Easter is the time of year the sun always seems to shine and this year is no exception (so far). Glorious sunshine for two days, and we planned to go to do the Easter Egg Hunt at Bolton Abbey Estate in Skipton. Having been planned for a while today was the day.
Bolton Abbey Estate is about an hour from our house so of course this has to be meticulously planned. PG usually has her long nap in a morning and today was no exception. We set off around 9.15 which gave her almost an hour to nap. Little did we know at this point this would be the only sleep she had all day. The excitement of everything meant there was no way she was shutting her peepers for fear of missing something! When we got there we frequented the shop and bought a football (and a tacky bracelet which PG chose herself; then decided she didn’t want it after we’d paid – waste of a quid right there). We had planned to meet some friends but timing issues meant it didn’t really happen and we only crossed paths on our way back doing the egg hunt (whoops!)
Easter Egg Hunt
The hunt is a trail which is a couple of miles walk – a mile each way – which is a nice stroll alongside the river Strid.
You can collect your free Easter Egg Hunt sheet from the car parking kiosk on your way in, or the shop by the Riverside Cafe. It’s a lovely little trail and dead easy to follow, with giant glittery eggs hanging from trees leading the way. The aim of the game is to be on the lookup for bunnies, stationed along the way. Each bunny is looking after a seasonally decorated tree (think eggs, carrots or Easter baskets!) and the idea is that the children count the items in the tree and add it to their entry trail sheet. There are ten bunnies to spot, and eleven glittery eggs hanging from the trees which make up another secret anagram for you to work out when you get to the other end.
The halfway point is a good place to take a picnic and you can eat it by the river when you get half way. There’s plenty rocks to sit on – just keep the little ones close at hand as the river up there is very powerful so you don’t want the curious ones falling in. There’s plenty places to sit away from the river too, for something a bit safer!
The only real blunder was when I lost the damn trail sheet. I’d been left in charge of it for 2 bloody minutes and it managed to blow away never to be seen again. It wasn’t even flippin’ windy!
Once the trail is complete, crack the secret code then hand in your sheet for a chance to win a years pass to Bolton Abbey.
Bolton Abbey Estate
A bit about the place itself, Bolton Abbey is a popular spot and so arriving early is a must. The queue to get parked on a nice day later on in the morning/afternoon can get quite ridiculous. There were easily a hundred cars waiting to get into just one of the car parks as we left. Car parking is £10 per car which may seem expensive, however you can easily spend all day here. There’s plenty to do, from walking to splashing in the (bloody freezing) river Strid. The money goes into the upkeep of the incredibly well kept estate, keeping it a treasure of the Yorkshire Dales.
On arrival you will be given a leaflet of information which includes a nice map so you can’t get lost. It also points out the easy footpaths, and the not so easy footpaths. You will see lots of nature as you meander through the picturesque scenery. There are lots of different walks around the estate, plenty of which are family friendly, and some more geared towards the more ambitious walkers. You can even take a BBQ and have your tea in the designated areas – it goes without saying that a lot of work goes into keeping this place so neat and tidy so please don’t litter!!
The facilities dotted around the place deserve a little mention at this point. We found the prices of items in the gift shop, that we looked at at least, very reasonable. The cafe that we saw was very clean and tidy. Unfortunately this weekend the toilet situation was a bit of a problem. The main loos were being refurbished so porta-loos were provided. Everyone hates porta-loos but I don’t think this can be held against Bolton Abbey. Refits have to be done at some point and not matter when they choose it would be inconvenient so may as well just get on with it! Make sure you pay a visit to the stepping stones which are great fun, and go all the way across the river.
All in all, a bloody marvelous day. Wifey and I think this will become an annual tradition. I’m sure PG will only love it more as she gets older! I’d definitely recommend a trip to Bolton Abbey, particular on a sunny day. The scenery is truly stunning and if you’re into Geocaching, there’s plenty of that too!
Have a lovely Easter.