Since the UK lockdown restrictions changed to allow travel to outdoor open space (irrespective of distance), we’ve been out on a series of ‘mini adventures’. Whilst I’ve got seriously itchy feet to travel overseas, these mini adventures have allowed us to see and do new things locally. They’ve allowed us to create some precious memories during a difficult time, such as Theo’s first trip to the beach. Here are our five most recent family friendly days out in Yorkshire, which are all possible during lockdown.
1. A trip to the coast at Bridlington
Last week we took Theo for an afternoon at the beach and it was my second favourite day of lockdown (only trumped by my birthday in May). We’ve taken him to Whitby and Cleethorpes as a baby, but now he's a toddler he got to have his first experiences of walking on the sand, making sandcastles, collecting shells and putting his toes in the sea. He’s so much more aware now and took in all the sights, sounds and sensory experiences. He also tried fish and chips for the first time which were a big hit. We got the fish and chips from ’Brid Bay Fisheries’ which I can definitely recommend.
2. Exploring Lotherton Hall
Lotherton Hall offers an amazing family day out on the outskirts of Leeds. It’s an Edwardian country estate with a historical house, a wildlife park, cafe, adventure playground and extensive grounds. It’s one of my favourite places to visit locally and during the lockdown the grounds have reopened and admission is free during this time (usually there is an admission charge which includes the house and the wildlife park. It's cheaper to buy online in advance). I can’t wait to return again soon when the wildlife park re-opens as Theo is now at the perfect age to enjoy it. This was our first mini adventure of the series and Theo was just so excited to be somewhere new and explore it all on foot.
On the gate prices are Adults £8.30 Children £4.15 (or cheaper if you buy in advance)
3. Feeling Nostalgic at Newby Hall
We also recently visited Newby Hall near Ripon, a place that I have really fond memories of visiting as a child. Newby Hall is home to a beautiful stately home, award-winning gardens and grounds, a miniature railway and a fantastic adventure playground for the kids. There’s also a dollhouse exhibition and a teddy bear museum (which I am yet to see for myself). Newby Hall is part of the Historic House Association and we are Historic House members so we will definitely revisit once everything has re-opened. Because of the current social distancing rules, tickets for Newby Hall must be bought in advance for timed entry so check the latest ticket rules before you plan a trip.
Due to the current closures, tickets must be bought in advance at a reduced price of £12 per adult and £8 per child.
Regular admission prices vary depending on whether you'd like to visit the grounds and house or grounds only. Grounds only prices are £14.50 per adult and £11 per child. Family tickets are also available.
Admission for Historic House Members is free
4. Discovering the Gnome Roam Newmillardam Country Park
It was only yesterday that we visited Newmillardam Country Park near Wakefield. We went for a little Fathers Day day out and I organised an afternoon tea picnic. After doing some online research of my own, I discovered that it’s home to the ‘Gnome Roam’ (a family-friendly woodland trail with wooden gnomes to spot). The trail is very well sign-posted and each gnome has a little plaque about them which really brings them to life for the kids. The trial takes you through a beautiful forrest with super tall trees which are great for a photo op. We took a picnic but the only place you can really stop to eat it is the designated picnic area as the rest of the area is dense woodland.
It's free to visit Newmillardam Country Park and do the Gnome Roam. There is a small charge for the car park.
5. Our Local Favourite: Temple Newsam
I couldn’t write a post about family friendly days out in Yorkshire without mentioning our favourite; Temple Newsam in East Leeds. The grounds are beautiful and sprawl into a vast woodland area with plenty of trails and things to discover. The walled garden is also a hidden gem and worth a visit, especially in the summer months. I’m so glad that Theo will grow up with Temple Newsam so close by. If you’re visiting in May, don’t miss the Rhododendron Walk in full bloom.
As it’s owned by Leeds City Council, admission to the grounds, the adventure playground and parking at Temple Newsam are all totally free. Admission to the farm and house is an extra charge but the prices are very reasonable.
I hope you enjoyed my round up of family friendly days out in Yorkshire and that inspires you to find somewhere new close to you.
Have you been having any mini adventures during lockdown? Have they helped to ease your itchy feet? Jess x