I find it so Idyllic in the Autumn and Winter to pop on our coats and boots, and ride on a steam train! The tooting of the train, the rolling green hills lined with orange leaves or winter frosts, and the smell of steam and soot hitting you as you take a sneaky peak out of the window whilst the train chugs down its track – it is both enriching and beautiful, and oh so quintessentially English!

Riding Steam trains has been a traditional adventure in our family since the kids were tiny (thanks to Grandpa Smith) and whilst this often takes place over this way on the NYMR, last weekend we spent our Saturday riding on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway over in West Yorkshire, and it was quite the adventure for us all.

The keighley and Worth Valley Railway

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway oozes with charm, British history and many a claim to fame. Opened in 1867 (and briefly closing in the 60’s), it originally served the Wool mills that towered above it. It’s scenery and spirit attracted many to use it for films like “The Railway Children”, and it has long since been the inspiration for writers such as the Bronte sisters.

Whether you are visiting for nature walks, exploring the museums, a Yorkshire treat, or generally just to embrace the love of travelling via a steam train, you will not be disappointed by the views and excitement you see and feel as you meander down the tracks of this beautiful little railway. I believe that whatever the season or weather you choose to visit, you will certainly expect to find something to charm and interest everyone, as each little station holds activities and interests to fill your day!

 

We started our journey from Keighley as we had to be back there in the late afternoon for a family event! We rode 20 minutes up to Haworth, where we spent a couple of hours wandering its picturesque main street and eating lunch from a rustic yorkshire bakery! I love Haworth because it has a reet good yorkshire feel to it!

Haworth does have a rather steep trek uphill from the train station, but it is very much worth it, as here you will find the Bronte Museum, panoramic views over the hills, little cafes and tea rooms, an array of independent gift shops to peruse and a lovely little park.

We each enjoyed its charm (and baked goods!).

From Haworth we hopped back on the line for about 10 minutes before jumping off at Ingrow West station where we explored the engine shed museum and the museum of rail travel. These were small, but interesting nonetheless, and whilst they have tried to be child friendly, they are not the most interactive for kids!

A small train table and a host of carriages to explore, saw that the kids were entertained and their imaginations ignited whilst we were there, but our visit was sort lived (unfortunately)!

I did however (when I could) enjoyed reading about all of the films that the engines and carriages were used in. It was rather exciting to be sat in a carriage where film stars have been and cameras captured!

Before we knew it we had reached the end of our adventure, and as the steam train appeared out of the tunnel at Ingrow West, we hopped aboard and made our way back down the line to keighley station, where we watched them swapping engines and breathed in that smell of the steam train one last time!

We had a lovely family day out, and Keighley and worth Valley railway is a great Yorkshire adventure for any family this October half term (or any weekend really). It can quite easily fill a day with history, nature and adventure, and whether you visit for the sheer joy of a steam train experience, or as a means to access a world of nature walks and film set exploration, the railway is sure to be a real treat for all – opening up a world of curiosity!

They also have a Halloween Special and Santa experience coming up too which is always popular. So whatever your reason or motivation, there is certainly plenty of magic and adventure awaiting you as you hop aboard these exciting and beautiful steam engines!

I personally would love to take a walk in the Summer around the areas featured in “The Railway Children” (I loved it as a kid), and pass on this classic to my kids, but for now we have loved creating such special and beautiful memories to kick of Autumn on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway – (amidst the mayhem of family life of course!).

Things to Note…

For unlimited travel and access to the museums, then you will want to consider a Rover Ticket:
Adults: £18
Concessions: £15
Children 5 to 15 inclusive: £9

If you are travelling as ONE adult and ONE kid, then you can qualify for a “Small Family Ticket”, which has the same benefits as a Rover Ticket  – This is £22

Finally, when purchasing two ‘Small Family Tickets’ for 2 adults and 2 children, a third child can travel free. A family of 5 can take advantage of 1 free children’s rover ticket to add to their ‘Small Family’ rover ticket purchase.

Make sure you check the website to see which timetable they are using, as it changes depending on the day and season! 

*Thank you to KWVR for our complimentary tickets in return for an honest review. All thoughts and images are my own!

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This Summer has been wonderful, and great for the days we’ve been able to spend with our friends from the village! Our lifestyle is very different these days and we spend a lot more time with the people we live around (which is lovely). I love that the our neighbours and the kids my kids go to school with are not only our friends now, but also the people we socialise with and go on adventures with!

I have loved having the time to talk and laugh with my new pals whilst the kids spend all day playing and getting along.

On Monday we walked 4 miles locally (it took all morning) and the week before that we spent a whole day on the beach in Hunmanby. Then Thursday we had a day out to Scarborough! These trips have been pretty nuts, but a lot of fun too, and they have made Summer more memorable. The great part is that they have also all been FREE!!

Whilst there is still a good week or so of the summer holidays left, I thought I’d share with my Yorkshire readers especially, a few free ideas we have enjoyed with our friends in big groups – just in case you have hit desperation mode and need a couple more ideas to see you through til September!

1. A beach day 

2 weeks ago we went to Hunmanby Gap which lies between Bempton and Filey on East Yorkshire Coast. The day wasn’t super warm, but dry and sunny enough to be able to spend a good 6 hours on the beach digging with friends and chasing the tide (and a seal!). There were about 8 families that came and we built a little base on the beach, where the kids played non stop around us all day and we enjoyed banter and picnics!

I swam in the sea with one of my friends and we all generally just chilled and had fun with one another. I realised on this day that seemingly ordinary days, and things we would usually do over the Summer anyway, were enhanced 10 fold by being in a big group of great friends!

  

Just up the coast is filey brigg and we have also been there twice this Summer for rock pooling with family and extended family. If you want another idea then know that it makes for a real adventurous free day too even with wellies and raincoats on!

2. A country walk 

As we live in a village now, we are fortunate enough to be able to walk 5 minutes out of our door and be in beautiful fields and open countryside. We took advantage of this on Monday and had a spontaneous group trek with dogs and kids! We did just shy of 4 miles on a circular walk that brought us home again. The weather was dry and I enjoyed the exercise and chat with my friends. It always makes me smile to see my kids running through fields and embracing nature – especially when surrounded by their best friends from school (or cousins too).

You may not live as close as us, but a local nature walk of any description with friends, makes for easy exercise and a lovely time!

3. Scarborough open air theatre 

On Thursday a group of us headed to Scarborough in convoy and had a walk around peasholm park and a picnic overlooking the lake.

From there we walked over the road to the open air theatre where they had a 2 hour family friendly show. This was a free event that runs throughout the summer and was so feel good and chilled. There was singing, dancing, “Double Trouble”, magic, puppets and laugh out loud Comedy! The kids absolutely loved it and it was nice to sit in the sun and be entertained together. I was really impressed with what a great day it was and will certainly be keeping it on my radar for next Summer!

Sadly on this trip some of the mums were working but it was great to be with the ones that could come!

 

These little outings and local adventures have made our summer holidays extra special, more fun and adventurous, and they have meant we have spent less whilst still making lots of lovely memories! I love our new friends… they make the ordinary extraordinary!

 I love that we have found wonderful friends amongst our neighbours and that we have found people with like minded interests and outlooks on life. I enjoy hanging out with them, not just because they are lovely people and friends but because there is a high chance our kids are all going to grow up together and end up in the same high school too, and that makes me a little bit excited (and scared) that these potentially could be more than neighbours and school mates – but friends for life!!

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I am a little later than usual with my weekly round up of joyful moments from this last week – mainly because it has been such a busy and fantastic weekend I haven’t really had much time to sit and collect my thoughts. This week overall has been an incredibly hard one for me and in time I will go into more depth on that, but for now I am more than grateful that it ended on such a high, so many lovely moments shared together. We have enjoyed the kids sports day, football and a beach adventure!

The highlight this weekend (aside from our victory over Sweeden to qualify us for the Semi’s – how mint!) most certainly was our family expedition through the caves on Saturday evening. Kitted out in wetsuits, our little family joined my sisters family and our parents up at Thornwick Bay and together had a whole lot of fun swimming in the sea. We were seen climbing through the caves and “cliff jumping”, and It was a whole lot of fun/a rather epic moment!

Grateful For 

The beach makes me so happy, so to have the opportunity on Saturday to get into my wetsuit was a joyful moment I felt grateful to have. We went in the evening at low tide so the waters were calm and blue and the evening sun looked and felt lush. I felt truly grateful for Summer, for brave kids that were up for the adventure and for fun times with some of our family.

This week I have also been grateful for mum friends at school that get me and took time to chat about life! I am also very grateful for sisters and having a fab time on Thursday with 2 of them carbooting and ice cream eating. It was such a lovely day out and I am once again grateful to live close by them and the coast – so much more spontaneity in life as a result!

Succeeded At 

This week I succeeded at getting into my wetsuit after 2 years (too long) and loved it! Last year we never really took the opportunity to go caving and really missed the fun we have together up in the caves! I also succeeded at doing a tonne of laundry thanks to the glorious weather and succeeded at hitting up the car boot sale and finding some mega deals.

Found Beauty In 

A boat full of kids eagerly floating through the caves with us. My kids playing with Russian dolls whilst sat in their England tops watching the world cup! And, seeing the little kiddies at sports day running their little socks off – so cute!

I also found great joy and beauty in the continuously sunny days we’ve had, the beautiful coastline in the evening sun and seeing the Puffins line the cliffs!

This gorgeous weather has brought so many wonderful moments and I am feeling so happy that we are having a proper Summer – long may it continue.

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Since seeing “The Greatest Showman” a few weeks ago, my children have been slightly (insert very) obsessed with Circus’ and stunt people. They dance, attempt to do random stunts, and put on shows for us all of the time. Megan especially dreams of a life in the circus as a trapeze artist, and will often use this as the main reason she doesn’t need to go to school EVERY day! So, you can imagine the sheer excitement that ran through our home last week when we were invited to see The Paulos Circus in York on Saturday for a family afternoon of fun! Lets just say it was the ultimate dream for them, and a wonderful treat for us all.

We invited Grandma along with us as we thought she might enjoy it too, and all hopped in the car and headed to York with a picnic! It was easy to find, plenty of free parking, and thankfully traffic was minimal for a Saturday afternoon which was great. Once there, and after a short wait in line, we found some spare seats (its a free for all so get there early) which were nicely placed just on the second row back. The show was fantastic throughout, and we all had a laugh a minute as we sat there in the big top as spectators of the 2pm performance of “The Paulos Circus” and their #CreatingMemoriestour2018!

 Nothing beats the thrill of live entertainment, especially when it is something you are so passionate about, and involves a show that is filled with so much to see, and generally all round very talented individuals. They only have about 8 performers for the whole thing, which in itself is amazing. And together “The Paulos Circus” team put on an incredible 80 min show that is jam packed with ‘edge of your seat’ stunts, traditional circus tricks, catchy and well loved music, laugh out loud jokes and all round silly behaviour!

It opened on a complete high with stunts that took our breath away. And then, just when you become reasonably comfortable with what you are seeing, they would step up the shock factor and add in blindfolds to which you would here a subtle “nooooooooo” make its way across the audience! There were several moments (straight up and throughout) that had us torn between daring not to look, and needing to look at what they were about to do. It was such a fantastic opening (and all round performance) that had us captivated from the start.

Each of the stunts performed were amazing and we saw everything from “A Clown” (not in traditional clown attire), to a juggler… Trapeze…tightropes and knife throwing! We were completely wowed by the magic of the light show, and this was a truly spectacular part – it must have taken ages to coordinate! “Mr Laser” brought the mystery factor to the ring, and blew us all away as he moved and commanded the flow of light around us. I loved how though his performance he created the illusion of light being something more physical that you literally felt you could reach out and grab! Alice especially was fixated on this whole part, and loved it. It was something I suppose was extremely sensory for the younger members of the audience as well as being awesome for us all. (These pics don’t really do it justice)!

The show was great for the kids  – they loved the shock of the stunts and performers, the beauty of “the sparkly lady” on the Trapeze ring, and they laughed their socks off at the mimes, and antics of the lovable “Mr N”! They loved the experience of being in a circus tent as a spectator of live talent, and especially loved the fresh popcorn that grandma treated them to!

For us adults it was hilarious and breathtaking, and overall it had a good balance of being both exciting and a little silly. It was filled with laughter, amazement and just pure joy for all of the family, and from Alice at almost 2, up to Grandma who is a little older, we all very much loved it from start to finish and had a great Saturday afternoon as a family.

Circuses, I find are such a lovely thing to do as a family. They provide moments to laugh together, moments to be wowed together, and moments to be completely blown away together. I love that in places like this, we are all feeling the same emotions at the same time, and I love the excitement and adventure of being in a big top where extraordinary things occur! It makes lasting memories for all and is all such a fun and lovely family day out.

Isn’t it amazing what people do for jobs? It is inspiring (especially to our budding trapeze artist) to be in the presence of people with such wonderful talents, and it most certainly gets a thumbs up from us!

The Paulos Circus is touring Yorkshire right now, and For just £7 each, it is money well spent, and an absolute bargain for a family afternoon out! There is something for all ages (even little Alice loved it) and both kids and adults alike will have a jolly old time! It is currently at ROKO HEALTH CLUB, Stirling Road, York, YO30 4TU From Friday 6th of April until Sunday the 13th of May, and then I believe it will be coming to East Yorkshire! For all dates and times why not keep upto date by following them on Facebook or Twitter!

Please note there is knife throwing, and a scene with a plastic bottom… but thankfully not together!!!!

*Thanks so much to The Paulos Circus for inviting us along in return for a review. All thoughts and pictures are my own.
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