Easter is nearly upon us, and whilst for me it is often a time spent overindulging on chocolate of all different shapes and sizes, we must recognise that this is also a special time a year where friends and families get together and enjoy the break from the normal schedule.
For this blog we’re focusing on Yorkshire, looking into all the different ways you could mix up your Easter holiday within one of northern England’s largest and more historic counties.
- Giant Easter Egg Hunt at RHS Garden Harlow Carr
- Whistlestop Valley’s Easter Eggspress
- Thornton Hall Country Park
- See a giant Easter Bunny at Bolton Abbey!
- Mother Shipton’s Cave
- Eureka! The National Children’s Museum
- Cannon Hall Farm Easter Lambing
- To summarise…
Giant Easter Egg Hunt at RHS Garden Harlow Carr
Although no one is ever too old to enjoy Easter egg hunts, it might be worth bringing the children along to RHS Garden Harlow Carr for this one!
Starting from Saturday 1st of April at 10am, you and your family are welcome to explore one of Yorkshire’s finest gardens, whilst on the look-out for the hidden, giant eggs. It is based in Harrogate and the eggs will be out there to be hunted up until Monday the 17th of April at 5pm.
As we’ve mentioned already, the Easter eggs you are looking for are huge, but the garden also spans nearly 60 acres so finding all of them will not be easy! However, if you do manage to complete the Easter egg hunt, as a reward for your hard work you will receive a free, tasty chocolate treat. So, not only is this a good way to incentivise getting the children out of the house, but a day of exploring is likely to wear them out for the evening as well!
There’s other smaller activities going on around the garden too, such as workshops and adventure walks, which you can find out more about on the RHS website.
Whistlestop Valley’s Easter Eggspress
Now we’re heading on over to Huddersfield in West Yorkshire where we have one of the most truly iconic Easter events in the area.
The Whistlestop Valley trains are historic and offer a great day out for families. Visitors can enjoy a 3-mile-long route through the scenic Yorkshire countryside (which takes around an hour) and opt to get off at designated pit stops which encourage children to get involved in activities. Adults can stop off and get some refreshments too!
But for Easter this year, Whistlestop Valley are once again pulling out all the stops and offering a fun-packed Easter-themed train adventure. Passengers on the train can enjoy a 50 minute train ride through the countryside before getting the chance to meet the Easter Bunny himself. There are also other characters which will be there. The children will be challenged to an egg and spoon race against the White Rabbit, a round of croquet against the Queen of Hearts and an Easter bonnet making task with The Hatter.
It is important to note that this full Easter experience is scheduled based on time slots, so it is worth checking out the Whistlestop Valley website to ensure you know exactly when the best times are to visit. In terms of prices, children under 2 years old can come along for free, whereas as both older children and adults must pay just under £15 for the experience.
Thornton Hall Country Park
The award-winning Thornton Hall Country Park had to make it onto our list, purely based on how much there is do! Thornton Hall truly is as family friendly as it gets, packed with a wide range of family day out style activities for everyone to enjoy.
Better yet though, the Country Hall is also hosting an ‘Easter Eggstravaganza’ weekend between the 7th of April and the 10th of April! You can book your tickets to attend on either Good Friday, Saturday, Easter Sunday or Bank Holiday Monday, with a free Easter Egg waiting for you on arrival.
On any of those days you can meet the Easter Bunny, discover traditional Easter games, watch the Eggsperimento live magic show, featuring songs and dancing, meet the various walkabout characters, visit the farm animals or try and find the hidden letters throughout the Springtime Easter trail. If you find all these hidden letters, you’ll win a prize!
Check out Thornton Hall Farm’s website and find out more details about the weekend and how to book your tickets.
See a giant Easter Bunny at Bolton Abbey!
Famed for its 12-century Bolton Priory ruins, Bolton Abbey in Wharfedale, North Yorkshire offers another great Easter activity which can be enjoyed in the area’s wonderful countryside. The ancient woodland here is a sight to behold, with the way it encapsulates the astonishing beauty of the Yorkshire Dales.
Come Easter time though, the Bolton Abbey becomes the home of many eggs-traordinary Easter bunnies! All year round the organisers of this fantastic, annual Easter trail decorate these larger bunnies with these creative, unique designs and place them all across Strid Wood in the Bolton Abbey.
From Saturday the 1st of April the Easter fun trail will be open to walk every day until Sunday 16th April. Upon arrival visitors will be given a free Easter trail sheet which they will use to mark down where they’ve seen a colourful Easter Bunny. Those who feel a little creative themselves might want to then use that trail sheet to draw their own Easter Bunny design and enter it into the ‘Design an Easter Bunny’ competition. Whichever design wins will become the design for one Easter Bunny which will feature on the following years Easter trail.
Just be aware that this activity can be quite popular, so be sure to book your car parking ticket and space in advance!
Mother Shipton’s Cave
Would Easter holidays in Yorkshire be complete without a visit to Mother Shipton’s Cave?
Based in Knaresborough, near the River Nidd, in North Yorkshire, this cave and it’s ‘petrifying’ well is England’s oldest tourist attraction. Tourists have been visiting this cave since 1630!
The story behind this cave is focused solely on Mother Shipton herself – the country’s most famous prophetess. She was born in the cave and was famous for predicting the fates of major rulers and the occurrence of significant historical events such as the Great Fire of London. Then there’s the Petrifying Well, believed to be the work of witchcraft. This is because objects which are placed into the well acquire a stone-like exterior after a long period of time because of the way the water reacts with them. These transformation were (and still are!) believed to be magic.
The mysteries associated with this attraction make it intriguing enough, but this Easter holiday you can also immerse yourself in what this landmark has to offer, whether you want to go on the relaxing walk along the trail, listen to the storyteller’s tales, or interact with the fantastic Springtime displays.
Eureka! The National Children’s Museum
Next, we’re off to Halifax in West Yorkshire, but for something slightly different from what you’d typically expect from an Easter attraction. You might expect bunnies, Easter eggs, traditional Easter games and chocolate, but not as much here!
This Easter holidays the Eureka! National Children’s Museum, which day-to-day is an educational, interactive facility run as a non-profit organisation, is showcasing a ‘Commotion on the Ocean’ theme.
Between the 1st April and the 16th April, all the family can come along and get stuck in with the various activities and ocean themed games, whilst also sitting back and enjoying the different engaging performances. There’s enough going on at the museum to keep the children entertained for hours!
Cannon Hall Farm Easter Lambing
From West Yorkshire to South Yorkshire, and more specifically Barnsley, because next we have the Cannon Hall Farm. Easter or not, we really recommend visiting this lovely family-run farm, based in the stunning Pennine foothills, because whether you want your children to let off some steam, check out the fresh produce, or pet the animals, there’s loads to do here.
For the Easter holidays though, again between the 1st April and the 16th April, Cannon Hall Farm will be open to allowing visitors to welcome their new lambs which normally arrive in the Spring holiday time. Cannon Hall Farm are widely known for their ‘Easter Lambing’ and their expertise around the in-and-outs of lambing season.
For just under £12, visitors can meet the newly born lambs, chat to the farmers and ask them questions, watch bottle-feeding demonstrations and listen to daily talks which provide some interesting background information about the animals on the farm. You can even see some sheep and ferret racing!
Be sure to visit the Cannon Hall Farm website and take a look at their daily schedule so you can make sure that you did miss anything.
All in all, whilst it is England’s largest county, we’re still amazed at how much there is to do in Yorkshire during the Easter holidays. Yorkshire is blessed with such a wonderful countryside and many brilliant attractions, making getting outside and enjoying the (hopefully less wet!) fresh Springtime weather easy.
Ultimately, there’s something for everyone in Yorkshire this Easter. Whether you’re an animal lover, or into your Easter egg hunts, or you’re just after some entertainment to keep your children engaged, Yorkshire has all you need to get you and your family and friends out of the house for some Easter fun this year. Easter’s not just about the chocolate eggs you know!
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