SHEFFIELD ABSEIL: British Red Cross’ Steel City Abseil down Hallam university – Join us!

SHEFFIELD ABSEIL: British Red Cross’ Steel City Abseil down Hallam university – Join us!
Can you remember back to the beginning of the year when you were thinking about your New Year’s resolutions and you said that you wanted to try new things and step out of your comfort zone? Well, this is your chance to do so! 

The British Red Cross in Sheffield is organising the annual Steel City Abseil down the Owen Building (Hallam University) on Saturday 26th of October. It’s only £10 to enter with a goal of £100 or more to raise for the Red Cross. You can sign up here:

This Abseil is for everyone: for those who already abseil and for those who have never tried it before. It’s not only one of the best ways to challenge yourself (which is a great thing!) but it’s also a chance to support the Red Cross and help us to make a difference to each and every one of our service users’ lives.  So, there’s definitely no excuse for you not to sign up!

The British Red Cross supports people in any kind of crisis across Sheffield and Yorkshire: we run advice sessions and integration workshops for refugees and asylum seekers in our city centres, we loan out wheelchairs to residents, we send out volunteers in special “campervans” to people who have had housefires or floods, and we teach first aid and crisis education to young people. So, by doing the abseil you’ll be keeping all these services running.

And if you’re thinking that you have better ways to spend your Saturday, let me tell you that you don’t! This is a great activity for you to do with your family and friends and it’s also a great opportunity for the kids to learn a little bit more about the British Red Cross and the importance of its work. What better reason to step out of your comfort zone and conquer your fears!

Our abseilers all talk about feeling a sense of mission accomplished and, one of the highlights for a British Red Cross staff member who took part last year was, the look on people’s faces when I told them what I was doing, and the feeling when I looked back up at what I had abseiled down! “The hardest part was getting over the edge”, but the adrenaline, pride and accomplishment as a result was well worth the split-second of fear. 

The challenge of the year – and this one’s for YOU!


Written by Barbara Rocha (British Red Cross)


BBC SEARCH FOR A RADIO STAR: New Voices wanted for Local Radio talent contest

BBC SEARCH FOR A RADIO STAR: New Voices wanted for Local Radio talent contest

Open auditions to take place across England and Channel Islands for BBC Local Radio’s biggest ever talent search


The BBC has announced details for its biggest ever talent search to find the next generation of radio stars. All 39 local radio stations across England and the Channel Islands are hosting open auditions for New Voices on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 September.


BBC Radio Leeds will be holding auditions at The Alhambra Studio Theatre in Bradford on Sunday September 29th from 9.30am until 5.30pm. Registrations will close at 2.30pm and you’re advised to get there early!


BBC Local Radio is on the hunt for ordinary people with a love for their local area to take to the mic. Anyone over the age of 18 can audition and no previous experience is required.

Hopefuls will have 60 seconds to impress a panel of judges. They could tell a story about something they care about, something local, something personal… anything as long as it’s unique. Judges across the country will include BBC editors and producers plus special guests such as vocal coaches Carrie and David Grant.

In Bradford the judges will be Sanjiv Buttoo, Editor of BBC Radio Leeds, Gayle Lofthouse, BBC Radio Leeds teatime presenter and Sharon Watson, Artistic Director at Phoenix Dance Theatre.

The judges are looking for people who have the potential to contribute to existing shows, present their own one-off programme or even land a regular slot on a station.

New Voices-LOGO

BBC England’s Head of Audio and Digital Chris Burns says: “BBC Local Radio has always been the place in the BBC where new talent can get a break. Very few of today’s famous broadcasters haven’t done a stint at their local station. We are determined to discover the next generation of new radio talent. Our local teams speak to hundreds of people every day and know there are plenty of fascinating talkers out there who deserve more air time. So we’re opening our doors and inviting people to have a go at getting a slot on one of our stations.”

In most cases, all people will have to do is turn up at their local venue prepared to impress. However some will require candidates to pre-register first – for the full details.

The auditions will be first-come-first-served, so everyone is asked to make sure they check the times of the auditions and arrive promptly for the best chance to be seen.

The New Voices search is part of BBC Local Radio’s commitment to move into a new era. Last year the shared weekday evening show was replaced with fresh evening shows focused on bringing new talent to the BBC and covering subjects not usually heard on BBC local radio.


An award-winning London comedian, a former Leeds United footballer Sanchez Payne, former Lord Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid, Letitia George a finalist on The Voice, and Anna Lapwood the 24-year-old director of music at Pembroke College, Cambridge were just some of the new stars who scored their first break in broadcasting in the evening line-up.

Some of the biggest names in broadcast started in BBC Local Radio including Jeremy Vine and Woman’s Hour’s Jane Garvey. Now it’s hoped the New Voices open auditions will uncover even more new talent.

For further information and full terms and conditions visit


NEW SCULPTURE IN SHEFFIELD: Edward Carpenter memorial by Maggi Hambling

NEW SCULPTURE IN SHEFFIELD: Edward Carpenter memorial by Maggi Hambling

A sculpture by internationally renowned artist Maggi Hambling set to be a public memorial to human rights activist Edward Carpenter in Sheffield City Centre. 

Sheffield community group Friends of Edward Carpenter have announced that a sculpture by Maggi Hambling will form the permanent memorial to local activist and campaigner, Edward Carpenter, who lived in the city at the turn of the 20thCentury.

Friends of Edward Carpenter have been raising the profile of Carpenter in Sheffield and further afield over several years through events and fund-raising activities. Their aim is to provide a piece of public art in Sheffield City Centre to commemorate the influential poet, philosopher, activist and writer, that will inspire all ages.

Carpenter Sandals.jpg

Friends Of Edward Carpenter campaigner, Mark Scott, said: “We wanted a memorial that provides both a concrete and spiritual focus for all who are inspired and influenced by him. Above all, we want a work of public art that has integrity and that will ensure a respectful place of memorial in the heart of Sheffield. Our work with Maggi Hambling will achieve this. We are absolutely delighted.”

Maggi Hambling is a contemporary painter and sculptor and was the first artist in residence at London’s National Gallery. Her works are held in important public collections across the world, including the National Gallery, British Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Tate in the UK. This year she had an important retrospective exhibition in both Beijing and Guangzhou in China.

Hambling’s public sculptures include A Conversation with Oscar Wilde in London and Scallopon Aldeburgh beach dedicated to Benjamin Britten.

thumbnail_Maggi Hambling_Rendham_19th December 2016_bw

Sculptor Maggi Hambling, said:  “My sculpture will respond to Carpenter’s brave and ceaseless campaign for the emancipation of men and women regardless of background, sex or sexuality. I hope it will provide a presence that encouragesa conversation and continuing enquiry into the seminal work of the sculpture’s subject: Edward Carpenter.”

Edward Carpenter (1844 -1929) was a significant cultural and political activist who campaigned throughout his life on many issues of social concern, ranging from women’s suffrage to the protection of the environment, from sexual emancipation to the formation of trade unions. For over forty years he formed a strong bond with the people of Sheffield, living with his partner George Merrill in Millthorpe just a few miles away. Through his writing and public speaking, Carpenter encountered the great influencers of the day including William Morris, Havelock Ellis, Mahatma Gandhi, Keir Hardie, John Ruskin and E M Forster.

Carpenter Merrill.jpg

Friends Of Edward Carpenter campaigner Kate Flannery, said: “Edward Carpenter saw a future full of hope and a simpler way of life, a world free of sexism, class divisions, war, homophobia, a world where we live in a sustainable way. Not only that but he fought for them and campaigned for change. We feel his values resonate with many people today. That makes it extremely important that we honour his influence with a public memorial.”

Friends Of Edward Carpenter campaigner, Steve Slack, said: “Sheffield never gave Edward Carpenter any civic recognition despite several attempts to do so. We are delighted that Maggi Hambling will enable us to provide the memorial in the city he deserves. It is especially poignant given that year is the 175thanniversary of his birth. How fantastic that we have such a fabulous artist working with us!”

Friends of Edward Carpenter have the backing and support of Sheffield City Council for the siting of the memorial and several other city groups and important institutions. Their focus in the coming months is to begin the campaign to raise the funds, through public donations and sponsorship, to commission the fabrication of the sculpture and have it installed. Until then, the group intend to keep the sculpture and its location secret.

Councillor Neale Gibson, Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield is proud of its history of social equality and recognises the significant contribution Edward Carpenter made in shaping the compassionate city we know today. His values resonate with us strongly and form many of the foundations of our aspirations for the future. Maggi Hambling’s sculpture will provide a significant and contemporary affirmation to Edward Carpenter’s remarkable legacy and will be a great cultural focus for the city.”

Steve Slack added: “How fantastic that soon Sheffield will host a Maggi Hambling sculpture that will honour one of its most important historical figures. We are determined to make this happen and when the sculpture is unveiled, it will be a day of celebration and pride for our city.”
More about Friends of Edward Carpenter

The Friends of Edward Carpenter are Mark Scott, Steve Slack and Kate Flannery who founded the community group and who actively promote Edward Carpenter and his social importance across the city and further afield. They are supported by Sally Goldsmith (poet, writer, broadcaster) and Rony Robinson (writer and broadcaster). The group’s patrons are Joyce Gould (Labour Peer), Mike Jackson (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) and Sheila Rowbotham (writer, academic and activist)

To find out more, go to

Maggi Hambling’s Habit of Subverting Expectations –


FAMILY FITNESS IN YORKSHIRE: How to keep active with the kids

FAMILY FITNESS IN YORKSHIRE: How to keep active with the kids

There are so many active family days out to be had in Yorkshire, we’ve tested out a fair few of them this Summer from free activities to climbing and fitness challenges. Here are our child-friendly highlights…

Canal and River Walks 

We kicked off the Summer with a Leeds Cares Charity Canal Challenge which saw the kids and I walking along the Leeds – Liverpool Canal. 

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A lot of people will have a story to tell about their hospital and for us it’s @leedshospitals who helped save my daughter Arianna when she was a baby (as you may know) as we had to resuscitate her and then the Doctors and nurses cared for her and brought her back to life at #leedsgeneralinfirmary #lgi #intensivecareunit so when we were invited to promote the charity which supports the hospital at their canal challenge event, we jumped at the chance 💕💕💕It was a long but fun & scenic day walking along #leedsliverpoolcanal supporting the charity close to our hearts @leeds_cares in their #conquerthecanal challenge 💕❤️💕 Quite proud of myself for taking the two little ones on my own without a pushchair and completing the challenge! We had a few tantrums, some pit stops and bear crawling moments BUT we had such a lovely time together doing the #scavengerhunt, being active and making the most of the stunning outdoors @canalrivertrust @yorkshirefamilies @blogupnorth 👌👌👌

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The event was in aid of a great charity Leeds Cares which funds Leeds Teaching Hospitals work, something we as a family are grateful for as a family as they cared for my youngest Arianna when she nearly died as a baby. 

The day also gave us a chance to explore the Canal side which is simply stunning and free to walk our cycle along. We set off from Kirkstall Forge (we got the train there from Wakefield to Leeds station to Kirkstall Forge) and walked to Granary Wharf. It was a challenge taking the two kids on my own with no buggy or bike but it was well worth it and so scenic. We will definitely be exploring more walks with the Canal and River Trust as we haven’t been making the most of the canals near us. 

It was a free day out (other than the train journey) and we had a picnic along the way too. You can get straight back to the train station from Granary Wharf too. 


Travel To Tokyo 


It felt good to start the summer with an active challenge like the Canal Walk and we continued it with doing a series of free activities as part of the Travel to Tokyo Challenge to get families active in the run up to the Tokyo Olympics. 

By joining athletes on a virtual journey from London to Tokyo, participants will be in with the chance to win some fantastic prizes as young people work together to reach the December 2020 finish line. You can find out how to join here:

Swimming and Climbing 

My youngest daughter’s highlight of the summer was swimming at Disney-inspired sessions at Heeley Baths in Sheffield every Sunday. 

And my eldest loved going climbing at the Climbing Works – Mini Works centre where you can boulder and learn how to climb. 

Whilst in Sheffield, I also enjoyed some adult time going to Hot Yoga classes which are great for core strength and flexibility. 


Go Ape at Temple Newsam in Leeds 

I also really enjoyed going to Go Ape with my younger brother and step dad. It was so much fun swinging through the treetops and pretending to be Tarzan. We did the advanced course, but I will return with the kids to go back and do the mini course. 

Tough Mudder and Lidl Mudder 

I then took my step dad and my friend Katy to Tough Mudder which is an 8-10 mile course with 25 obstacles. We went to the one in North Yorkshire at Boughton Hall. My step brother cheered us along as spectators can come and watch for £10. We had so much fun and there was such a great feeling of camaraderie between everyone. 

I also saw that they now do a Lidl Mudder course for kids to take part… which I am sure would make the perfectly muddy family day out. 

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Have you taken on @tough_mudder challenge?! 🧗‍♀️💃🏃‍♀️ I’ve just completed my first #toughmudder experience and it was completely different than I expected… yes I guessed there’d be mud 😂😂😂 (and there was lots of that!) but rather than being a fierce competitive race… the camaraderie was just awesome. The obstacles were challenging but everyone was so friendly and cheered each other on. And somehow people managed to help me and my hips get over some huge walls, under some barbed wire and through a lot of muddy water 💦 I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. It was the best way to spend a Sunday… with great friends old and new @mrleefurness @katypadam … who’s up for joining my team for the next one?! @blogupnorth @yorkshirefamilies 😜😜😜Plus it all finished in Mudder Village with coffees, food, protein shakes and beers 🍺 👌🥤@jimmysicedcoffee @arladairyuk @snickers @brewdogofficial @lidlgb 💕💕💕 Now for a cup @yorkshiretea & a hot bath (the ice bath obstacle didn’t do it for me 😂) Thanks so much #toughmudder2019 – it’s been epic 💋💋💋 #GIFTED #yorkshire

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Community Health 

To finish off on a high… have you checked out what’s on in your local community? Whether it be council run activities in your local park or community open days.. We’ve been making the most of what’s on in our local area. 

We’re lucky to live in Wakefield, West Yorkshire and there are lots of family friendly walks to be had around Angler’s Country Park, Pugney’s Country Park and Sandal Castle. Also at Pugney’s and at Thornes Park there are outdoor gyms to play with too. 

I also taught dance at a community open day held by Inspiring Communities in Portobello, Wakefield – and they had weekly activities on for the whole family. 

Or maybe organise your own game of rounders, football or some indoor dancing and playing games such as twister. 


What are your favourite ways to keep active as a family?


BBC COUNTRYFILE LIVE: Castle Howard hosts the TV Show event in Yorkshire

BBC COUNTRYFILE LIVE: Castle Howard hosts the TV Show event in Yorkshire

I’ll admit I’ve never watched BBC Countryfile but I liked the idea of BBC Countryfile Live coming to Yorkshire where the whole family is actively taking part in a country-themed day out. 

We reviewed the popular event at its Castle Howard location in York, North Yorkshire… Here’s what we found: 

My daughters, my mum, my step-dad, my step-brother and his girlfriend and, I travelled in two cars to Castle Howard down the dreaded A64 (which can be a nightmare in the school holidays). 

Once we had worked our way slowly along the A64 we then had to endure another queue of traffic leading to Castle Howard (we really should have set off super early as recommended). 

It should have taken us an hour from Wakefield but it was over two hours in the end. 

Once we were parked up, we were relieved to see an event full of funfair rides, haystacks, stalls and food & drink. 

As the kids were ratty from the unexpectedly long car journey, we first got them a drink before tackling the rides – from bumper cars, a Ferris wheel and carousel to a tractor-themed bouncy castle and the opportunity to try out climbing and a paddle board. I was relieved to see that amongst the stages, outdoor furniture stalls, food and drink offerings, that there was space for rides and sheep and dog shows. 

It was a lovely sunny day so the outdoor activities worked really well and the grounds of the castle are simply stunning. 

We were glad to find a lawn area next to the Croquet that was being played. My kids, who are aged 4 and 7, enjoyed the wooden swings as well as taking part in the Maypole dancing. The space which is over the moat and overlooked the castle, is great to sit for picnics or to eat something from one of the many vendors. (From home-made ice cream galore to every cuisine you can imagine. Although my two opted for hot dogs which costed £10 for 2.). 

We spent a lot of our time on the lawn as there was an Opera singer performing and it’s a lovely space for the kids to let off some steam. 

Close by, the National Trust had a good range of activities too and there were plenty of photo opportunities in huge deck chairs. 

BBC Countryfile Live felt quintessentially British, I felt as if I had been transported into a Keira Knightley movie. 

It was a fun day out particularly catering for adults and older children. Unfortunately due to the heavy traffic in and out of Castle Howard we only had a few hours there. So we missed lots of highlights such as a Wildlife zone, canoeing and kayaking and, all the many shows and appearances that take place throughout. 

So make sure you give plenty of travel time to get there, so you can really make the most of it. For all the details of what goes on at BBC Countryfile Live, go to:

BINGLEY WEEKENDER: Yorkshire Music Festival feat. Doves, Ocean Colour Scene + local talent

BINGLEY WEEKENDER: Yorkshire Music Festival feat. Doves, Ocean Colour Scene + local talent

James, Doves and Ocean Colour Scene headline the first Bingley Weekender, a three day festival at Bradford & Bingley Rugby Club from 30th August- 1st September.

Friday’s headliners Ocean Colour Scene achieved both critical and public success in the 90s. The band released 5 top ten albums. One of which, Marchin’ Already reached number one in 1997. The band’s biggest hits include The Riverboat Song and The Day We Caught The Train. 

Continuing with the theme of Brit Pop icons, James Walsh of Star Sailor Fame will be appearing to play some stunning cuts from his recent album ‘Tiger On The Bridge’ and more. 

Giving some strong Yorkshire representation on Friday are Fling, an up and coming Bradford band who specialise in creating self described ‘wonky pop’ tunes. Recently they signed to iconic Leeds label Dance To The Radio who are responsible for publishing work from bands including Forward Russia, Dead Naked Hippies and Grammatics

Also performing on this day are Idles. Idles are at the epicentre of the punk revival that has taken the industry by storm recently and sold out an entire UK tour last autumn off the back of their album Joy as an Act of Resistance.  

Saturday provides a compelling mix of established and emerging indie acts. After taking a long hiatus from 2010 till late 2018, Doves are well and truly back. The band are responsible for brilliant tracks including Black & White Town and There Goes The Fear Again. 

The second day of the festival includes performances from Tom Grennan, Circa Waves, Anteros, The Blinders and more. Tom Grennan has managed to gain a legion of fans, release some fantastic tracks such as ‘Royal Highness’ and ‘Sober’ and even bag a world record for performing the most gigs in 12 hours. 

Circa Waves, one of the newly announced acts are one of the UK’s best loved indie acts. Their sunny indie first caught people’s attention back in 2015 with their debut album Young Chasers. 

Bingley WEEKENDER 2019 Artwork

Doncaster band The Blinders have quickly risen to the top of the indie pile for their political lyrics and wild live shows. Their dystopian debut record ‘Columbia’ is a strong statement of intent

Another Yorkshire band playing who will need little introduction are Leeds natives Marsicans who the national music press can’t get enough of. 

Sunday 1st September at Bingley Weekender has a billing of epic proportions. Headliners James are regarded as one of the prolific bands that arose from the Madchester scene. Their discography includes tracks such as Sit Down and Laid. 

In addition, Sunday includes performances from iconic British acts Miles Kane and Billy Bragg. Bookings including The Night Cafe, The Snuts, Ten Tonnes and local lads The Indigo Project ensure that festival goers get to see some of the next generation of up-and-coming bands. 

Although music is the primary focus of the fantastic new festival, there is so much more to Bingley Weekender. The boutique, family friendly festival will include street art, comedy, great food and opportunities to camp/ glamp depending on your preferences. 

Although there are no more early bird tickets left, a limited number or tier one tickets are now on sale for adults and children. 

For tickets and more information head to:


CIRCUS IN LEEDS: Win tickets to Mr Montgomery’s Circus Spectacular at Yeadon Town Hall

CIRCUS IN LEEDS: Win tickets to Mr Montgomery’s Circus Spectacular at Yeadon Town Hall

Mr Montgomery’s Circus Spectacular arrives to save the summer holidays

This summer, from 27 August – 1 September 2019, Yeadon Town Hall is bringing a circus spectacular to fill those end-of-the-summer-holiday afternoons.

The Town Hall team are working in association with Guiseley-based Codswallop CIC to create the show.

Led by Ringmaster Jacob Phillips, Artistic Director of Codswallop CIC, the circus show will dazzle audiences with a programme packed full of talent. Jugglers, aerial performers and dancers are expected to wow audiences.

There are hour-long shows running throughout each day, and plenty of themed activities to get involved with before and after the show. Children will even be given a free activity booklet to enjoy!

Jamie Hudson, Director of Yeadon Town Hall, says: “The circus will provide great family-friendly fun for all ages. The additional activities make this a fantastic day out for children and grown-ups, too! The team are working hard to transform the Town Hall into a mesmerising circus ring, so we’re sure people will be wowed from the moment they walk in.”

Go to: to book tickets.

Win a Family Pass to Mr Montgomery’s Circus

To enter, like our facebook page, comment and like this post:

All about Yeadon Town Hall in Leeds 

Yeadon Town Hall is an entertainment venue based in Yeadon, Leeds. We serve the local community in addition to providing professional standard entertainment. Yeadon Town Hall’s own work tours to theatre stages and performing arts venues across the UK, and we also curate a diverse programme of live music gigs, classical concerts, theatre performances and comedy shows – ensuring there is something for everyone.

Yeadon Town Hall is passionate about bringing theatre and the arts to the local community and beyond, inspiring every generation to connect with creative activity and experience new styles of theatre and performance. We are proud to be supported by Key Fund, Leeds City Council and of course our wonderful audiences, enabling us to continue bringing quality entertainment to the tow

WILLIAM’S DEN: Indoor-meets-outdoor adventure attraction creates home-made ice cream for visitors

WILLIAM’S DEN: Indoor-meets-outdoor adventure attraction creates home-made ice cream for visitors

Indoor-meets-outdoor adventure attraction William’s Den has launched a brand-new sundae and shakes menu using their home-made William’s Den ice cream. Den Millionaire, Raspberry River and Mud Pie are just a few of the new and exciting scrumptious ice cream sundaes that are now available. Visitors can enjoy Marvellous Mint, Muddy Chocolate and Award-winning Vanilla shakes too.

William's Den Ice Cream - William scoops ice cream for visitors


Produced with locally sourced, Yorkshire ingredients, the ice cream is made on site at William’s Den with delicious ingredients to create the delectable array of flavours on offer. The milk and cream used to make the ice-cream come from just down the road – the only creamery in East Yorkshire, St Quintin’s Creamery – meaning William’s Den have met the very cows who are helping to deliver their newest venture!

William's Den Ice Cream - Banana Split 

Creating homemade ice cream was a given for co-owner Tor Carver, who believes food memories are a huge part of childhood and family experiences. Channelling her own fond reminiscences of summer days gone by with her siblings and cousins, Tor knew from the inception of the attraction two years ago, that ice cream would be an integral part of the offer.

William's Den Ice Cream - counter shot

Tor said: “I have wonderful childhood memories of running down our lane on Sunday mornings to meet the ice cream van. For me, food memories are an important part of childhood, so it is because of this that we made sure the food offering at William’s Den can provide those memories and experiences for families who want a great day out to remember.

William's Den Ice Cream - visitors enjoying ice cream

I was also adamant that we needed to be able to use local ingredients where we can. When I realised that there is only one creamery in East Yorkshire – St Quintin’s Creamery. William and I visited Pete & Sarah Burdass’s much loved Fresian cows at their creamery and it is a fantastic feeling knowing which cows produced the milk, where they live and how well they are looked after.

William's Den Ice Cream - Tor and Christian owners of William's Den, with son William

So, after two years of testing and tasting, creating and perfecting the science of making ice cream, we are proud to announce that we make ice cream and to celebrate we decided to launch a new sundae and shakes menu. I hope our visitors enjoy our ice cream and can feel the love that went in to creating it.”

 What is William’s Den?

William’s Den is an award-winning indoor-meets-outdoor adventure attraction that gives families the freedom to play and experience a day out, whatever the weather.

William’s Den was created to enable big and little kids alike to play together in a unique indoor and outdoor space that has all the delights you would expect in a wild landscape such as mud kitchens, water play, den making, tyre swings, and zip lines. The Den has been designed and handcrafted by a team of highly skilled play experts. From the Tree House to the Forest Glade and the Eagles Nest to the Rainmaker, it is sure to thrill!

Families can also stop by to refuel at The Kitchen Table. A beautifully restored stone and brick barn offering something scrumptious to eat for the whole family. Free to enter, visitors to William’s Den do not have to buy a ticket to enjoy the restaurant. Families can expect wholesome and delicious food including wood-fired pizzas, award-winning home-made ice cream or a cup of coffee served by fully-trained baristas.

William’s Den is set on a hill in the Yorkshire Wolds, within easy reach of the M62. / @williamsdenplay #williamsden #wdplay

Ice Cream time

The new ice cream sundaes and shakes menu is available at The Kitchen Table in William’s Den now and will be available all year round with new flavours and seasonal specials every month. For more information about William’s Den and their ice cream visit

William's Den Ice Cream - Counter shot (2)

BBC COUNTRY FILE LIVE: Yorkshire family day out at Castle Howard in York

BBC COUNTRY FILE LIVE: Yorkshire family day out at Castle Howard in York
Countryfile Live takes place this August at Castle Howard in York, so Yorkshire Families don’t have to travel far for a family day out.
Countryfile Live allows visitors to meet the presenters and participate in an impressive array of country related activities including getting out on the water with boat rides, paddle-boarding & fishing, learn about conservation at the Wildlife Zone and join in with the National Trust’s 50 Things Woodland, take in spectacular feats of pooch speed & agility at the Dog Lovers’ Arena and join Brian Turner plus celebrity chef friends at the Le Creuset Kitchen Theatre for some culinary inspiration!
Or…if that all seems a bit too strenuous… pop to one of the many mouth-watering traders at the Food Market, grab a drink at the Craven Arms (where John himself will host a daily pub quiz) & bask in the beauty of the great outdoors at two of the country’s most stunning stately homes.


Countryfile Live is on at Castle Howard, Yorkshire: From Thursday 15th August until Sunday 18th August. 

For more information and to book, go to:



BACK TO SCHOOL: Buying shoes at Clarks inside Junction 32 Shopping Outlet – Review

BACK TO SCHOOL: Buying shoes at Clarks inside Junction 32 Shopping Outlet – Review

Believe it or not but the kids will be back to school before we know it, so we’ve been getting ahead of the game and buying school shoes from Clarks Shoes at Junction 32, well in time for the new term.

I have vivid memories as a child, sitting in Clarks shoes getting my feet measured before selecting my shoes. And this fondness of Clarks continued into my adult years as I have wide feet, I am very active and I like comfortable yet stylish shoes, so I have remained a regular customer.

back to school shopping junction 32 castleford clarks shoes xscape

I now have my own children to buy for as well and their feet seem to be rapidly changing, so I jumped at the chance to try out Clarks and get the kids fitted for some new school shoes (this fitting service is free of charge for all children).

Luckily for us, we live near a Clarks outlet store at Junction 32, opposite Xscape in Castleford.

If you’ve not been to Junction 32 outlet shopping village, I recommend a visit as there are lots of shops and things to buy at discounted prices (up to 60% off RRP).

I used to enjoy shoe shopping… until I had kids

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Believe it or not but #schoolpupils will be #backtoschool before you know it 👍🙂🙏 And we have a #schoolstarter and a #year3 student ready to get to class… so first things first is… shoes! 👌👌👌 We all know how important well fitted shoes are + getting ones that are good quality for all that running around in the playground 🏃‍♀️🏃🏾‍♂️🏃‍♀️ So we went down to @junction.32 to find our perfect #schoolshoes from our all time favourite @clarksshoes 🥿👞🥿 There the kids were fitted and got to choose their favourite pair of shoes, ready for September! Full blog coming soon on @mamameiblog #gifted #ad #clarkes #junction32 #castleford #shoeshopping #clarkesshoes #wakefield #familyyorkshire #westyorkshire #yorkshire

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Whilst I have frequented Junction 32 many times on my own or with a friend, it was with trepidation that I took along an irritable 4-year-old and an impatient 7-year-old.

But when we arrived my daughters spotted an interactive space station to play with which is available during the summer holidays (there’s lots of space-themed events too, I have listed them at the bottom of this blog). This is handily placed next to Clarks Outlet store (and to my delight, next to Starbucks too).

Anyhow, back to the task in hand… finding school shoes for my daughters. It’s never a particularly pleasurable experience taking my rabble shopping but luckily the staff at Clarks seem very used to lively children.

back to school shopping junction 32 castleford clarks shoes jasmine hale

Clarks offers a free fitting service by their fully trained Kids fitters, to measure length, width and depth of your children’s feet

First off, we went to the back of the store to have my daughters Jasmine and Arianna’s feet fitted.

The expert fitter was really patient and the manager presented us were some spare socks to borrow (yes, parent fail moment when you realise you’ve brought your children shoe shopping in sandals and with no socks on!).

Jasmine and Arianna both have wide feet so it was good that they got their sizes right so that they weren’t just cramming their feet into shoes that were too slim fitting.

back to school shopping junction 32 castleford clarks shoes yorkshire families

Once we had their sizes written on a card, they could then go explore the school shoes, which prices start from £26.

After much deliberation and patience from the staff, Jasmine and Arianna tried on a range of pairs (and the shoe fitter checked the fit of each shoe when they were wearing the pairs).


Eventually, they settled on the same style of shoe. I couldn’t believe we’d managed all this within half an hour and they had ended up with well fitting and smart school shoes ready for the new term!

My mum who had driven us to Junction 32 in the car from Wakefield (there is also an X32 bus you can get there), also had time to buy some new sandals and a bag from Clarks. I also had my favourite Starbucks Frappuccino!

back to school shopping junction 32 castleford starbucks

A quieter experience 

We had a great experience in store and it didn’t feel threatening or intimidating like a lot of shops can when you bring kids inside.

I love the fact too, that they have an autism-friendly environment. My little brother has Autism and shopping can often be over stimulating and too noisy for him, but Clarks have a space at the back of the store.


Families are welcome to use this space, have a quiet area and a 1 to 1 fitting experience away from the hustle and bustle.

This service is available now and to secure your space, you can call or email the centre management team using the details below:

Call: 01977 520153


back to school shopping junction 32 castleford clarks shoes kids fitting

What’s on for families at Junction 32 Shopping Outlet?

Here are the family-friendly Space-themed activities on this summer:

  • Saturday 10th August – Space Craft

Rockets, rovers, satellites and stations this week! It’s Space Cadets with Space Craft. There will be space slime and space junk model making, not to mention the fabulous photo opp for proud Space Cadets to show off their ‘Out of this World’ space makes. Their faces can then go in the Space Hall of Fame alongside other famous master makers of Space Craft.

  • Saturday 17th August – Space Race

The Space Race is on and you’ve got to be in it to win it. We will look back at races already won… to space, to the moon, and to Mars. Celeste Craft and Astro Bob will be on the lookout for space cadets who’ve got the speed and skill to break new records. Don’t miss this super-fast, speed of light space sensation of a session. There will be walking in space races, rocket races, around the sun and back races. On your marks…

  • Saturday 24th August – Alien Invasion

Visitors from outer space are on their way to Earth.  Are the space cadets under attack? Are these alien invaders friends or foe? Meet some Martians and work out the motivation for their Earth mission, and get ready for defending or befriending.

  • Saturday 31st August – Zero Gravity Disco

Time to party like there’s nothing holding you down. Oh, hold on! There is NOTHING holding you down! Who turned off the gravity? Find out what dance moves look like in space when everything goes slow-mo in zero G. It’s the interstellar dance championships and you’re all invited to throw some shapes to celebrate graduating from space cadet training.

For more information, go to:

DISCLAIMER: We received two pairs of shoes for the purpose of this review. All views are our own.