Now the kids are back in school it seems like absolutely ages since we had a proper family day out – a good old adventure in the fresh air and beautiful scenes of Yorkshire. With several busy weekends rushing around here and there with parties and celebrations (amongst other things), I have been craving a day where we can just get out and clear the cobwebs, have a nice walk, chats and enjoy being out in nature together. I love to see the kids outdoors exploring, running around, collecting sticks and finding bugs and dens in the bushes. They seem to just light up as they discover all kinds of things that are interesting and beautiful to them, and its just lovely! I think that it is these day to day outings I miss the most with Ethan and Megan both being in school now, so when Yorkshire water sent us over one of their highly sought after picnic bags and info on their walking “hot spots” for days out we couldn’t wait for a gorgeous family adventure, and finally we did! And my most favourite thing about it – it’s all Free and can be enjoyed by all….
Yorkshire water have a “leisure” website (here) where you can easily access information, maps and activities to do around their reservoirs throughout Yorkshire. As half term is here and can quickly become pricey I think this is a fantastic activity to do with kids whether you are in North, East, South or like us, West Yorkshire (or even on the boarder and want to venture over to Gods own county). Their walking packs can be downloaded on the website and are easily indicated as to the level of difficulty depending on whether you fancy a good hike or gentle stroll with prams and scooters! For us with little kids and a pram in tow we chose an easy route and started off small. This took us near Meltham/Slaithwaite area to “Blackmoorfoot” reservoir, the walk was only short – just over a mile, but perfect for us all and easy going. It was absolutely beautiful with clear skies and Autumn clearly all around us in nature.
I know my kids could have easily done one of the 4 milers but our reason was that we just wanted a chilled day and use the pram as oppose to a carrier. Despite the walk being short, we still spent a good couple of hours there walking, picnicking, collecting sticks and autumn leaves and finding various plants and bugs! Ethan and Megan loved the little bridges and we all enjoyed the surrounding woodlands as much as the lovely views of both the reservoir and rolling hills. The kids loved their picnic, paddling in safe spots and calling to the ducks!
It was all so beautiful and peaceful and we had a really great time exploring and walking. I love our family walks and I think there are so many reasons to love “Yorkshire Water” for a great family day out, both for this half term or any weekend:
1. Its Free!!! (and fun…free and fun = the perfect combo)
2. They Provide printable activity packs – on the website scroll down to the walking section and find the sub header of “Activities for children”. Here you can select the relevant ages of your kids and down load an activity to take with you with colouring pages, spot the difference, things to find in nature and things to make either out or when you return.
3. You can enjoy a picnic in gorgeous scenery, and who doesn’t love a good picnic?! We loved using our official Yorkshire water picnic set, but grab a bag and some snacks and make a day of it!
4. They are Pram friendly – well some are, some are not. Next time we will probably use the wrap and carry Alice so we can step it up a few levels, but the level one walk which states is suitable for prams was just that. It was really easy going, some mud as expected, but our bugaboo handled it totally fine and Alice was asleep for the most part.
5. You can do more than just have a walk – loads more to be honest. You can fish, cycle and if you are loaded and have horse…horse ride (though if you’re reading a thrifty post I’m guessing you’re not)!!
6. It can be tailored to your families needs. We chose an easy route like I say so that we could have a casual walk and use the pram, but it made me excited that if the kids were older or you have a pack of boisterous kids then a level 4 walk with rougher terrain and higher gradients in the direction of Howath or Meltham would be a great challenge and adventure for them. Again activity packs can be used appropriately for various ages of your kids.
7. They are safe – you can’t really get lost and the walks are very straight forward. Provided you stick to the tracks, obey resouvior rules and follow the routes its a good safe day out for all!
I love a good family day out of fun and adventure and I think that from being a stay at home mum I have probably taken for granted that we could have daily adventures like this when ever we wanted, where as now we are limited to Saturdays and half terms. So if you are like me and are craving some fresh air for your kids, or just want a great day out for FREE this half term then take a look at Yorkshire Waters Leisure site and get yourselves to a place where your kids can have some exploring and adventures whilst finding our about all kinds of wildlife too. We discussed how lovely it would be to visit a different reservoir every month for a walk and discover new places together whilst seeing nature in the changing seasons, because lets face it (in their words) there’s no excuse for staying indoors when you’ve got the amazing Yorkshire landscape on your doorstep!