Yorkshire Days Out – A Weekend in The Howardian Hills

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Last weekend our Online Marketing Manager Khalid Amin decided to be a tourist in his own county with a family camping trip in Yorkshire’s Howardian Hills. Along with his wife and 2 adorable kiddywinks, he discovered one of Yorkshire’s best kept secrets.

Khalid with his two kids Jay and Jasmin
Khalid camping with his two kids

Last weekend was a spontaneous camping weekend in one of Yorkshire’s best kept secrets, The Howardian Hills, which nestle nicely between The North York Moors, the Wolds and the Vale of York. It’s been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and quite rightly so, because in the brief glimpses when the sun shone, it was a really beautiful landscape.

I wouldn’t describe us as prolific campers, but was a fun and easy weekend away with kids. We booked our site via top drawer camping site pitchup the night before we went. The Robin Hood campsite (not sure what Robin was doing in Yorkshire) was just outside the pretty village of Slingsby, a couple of miles from the stunning Castle Howard. Castle Howard is listed as ‘One of the World’s Top Ten Greatest Mansions and Grand Houses’ according to Lonely Planet’s 1,000 Ultimate Sights. The house and gardens are a full day trip in themselves and would be an ideal family day out for anyone camping in the Howardian Hills.

Slingsby is also well located for a spot of walking, the local village website has some great walks that start in the village. We walked an easy couple of miles into the hills and down into the village of Fryton and back to Slingsby which is where we discovered the terrific local pub, The Grapes Inn. Now this is a pub I’ll be visiting again! It’s a free house which meant it had a great range of local beers including a current favourite, Copper Dragon from Skipton Brewery. Best of all it serves excellent food at really reasonable prices, it isn’t huge so I’d recommend booking which we had to do for Sunday lunch.

The menu is short and changes daily, the roast dinner was superb with melt in the mouth beef. Rather than have a specific kids menu, they do a small portion of anything on the menu. You don’t have to take my word for it though, The Grapes got pub of the week in The Yorkshire Post only a couple of weeks ago.

Yorkshire is famous for its rolling hills and picturesque countryside
Yorkshire is famous for its rolling hills and picturesque countryside

The area is dotted with villages to explore, and we chose the market town of Malton just beyond the hills. The town is a haven for independent shops and shoppers, in fact I can’t say I’ve visited anywhere with quite so many independent retailers. I needed some pepper and to be honest it wasn’t easy! My wife though was very smitten and took quite a shine to Malton.

On Sunday we visited the village of Terrington and Yorkshire Lavender, on a clear day it has the most amazing views out over the Vale of York, check out the photo below. It’s a great family friendly trip, set in a spectacular hillside farm of nearly 60 acres with its own herd of deer.

As is with the way with camping, we spent a decent amount of time dodging rain showers but once again the Howardian Hills came up trumps. Overall, if you are looking for things to do in Yorkshire, The Howardian Hills make a great day trip. It’s an easy 40 minute drive from York so if you are on a weekend break and fancy trying one of Yorkshire’s lesser known spots, I’d definitely recommend a trip up the A64 to Castle Howard and The Howardian Hills. If camping’s not your thing, hotels in York and Malton are available on our website and from our very friendly call centre.

Get some top tips on what to do and where to go during the 2015 Tour de Yorkshire right here!

The Grapes Inn,  Railway Street,  Slingsby,  York, YO62 4AL.  01653 628076. Open Tuesday to Friday, 12-2.30pm and 5.30-11pm; Saturday, 12-11pm; Sunday 12-10.30pm. Closed Mondays except on bank holidays.

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