons from 3-5pm. There is a pleasant courtyard which is lovely on a sunny day, as well as indoor tables and seating. The Dutch House is very child-friendly as the owners have a young child themselves so are very welcoming.

Arts and crafts courses for adults and children are run frequently as are special events. The Dutch House also hosts art exhibitions such as the recent one by the local artist, Rayford, who creates colourful and 'wonky-looking' paintings of local places of interest and landscapes. The diversity of the business and the changing exhibitions combined with the wide choice of food to try on the menu makes it worthy of visiting more than once.

Bed and breakfast accommodation is also available and it would be ideal for those looking for a base to visit the Howardian Hills and North York Moors as well as nearby York. For more information see their excellent website: www.dutchhouseyorkshire.com. [...]

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Scar House Reservoir, near Lofthouse, Nidderdale

May 17th, 2011

Scar House Reservoir, near Lofthouse, Nidderdale

Scar House Reservoir lies a few miles above the small village of Lofthouse in the Yorkshire Dales and was created in 1936. A large expanse of water at an elevated height, it is surrounded by attractivewild moorland and is very scenic. We have visited a few times and it is always fairly quiet as it's off the beaten track but is certainly worthy of a visit. There is a wide stone bridge across the end of the reservoir enabling visitors to embark on a circuit of the reservoir or just cross for a stroll. Scar House Reservoir can be reached by bike from Pateley Bridge or Lofthouse ( a lovely cycle ride) or by car via a quiet country lane. We recommend taking a picnic on a fine day and enjoying the sweeping views of this beautiful corner of the Yorkshire Dales. The car park belongs to Yorkshire Water, is free and there are toilet facilities available.

For those wishing to do the walk, it is a four-mile circular walk around Scar House Reservoir which can be extended to include Angram Reservoir as well if you prefer a longer walk of about 6 miles. For more detailed information and a map of the walk see: www.northyorks.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=7131&p=0 or www.yorkshirewater.com/recreation [...]

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