When did you last discover the joy of puddle jumping?
When did you last discover the joy of puddle jumping?
I can hardly believe that it is the last day of November already. With each month that goes by, I wonder, how did that happen?
Thanks to my daughter's Primary School we became aware of Yesvember this year and it's a great thing. Have you heard of it? Saying YES to things that make us feel good, opportunities and positive moments.
In the midst of home schooling in "Lockdown 1", the girls and I spent some time thinking about what we'd love to do when Lockdown was through. We wrote down these ideas on little sheets of paper and posted them in to our Wish Boxes, which we made from the Junk Modelling pile. We have enjoyed re-visiting them since.
Have you ever planted a tree?
Trees renew and rejuvenate our landscape, adding to its biodiversity.
Why not give the gift of tree planting and support the work of the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust?
What are your favourite books and films inspired by the landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales?
There are three books on my shelf that sprang to mind.
When you travel, do you look for something very different to home or something very similar?
At the end of the school holidays we found ourselves back in a favourite place we first went to several years ago. Returning this year, we felt so at home in the gloriously green, rolling landscapes on a working farm in the English Countryside and could relax straightaway, being away from our everyday commitments.
I wrote a poem today that I'd love to share with you.
There's a buzz about Bank Newton
I can feel it in the air
Our fields they wanted to share
Fountains Abbey - if you haven't been before, go! Located near Ripon and cared for by the National Trust, it is an awe-inspiring place and somewhere that I simply love to go. I never tire of visits there, and so much so, I returned from a visit this weekend thinking that it is certainly up there as one of 'my happy places'. Why?
Fancy that! Today is a day of the year especially dedicated to Teddy Bear Picnics. My daughter would love that.
Today, the 21st June, is Midsummer’s Day when we recognise the Summer Solstice and the longest day of daylight in the northern hemisphere.
For me, Midsummer’s Day has often been a day that has been long awaited in the middle of winter when I crave daylight – and sunshine – more than ever. Now today we have daylight in abundance – the longest period of time between sunrise and sunset. I am thankful.
Have you ever been totally blown away by nature and thought to yourself, isn’t this magical? I can hardly believe how beautiful the natural world can be.
When you have moments like this you can be transported to a place of serenity and quiet awe. I had a moment like this on Saturday. I discovered the magic of woodland carpeted in bright bluebells.
Who doesn't like a cup of tea?
There's something soothing about having your favourite brew in hand. And teas take on many forms these days. Traditional English Breakfast tea, Earl Grey tea (Caffeinated and Decaffeinated varieties of course - I'm definitely with the former..), as well as varieties of herbal teas. My favourites are Peppermint and I love a Lemon and Ginger tea too.
Why is tea drinking so symbolic?
Today is national 'Look up at the Sky Day', a day to step outdoors look upwards and take it all in.
We enjoyed a fun family day out last month, making the most of sustainable travel from our doorstep. The day began at Gargrave station, less than 1 1/2 miles across the fields from Newton Grange (along the Pennine Way footpath), or in our case, a 2 mile drive to the free station car park in order to transport everything we needed for the day. Including a bucket and spade, of course!
The Yorkshire Dales is a wonderful outdoor playground for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. Here are a few ideas for ways to enjoy the fresh air and outdoor landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales.
Why not start with geocaching? Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. To take part you seek to navigate to a set of GPS coordinates and try to find the geocache (container) hidden there. Check out details for fun Geocaching in Yockenthwaite.
We were really inspired recently to see this fabulous collection of widlife photography. It captures the wildlife of the Yorkshire Dales at its very best. Photographs are displayed courtesy of www.wilddales.co.uk, copyright Simon Philpotts. We hope you'll enjoy.
Golden Plover - copyright Simon Philpotts - www.wilddales.co.uk
If you're looking for a UK holiday on a shoestring this year, then why choose Yorkshire?
Do you ever feel the need to sit and do nothing? Or almost nothing.
Learning to switch off and slow down can be quite a skill to master in today's world of 24-7 round-the-clock connectivity. I find that removing distractions helps and taking myself away from the household chores. In the summertime I dream of escaping to a place outdoors with nothing other than a book to read and perhaps a blanket to sit on. A chance to unwind and let my mind drift in to the stories on the pages.
I love being outside and feeling the sun on my face, listening to the birds, walking on the grass, breathing in. And it's a joy to share the outdoors with little one's too.
We had a lovely time following the Malham Safari Trail through this pretty Dales village. For five days at the beginning of the Spring Bank Holiday, Malham was adorned with sculptures, animals and a collection of painted walking boots, which were dotted around the village making up a fun trail for all the family.
I loved seeing the polar bears and penguins.
My favourite ingredient to be used in baking at the moment is ginger. Stem ginger. It lives in a jar (full of syrup to preserve the ginger) and can be sliced and diced to provide the most delicious flavour to cakes and biscuits. Ginger is such a versatile ingredient - fresh root ginger can be an amazing, zingy edition to a stir fry!
Lovingly wrapped and ready for our cottage holidaymakers, these stem gingernuts are a fixture on the Bank Newton menu at the moment. For eating alone...or dunking in a cup of tea. Bliss.
So, how do I make them?
We had a fabulous day out to Hesketh Farm Park at Bolton Abbey earlier this month, and as a farmer's daughter, I loved it!
I sometimes find that my attention span for taking on board new facts and figures is limited these days, but there was so much to take note of at Hesketh, and to learn about that I couldn't help but come away thinking about the collective noun for owls! Not that we saw owls there, just that we learnt about the name.
The little owl below is an owl by itself, but if there were several owls together, they'd be called 'a parliament of owls' - what a grand term!
Little Owl - Copyright: Simon Philpotts, www.wilddales.org.uk
But why is a group of owls called a parliament?
I’m delighted to introduce you to Sonia Strumpfer, one of our holidaymakers from South Africa enjoying an extended vacation and working holiday here in North Yorkshire. Sonia’s drawings from Newton Grange really captured my eye. We hope you’ll enjoy them too.
Val Preston shares her experience in aromatherapy.
Walking in the countryside is a great way to explore this gentle dale, abundant in wildlife and flowers, rewarding for nature lovers of all ages.
One of my favourite pastimes as a young child was many hours spent collecting and pressing wild meadow flowers. Later as a teenager I developed my interest and studied rural science which broadened my knowledge. Alongside hill walking, I was in heaven.
And so it was on a Monday evening, a group of ladies gathered at Newton Grange for an evening of cupcake decorating fun. Sprinkled with a touch of magic dust from the Yorkshire Cake Fairy we were invited to put down our daily tasks and enjoy something different and wonderfully practical.
So I put down my phone, my computer - the screen - the words and images that demand an 'always on' world. How there remains little room to think and breathe and look up and out.
I retreat and open the door to the dining room. It is still. Inside at least. I look outside and see the garden bushes and trees blowing in the wind. It is Thursday afternoon, a peaceful time.