Gateway to the Dales and rich with history, Skipton is a picturesque and fascinating place to explore.
One of the best walks in Skipton is the route through Skipton Castle Woods, a walk that combines scenery with culture and is accessible to all.
The main path through Skipton Castle Woods is a gentle, family-friendly ‘there-and-back’ stroll between the main entrance and the Great Flood Bridge, alongside Eller Beck.
You can extend this route but exploring some of the upper paths in the river valley. These are accessed either via a set of steps or a climb up a fairly steep slope (with handrail).
Both of these routes are roughly a mile in length.
For a more strenuous but still relatively accessible walk, try the Earl of Thanet Trail, a circular route from town to Skipton Castle which offers glorious views through the trees. This route is about 2.5 miles.
Children will love exploring these woods, a wonderful natural playground overflowing with wildlife. Use the Woodland Trust’s ‘nature spotter activity sheet’ to tick off bugs, birds, and types of trees. Kingfishers around the Round Dam Pond are a real highlight.
For week 36 of our year-long Walkshire campaign, we’re doing an East Riding of Yorkshire Takeover, sponsored by Visit East Yorkshire. Discover seven wonderful walks through the Wolds and along the captivating coastline of Yorkshire.
1. Bridlington Walking Festival – Heritage Trail
Take a trip down memory lane on this easy 1-mile heritage trail along the seaside promenade in Bridlington, using the #WhatWasHere app to bring the past to life. Discover more.
Heritage Open Days is an annual ten-day celebration of England’s heritage and culture that takes place every September. Thousands of volunteers join over 2,000 local experts and organisations to put on an astonishing number of special events that offer a unique insight into the country’s history.
Unsurprisingly, there are endless Heritage Open Days events in Yorkshire each year, from walking tours around historic sites and iconic city streets to fun family-friendly events which bring the past to life. This year there are also several online offerings for those who would prefer virtual sessions.
One of the most special aspects of the Heritage Open Days festival is that several private buildings with notable architecture, artwork or stories open their doors to the public, offering visitors the chance to see precious historical gems that are usually out of bounds – for a short time only.
With hundreds of Heritage Open Days events happening across Yorkshire between 10th – 19th September 2021, it is hard to choose where to go and what to see. Use this round-up of our favourite events, separated into handy categories, as your guide to Yorkshire’s Heritage Open Days for 2021.
Whether you are a history buff, architecture enthusiast or art lover, there is a walking tour for you. Two of our highlights are the ‘Heritage Plaques of Harrogate’ trails, examining the people who paved the way for this celebrated spa town, and ‘Voicing the Hidden’,a creative street tour through Fossgate and Walmgate in York led by a local poet, a filmmaker, and a historian. Those who like to be active will enjoy the ‘Huddersfield Heritage 5k’, a relaxed guided jog around the city’s most historic buildings which offers insights into the legacy of the influential Ramsden family. A one-mile walking version of this tour is also on offer.
Not Normally Open
One of the most special aspects of the Heritage Open Days initiative is that some of England’s most treasured old buildings that are usually closed to visitors are opened to the public for the duration of the festival. See exceptional architecture and stained glass at All Souls Church in Halifax, on a guided tour or independent visit. Experience the unique artwork of the Church of St. Martin-on-the-Hill, ‘Scarborough’s Pre-Raphaelite gem’. Hear a potted version of Thundercliffe Grange’s near-1,000-year history whilst sitting by the Russian Bath in the property’s gorgeous 22-acre garden.
There are many opportunities to get unique insights into some of Yorkshire’s most historical sites. In addition to showcasing remarkable wall paintings that are usually kept hidden from view, there are also recent discoveries to be shared at Beverley Friary, a neighbour of Beverley Minster with a melting pot of different architectural styles. At Chevin Park you can explore the Lost World of the Victorian Asylum whilst admiring this grade II listed building. For the green-fingered or those seeking an outdoor experience with a difference, check out the ‘Apothecary Guided Tour’ at the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield.
A lot of the Heritage Open Days events across Yorkshire are suitable for children, but there are some sessions that were obviously designed with kids in mind and will not fail to enchant and entertain little ones. Our favourite is the Historic Ghost Walk in Wakefield. Fountains Abbey, with its playground, gorgeous grounds, and endless activities, is offering one-off free entry to all visitors. You can even enjoy a screening of Shrek in the sensational gardens at Wentworth Castle which will make the film even more magical.
Yorkshire is ready to celebrate the arts this autumn – and Yorkshire’s arts community has not disappointed.
From films and theatre to music and literature, there are Yorkshire arts events to satisfy all interests. Here is our round-up of the top 6 unmissable autumn arts events in Yorkshire – which will you be attending?
Top 6 unmissable Yorkshire arts events for autumn 2021
1. Sheffield Showcase, Sheffield 2nd – 5th September
This four-day extravaganza features over a dozen Sheffield arts and culture groups who have joined together to create a diverse programme of events held at various locations across the city. Soothe away stress with jazz or chamber music, explore thought-provoking themes through a socio-political comedy, and introduce children to the beloved bard with a slapstick performance of a Midsummer Night’s Dream – complete with lightsabres – performed by the Rubbish Shakespeare Company. Check out the full Sheffield Showcase line-up.
2. 80s Classical, Leeds Friday 10th September
The long-awaited return of this 80s music event following its sold-out world premiere in 2019 and cancellation last year. Various 80s icons are returning to Leeds on Friday 10th September to perform an open-air symphonic spectacular in Millennium Square with the 60-piece orchestra of Opera North. Performers include Jimmy Somerville, Brit Award-winning duo Go West and Yorkshire’s John Parr. Book your tickets now before it sells out!
3. Ilkley Literature Festival, Ilkley 1st – 17th October
Ilkley Lit Fest is back with another world-class line-up of authors, poets and playwrights, performing and describing the journey behind their celebrated literary works. The diverse schedule also celebrates pictorial creativity in the form of film and visual arts events. The festival is operating online as well as physically, with live-streamed and digital-only sessions running alongside the in-person experiences and workshops. Browse the full ILF line-up.
4. Widescreen Weekend, Bradford 7th – 10th October
This year sees the 25th anniversary of the Widescreen Weekend, held at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford. This popular festival celebrates the past, present and future of film with screened restorations and ‘rediscoveries’, and ties into the museum’s current Sound Season exhibition which showcases cinema technologies and the sensational scores of the legendary composer, Ennio Morricone. Showings include Spartacus (1960), Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet and family-friendly Missing Link. Find out more.
5. York Theatre Royal, York 30th September – 2nd October, 19th – 23rd October
York Theatre Royal has some fantastic high-profile shows in October 2021. Matthew Bourne’s The Midnight Bell reaffirms his masterful storytelling ability with an evocative exploration of the human heart through the working-class nightlife of 1930s London. West End hit production of Sir Arthur Conon Doyle’s celebrated The Hound of the Baskervilles, performed by the award-winning Original Theatre Company, is a delightfully inventive and farcical twist on the greatest detective story of all time. Book tickets here.
6. Coastal Sculpture Collection, East Riding of Yorkshire Dates TBC
Yorkshire-born artist and sculptor, Emma Stothard, has spent the last year working with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Yorkshire Coast BID to create the Coastal Sculpture Collection, a series of inspiration pieces that will be displayed along the Yorkshire coastline including Flamborough, Whitby and Scarborough. The first to be installed is the ‘Spurn Butterfly’ at Spurn Point – an exquisite 8ft butterfly created out of copper and bronze wire that signifies the vital coastal conservation work of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. More to be revealed soon.
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