Thursday, 30 May 2013

Worsbrough Mill and Country Park.

Over the bank holiday weekend, we went for a walk around Worsbrough Mill and Country Park. We regularly walk around Worsbrough Mill, as there are a few different gentle walks around there. It allows me to get a little fresh air and exercise, without it feeling like a chore.

When I was younger, we would come to the Mill with my school. I remember finding it really exciting hearing the huge chug and swish of the waterwheel, the grind of the massive millstones and seeing the bags of flour bursting through a trapdoor in the floor. The Mill is still fully operational, and you can watch them milling on bank holidays and the last Sunday of the month. You can also purchase the flour that is made in their shop.

Worsbrough Mill and Country Park is free, but parking costs £3 for the day. The Mill is on the Transpennine Trail, and is a nice place to stop for refreshments, as part of a longer journey. I would ride along the Transpennine Trail as a child, with my family and neighbours. There would be nine of us riding in a long snake along the paths. I was inevitably always lagging behind at the back. It really is great for young children and those of all different abilities, as the terrain is relatively smooth and flat.

If you like to spot wildlife, there is plenty to see. There are bird watching huts scattered around the reservoir and fishing facilities also.  I love seeing all the wildlife around the park. Unfortunately, I am often too busy chatting to grab my camera in time. On our last visit, there was a heron perfectly posing for me, but as I was nattering to my mum, I was not quite quick enough to capture it. Also, if you love animals you should visit the nearby Wigfield Farm, complete with cafe, farm shop, a variety of animals (including cute meerkats), golf and play area. Admission is £3 for adults and £1.50 for children.

What I like most about having a stroll around the Mill is the friendly atmosphere as every person utters some sort of pleasantry when you pass them. There is a calming and peaceful atmosphere. Well there is most of the time, but as a child we would play with lazer guns and sensors, running and hiding behind the obliging trees and foliage. I'm sure we managed to disturb plenty of fishermen in our time!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Forbidden Corner

I must admit in many respects I am still a child at heart. Therefore, in the lead up to us going to Forbidden Corner, I was very excited. I can safely say it did not disappoint. If you have children, or are like me and filled with childlike wonder, I urge you to go.

Forbidden Corner really is a unique experience. It was conceived as a private folly-filled garden, which has now been opened to the public. As you walk through the gates, you feel as though you have walked into a fairytale, There are mazes, chambers, tunnels, secret gardens and water features. Some of the pieces have a real ethereal beauty, whilst others have an eerie quality. For your money you get all of this, with breathtaking vistas of the Yorkshire Dales as well.

I do not want to give too much away, as part of the beauty of Forbidden Corner is the surprises. There are a few things, however, that you should know. The first is that you are unable to just turn up to Forbidden Corner, you must book in advance. You book the time that you would like to arrive. This is an attempt to reduce congestion. The second is that due to the small spaces, many stairs and nooks and crannies, this is not suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs and those with mobility issues. There is a lot of walking, as you explore, so bear this in mind. The third is there are some dark tunnels that could be considered scary by some small children. Having said that, I suppose that this is dependent on the child's temperament  We went with a 3 year old who was not fazed and loved every moment. The fourth is that you should be prepared to get wet to some degree. We wore our rain macs.

There is lots to see. You are not given a map of the garden, but a checklist.  We stayed for 3 hours, but did not see everything. We managed to get lost several times. This might say more about my navigational skills than anything. (I never achieved my orienteering badge in girl guides) You keep meeting up with the same people as you wander round. This provides a jolly, sociable atmosphere, with children sharing experiences and surprises.

I cannot comment on the cafe, as we opted to take a picnic. There is a pretty woodland area with picnic benches adjacent to the entrance. We did however take a look around the shop, which had a lot of reasonable priced items. The entrance fee itself is £11 for adults and £9 for children (4-15). I felt it was well worth the money to experience something that could be enjoyed by all ages and was so different.

As a family, we have always judged somewhere by the toilets. and I was very impressed with the standard of these. The sinks reminded me of Harry Potter, although I was disappointed that they were not equipped with a Moaning Myrtle.

I think this would be wonderful for a child's birthday.  I can just imagine a little group of children dressed up as wizards, witches, and fairies exploring this magical site. I cannot wait until my son is older, so we can take him and let our imaginations run wild!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Brodsworth Hall

We had a little trip to Brodsworth Hall as it was a nice clear day. I enjoy a wander round the grounds and house of Brodsworth Hall. I get free membership to English Heritage through my work, so this a place we frequent often.To be honest if I was paying I'm not sure we would go quite as much as the admission is £9.60.

Brodsworth Hall is believed to have been the inspiration for Charles Dicken's Bleak House. The house itself has been preserved well from when it was last inhabited. It is not as you would imagine a stately home to look, as it is not as grand and opulent as many of the stately homes we have visited. The interior is a little shabby and worn around the edges, but you are given a feel for how it has been inhabited throughout the years from the older bare servants quarters to the kitchen complete with 1960/70s cookbooks. Be warned the house itself does not open until 1, so you may want to plan your trip around this.

The gardens have an Italian feel to them and are maintained beautifully, with many events held throughout the year. During the summer there are lots of events at Brodsworth Hall such as the classic cars on Father's Day, Victorian Garden games on a Saturday and afternoon band concerts on a Sunday.  In the autumn, they have the magical 'Enchanted Garden' complete with fairy whisperings, lights, and refreshments of pie and peas, hot dogs and mulled wine. There is plenty of space for picnics in the surrounding grounds and you may wish to bring one as there is not a great deal of choice in the cafe. There is a nice wooden play area for children 7 and under.

Just outside the grounds is the beautiful church of St Michaels and All Angels, which is visible and accessible from Brodsworth Hall. It is well worth a little visit and I believe that tea, coffee and biscuits are available to visitors during the summer months.

I may be biased with regard to the beauty of the church, as this was the church that my husband and I were married at. In the week leading up to our wedding, however,  I was regretting the choice, as the road up to the church was impassable due to snow. It was clearly a union destined in the stars, as the morning of the wedding there was a great thaw.

Despite the literary ties, I think it is safe to say that Dickens was not referring to Brodsworth Hall when he wrote 'And I'm bored to death with it. Bored to death with this place, bored to death with my life, bored to death with myself.' (Charles Dickens, Bleak House, 1853)

Visit Brodsworth Hall website for more details.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

When the sun is shining across the sweeping lake at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, it is definitely one of those days where I feel extremely blessed to live with this gem on my doorstep. My husband does not always agree that living in Yorkshire is a pleasant experience, but he has definitely been won over by Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The park is so vast, spanning 500 acres, that every time we visit, we spot something new. I often wonder how I have managed to miss things the first time. 

It is the perfect place to visit in the Spring when the Daffodils are blooming and lambs are roaming. Admission to the park is free, but you have to pay for parking. With pieces from artists such as Anthony Gormley, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore , there are works in both indoor galleries and outdoor spaces. Modern art is not to everyone's taste, but I find it thought provoking and we usually get into quite a debate about each piece's merits. 

The park has a variety of different spaces with lakeside paths, vast grassy areas, woodland walks and plenty of picnic areas.William has already enjoyed several walks in the park. Our pram has come out of some of the off-road  treks around the park relatively unscathed. His Mummy is already quite used to cleaning sheep poo off the wheels. (Ah the joys of the countryside!) We've recently enjoyed picnics, bathed in mottled sunlight, under the shade of the huge trees. I'm hoping for more nice weather as I've asked for a pretty picnic basket for my birthday, and I'm already planning recipes!

Visit Yorkshire Sculpture Park website for further details.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Welcome to Yorkshire Bloggers!

Hello I'm Rebecca, and I am very new to the blogging game. I come from South Yorkshire, and as I was starting my blog, My Pretty Yorkshire Life, I started looking for other Yorkshire blogs. I found it really difficult to find many. This was when I thought it would great to have a little community of Yorkshire bloggers, who can share their passions, and insights into blogging.

The hopes for this site are to:

  • Create a list of Yorkshire blogs.
  • Have guest posts from Yorkshire bloggers.
  • Feature reviews of Yorkshire blogs.
  • Create a forum for Yorkshire bloggers to chat.
  • Create events for Yorkshire bloggers to meet.
  • Find hidden gems for Yorkshire day trips.
  • Share Yorkshire recipes.
  • Feature beautiful photography of our beautiful county.

If this interests you please use the Join section of the blog to see how to get involved.