How is your half term going so far? Do you have some plans or are you still wondering how to fill the next few days?
I have seen a lot of friends on social media this week looking for ideas – especially as it is such a weird time and seems that many people (like us) have had plans cancelled (not to mention several of the usual go to places closed)! It is quite sad really and to be honest, I spent a lot of our weekend moping about how much I don’t really like this half term, least of all with the fact we are restricted in what we can do! But, when I sorted out my perspective, I quickly realised we could still have a lovely time together as a family this half term and got making some plans to both new places and also some old favourites!
I find this half term tricky as it is cold and wet, but even so, can often be spent appreciating autumn – pumpkin patch visits, lots of nature walks, scavenger hunts and forest adventures – there are no restrictions on these things and as well as being good for the soul they are fairly cheap or even FREE. You can pop your wellies on and warm clothes and enjoy some fresh air and nature together.
If money is an issue with these tricky times, or you just would prefer to spend less on the lead up to Christmas, then here are 3 ideas this half term to get you out and about appreciating Autumn here in Yorkshire and, that will ensure family fun, fresh air and lots of autumnal beauty! You may also want to check out a previous post I wrote that proved popular – 5 Free Days Out in East Yorkshire! But here our some more recent ones we have enjoyed together, even with the restrictions that are in place…
Ravenscar – Alum Works & Seal Colony
Ravenscar is a great day out and adventure for kids and adults alike – especially if you have the opportunity to spot seals!
We last went at the start of the Summer and had a walk down to the old Alum works first, which offered some interesting history to this part of the Yorkshire coast, as well as some ruins for the kids to be intrigued by. There are lovely boards explaining everything, so you can read and learn together.
From there we walked back up and through the golf course towards the castle hotel. Just before it, there is a (steep) footpath that takes you down onto the beach and, here you will (hopefully) see the seal colony. We had a good trek down there and then explored the little bay (which was lovely in itself) and thankfully were lucky enough to see about 10 seals; basking on the beach, in the water and bobbing around the shore line. The kids LOVED it and it was cool to see them in their different sizes and colours, all in their natural habitat.
We finished the day with a drive up to Robin Hoods Bay for Fish & Chips, Ice creams and sweets from the old sweet shop. This is a great day out with lovely scenery to see on the drive too. We took a picnic and then enjoyed a good walk, a bit of history, some lovely views and hopefully you will see seals a plenty!
Things to note:
*Parking is free on the street in Ravenscar and there are toilets too
* The path down to the seals/beach at Ravenscar is mega steep and not suitable for prams etc. All 3 of our kids managed it but my legs still ached a couple of days later and you will need to be steady on your legs to do this.
* Ravenscar didn’t have anywhere to eat (there seemed to be a snack place at the top but it wasn’t open in July when we were there) but Robin Hoods Bay a little drive up the coast (also worth an explore) has Fish and Chip shops, a village store and ice cream, chocolate and sweet shops. It also has independent shops and a couple of pubs!
Dalby Forest – Walks/Bike Rides, Story book trails & Play area
We love Dalby Forest and have been many times throughout various seasons and school holidays. The kids love the Gruffalo trail/sculptures, which really bring the much loved book to life, but as they have got older, one of our favourite walks is a fairly short circular one around Bridestones. This walk is only a couple of miles, but does have some steep paths that lead you through the forest to the amazing natural sandstone sculptures of the Bridestones. We did this just a couple of weeks ago and the kids loved climbing the rock formations, having lunch in a cave at the base of one, and the views of nature changing were incredible. It is a lovely part of the Forest.
From here we just headed to the play area where they played for a bit, before being tired and ready to head home. We are yet to do Dalby with bikes, but every time I go and see families biking around, I just know it would be just as much fun! If you haven’t been before or for a while, younger kids will love looking for The Gruffalo, whilst older kids may enjoy the Bridestones. Or, why not check out their website and discover a different trail.
Things to Note:
*Dalby Forest costs £9 per car for the whole day (£5 after 4pm) – there are various car parks all over the forest depending on which trail you want to take. If you visit between November and February then it is only £5.
* There is a cafe, with covid restrictions in place. We just took a picnic though.
*There are various toilet blocks near the car parks, which are open and operating at a limited capacity.
*You can hire bikes there at an extra cost and they also house “Go Ape” – again at additional costs
Sewerby Park – Walks, Halloween decor & mini zoo
Sewerby Park has been a favourite since i was a kid and has continued to make for a great day out with our own kids! It is pretty much on our doorstep in North Bridlington and from now until the Spring, is FREE to park and enter the grounds.
As you walk in there are a couple of pens with ponies, deer and Llamas (which are lovely) and then we usually walk up towards the hall and then through the gardens, woodland trails (look out for the sculptures) and round the walled gardens. Sometimes we are just on foot, other times they like to take scooters to bez around on – both are fun round all the little paths! And then we always finish up with a fun session at the play area (which is great and well equipped for all ages).
There is also a little Zoo there which we really like. It comes at an additional cost (about £15 for a family ticket – £3 a head for a family of 5 is more than worth it) and you can pay to go into the Hall too if you would like to add on to your visit. The zoo has farm animals, little penguins, various exotic birds and Lemur’s (to name a few).
We had a rather wet visit to Sewerby today (with scooters) and as we visited the Zoo only a couple of weeks ago, we didn’t do that today. We did however do our usual stuff with the added bonus of enjoying the Halloween decor in the walled Gardens. I took a little scavenger hunt for them to do – looking for various natural and seasonal things and then had some Halloween treats back at the car at the end.
Sewerby is always such a lovely day out!
Things to note:
*Sewerby Park has a small cafe – the clock tower and a toilet block too (next to the Zoo)
*Paths are great for wheelchairs, pushchairs & prams and of course scooters!
*There are additional costs for the little Zoo and the house also carries an extra cost too! I haven’t been in the house in a few years, but it is a lovely experience and little museum with info about Amy Johnson and life on the coast.
*You can easily get onto the beach down the cliff stairs if you wanted to go looking for rocks or enjoy the beach for a little while
* Sewerby Park is only a couple of miles outside of Bridlington Town centre, which has an array of shops and places to eat!
There are so many lovely outdoor spaces to explore here in Yorkshire that are free or cost barely anything – these are all within an hour of where we live in East Yorkshire and therefore not too far to venture (as well as being budget friendly or free). Don’t forget Wharram Percy too is a lovely FREE historic (and muddy) adventure in the area and York is not too far either to walk on the walls and round the lovely streets for another cheap but fun day out… if you want to see some of its highlights for more of a cost then check out the York Pass we tried out last year. I hope you have a wonderful, fun and safe half term whatever you choose to do – drop your favourite spots and Ideas below!