SPRING has well and truly sprung and it’s time to venture out into the great outdoors and blow away the cobwebs.
The sun has been shining this week and I’m really looking forward to visiting some of my favourite outdoor places in Yorkshire.
Here are my top five places for a relaxing day out in the great outdoors:
1 Harlow Carr Gardens
The Royal Horticultural Society Gardens are always beautiful all year round even in winter.
The 58-acre site can be found on the south-western outskirts of Harrogate.
The garden boasts a woodland, meadows, flower gardens and vegetable patches and is designed to respect and fit into the surrounding Yorkshire landscape.
And after strolling around the gardens there’s nothing better than tucking into a scone smothered in jam and cream at the Betty’s tearoom which is on site.
2 Brimham Rocks
Near to Harlow Carr Gardens in Summerbridge is Brimham Rocks – a firm favourite with my partner Liam.
Here is an amazing collection of weird and wonderful rock formations that were formed over 320 million years ago.
If you climb up to the top of them there’s some brilliant views over Nidderdale.
My nieces love it because they can clamber up the rocks and run through the paths.
3 Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Nearer to Huddersfield is the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Bretton.
The outdoors is such a fantastic way to see sculpture and the park has pieces by top modern and contemporary sculptors including Henry Moore and my favourite artist Antony Gormley who’s best known for creating the Angel of the North.
My favourite of the dales.
We like taking a walk to Aysgarth Falls where the River Ure carves out three unique waterfalls as it tumbles over the lime stone rocks there.
The Upper Fall is where Robin Hood battled Little John in the Kevin Costner film Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.
I love waterfalls, and Aysgarth is a really tranquil place to sit and watch the wildlife or in the summer, have a bit of a paddle.
5 Howardian Hills
We visit the hills if we’re planning on a long walk.
It has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the hills certainly are magnificent.
The countryside is so diverse and you can walk through woods, farmland and parkland or visit the 18th century Castle Howard.
At the castle you can marvel at antique furniture, paintings and porcelain.