Out and About whilst Glamping in Yorkshire
Dramatic moorland rock formations
Part of the dramatic North Yorkshire Moors, Brimham Rocks is a wonderful place to visit for the whole family, providing wonderful views around the area and adventure for children. Part of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Brimham Rocks is owned by the National Trust, with free entry for all and free parking for National Trust members.
The balancing rock formations at Brimham Rocks were formed by millstone grit which was eroded by water, glaciation and wind over the last few centuries. Look out for some of the amazing rock formations including the eagle, the Sphinx, the Gorilla, the Camel, the Turtle and the Dancing Bear.
The rock formations are great for climbers and for those without a head for heights there are plenty of smaller formations to crawl over. You can also enjoy some fantastic walks around Brimham Rocks and the woodland where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Nidderdale area.
Cathedral of the Diocese of Ripon & Leeds
Ripon Cathedral has a rich history; a place of worship has been on this site for the last 14 centuries.
It was founded by Saint Wilfrid in 672 and the oldest surviving part of the cathedral is the Saxon crypt. This beautiful Cathedral has various notable features from the different centuries from the main structure which was built in the 12th century.
During the creation of the first new diocese in England since the Reformation Ripon Minister became a cathedral, it is now the heart of the community. Ripon Cathedral is the mother church for the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales and is also the seat of the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds. The Cathedral is open 7 days a week for those looking to enjoy a service and for tourists wanting to enjoy the beautiful and intriguing architecture.
Britain's largest monastic ruin
If you're looking for a great day out for the whole family Fountains Abbey offers something for everyone. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is set in beautiful grounds just outside the City of Ripon and includes the beautifully designed Studley Royal Park, both of which are owned by the National trust. There are a number of events held throughout the year at the Abbey, many offering insight to the history of the Abbey.
The Abbey was founded in 1132 and established by devout monks seeking a simpler existence. It operated for over 400 years until it was partially destroyed by Henry VIII during the Dissolution of Monasteries in 1539 and it is now a Grade 1 listed building. There is parking at both Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal; there is also a fascinating visitor centre at Fountains Abbey and a restaurant for visitors preparing local food plus a cafe at Studley Royal.
Thorp Perrow Arboretum
Woodland Garden, Bird of Prey & Mammal Centre
Situated in the Yorkshire Dales, Thorpe Perrow Arboretum is a beautiful and distinctive 85 acre arboretum which is unique to Britain. It features one of the finest private collections of trees and shrubs in the country.
A fun day out for the family, the garden has a nature trail and a children's trail to explore as well as the extensive gardens. Thorpe Perrow Arboretum also has its own large lake and a picnic area where you can eat and enjoy the stunning views along with a children's play area.
Thorpe Perrow Arboretum is also home to the Bird of Prey and Mammal Centre where you can see these magnificent birds and animals in action offering a hands on experience for the whole family. Thorpe Perrow has a quaint tea room on site offering light locally cooked meals and refreshments.
Newby Hall & Gardens
The home of the Compton family
In between Ripon and Boroughbridge, Newby Hall & Gardens is a beautiful estate on the edge of the village of Skelton. The house and gardens is the home of the Compton family and dates back from 18th Century, it is also a Grade 1 listed building. Newby Hall & Gardens offers a fun day out for the whole family.
The country house is home to a wonderful collection of furniture, painting and precious artefact's. And the beautifully designed gardens feature a variety of plants native and exotic as well as a wonderful play area for children. The adventure playground and the miniature railway as well as the paddle boats offer hours of fun for children and the stunning gardens hours of interest for adults.
Newby Hall & Gardens also plays host to a number of events throughout the year including classic car shows, exhibitions and concerts.
Spectacular castle in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales
In the heart of the Yorkshire Dales is the spectacular Bolton Castle, it is one of the UK's best preserved medieval castles. The castle is still owned by Lord Bolton and offers an interesting 600 year old history at the heart of Wensleydale. It's a great day out for families and groups, with plenty to keep you entertained for school trips or medieval parties, enjoying the stunning gardens.
Bolton Castle is also a fantastic choice for weddings and parties and offers the opportunity for photo shoots in its fantastic grounds. During the year the castle also plays host to a number of exciting and educational events. There is a cafe which offers locally sourced foods, including light snacks, meals and delicious puddings.
Yorkshire's Garden Racecourse
Ripon Racecourse, described as Yorkshire's Garden Racecourse hosts exciting, prestigious and enjoyable racing and has done for over 300 years in and around the city. The racing season in Ripon starts in April and comes to a close in September after playing host to a number of exciting races. People travel from all over the region to enjoy a great day out at Ripon races with a number of different packages available for visitors.
Races include; Ripon 'Cock o' the North Handicap, Family Day's, Wilmot-Smith Memorial Cup, Wells Memorial, Ladies' Day and Yorkshire in Bloom Handicap to just name a few. Races also feature on TV on Saturdays with many top trainers heading to the city to try their luck on the course. The racecourse also hosts a number of events during the year including family and sporting events, car boot sales on Sundays and it's also home to the annual Ripon Bonfire Night.
Lightwater Valley Theme Park
Family days out in Yorkshire
Yorkshire's Premium theme park, Lightwater Valley is a fun day out for the whole family, with exciting rides suitable for children of all ages and plenty of exhilarating rides for adults. Just outside of Ripon with close access to the A1(M) Lightwater Valley initially evolved from a small farm attraction to the theme park it is today with over 40 rides including Europe's longest roller coaster, the Ultimate. The first ride, built in 1987, was The Rat and the park grew from there. Today there are a number of thrilling rides including Raptor Attack, Twister, Eagles Claw and Falls of Terror.
There are a number of other attractions featured at Lightwater Valley, including Swan Boats, Lightwater Express and the newly opened Angry Birds activity park. Lightwater Valley is also home to Eagle Creek Farm and Lightwater Valley Falconry. If the exciting park and petting farm, aren't enough for you, then you should also check out the Lightwater Shopping Village and restaurant if you want a change of pace. The park is open from April until November.
The Wensleydale Railway
An authentic heritage railway
A heritage railway which runs through the picturesque Wensleydale and Lower Swaledale in North Yorkshire, the Wensleydale Railway is a glorious step back in time. It runs 22 miles (35 km) between Northallerton on the East Coast Main Line and Redmire with the regular passenger line, running from Scruton and Redmire.
Unfortunately you are now unable to travel the full length of the original line from Northallerton to Garsdale on the Settle-Carlisle Railway as parts of the track including bridges and viaducts have since been demolished. However the Wensleydale Railway still offers a fun day out for families and rail enthusiasts as well as offering spectacular views of the North Yorkshire countryside.
An historic landscape
The beautiful Hackfall wood on the outskirts of Grewlthorpe is a Grade 1 Garden in the English Heritage's Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. It is a great place for a fun day out for all the family, with plenty of walks around the wood and a whole host of things to see including grottos, fountains and waterfalls as well as fantastic views of the surrounding countryside.
Hackfall fell into disrepair in the early 1900's fading from the popularity it saw in the Victorian times, after it was first created from a simple wood in the 1700's to a stunning garden. However in the 1980's the Woodland Trust took over running the wood and restored it to its former glory.
With many of the paths restored and a car park added, visitors are now able to enjoy the woods again and all for free.