Posts Tagged family days out

Father’s day, teddy bears, pints and scarecrows

Scarecrow picture by Flickr user Tim Green

Scarecrow picture by Flickr user Tim Green

This Sunday is Father’s Day and it’s shaping up to be a lovely weekend for lots of activities!

It’s a special Father’s Day teddy bear picnic at Newquay Zoo on Sunday. Great fun for the family and fathers get special half price entry. Children under 15 will get in for free if they bring their teddy bear for the picnic! Face painting will be available throughout the day, and find out about the animals at the daily keeper talks.

Dads go free at Newquay‘s Blue Reef Aquarium this Sunday. Learn about the roles of fathers in the ocean, from dedicated seahorses and not so dedicated sea turtles.

How about a pasty and a pint courtesy of Pennywell Farm, Buckfastleigh? Dads will also be able to have a go at some falconry or have a blast on the Red Rocket.

This weekend is the annual Scarecrow Festival in Devon‘s East Budleigh. Expect all the lovely festivities, foods and drinks from a normal village fete, but with a surreal but wonderful display of scarecrows throughout the village!

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Falmouth Spring Festival

Falmouth picture by Flickr user Nigel_Brown

Falmouth picture by Flickr user Nigel_Brown

Enjoy an array of happy springtime events from 13th-30th March as part of the Falmouth Spring Festival in Cornwall, perfect for a pre-Easter getaway. 

The festival celebrates Falmouth’s open and green spaces through music, dance, community activities, sport and art. A large town, port and resort beside one of the world’s most beautiful natural harbours, Falmouth is a brilliant place to visit for beaches, sailing and sightseeing.

On the 13th, pupils from local schools, together with students from Falmouth University, will paint the town yellow with displays of daffodils and decorations in over 100 shop windows.

Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd March is a free games event called Mar Games on the Moor. From 10am to 4pm, you and the family can enjoy dodging a swing ball, playing giant snakes and ladders, connect 4 or quiots. Also on that weekend is the Mar Cider and Folk Fayre, with a great range of bands and a choice of over 20 scrumptious ciders from across the West Country. Events Square will also host a marquee full of food and craft stalls and children’s activities from 10am until late.

Throughout the festival there will also be lots of different guided walks covering topics such as foraging for food, astronomy, nordic walking, beach-combing, wildlife and history. Different grades and duration mean there will be something for everybody!

For more information on these and the many other activities taking place, visit the website.

Sitting on the edge of Falmouth and only a five minute walk to Swanpool beach and seven minutes to the beautiful Gyllingvase beach by cliff and coastal paths is this lovely private apartment on the first floor of a private house. The comfortable accommodation offers a terraced garden (with table/chairs, loungers and gas barbecue) and 180 degree views across to Swanpool and Falmouth Bays. There are two bedrooms (one double, one twin), a living/dining room, fitted gallery kitchen and bathroom (suite plus bath-shower). The friendly owners live unobtrusively in the main house and are delighted to offer advice on days out etc if requested.

 

View from living room

Living room

 

Double bedroom

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Yorkshire events this weekend

Doctor Who exhibition picture by Flickr User AllisonStein

Doctor Who exhibition picture by Flickr User AllisonStein

As a nod to Yorkshire being voted one of the must see regions in the world recently, here are a few of the many events going on around the county this weekend.

Starting this Saturday and for the following two Saturdays before Christmas, Grassington travels back in time for its annual Dickensian Festival. This pretty village will be filled with the traditional sights and smells (only the nice ones) from this bygone era. Lights will adorn the streets and the traditional market will abound with shopkeepers and villagers all dressed in Victorian costume. There will be street entertainers, dancers, musicians and exhibitions of traditional country crafts.

In York from this Saturday until Christmas Eve you can take a magical steam train journey to the North Yorkshire Pole to meet Santa and his elves. Families can enjoy the trip and some festive treats in the beautiful Dining Car Restaurant. A lovely day out.

On every weekend until the 2nd December is Breakfast with Santa at Stockeld Park, Wetherby, as part of its Christmas Adventure Season. Join Santa and his friends for a tasty breakfast and each child will receive a Christmas present!

The National Media Museum in Bradford is holding a special exhibition to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. One of Britain’s most popular television programmes, the exhibition will explore what it means to the many fans. Doctor Who and Me: 50 Years of Doctor Who Fans will run from 23 November 2013 – 9 February 2014.

The Headrow in Leeds will be showcasing jewellery of eight contemporary designers until 11th January. There will be beautiful collections of unique earrings, necklaces, rings, brooches and cufflinks, all perfect for Christmas gifts.

Also at the Headrow is ‘Up Front’ an exhibition showcasing 9 designers exploring colourful and characterful ceramics, glass and wood pieces.

If you’re in the mood for some theatre and you’re near Queen Street in Huddersfield this Saturday, go to see ALADDIN. Performed by the young people of Exit 25 Theatre School, watch a great production suitable for all the family.

For a list of these events and many more, go to the Welcome to Yorkshire website to help plan your visit. If you are in need of anywhere to stay, look at our range of holiday cottages in Yorkshire.

 

 

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Christmas markets

Manchester Christmas Markets picture by Flickr user fussy onion

Manchester Christmas Markets picture by Flickr user fussy onion

It’s nearing the end of November, the nights are getting bitingly cold and thoughts of Christmas are starting to creep in. So, what better way to start the festive build up than with a hot cup of mulled wine, some cheese or tasty fudge at one of the many Christmas markets setting up in towns across the country!

Manchester opened its international markets last weekend, with a two-floor bar and an enormous glowing Santa in Albert Square.

Opening this Thursday (21st November) are the West Country Christmas markets. The Cathedral Green in Exeter will be filled with over 50 local and international traders offering a variety of foods, drinks and handmade crafts, perfect for presents. Take a picturesque train journey from this semi-detached cottage (sleeps 5) situated by the waters edge with views across the bay.

This weekend on the 23rd and 24th November you’ll find a great selection of food, drink and crafts at the Food and Craft Fair in St Austell. Positioned on the site of the old china clay works at Wheal Martyn, enjoy some relaxed, hassle free shopping at this historic site. Take your treats back to the sauna at this upside down house in Talland Bay (sleeps 6).

From 27th November to 1st December Truro will host the Made in Cornwall Fair on the Lemon Quay. There will be a great range of Cornish products, from award-winning food produce to unique clothing to collectable teddy bears. Also on the Lemon Quay on 4th December will be the Primestock Show when town meets country and you can get up close to Cornwall’s finest livestock.

And finally, Santa will be arriving by boat in the picturesque, seaside town of Fowey on 29th November to lead a lantern procession through the village. After which, there will be two days of entertainment, food and drink. Stroll back to this elegant Victorian house (sleeps 7) with views across the river.

 

 

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Lumiere Durham 2013

Keyframes by Groupe Laps

Keyframes by Groupe Laps. Photo by E. Artesero

Yesterday we drove from Manchester to Durham to see the light spectacular that is Durham Lumiere festival, probably one of the most prominent light festivals currently in the UK.

Its popularity showed, as thousands upon thousands of people were walking around Durham’s streets in search of the series of light-based art installations spread across the city.

We did not have reserved tickets for the central portion of the trail, so had to explore the outer pieces first. This worked out well as there seemed to be many queues for the central part, and had we started there first we might not have had time to go around the outer pieces.

Platonic Spin by Nathaniel Rackowe. Photo by E.Artesero

Platonic Spin by Nathaniel Rackowe. Photo by E.Artesero

Favourite pieces on the outer part were ‘Keyframes’ by Groupe Laps, a large collection of illuminated stickmen climbing the former Durham Miners’ Hall. Platonic Spin by Nathaniel Rackowe was a lovely patterned light sculpture going through sequences which drew out the space into lines and rectangles floating in the gardens.

[M]ondes by Atsara. Photo by E.Artesero

[M]ondes by Atsara. Photo by E.Artesero

The long wait to get in to the central part of the festival was worth it however, particularly for the illusory ‘[M]ondes’ by Atsara at the Cathedral Nave and The College. Lights like fireflies flitted across the gardens in a beautiful dance and hypnotic concentric circles and other projections formed the space into something quiet but magical.

Well worth a visit, but be prepared for crowds as the festival will only grow in popularity!

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Lumiere Durham 14th-17th November

Deadgood Studio 'Rainbow'

Deadgood Studio ‘Rainbow’ Lumiere 2011

Starting tonight and running each evening until Sunday is the incredible Lumiere Festival in Durham. One of the UK’s largest and most spectacular light festivals of the year, Lumiere promises to be every bit as exciting as previous years, and what’s more, it’s free to attend!

There will be some of the most innovative uses of lighting technology, from the most complex 3D projections in the form of a huge Elephant walking through the urban environment; and Crown of Light, video-mapping at its best on the cathedral; to simple technologies such as Litre of Light, which uses old plastic bottles and refracted sunlight to create a solar bulb bright enough to light up a home.

There will also be all manner of neon delights, stained glass cars, ghostly lit up dresses and musical tents. Perhaps one of the most impressive installations of the festival will be Solar Equation, an impressive simulation of the sun hung over the Durham University Science Site which will feature projections generated by live mathematical equations that simulate the turbulence, flares and sunspots that can be seen on the surface of the sun.

This year there are free tickets to the central part of the festival up until 7.30pm. This is to ensure that it does not get too crowded in the most popular areas at the busiest visiting time. Unfortunately all tickets have been reserved, however there are plenty of artworks outside of the central zone to visit before being allowed in without a ticket after 7.30pm.

I went along in 2011 and had a brilliant time. I wrote up my experience and pictures on my personal blog, which you can view here. I intend to go again this year and will report back for those of you unable to make it! However, if you are able to get to Durham this weekend, I certainly recommend you go.

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August bank holiday in the West Country

Newlyn Fish Festival picture by Flickr user pandrcutts

Newlyn Fish Festival picture by Flickr user pandrcutts

The August bank holiday is nearly upon us, and if you are visiting the South West for a holiday then here is a selection of just some of the fun things happening this weekend and beyond.

The Watchet Festival (23rd-25th August) is a family friendly music festival with amazing views of the stunning West Somerset coastline and beyond. If you’re looking for a last minute break for the family, then day tickets are available at the festival and this stunning newly converted barn (sleeps 8) is a short drive away in the village of Winsford.

The Newlyn Fish Festival (26th August) is held at one of Cornwall’s most distinctive fishing ports. What better place to see live cooking demonstrations and a seafood auction than at the place the fish was caught! The festival hosts a variety of entertainment and fun for all the family.

A little after the bank holiday from the 27th-30th August is the Bude Jazz Festival. A mix of free parade sessions across the pretty little town and ticketed events available to purchase on the day at various venues, it’s a good chance to get your jazz stomp on! Search for holiday cottages in Bude.

The Great Dorset Steam Fair (28th August – 1st September) boasts over 200,000 visitors to this extravaganza of an event, dubbed “THE” National Heritage Show of the year. Entertainment is spread across 600 acres of the enormous show ground at Tarrant Hinton, near Blandford Forum. Many interests are catered for, from steam engines to heavy horses, ancient farm crafts to stunt displays, the list goes on! Stay at this beautiful Helpful Holidays semi-detached Grade II listed cottage in Okeford Fitzpane (sleeps 4) or search for more Dorset cottages on our main site.

If you can’t make it to the Newlyn Fish Festival, or if you had a taste and want more, then on 1st September travel to Clovelly, North Devon, for the Lobster and Crab Feast in the iconic harbour. Not only that, but you can enjoy folk music, arts and crafts and some street theatre to keep you entertained. Still with availability is this single-storey house (sleeps 7) with views of the sea to Welcombe Mouth.

 

 

 

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Tatton Park adventure

On the Beatrix Potter Trail in Tatton Park. Picture by Elisa Artesero

On the Beatrix Potter Trail in Tatton Park. Picture by Elisa Artesero

I visited Tatton Park this Easter weekend for a spot of photography in its gorgeous selection of gardens. Little did I know that I’d also find myself caught up in the hustle and bustle of the many family activities taking place across the park!

Beatrix Potter inspired the weekend’s events; these included a Peter Rabbit trail across the gardens, the Pigling Bland trail and the Easter storyteller in the farm, and also magic shows and Punch and Judy shows in the stable yard. An adventure playground, an old-fashioned style merry-go-round, and storytelling time in the barn rooms also added to a long list of things for families to do.

I bumped into Peter Rabbit several times as he tried to hide from Mr McGregor, and found myself unwittingly following the Peter Rabbit trail across the gardens, meeting many of Potter’s most cherished characters along the way. It seemed an especially good day out for parents looking for some entertainment for their children.

Japanese Garden picture by Elisa Artesero

Japanese Garden picture by Elisa Artesero

It was also a lovely place to take photos, particularly the Japanese garden which could only be observed from its periphery so as to keep the careful planting in tact. It was so picturesque, it looked like something from a picture book. The grounds just outside of the main area were ideal for a more peaceful walk away from the popular activity areas. They were also great for a bit of wildlife photography, I saw some young deer settled down near the lake and there was also a special hut for bird watchers.

Deer at Tatton Park. Picture by Elisa Artesero

Deer at Tatton Park. Picture by Elisa Artesero

Luckily, the activities don’t stop at this bank holiday weekend. Many of them continue on throughout the school holidays and beyond, so you have plenty of time to visit yet. For instance, from now until the 12th April it is lambing fortnight at the farm, the ‘Beatrix Potter’s Life’ exhibition in the Mansion runs until 1st September, plus many more events and activities.

If you like the sound of Tatton Park and are also looking for a break away in Cheshire one weekend, you won’t go far wrong with Broomfield Barns (sleeps 5), nestled in the Cheshire countryside and near some award-winning local pubs. For this holiday cottage, and many more, visit our main site for details.

If you would like to see some more of my pictures of the day, please see my website elisaartesero.wordpress.com

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