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Friday, 18 November 2011

And what's so special about ... Thorp Perrow Arboretum?

To visit or not to visit. We’re speaking to the teams behind some of North Yorkshire’s best attractions and places of interest and finding out why we should go there. This week, we’re talking to the team at Thorp Perrow Arboretum, near Bedale.

So what have you got?
We have the North’s finest collection of rare and unusual trees. We hold five national plant collections and boast 66 champion trees. While admiring our trees, you can also visit our bird of prey and mammal centre, perhaps watching a flying display.

The kids can let off steam in our playground and the grown-ups can visit the plant centre, Hocus Pocus Plants, and perhaps purchase one of the trees that they have admired in the arboretum.

Why should we go there?
Thorp Perrow Arboretum is an amazing place. All year round there is something different to see. In a beautiful, peaceful and natural environment you can relax, take a walk and marvel and some of the country's rarest and most unusual trees.

We’re almost persuaded: what’s the clincher?
Santa’s interactive trail runs on Saturday 10 December and Sunday 11 December.

A magical Christmas quest like no other. Come and meet some of our winter friends on your way through the woods, then meet Santa with a special present to take home. Book early to avoid disappointment.

I’m parched, can I get a cuppa?
Thorp Perrow’s tearoom is open daily. Get a warming cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Treat yourself to our delicious homemade food. How about enjoying a sneaky cake?

When’s it open? What about accessibility? How do we get there?
Thorp Perrow Arboreum is open daily 11am – 3pm during winter months. Flying displays at 1.30pm Monday to Friday and at 11.30am and 1.30pm on Saturday and Sunday in the bird of prey and mammal centre.

The arboretum is accessible to wheelchairs. Disabled toilets are available at the tearoom and the bird centre. Electric wheelchairs are available (at a charge of £1) but must be pre-booked.

We welcome dogs in the arboretum but they must be kept on a lead at all times. Dogs are not permitted in the bird centre or mammal centre; however facilities are available there to secure them safely.

You will find Thorp Perrow Arboretum on the Bedale to Ripon road, just south of Bedale, North Yorkshire, some four miles from Leeming Bar on the A1.

Where do we find out more?
Our website: www.thorpperrow.com

Friday, 11 November 2011

And what's so special about ... Gillies Jones?

To visit or not to visit. We’re speaking to the teams behind some of the county’s best attractions and places of interest and finding out why we should go there. This week, we’re talking to Stephen Gillies and Kate Jones of the Gillies Jones glass making studio at Rosedale Abbey. They have developed an international reputation for their work. The studio’s autumn exhibition of hand-crafted Graal Goblets runs until the end of this month.

So what have you got?
A contemporary glass making studio, open to visitors year round to view a permanent exhibition of expertly crafted blown glass and buy directly from the makers.

Why should we go there?
Contemporary glass makers are rare, finely-blown work even rarer and from this remote and beautiful rural location we have established something of an international reputation for the quality of our work.

We make glass and send it all over the world and have designed and made glass for Conran, Barneys, New York and Gumps of San Francisco to name a few.

We are a proper crafts cottage industry, naturally making limited numbers of beautiful hand made glass to the very best of our ability, signing each piece and always experimenting with colour, forms and surface decoration, which is wholly inspired by our rural location.

We’re almost persuaded: what’s the clincher?
Come visit Rosedale to see how the elemental beauty of our location inspires our work and, you don’t have to just take our word for it.

Furniture expert and contemporary glass collector Christopher Payne recently said on the Priceless Antiques Roadshow after adding one of our bowls to his collection:

“This bowl here in an ancient looking shape, it's got the sort of feel of ancient Persian Roman glass probably of the first century, and this wonderful of colour and the contrast of these dark blue leaves, made by a young English couple in Rosedale Abbey, in Yorkshire, and they make bowls of this style in different colours and I’d like to collect the whole lot.”

You can also find our large sculptural vessels in several international museum collections including the V&A for which we received a commission in 2003 to make a piece for the permanent collection.

I’m parched, can I get a cuppa?
You’re spoilt for choice in Rosedale as there are loads of places to refresh yourself. For full details see www.rosedaleabbey.com Winter months the teas rooms are open on weekends only. In the village you will find Grays on the Green and Abbey Stores; two pubs always open year round for food and drink and tea and coffee during the week, Coach House and the White Horse Farm Inn. And on the weekends updale throughout November you’ll find the magical Farm House Fodder.

When’s it open? What about accessibility? How do we get there?
We are slap bang in the middle of the North York Moors National Park, accessible by car (or Moorsbus in the height of the summer).

The building is fully wheel chair accessible, though we are too small to comfortably welcome coach parties. The studio is 150 metres from the village green, find us behind the village churchyard.

Open from 1 March – 30 November and in between by appointment. (The winter months are the best time of year to be glass makers and we are still here working, but please phone ahead on 01751 417550 especially on weekends to ensure we are here to welcome you)

Where do we find out more?
www.gilliesjonesglass.co.uk
www.gilliesjones.com

Friday, 28 October 2011

And what's so special about ... the Bridge Gallery at Bedale?

To visit or not to visit. We’re speaking to the teams behind some of the county’s best attractions and places of interest and finding out why we should go there. This week, the spotlight falls on the Bridge Gallery and Tea Room, at Bedale. It opened in April, this year. 

So what have you got?
A light modern art gallery and tea room featuring amazing art, handmade jewellery and cards, along with delicious homemade cakes in a picturesque location in Bedale.

And why should we go there?
We are very unique. We sell things that you will not find elsewhere. Everything in the gallery is handmade in one way or another. If you are looking for the perfect gift, we are the place to visit.

I’m parched, can I get a cuppa?
Yes most definitely! And our tea room was recently rated five-star by the Food Standards Agency for health and hygiene.

We also have free wifi available for all our customers so you can come along and enjoy the art, spend time over lunch and catch up on emails while you are with us.

And if you mention this article in Beautiful North Yorkshire, you will receive a free cupcake to go with your coffee!

Ok, we’re almost persuaded: what’s the clincher? 
As an art lover, we have a feast for your eyes, as a cake lover we have treats to tempt you and as a coffee lover we have a large range of different blends to suit your personal taste.

When’s it open? What about accessibility? How do we get there? 
Open seven days a week (Mon –Fri 10am until 4pm, Sat 9am-5pm and Sunday 10am -4pm). We are located on The Bridge in Bedale.

We have a parking space right outside and there are three car parks within a minute's walk of the gallery.

And we are located just by the station so we are a great place to stop if you are visiting Bedale by train.

Where do we find out more? 
www.thebridgegallery.co.uk and we feature on www.bedaleonline.co.uk

Friday, 21 October 2011

And what's so special about ... Markenfield Hall?

To visit or not to visit. We’re speaking to the teams behind some of the county’s best attractions and places of interest and finding out why we should go there. This week, we’re finding out about Markenfield Hall, a fine manor house that was rarely open until ten years ago and, even now, visitors can only grace the doors on 28 days each year.

Steeped in history ... Markenfield Hall.


So what have you got?

We have the country’s most continuously inhabited fortified, moated, medieval manor house. Tucked privately away along a mile-long winding drive, just three miles south of Ripon, it has been described as Yorkshire’s best-kept secret (we know – a lot have, but we happen to believe it to be true in our case!). Not visible from the road, a glimpse of the imposing east wall cannot be seen until visitors reach the old medieval road near to the top of the drive. But for a quirk of fate – and the turnpike act of 1777 – Markenfield would be one of the most recognisable houses in Yorkshire and the nearby A61 would run along this now-bridleway just 100m from its fa├žade.

Why should we go there?

From the first glimpse of the hall from between the farm buildings, to the moment the medieval courtyard opens up as visitors pass beneath the Tudor Gatehouse, Markenfield never fails to astound. It is one of less than half a dozen houses that would still be recognised by its original builder – in this case Canon John de Markenfield.

It is the hall’s sad history that has essentially preserved it in the state of medieval magnificence that it is in today. Confiscated from the de Markenfield family in 1579 after the Rising of the North, the hall became a tenanted farm and the farmers had neither the permission nor the inclination to alter the building. A programme of restoration began in 1980 and continues to this day – within the past five years the hall has been runner up in Country Life’s search for the nation’s finest manor house and winner of the HHA and Sotheby’s Best Restoration award. We are waiting to see what the Ripon Civic Society think of us when the winners of their restoration awards are announced in October.

We’re almost persuaded: what’s the clincher?

Unlike many historic houses, Markenfield is still privately owned – and still a much loved (and very much lived in) family home. We believe that makes all the difference – you won't find red ropes and a stuffy atmosphere, what you will find is a warm and welcoming atmosphere and family clutter… plus the occasional cat, dog, swan, grandchild…

I’m parched, can I get a cuppa? 

Ah… well, that is debatable. We are currently considering whether providing a cup of tea and a bun for our lovely visitors will be possible next year. The jury is still out. If we decide to save our sanity, we will continue to point people in the direction of the various lovely eateries in the area.

When’s it open? What about accessibility? How do we get there? 

Rarely open until 2001, the hall is now open for 28 days each year – not very often, but we are certainly worth the wait! This year, we are experimenting with the concept of Mop-up Mondays – further days for those who missed our normal opening back in May and June. If this is a success, it is hoped that we will add further Mondays to the calendar throughout the year.

We have designated disabled parking (open to anyone with mobility issues – not just blue badge holders) at the side of the moat and there is wheelchair access to the ground floor of the hall. We have a book of photographs of the rooms on the first floor that wheelchair users can look through whilst they sit in front of the fire.

The entrance to the hall is on the A61 Ripon to Harrogate road, three miles south of Ripon itself. There are signs on the roadside 100m before the entrance. The drive itself is a mile long – so do keep going. We would suggest that you don’t follow your sat-nav as they have a habit of trying to take people down a road that has not existed for at least a century.

Where do we find out more? 

www.markenfield.com

Friday, 14 October 2011

Attraction spotlight: what's special about The Station, Richmond?

We’re speaking to the teams behind some of the county’s best attractions and finding out why they're worth a visit. This week, we talk to the team at Richmond's The Stationa high-vaulted Grade Two Victorian rail station sympathetically renovated into a multi-purpose site that draws 300,000 visitors a year.

So what have you got?
A two screen cinema, a restaurant, heritage room, ice cream parlour, local artisan food producers who manufacture and retail their products on site. Also an art gallery, various activities ranging from Station Singers through knitting groups, mother and toddler groups, creative writing classes and children's school holiday activities. We also host a range of local businesses by hiring out office space and hire out meeting rooms to other organisations.

Wow! That's a lot. Why, in particular, should we go there?
It is a fun-filled day for all the family. You can start by having a look round the interactive heritage room and art gallery, then lunch in Seasons Restaurant before going to see a film at the station cinema, which is in state-of-the-art 3D.

As well as buying sweets and popcorn to take into the cinema, mum and dad can also get alcoholic drinks in plastic glasses to take into the cinema and the children can take ice creams in from Archers Ice Cream Parlour.

After the film, you can have a look around the artisan food producers manufacturing units and outlets at The Station, taking home with you some freshly baked bread, scones and cakes from The Angels Share, handmade fudge from Velvet Heaven, beer from our on-site micro-brewery and hand-made cheeses from Laceys Cheese. 

Or you could come on an evening to enjoy a fabulous dinner from Seasons Restaurant, which is fully licensed and hosts a range of specials, then take your drink into the cinema with you.

We’re almost persuaded: what’s the clincher?
We have free wi-fi! Also, if you didn't want to spend any money, you could just come and have a look around the interactive heritage room, local artisan food production units and art gallery for free. Parking is also free at The Station, so even on a budget there is no excuse for a great day out.

I’m parched, can I get a cuppa?
Yes! Seasons Restaurant serves an extensive selection of hot and cold soft beverages and is also fully licensed.


When’s it open? What about accessibility? How do we get there?
The Station is open 9am – 10pm seven days a week. It's fully accessible with lifts and ramps for wheelchair access. From the A1 at Scotch Corner, head towards Richmond town centre, then head down the bank towards Catterick. The Station is about halfway down on the left.

Where do we find out more?
www.thestation.co.uk

Friday, 7 October 2011

And what's so special about ... Nidderdale Llamas?

To visit or not to visit. We’re speaking to the teams behind some of North Yorkshire's attractions and places of interest and finding out why we should go there. This week, we’re talking to Nidderdale Llamas, an attraction nestled in some of the finest countryside.

So what have you got?
A llama trekking centre – wonderful animals, magnificent scenery, fantastic walks and a welcoming venue.

Why should we go there?
To experience an amazing activity that’s totally unique! Our gentle llamas will capture your heart and entertain you while walking in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

They will carry all your gear and picnic, so you can relax, have fun and switch off from everyday life.

Sounds interesting, anything else unusual that you offer?
Yes. Brides and grooms ... if you want a different experience for your hen or stag party, book a trek. It's great fun. you can see images from recent parties on our website. Our llamas have even been down the aisle.

Our llamas are also available to attend company PR events. On our website events section you can check out the mischief that took place at a recent Pets At Home event.

I’m parched, can I get a cuppa? 
All refreshments included within specific treks. We serve beverages and sell snacks and sweets from our shop.

We’re almost persuaded: what’s the clincher?
You won’t find this anywhere else in Yorkshire and we provide top quality local food and cakes!

When’s it open? What about accessibility? How do we get there?
All trekking and farm experiences are pre-booking only. We are not an open farm and can not accept casual callers. We take bookings all year round. Once a booking is made, we send out full confirmation and directions. We are accessible to disabled customers as long a we have advanced notice for wheelchair access.

Where do we find out more?
www.nidderdalellamas.org

Friday, 30 September 2011

And what's so special about ... the South Harbour?

To visit or not to visit. We’re speaking to the people behind some of the county’s best attractions and places of interest and finding out why we should go there.

This week, we find out from gallery, Aakschipper Images, why Scarborough's South Harbour where it is based is such a draw.

So what have you got?
Photo courtesy of Graham Rhodes.
As well as a selection of affordable art photography by Graham Rhodes, Scarborough Harbour also has the second best ice cream in the world at the Harbour Bar, some of the cheapest beer in Scarborough at the Golden Ball, three piers to walk along, a range of the best fish and chip shops in the north and a ride around the bay in a pirate boat that one starred as the Hispaniola in a movie.

Then, there's a trip on an old-fashioned pleasure steamer boat that took part in the Normandy evacuations, a lighthouse, an historic house that used to belong to King Richard III, and a the remains of the fishing fleet, all snuggled underneath Scarborough’s historic castle.

Phew! Any other reason we should we go there?
To get the flavour and experience of a typical English seaside town.

We’re almost persuaded: what’s the clincher?
The Harbour Bar ice cream

I’m parched, can I get a cuppa?
There are literally too many to choose from.

When’s it open? What about accessibility? How do we get there?
The gallery is open most days between 10.30am and 5.00pm everyday of the week. The rest of the seafront is open all the time. To get there drive along the A64 until you can go no further, or catch a train from York or Leeds.

Where do we find out more? 

http://www.aakschipperimages.com

NOTE: for information regarding disability access or any other information regarding places mentioned in our news stories, reviews or reader recommendations, please contact the attractions concerned or check their websites.

Friday, 23 September 2011

And what's so special about ... World of James Herriot?

To visit or not to visit. We’re speaking to the teams behind some of the county’s best attractions and places of interest and finding out why we should go there. This week, we’re talking to the folks at Thirsk's World of James Herriot.

So what have you got for us?
Situated in the lovely market town Thirsk, visitors have the opportunity to step into the real world of the vet cum author James Herriot. The house on 23 Kirkgate – better known to fans as Skeldale House – is a tribute to his life and work back in the 1940’s. The house itself is set in this era and shows how different life was, not only for a vet.

A little film show tells you more about the real James Herriot – Alf Wight – and how he became world famous. On your tour, you also stop in the TV studio of All Creatures Great and Small, where you can be an actor/actress yourself. Continuing towards the museum dedicated to vet science, which is the only one of its kind within the UK and you discover how hard a vet’s life used to be.

There is an area dedicated to children, but it is also very prominent with adults. By the way: you can see the original Austin Seven car which was used in the TV Series.

Why should we go there?
You can spend hours discovering many interesting and weird items, and it takes you on a journey to your childhood memories. It is a tribute to the James Herriot stories and the TV series All Creatures Great and Small. For fans it is a ‘must-see’ as you enter Darrowby as it is known from James Herriot’s stories. If you are not yet a fan give it a try and be persuaded! For children it is an entertaining way to learn about history and literature.

We’re almost persuaded: what’s the clincher?
James Herriot's son and daughter Jim and Rosie regularly visit the museum and talk to our visitors about their father. We offer special events where you meet them for a tour around the museum or get a signed book.

Plan enough time for your visit, as the World of James Herriot has more to offer than you think. Did we mention that it is a hands-on museum? Don’t forget your camera!

I’m parched, can I get a cuppa? 
There are many lovely tea rooms situated in the market place, which is literally a five-minute stroll from here. As we do not have a caf├ę onsite, we offer visitors to come in and out of the museum up to the last admission, so they can take a break and continue their journey afterwards.

When’s it open? What about accessibility? How do we get there?
We are open seven days a week, from 10am-5pm (last admission 4pm) during summer hours, and 11am-4pm (last admission 3pm) during winter hours. The museum is fully accessible, you find lifts and disabled toilets.

Thirsk is located near the A19, and has a railway station. The museum is signposted throughout the town. Also, National Express buses stop here.

Where do we find out more? (insert website address)
All the information you need is on http://www.worldofjamesherriot.org. In case you cannot find what you are looking for our team is happy to help you on Tel. 01845 524234. We are also on Facebook and Twitter.



NOTE: for information regarding disability access or any other information regarding places mentioned in our news stories, reviews or reader recommendations, please contact the attractions concerned or check their websites.

Friday, 16 September 2011

And what's so special about ... the Milton Rooms?

The Milton Rooms.
Photo by Gary Calton.
We’re speaking to the teams behind some of the county’s best attractions and places of interest and finding out why we should go there. This week, we’re learning about the Milton Rooms at Malton

So what are you about?
The Milton Rooms aims to collaborate with established and emerging artists to make Malton a hub of excellence for the arts in all creative fields.

With the dedication of a new, energetic team of artists and performers, we’ve developed an ambitious programme of events. We want people to get the best of entertainment in the Ryedale region and hope to be the leading arts venue for North Yorkshire. We have the space and the ambition.

There's plenty to see. The Main Hall is also a regular venue for auctions, sales and exhibitions and we have lots of music and theatre events including upcoming Georgie Fame on 10 October. And we're part of the community. Our production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which we staged for one night only in June this year, was an in-house production but also a community event involving a cast of over 180 with a few professional actors, 70 fairies, 60 guys on motor scooters and a horse! It all took place around the Market Place, in the church and ending in the Milton Rooms.

Tell us a little more about the history of the place? 
Well, it was built by the Fitzwilliam family in 1814 for the benefit of the residents of Malton and Norton. The original, now Grade II listed, Subscription Rooms hosted society balls, town meetings, music recitals and more recently sporting, social and church events. With the addition, in 1932, of the Milton Rooms Hall and bar, the buildings became the centre of community activity with local community performing societies staging their productions here.

We’re almost persuaded: what’s the clincher?
Great atmosphere for our Music in the Studio nights, great local musicians and a venue with heart and a growing reputation.

I’m parched, can I get a cuppa?
Certainly can – tea, coffee and bar.

When’s it open? What about accessibility? How do we get there?
Open for events or for rentals. Accessibility ramps in place. Train or bus to Malton, two minutes walk to market place in centre of town

Where do we find out more?
www.themiltonrooms.com



NOTE: for information regarding disability access or any other information regarding places mentioned in our news stories, reviews or reader recommendations, please contact the attractions concerned or check their websites.

Friday, 9 September 2011

And what's so special about ... Creepy Crawlies?


To visit or not to visit. We’re speaking to the teams behind some of the county’s best attractions and places of interest and finding out why we should go there.
This week, we’re talking to: Creepy Crawlies Adventure Park in Wigginton Road, York.

So what have you got for us?
Inside we have one of the biggest four-lane astra slides in the country. Separate play zones incorporating baby and toddler areas, sports arena, interactive disco area, and huge play frame for over fives with spooky caves and mirror maze. A variety of role-play and dressing up, construction, musical instruments, craft, puppets and messy play offered term time for little ones.

Outside, we have over an acre of secure outdoor fun includes a fantastic eco-skating rink, huge sand and water play area, netted climbing forest, ride-ons for little ones, den building construction zone, landscaped gardens, jungle bridge, wacky swings, toddler puppet cabin, amphitheatre and role play area and brand new electric quad bikes racetrack (both at a small extra charge).

Why should we go there?
Creepy Crawlies is a fantastic place to spend a morning or afternoon with the children and unlike the weather fun is definitely guaranteed.  Grown-ups are also actively encouraged to join in so we often find mums and dads whizzing down the slides.

We’re almost persuaded: what’s the clincher?
Don’t just believe us. Read the many wonderful comments on our Facebook page or many other review sites.  We have also been shortlisted by Welcome to Yorkshire in their prestigious White Rose Awards as a finalist in the Best Small Visitor Attraction category.

I’m parched, can I get a cuppa?
We have a fantastic cafe serving sumptuous cakes, handmade pizzas, wraps, salads and pasta.  Healthy options and little treats are all prepared fresh to order in house using local ingredients wherever possible. We serve a range of hot and cold drinks and as we are licensed we can serve non-drivers with a selection of wine and beers.

Special dietary requirements can be catered for. Please ask a member of staff in the restaurant.  The ice-cream parlour serves a great choice of local ice cream - and not just on Sundaes.

When’s it open? What about accessibility? How do we get there? Mon - Thu : 9.30am – 7.00pm; Fri - Sat : 9.30am – 8.00pm; Sun : 9.30am– 7.00pm.We have a full access statement that can be emailed to anyone requesting it.
.
By car: Creepy Crawlies is situated on the B1363 (Wigginton Road) just a few hundred yards off the A1237 (York Outer Ring Road) near the Clifton Moor Retail Park, North of York.

By bus: The number 40 Reliance bus service from Exhibition Square, York > Easingwold stops just outside Creepy Crawlies and runs every hour Monday - Saturday and every two hours on Sunday.

Where can we find out more? 
Our web address is www.creepy-crawlies.co.uk or you can follow us on Twitter @creepy_crawlies and also become a fan on our Facebook page.  Alternatively, you can email us on info@creepy-crawlies.co.uk or call us on 01904 692221.


NOTE: for information regarding disability access or any other information regarding places mentioned in our news stories, reviews or reader recommendations, please contact the attractions concerned or check their websites.