So that’s it, schools out for summer!
This is our first proper 6 weeks summer holidays after Charlie started nursery earlier this year. I really want to make it a fun filled summer but I’m sure, like so many others of you, are a bit cautious of the purse strings now more than ever.
I thought I would share 10 budget friendly activities I plan to do this summer in Wensleydale and the surrounding Yorkshire Dales with my two children (Charlie aged 3 and Emilia aged 18 months).
1. Cotter Force and Hawes Playground
So we have done this quite a few times already, but the children love it! It’s a simple short walk of about half a mile along a superb accessible path. The children enjoy going down to the rivers edge to chuck in a few stones into the water. We then stop off at Hawes play park which is one of our favourites – safe and contained, lots of things to play on and a sandpit which Charlie loves!
2. Playgrounds Galore!
We’re very lucky in the Dales to have lots of lovely playgrounds to visit, the plan is to visit a different one each week including Hawes, Bainbridge, Carperby, Leyburn Shawl and Reeth. On the nicer weather days we will for sure be taking a picnic with us and making a day of it!
3. Settle Flower Pot Festival
I’ve only recently learnt of the Settle Flower Pot Festival but after seeing some photos of it on Instagram I cannot wait to visit and I’m hoping my two are going to love it also! The Flowerpot Festival is free to wander around but there are three different trails available each taking in different parts of the town. Flowerpot Trail & Quiz Leaflets costs £2.00 each or you can buy all three trails for £5.00.
4. The Wensleydale Creamery
Ok, I’m a bit embarrassed to say this, but I have never been around the Wensleydale Creamery! Sure I’ve visit lots of times for lunch and to buy cheese but I have never actually been and seen how the cheese is made – oh the shame! So this year is the year we’re finally going to change this!
5. West Burton Waterfall and Playground
So we go to West Burton every Monday morning for playgroup and it is such a small beautiful village. We haven’t visited the waterfall for a long time so would like to have a wander down again and of course the must do play on the playground in the middle of the village!
6. Wensley Bike Ride
This is inspired by Charlie’s school trip this year! The lane from Wensley to Bolton Hall is long, straight and flat so is ideal for our little people who are just perfecting their cycling skills! I’m hoping Emilia will have a go on the hand-me-down balance bike as well so I’ll be sure to be ready for some running after them!
7. Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival
We visited this many times when I was a child so I cannot wait to take my two to it! Running from Saturday 13th August to Sunday 21st August it is a popular and busy event but a lovely walk around. There is also a lovely playground at Kettlewell (there’s a bit of a theme running here!) and we would probably take a picnic to enjoy as well.
8. Dales Countryside Museum
Another one of those things on your doorstep that you very rarely do! Whilst I think the children may be too young for part of the museum, the creation station located in the old train sounds to be right up their street!
9. Bolton Castle
Charlie is obsessed with Bolton Castle and always points it out each time we drive passed! I think they may be a bit too young to really appreciate it however we will give it a try!
10. Aysgarth Falls (of course!)
Now I couldn’t complete this list without a mention of Aysgarth Falls now could I! As I type this, the falls are so incredibly low and perfect for exploring the rocks and pools. The National Park Centre has some lovely activity sheets for the children. We stock fishing nets in the teashop so I plan to buy a couple of these and see what we can catch!
I will of course be visiting as many little teashops, cafe and shops on my way as I can, whilst I'm working to a budget I do also hope to support the small independent businesses across the Dales be it buying ice cream, lunch or just tea and cake. And of course, its all in the name of market research, needs must and all that!
Now I hope you can gather some inspiration from these suggestions. Any recommendations are always highly welcome as well!