It’s the last weekend of the summer holidays for most people – aka, school kids, parents, teachers…
(Although did summer ever actually arrive this year? Old, grumpy sun worshipper, me.)
Before the humdrum of going back to school again, send the summer holidays out with a bang, or a nice day out!
Here are some highlights of my ‘summer’ that remind you how wonderful it is to live where we do.
Brimham Rocks is hands down, one of the best days out I’ve had in a long time.
Pack a picnic, wear your trainers, and get ready to climb, in order to see some of the best views in Yorkshire!
The rock formations are impressive to gaze at (especially as they are natural formations) and even better to climb.
It’s not for the faint hearted, but climbing to the tops of the rocks and gazing out on views like this (see below) makes it totally worth it. Just good luck getting back down again…
They’re an old classic, but there’s a reason they’ve been around for so long and still remain popular – they’re really good fun!
Before you get on, you will probably mock people who are struggling to deal with the giant oars, and then proceed to make a fool of yourself once you’re in the boat and trying it for yourself. (Although after a few minutes you get into the rhythm of it.)
It’s about £3 per person for an hour, and dogs go on free! Which meant that our lovely dog walk turned into a full day out spent by the river.
Just hold onto your dogs in case they get too excited and decide to ‘explore’ the river, like my dog did…
I just beg of you, if you get on the boats with young children, please put them in life jackets! I have recently seen a boat tip as people were stepping into the boat, with small children in it, without life jackets on. Thankfully they were right next to the riverbank so they were quickly hauled on to land, but the risk is just not worth it.
Billy Bob’s Parlour
This 50’s style American Diner is the quirky lunch-out you’ve always wanted.
Take your pick from sitting in the stereotypical booths by the jukebox, at the ice cream parlour bar, or if you’re lucky enough, grab a seat in the schoolbus(!) If it’s a nice day, and you have kids/don’t mind the sounds of screaming kids, there is a large outdoor garden with wooden tables and a large wooden playground for kids. It is a perfect place for families to dine out!
While it’s not the cheapest place, it’s not overly expensive, and you pay for the atmosphere. Just remember to check if your hotdogs/burgers come with fries or not, as they are usually additional items which tend to rack up the bill a bit.
I have to admit though, my favourite part of our visit was the drive there. The Parlour is out towards Skipton, and the drive from Knaresborough was exquisite. It was a sunny day, the roads are long and fast (making it an easy drive), you vary between picturesque villages, to rolling Yorkshire hills, to winding roads up the sides of what look like mountains in the middle of America.
The Parlour itself is surrounded by views of the Yorkshire countryside (as modelled by my sister), making it feel a bit hidden. I assure you, it’s not though. Billy Bob’s Parlour gets very busy so it may be preferable to book a table if you’re planning on going on a weekend.
As we signed away our responsibility for ourselves, we were plunged into a training class for how to use our safety clips and then sent off to meet our fate in the forest.
Over 6 courses, you climb your way up trees, across wooden bridges and obstacle courses, before flying back to the ground via zip lines. Each course gets gradually higher, and the zipping so get longer.
Go Ape is certainly not for the faint hearted, but if you manage to power through it then the adrenaline rush is great! The hardest part is putting your trust into your safety clips and leaping out onto the zip lines and ‘Tarzan swings’. (Handy tip: it’s easier to jump if you sit into your harness and just let yourself drop, as you feel a bit more relaxed and can feel the tension of the safety clips working.)
There is a kids area for the younger ones and an adults/teenager area too. I can guarantee you, the kids will not be scared and have the time of their lives; the parents will be wishing they’d never come along – why are children not scared of anything?!
The amazing moments that make it worth it are the zip lines – I honestly felt like I was flying through the trees and the views were remarkable!
Ps. There are also bike trails, a large cafe, and a kids playground, so it can entertain for the full day so you don’t have to go elsewhere!
Aldwark Manor Golf & Spa Hotel
If you are a teacher in need of a bit of relaxation before the school year begins, take yourself off for a spa break to calm your nerves.
The nearest Q Hotel to me is Aldwark Manor, near York, and it never fails to disappoint. (Check out the Q Hotels website for the other locations across the UK.)
You can get awesome deals for a variety of packages, ranging from spa days to overnight breaks.
From £99 per person, you can get an overnight stay, lunch, breakfast, dinner, access to the spa and a spa treatment. It’s the perfect combination for some much-needed time to yourself, or with a friend!
Send the summer out by making memories!
It’s much more fulfilling than sitting in front of the TV all day, bored.
This post has been transferred from my old site dedicated to the North of England, northernlovin.wordpress.com, dated September 2 2016.