Six of the best: Easter destinations

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As we enter the first major school holiday period of the year, here are six top Yorkshire destinations to keep the whole family entertained

HAREWOOD HOOUSE, LEEDS

You’ll find all sorts of activities here for family fun – the big problem will be trying to fit it all into one day. Whatever day of the week, during term time or school holidays, there is plenty to do here, for children of all ages and for adults too.

Visit the Bird Garden and see species of rare and exotic birds from all over the world, including our ever-popular penguins, flamingos and parrots.

Don’t miss the Adventure Playground; climb, clamber, slide, swing. Today it’s a pirate ship, or a fairytale castle… bring a picnic and you can sit back, relax and enjoy the view too. Call 0113 218 1000.

SALTS POTS POTTERY, SALTAIRE

If you fancy actually making something with your children, then a trip to this ceramic studio will keep everyone happy.

It’s a ‘paint your own pottery studio’ based in Saltaire,, Bradford. It caters for individuals and groups. The main studio is open for bookings and drop-ins with trained staff to help with techniques, take hand and foot prints and just be on hand to help. They cater for everything from birthday parties and baby showers to hen dos and corporate team building days.

Follow them on facebook or telephone: 01274 270210.

BRIMHAM ROCKS

It has previously been listed in the top 10 days out in the UK and there’s no doubting the enduring appeal of this Yorkshire beauty spot. Standing 300m above sea level, the rocks, which are said to be 320m years old, offer stunning views over the surrounding countryside.

But if you plan to visit over Easter, beware, because once their car parks are full, cars are sent away as it is not possible to park nearby. Nearby towns include Pateley Bridge, Harrogate and Ripon.

For more information about events see: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brimham-rocks

JUMP ARENA, KIRKSTALL, LEEDS

Aimed squarly at children and young teenagers, this new attraction for Kirkstall will have them quite literally jumping for joy. With vivid colours and bold lines, it looks every inch like a video game brought to life. The jump arena itself consists of dozens of large trampolines, surrounded by padding. There are even trampolines on some of the walls. Plus there’s a kind of plunge pool made of foam blocks for people to dive into, not to mention a balance bar and gladiator-style combat game. There’s also a cafe, although you’ll have to put up with constant dance music. Call 0113 263 5951.

FORBIDDEN CORNER, LEYBURN

A cross between The Crystal Maze and something out of Alice in Wonderland, this ever-evolving four-acre ‘garden’ is certainly worth a visit. It has all kinds of surprises up its sleeve, including an underground section with passages and tunnels to explore (if you dare). Even the seemingly gentle woodland paths have a few awe inspiring moments. The children will love it but adults should too, not least for the picture postcard views of the surrounding countryside, which emerge once you’ve traversed the underground maze. Call 01969 640 638.

SKIPTON CASTLE

Like York and Bolton castles, it withstood a siege during the English Civil War, but this time for three years.

Looking at it you can see why. It started out in 1090 as a motte-and-bailey but soon developed into a massive stone stronghold. So massive, in fact, that nobody dared attack it until Parliamentarians decided to try their luck in 1643.

Not even cannons could break the walls and three years later the Royalist garrison was still holding out. All other Royalist resistance in Yorkshire had crumbled and the defenders finally agreed to an honourable surrender. Perfect for a picnic.

Jeremy Thompson chatting with Nelson Mandela in 2007.

Jeremy Thompson - a life making headlines on the frontline of history