Days out in Yorkshire: A Christmas festival Yule love

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The sleigh bells are ringing and the halls are decked – yes, it’s Christmas time.

So start the festivities with a trip to the famous Skipton Yuletide Festival.

Now in its 18th year, the Gateway to the Dales is again hosting the two day event on December 2 and 9 and it’s far from your average festival.

How many Christmas festivities can boast live entertainment featuring a trio of grannies flying around on motorised shopping trollies. Last seen live on national TV for the Lord Mayor’s Show, the Granny Turismo are definitely worth checking out – the kids will love them.

There’s nothing quite like a good sing song to make everyone feel Christmassy too, so another must see is Musical Ruth – the singing nun aboard her mobile piano – and Victorian singers Dizzy and Dotty The Comedy Carollers.

The traditional festival staples are well covered too for big and little kids, with Santa setting up home Craven Court shopping centre accompanied by a real reindeer, so don’t forget the carrots!

But the real draw for shoppers is the 150 decorated festive stalls, selling locally produced food, hot roasted chestnuts, Mulled Wine and the like.

A good tip is to grab something hot to drink while you explore – keep out the cold and ramp up the festive feeling.

Entertainment will include regular performances from Skipton Brass Band, Barnoldswick Brass Band and the Accrington Pipe Band, as well as Nelson Brass Band in Coach Street car park to welcome visitors.

What’s also good about this event over the two weekends is its blend between the fun, modern entertainment and the classic sense of Christmas, and each day of the festival will round off at 4pm with a torchlight procession up the High Street to Holy Trinity Church where a traditional carol service will be held in the church grounds.

Aside from plenty of town centre parking, the train station has good rail links too from across the county.

With two bites of the cherry, it’s an event that blends old and new meaning the little ones will be as well catered for as the parents too.

For more information and deals on great days out see: www.yorkshire.com

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