The weather may still be wintery in February, but the days are lengthening and there’s new life popping up everywhere you look in the Yorkshire Dales. Take a stroll along our gentle paths in Freeholders’ Wood to see hazel catkins fluttering in the breeze or look out for the special February weekend openings at Austwick Hall to see their carpets of snowdrops.
A walk through valley meadows might take you through flocks of sheep with their tiny new-born lambs. If the weather has taken a turn for the worse then you might see them wearing colourful home-made coats cut out from feed sacks. Watch out for the white blossom of blackthorn along hedges up in the north-west of the park – a sudden cold snap at this time is often known as a blackthorn winter.
It is often hard to find things for kids to do over the February half-term – but in 2020 we are running our fourth Skies Festival with lots of activities, talks, a planetarium and even a night-time run or cycle for those so inclined. You will also find attractions like Hesketh Farm Park open specially, and there’s lots for the family to enjoy at our Dales Countryside Museum.