A half term trip to the Yorkshire Dales can be as short or as long as you would like it to be given the sheer amount of activities available to visitors of all ages.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure that these school half term holiday dates are accurate, there are occasions when circumstances beyond our control may result in changes.
North Yorkshire School holidays and Half Term Dates.
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Please note that some schools have decided to adopt slightly different half term and holiday dates to those shown here and it is therefore advisable to contact the individual school to confirm their dates.
It's a perfect place for those of you wanting to get your family away from city centres, traffic and all things grey and remind your vital organs what a bit of fresh air and exercise feels like. Hiking, cycling and caving are just some of the things you can expect to do whilst on holiday in the area.
Cycling the Dales as a Family
The Park Authority have been working hard to develop cycle-friendly accommodation in line with other initiatives such as the implementation of bike stands and securing rings at over 100 Dale sites. There are several detailed cycling routes available on the Park website and there are graded routes published in the high quality maps available in any information centre. Such will let you know whether you will be needing your 'serious-cyclist' mountain bike or whether your old bike in the shed can be dusted off ready for the task at hand.
You should obviously make sure that any route you have selected are suitable for your kids bikes. All information provided will comment on how 'flat' or otherwise the terrain is on each route for your consideration. So, whether you are a cycle mad family or cycle holiday novices- there is something to suite everyone. And remember, stress-free holidays are much more likely when there is a certain element of forward planning involved.
Make sure you have packed up all of your bike equipment when loading up the car – a flat tyre in the middle of a route could be rectified a lot quicker with the appropriate equipment to hand. Finally, just in case you fancy a break from the cycling, the National park also runs kids clubs throughout the UK school holidays to give your children the chance to take part in some great activities with others holidaying in the area.
Parents should accompany children to the groups but you are guaranteed to be kept busy themselves too. All events are free and booking isn't necessary so make the most of what's on offer!
5 of the Most Beautiful Ruined Abbeys in the UK
Ruined abbeys are a fairly common and unique type of tourist attraction in the UK. Much of the North of England in particular is littered with the beautiful ruins of abbeys, most of them built between nine-hundred and a thousand years ago. The Dissolution of the Monasteries by the tyrannical English king, Henry VIII, saw the destruction of centuries of English heritage between 1536 and 1541. It included the suppression of monasteries, friaries, priories and convents.
Many buildings previously owned by the abbeys were either left to ruin or simply destroyed for the salvage of valuable materials such as glass and lead. Today, these often haunting and still magnificent ruins are some of the finest tourist attractions in the UK. Here are five of the best.
St. Mary's Abbey, North Yorkshire
Established in 1088, St. Mary's Abbey was a Benedictine Abbey disestablished by Henry VIII in 1539. The abbey was originally founded in 1055 as a dedication to Olaf II of Norway. The ruins which remain today are particularly picturesque. Much of the north and west walls remains and they now stand in the Museum Gardens. Other remains of the once enormous monastic complex are scattered throughout the well-kept gardens. Other ruins include the West Gate and the Pilgrim's hospitium.
Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire
Whitby Abbey is another Benedictine Abbey also located in the county of North Yorkshire. The stunning ruins overlook the North Sea from a high cliff above the town of Whitby. The abbey was established in 657 AD, making it one of the oldest in the region. It is now looked after by English Heritage. The remains are impressive and grand enough to give visitors an idea of the scale of the place and how it once looked. There are also many Saxon tombstones on the eastern side of the ruins. The visitor's centre offers various archaeological exhibitions and visual displays.
Kirkstall Abbey, West Yorkshire
Kirkstall Abbey was a Cistercian monastery established in 1152 and, like most other abbeys, disestablished in 1538. The ruins which remain are particularly pretty and have often inspired painters over the years. The abbey is now a Grade I listed building and in a state of arrested decay. It is one of the most complete examples of a Cistercian abbey in the UK. It is surrounded by plenty of parkland and wildlife. The visitor centre offers many interesting audio and visual displays and artifacts as well as realistic recreations of 12th century abbey life.
Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire
Founded in 1132 and functioning for more than 400 years, Fountain's Abbey abruptly came to an end in 1539 under Henry VIII. It is another Cistercian monastery and one of the best-preserved in the UK. It became a World Heritage site in 1987. As with many abbeys, Fountains Abbey has a particularly attractive natural setting. It is a great place to spend a long summer afternoon since there are many areas to walk around and seeing the abbey itself also takes some time.
Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire
Rievaulx Abbey was a Cistercian abbey founded in 1132, also destroyed in 1538. The abbey is located in a scenic area of North Yorkshire, surrounded by grazing sheep. It is a particularly quiet and relaxing site, ideal for a family day out or an afternoon stroll. The abbey church is the best-preserved building on the site. Of the abbey itself, most of the nave no longer exists other than the bases of pillars. Various other monastic buildings in various states of ruin litter the site.
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