A version of this post first appeared on my old blog. As it’s holiday season, I’m re-posting a blog about a family holiday. I’m rather surprised I first posted this without any photos, but I can’t even find any from that holiday on Facebook. Settle Play Barn has closed down but I’ve left in that part of the blog post because the girls liked Nana Pat’s crafts so much.
We spent the week in a farm cottage on the border of Lancashire and Yorkshire. The complex had won an eco-tourism award and I’m unsure whether that enhanced or detracted from our holiday. Tap water came from a bore hole, and stank of sulphur. They had to drain the hot water system so Munchkin and her cousin could have a bath without chunks of sediment floating in it. The decor also seemed a little tired and dusty – maybe that’s more environmentally friendly than regular painting and dusting. That said, there was an on-site indoor pool that went down really well with the kids.
We’ve visited some lovely kiddy-friendly tourist attractions this week, and had a fabulous meal out for our wedding anniversary:
- Skipton Castle – Munchkin has wanted to visit a castle for a while. Skipton Castle didn’t disappoint. There’s just enough information to keep pre school children interested. The castle is compact enough for toddlers and those with restricted mobility to walk round without getting exhausted. We left with the obligatory toy sword! The best thing is, it’s free for under 5s.
- Thornton Hall Country Park – This farm park had some extras that we hadn’t experienced before. The children collected eggs (though Munchkin was disappointed they weren’t chocolate!), fed animals, and went on a barrel ride. There was a toddler music and yoga group there, which Munchkin enjoyed whilst her cousin staged a walkout. Munchkin’s favourite things were bottle-feeding the lambs, and milking the pretend cow.
- Bowland Wild Boar Park was on a similar theme to Thornton Hall, but some of the animals were more exotic, and the play equipment more varied, albeit outdoor. Munchkin milked another imitation cow, and cuddled a chick. She refused to feed the lambs – I think they were more boisterous than the Thornton Hall ones. This was probably our most expensive trip of the week.
- Settle Play Barn – We were a tad put off by the industrial nature of the Play Barn when we first arrived. This was soon forgotten when Nana Pat arrived! Pat is a former playgroup leader and runs children’s craft sessions at the Play Barn once a week. We stayed all morning, and the girls didn’t really bother with the soft play. Pat got the kids making fathers’ day cards and gifts. Munchkin and her cousin made gift after gift. Pat even stayed late so they could finish an extra item. They also went outside to watch the steam train that runs past the Play Barn’s back door. The soft play is OK – we’ve probably been to better, but the activities make up for that. The food is quite tasty too.
We went to The Box Tree in Ilkley for our anniversary dinner. The food and the service were superb. If it wasn’t so far from home, I’d love to go back.