The summer holidays are the perfect time to spend some quality time together as a family, but sometimes we can be lost for inspiration. That’s why we’ve put together some of our favourite, local, family friendly spots so you don’t have to do the thinking. These are places we’ve tried and tested both personally and with clients so hopefully you’ll enjoy them as much as we do.
1. Brimham Rocks
An absolute classic and one of our favourites for a reason. We may be bias as climbers, but theres no greater adventure, even without the ropes, than getting out and exploring under, over, beneath and on top of the rocks at Brimham. With stunning views stretching across Yorkshire, it’s really not one to be missed.
It’s a national trust site so members can benefit from free parking and for none members it’s not too expensive for the day. There are toilet and café facilities on site too which is a bonus, or bring along a picnic blanket to lunch in one of the many grassy spots spread out around the site.
2. Grimwith Reservoir
A hidden gem in the Yorkshire Dales, Grimworth Reservoir is a fantastic walking destination for you and the family. A 4 mile round trip, the reservoir is surrounded by nature reserves great for spotting wildlife with some spectacular views along the way.
If you’re a climber tempted by off the beaten track crags, head out the back of the reservoir to Great Wolfrey. Be sure to have a look at a guide book before you go to check out some routes to get stuck in to.
Situated between Grassington and Patley Bridge, these are two lovely villages to stop off at on your way. The reservoir also has free parking.
3. Malham Cove
A little further a field in to the Yorkshire Dales will not disappoint. We’ve spent the past few months helping out with the Youth Hostel in Malham delivering their school residentials so we know this area like the back of our hand.
Choose from a plethora of walks with breath taking views. Ranging from a few hours up to the cove itself, climbing the 400+ stairs to reach panoramic views and see the site where Harry Potter was filmed, to a full day hike through Janet’s Foss and on to Gordale Scar taking in the delights of the waterfalls. All are very well signposted, with maps available at the National Park Centre.
Picnic spots are here there and everywhere, or spoil yourselves with a lunchtime treat at the café or one of Malham’s delightful pubs. If you can get there early enough, there is free street parking on the road leading into the village. Alternatively, car parking is available at the National Park centre or in the fields adjacent.
4. Embsay Reservoir and Crag
A perhaps lesser known spot just outside of Skipton, Embsay is the perfect spot for a stroll with awe inspiring views. Take a scenic walk around the reservoir, keeping your eyes peeled for birds, wildlife and even water sport enthusiasts. Or, if you fancy the challenge, take a hike up to the top of the crag overlooking the reservoir for sensational views across the valley. This is a particularly cracking spot at sunset too!
Just off the A59, enjoy the drive through the quaint local village before parking at the reservoir carpark where you can park for free. There are no toilets or cafe’s so be sure to go before you arrive, or be prepared for a wild wee.
5. Ilkley Cow & Calf
Another of our most popular venues, and for very good reason! Ilkley Cow & Calf is a fantastic climbing venue but has plenty of adventures for those without equipment. With a number of well trodden paths you can explore as far as the twelve apostle rocks, or stay closer and see if you can scramble out the back of the quarry to epic views over Ilkley. For the more adventurous, try some of the many squeezes through the rocks – there’s plenty of holes to get stuck in to (not literally!).
Parking is available and free of charge, with a lovely café on site; perfect for treating yourselves to an ice cream on a hot day, or a coffee on a cooler day. They also provide toilet facilities for users of the site.