For a family day out with a twist, we took a trip to the enchanted forest at Stockeld Park.
Stockeld Park is located within an hour's drive of York, Harrogate and Leeds, making it one of North Yorkshire's most popular family days out. Visiting as we did in the summer, we had great fun on the go-carts, the bouncy pillows and about 3 different outside play areas.
For older children there is also a hedge maze, a segway-style forest scooter trail and a roller rink. There are two cafes on site, one with an indoor play area which must come in very handy on inclement days.
But you can't come to Stockeld Park and not take a trip around the enchanted forest. A woodland walk with a series of fairytal-inspired installations, from ogres and witches cottages to mushroom houses and talking trees. Many of them are interactive - for example Rapunzel sings to you as you walk past her tower - and so bound to be a hit with any young child who enjoy pressing buttons (and what young child doesn't?)
The one change I would make if I had a magic wand would be to lower the prices a bit so that we could come more often. Yes we went during the peak season, during the summer holidays, but even so, charging the full £12 entry fee for a two year old puts Stockeld Park out of step with its competitors price-wise. And that's a real shame, because if you do manage to save up enough pocket money to get in, it's a lot of fun.
Stockeld Park is now closed for the season, but reopens for Halloween (from October 22nd), Bonfire Night (November 2nd) and Christmas (November 3rd to January 6th).
During the winter months, the roller rink converts into an ice-skating rink, the forest scooter paths become alpine skiing tracks and Santa arrives to set up a grotto. The enchanted forest is bathed in coloured lights and becomes truly beautiful at dusk (although be warned that the play areas all close at dusk too, so there's is no option to stop and play on the way round).
Full details and prices can be found on the Stockeld Park website here