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Wellbeing

The joy of holidays - Discovering somewhere new

When you travel on holiday (or indeed set off from your own doorstep), do you delight in finding somewhere new or prefer the familiarity and predictability of places visited before?

I guess for many of us it's a mix. If we're taking a true staycation, that is to say, we are having a holiday at home - and perhaps enjoying days out together, often the excitement of the holiday comes in discovering somewhere new. This was exactly what we found on one of our summer holiday staycation weeks this year.

We travelled north east to the Himalayan Gardens and Sculpture Park - just over 1 hour's drive away from Newton Grange Cottages and located just outside the village of Grewelthorpe.

I found it captivating and atmospheric, and a place I could definitely have lingered longer.

Gardens

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Being in nature. The wonders of Parceval Hall Gardens.

Tucked away in Wharfedale, near the pretty settlements of Appletreewick and Skyreholme are Parceval Hall Gardens.

We discovered them one Sunday afternoon this summer. It was really to wonderful to be immersed in so much greenery.Parceval Hall

It had been a number of years since I had visited, and at that time I had only seen the more formal gardens adjacent to the Hall itself.

Parceval Hall

This visit was entirely different.

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Waterways and Adventure

What a fantastic week it has been in Yorkshire to enjoy time outdoors! Sunshine, abundant green spaces and simply beautiful summertime.

Our unique setting alongside the stunning waterways in Bank Newton opens up so many possibilities for fresh air and adventure right on the doorstep of Newton Grange Cottages and our sheep farm.

Leeds Liverpool Canal

We hope that you'll enjoy our Adventure Video that we made in Spring - featured on our Facebook page.

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A place to take time out for you

The setting of Newton Grange Holiday Cottages, adjacent to one of the most picturesque sections of the Leeds Liverpool Canal that you'll find, is so often commented upon by our guests as one of the best parts of their stay.

Newton Grange Holiday Cottages

From easy and level walking along the canal towpath, through to taking some precious time out, our cottages are a popular choice for those seeking time to spend doing more of the things they love. Be this walking, reading, painting, drawing, enjoying a leisure picnic with family, practising Tai Chi and movement, or paddling on the waterways - we warmly invite you to stay at Newton Grange Cottages.

This Spring we loved making a video all about Wellbeing stays, which can be watched on our Facebook page. A selection of photographs capturing the essence of it are shared below.

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Puddle Jumping - One of life's simple pleasures

When did you last discover the joy of puddle jumping?

Puddle jumping

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Yesvember this November

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.

Yesvember

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Capturing our wishes for the future in Lockdown

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.

Wish Boxes

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Plant a tree and give the gift of renewal

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?

Tree planting

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Books and films inspired by the Yorkshire Dales

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.

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Find your home-from-home with Farm Stay

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.

Dairy farm

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There's a buzz about Bank Newton

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

Celebrities descending

Our fields they wanted to share

 

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Fountains Abbey - My happy place

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?

Fountains Abbey

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Teddy Bears Picnic Day

Fancy that! Today is a day of the year especially dedicated to Teddy Bear Picnics. My daughter would love that.

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Musings on the longest day of the year

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.

Newton Grange Farm

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Discover the magic of bluebells

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.

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The perfect cup of tea

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?

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Look up at the sky day

Today is national 'Look up at the Sky Day', a day to step outdoors look upwards and take it all in.

Teepees in the summer

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Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

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!

Gargrave-station

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Entertain the kids in Yorkshire

Yockenthwaite - Geo Caching

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.

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Yorkshire Wildlife: Photographs to inspire

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

Golden Plover - copyright Simon Philpotts - www.wilddales.co.uk

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Yorkshire on a shoestring

Walking boots

If you're looking for a UK holiday on a shoestring this year, then why choose Yorkshire?

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Lazy summers reading outdoors

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.

Reading outdoors

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Outdoor activities for under fives

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.

Malham Safari

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You can't beat a ginger biscuit!

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.

Stem Gingernuts

So, how do I make them?

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A parliament of owls: A day out at Hesketh Farm Park

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!

Hesketh Farm Park

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 Little Owl - Copyright: Simon Philpotts, www.wilddales.org.uk

But why is a group of owls called a parliament?

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Impressions of Yorkshire - An artist from South Africa shares her story

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.

Gate to canal

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Bracken and Bramble

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.

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Finding creativity

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.

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In search of the simple things in life

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.

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