What’s on & news

– FREE by weekly email
– shows or prints a pdf
– FREE publicity for your news

What’s on soon

Thu 15 Apr 2021

On line Extra event from The Arts Society Hambleton. 'The Queens Jewellery', a live lecture by Viv Haxby who is particularly knowledgeable about our monarchy and aristocracy and is a London Blue Badge Guide We will hear about jewellery that was accumulated by previous queens and how it was acquired, jewellery the Queen has collected and how items have been adapted over the generations. We will learn about the role of the Queen’s Dresser and Keeper of the Personal Jewellery, how items are chosen to be worn and about items lent to other members of the family such as the Duchesses of Cornwall and of Cambridge. 7.30pm. £5. Members will receive an invitation prior to the event. Visitors please book on line. email: hambleton@theartssociety.org web: http://theartssociety.org/hambleton

Thu 15 Apr 2021

Online webinar: Local archaeology. Local community archaeology and geophysical survey - can it work? Talk by James Lyall, Geophysical Surveyor, Geophiz.biz. 7.30pm. Free, donatons appreciated. tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/thornton-le-street-history-group-rttp-25326488045 web: https://www.thorntonlestreetbigdig.com

Sat 17 Apr 2021

Event imageThirsk Market Place YO7 1EY. Thirsk Yarnbombers Craft Fayre. Come and meet the lovely Yarnbombers. All money raised will go to the charity Harrot Hospice Homecare.

Up to
 Sun 18 Apr 2021

Mother Shipton's Cave, Prophecy House, Knaresborough, HG5 8DD. Humpty Dumpty and his storybook friends are all here for an EGGCITING event sure to put a SPRING in your step! Booking essential. 10.00am - 5.30pm. £30 for car of up to 5 people. tel: 01423 864600 tickets: Online www.mothershipton.co.uk email: info@mothershipton.co.uk web: https://www.mothershipton.co.uk/

What’s on later

Tue 4 May 2021

Zoom on line event from The Arts Society Hambleton. The Rise & Fall of Napoleon. Stephen Duffy tells the story of Napoleon through the art his life created. 2pm. Free to members; visitors £7; members of other Arts Societies £5. tickets: hambleton@theartssociety.org email: hambleton@theartssociety.org web: http://www.theartssociety.org/hambleton

Tue 11 May 2021

Havoc Hall, York Road, Oswaldkirk, YO62 5XY. Open Gardens special event- 12 garden areas with woodland walk and 2 acre wildflower meadow with small lake., Wheelchair accessible with some avoidable steps, Home made teas available in aid of St Oswald's church and Village Hall. 10.30am till 1pm. £25 - children free, pre-booking essential. tickets: website only web: http://www.ngs.org.uk/special-events

Tue 18 May 2021

Online from Holy Rood House, Sowerby. Creative Journaling in Difficult Times Suitable for anyone wanting to explore journaling, whether experienced or a beginner. Crayons or felt-tips, a pen and paper will be all that is needed for exercises that will be enjoyable, useful, and revealing our wisdom. 10–11.30am repeated at 6-7.30pm. Suggested donation £15. tel: 01845 522580 tickets: email or phone email: enquiries@holyroodhouse.org.uk web: http://www.holyroodhouse.org.uk

Fri 21 May 2021

Thimbleby Hall, Northallerton DL6 3PY. NGS open garden day at this country estate on the edge of the N. York Moors. Formal gardens within extensive parkland and sweeping views of the surrounding countryside. Many mature trees incl. impressive avenue of redwoods framing views across the lake to the south of the hall. 1-4.30pm. £7, children free - pre-booking essential. tickets: NGS website web: http://www.ngs.org.uk

Sun 30 May 2021

Tennants, Leyburn DL8 5SG. The Young'uns. The three superstars from Stockton enchant us with their haunting songs and captivating stories of North East characters, and life in general. 4pm & 7.30pm. £16, £3 under-25. tickets: Book online web: https://www.swalefest.org

Sun 30 May 2021 to
 Tue 1 Jun 2021

Event imageThe Forum, Bullamoor Road, Northallerton, DL6 1LP. The Wizard of Oz. A fun-packed pantomime twist on the original story. Sun 2pm & 5pm, Mon 2pm & 4.30pm, Tue 1pm, 3.30pm & 6.30pm. £10 per person. tel: 01609 776230 tickets: online email: info@forumnorthallerton.org.uk web: http://www.forumnorthallerton.org.uk

Tue 1 Jun 2021

Zoom on line event from The Arts Society Hambleton. LS Lowry; A Visionary Artist, A painter of the human condition? Lecture by Michael Howard, artist, and teacher at the Manchester School of Art. 2pm. Free to members; visitors £7; members of other Arts Society societies £5. tickets: hambleton@theartssociety.org email: hambleton@theartssociety.org web: http://www.theartssociety.org/hambleton

Fri 4 Jun 2021

Shandy Hall Gardens, Thirsk Bank, Coxwold, YO61 4AD. Special Evening opening for NGS. Home of 18th century author Laurence Sterne. Two walled gardens and one acre of unusual perennials plus old quarry with another acre of trees, scrubs, climbers and wildflowers encouraging wildlife incl. 440 recorded species of moths. 6.30 till 8pm. £3 , children free,. tel: 01347 868465 tickets: On the door web: http://www.laurencesternetrust.org.uk/shandy-hall-garden.php

Sat 5 Jun 2021

Holy Rood House, Sowerby, Thirsk YO7 1HX. Quiet Garden Day. 'The garden as embracer of our sorrows and joys' - led by Helen Warwick. Our large garden offers a quiet, gentle healing space which includes a labyrinth, orchard, goats and a walled garden with a pond. 9.45 for 10am-3.30pm. Suggested donation £25-£30. tel: 01845 522580 tickets: email or phone email: enquiries@holyroodhouse.org.uk web: http://www.holyroodhouse.org.uk

Sat 5 Jun 2021

St. Mary's Church, Richmond DL10 7AQ. Voice Trio - ‘Hildegard Transfigured'. A sublime piece of concert-theatre by top female vocal trio VOICE accompanied by an extraordinary psychedelic light show, celebrating the 12th century composer and visionary Hildegard von Bingen. 8.30pm & 11pm. £12, £3 under 25s. tickets: Book online web: https://www.swalefest.org

Sat 12 Jun 2021

The Forum, Bullamoor Road, Northallerton, DL6 1LP. Lore. With captivating harmonies and finely crafted songs, LORE will provide an evening of soulful songs with stunning musical arrangements. Famed for turning the legendary 'Teenage Kicks' on its head, LORE have gone from living room dreams to sell-out theatre tour success in a short time. 8pm. £12/£10. tel: 01609 776230 tickets: online email: info@forumnorthallerton.org.uk web: http://www.forumnorthallerton.org.uk

Sat 12 Jun 2021

Thirsk Hall, Kirkgate, Thirsk, YO7 1PL. NGS Open Gardens day- view the unexpected 20 acres of grounds and gardens resulting from a sensitive restoration including a sculpture park. Home made teas available. Wheel chair access. 2 till 5.30pm. £6, children free. tickets: On the gate

Tue 15 Jun 2021 to
 Sun 20 Jun 2021

'Three Musketeers' online, promoted by The Forum. starring Robert Lindsay - a new online farce. The classic tale is brought to you by the inconceivable, unimaginable and fantastical FoolHardy Theatre. Audio and animation are brought together in this swashbuckling adventure. Expect sword fights, deception and a right royal romance as we take you back to the regal splendour of 17th century France in this exciting, madcap comedy. After purchase you will receive a booking confirmation including your link. This link will become active on the screening date you select. You’ll then have 48-hours to see the play. £15, £12.50 early bird. tickets: Book online web: https://bit.ly/3sjcy7H

Fri 18 Jun 2021

Arden Hall near Hawnby, YO62 5LS. Open gardens special event, 2 acre walled garden and formal stone terraces with exceptional views over to Hawnby Hill and Moors National Park. 10.30am till 1pm. £25 - pre-booking essential. tickets: website only web: http://www.ngs.org.uk/special-events

Sat 19 Jun 2021

The Forum, Bullamoor Road, Northallerton DL6 1LP. Lou Sanders: 'Say hello to your new step mummy' It’s me, Loulie, AKA the face that launched a thousand dicks! In this show I’ll examine relationships (all kinds, baby), mental health (other people’s, I’m fine) and perverts (that one is mainly me, actually). I’ll be oversharing, wanging on about spirituality and giving everyone some much unwanted advice. As seen/heard on 'Taskmaster', 'QI', '8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown', 'Travel Man', 'Hypothetical', 'The Russell Howard Hour', 'The Unbelievable Truth', 'Ultimate Worrier' and more. 8pm. £13. tel: 01609 776230 tickets: Book online email: info@forumnorthallerton.org.uk web: http://www.forumnorthallerton.org.uk

Wed 23 Jun 2021

Ness Hall, East Ness , Nunnington, YO62 5XD. Open Gardens special event, Romantic English flower garden surrounded by parkland with views of the North York Moors, large walled garden with steps and slopes. 10.30am till 1pm. £25 - pre-booking essential. tickets: see website below web: http://www.ngs.org.uk/special-events

Fri 25 Jun 2021

Shandy Hall Gardens, Thirsk Bank, Coxwold, YO61 4AD. Special Evening opening for NGS. Home of 18c author Laurence Sterne. Two walled gardens and one acre of unusual perennials plus old quarry with another acre of trees, sgrubs, climbers and wildflowers encouraging wildlife incl. 440 recorded species of moths. 6.30 till 8pm. tel: 01347 868465 web: http://www.laurencesternetrust.org.uk/shandy-hall-garden.php

Sat 26 Jun 2021 to
 Sun 27 Jun 2021

Duncombe Park, Helmsley YO62 5EB. British Falconry Fair. A world class series of ring events will showcase the very best in flying demonstrations from the best display falconers in the business. Saturday night BBQ and bar. No dogs allowed. Onsite basic camping area – you must prebook and spaces are limited. The B&Bs, hotels and campgrounds of Helmsley are just a short walk away. tel: 01439 772080 email: info@ncbp.co.uk web: https://britishfalconryfair.com

Tue 29 Jun 2021

Online Zoom. Markenfield Hall talk. It is near Ripon is on our doorstep but is unknown to many of us. The seat of the Grantley family, builders of Grantley Hall, the moated manor house dates from the 14th century. Although altered over centuries, it would still be recognised by its original builder. Janet Senior, a volunteer guide at the hall tells us about this remarkable building and its remarkable families. Click https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87967635163?pwd=S04zSUNoRGgrZUxZdkFuUkNmeEs5Zz09. 1.45 for 2pm. Free, no registration needed.

Sat 3 Jul 2021

St Mary's Church, Thirsk YO7 1PR. Come and Sing Day. Whether you are a regular singer with your local philharmonic chorus, or are yearning to join a choir but have never quite been brave enough, or are somewhere in between - we want you! Open to singers age 15+ of any standard, from complete beginner to professional singer. We will be tackling extracts from some of the best-known vocal works, from Handel's Messiah to Bernstein's West Side Story with critically-acclaimed conductor Benjamin Ellin. Workshops 10am-12pm & 1pm-3pm, Concert 4pm. £5. tickets: Email to register your interest email: office@benjaminellin.com web: https://www.demowbraymusic.com

Sun 4 Jul 2021

The Forum, Bullamoor Road, Northallerton DL6 1LP. Jazz fans: the fabulous sounds of the Big Band Era performed in an Open Session by Alan Owens and The Forum Big Band. The bar will be open. Noon. £4. tel: 01609 776230 tickets: Book online email: info@forumnorthallerton.org.uk web: http://www.forumnorthallerton.org.uk

Sat 10 Jul 2021

The Forum, Bullamoor Road, Northallerton DL6 1LP. Bingo Revolution (18+): A fun packed evening of laughing, dancing,dabbing and life changing prizes. Your hostess with the mostess for the evening will be Glamorous Granny Fanny. She will have all the prizes and surprises. Top comedian Cal Halbert from BGT will be on number calling duties. Superstar DJ Jim Slipp will be playing all the smash hits from the 80's, 90's 00's and today. 6.30pm. Early bird £13 plus £1 for Bingo card for all 6 games.. tel: 01609 776230 tickets: Book online email: info@forumnorthallerton.org.uk web: http://www.forumnorthallerton.org.uk

Tue 13 Jul 2021 to
 Thu 15 Jul 2021

Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate HG2 8NZ. Great Yorkshire Show. tel: 01423 541222 web: https://greatyorkshireshow.co.uk

Tue 13 Jul 2021

Havoc Hall, York Road, Oswaldkirk, YO62 5XY. Havoc Hall, York Road, Oswaldkirk, YO62 5XY. Open Gardens special event- 12 garden areas with woodland walk and 2 acre wildflower meadow with small lake. Home made teas available in aid of St Oswald's church and Village Hall. Wheelchair accessible with some avoidable steps. 10.30am till 1pm. £25 - children free, pre-booking essential. tickets: see website below web: http://www.ngs.org.uk/special-events

Sat 24 Jul 2021

The Forum, Bullamoor Road, Northallerton, DL6 1LP. The Upbeat Beatles. Did you miss The Beatles first time around? Don’t miss them now! This is a rockin’ band with tight musicianship and powerhouse vocals! You’ll be jumping from the word go! There isn’t a band to touch them - 8 bars of “Twist and Shout” and you will know why!. 7.30pm. £20. tel: 01609 776230 tickets: online email: info@forumnorthallerton.org.uk web: http://www.forumnorthallerton.org.uk

Sat 31 Jul 2021

Event imageThe Forum, Bullamoor Road, Northallerton, DL6 1LP. Swede Dreamz: Abba tribute. From the opening beats of Waterloo to the final notes of 'Thank You For The Music', Swede Dreamz will take you on a journey through some of ABBA’s greatest, most memorable hits including 'Dancing Queen', 'Mamma Mia', 'Take A Chance On Me', 'SOS', 'Fernando', 'Chiquitita', 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!', 'Knowing Me, Knowing You', 'Money Money Money' and many, many more. 7.30pm. £19/£17. tel: 01609 776230 tickets: online email: info@forumnorthallerton.org.uk web: http://www.forumnorthallerton.org.uk

Sun 1 Aug 2021

The Forum, Bullamoor Road, Northallerton DL6 1LP. Jazz fans: the fabulous sounds of the Big Band Era performed in an Open Session by Alan Owens and The Forum Big Band. The bar will be open. Noon. £4. tel: 01609 776230 tickets: Book online email: info@forumnorthallerton.org.uk web: http://www.forumnorthallerton.org.uk

Sat 7 Aug 2021

Showfield, Stokesley TS9 5ER. Up to 400 of the very best classic vehicles will be on show on what will be a great family day out. The 2021 show is going ahead after last year's cancellation. There will be a dedicated motorcycle arena with the Yorkshire Coast British Motorcycle club planning to bring over a dozen bikes. Also going on show in the arena is a rare 1967 British Velocette Thruxton one of only 441 ever made. 10.30am-4pm. £6, family £14, exhibitors free-of-charge. email: president@stokesleyrotary.org.uk web: https://classicsonshow.co.uk

Hospice 100 Challenge

Blog image

An important message from Herriot Hospice Homecare


We are a local charity that supports families living with terminal illnesses and bereavement across Hambleton and Richmondshire.

We have recently launched our Hospice 100 Challenge. It's a free digital event and we're asking supporters to take on a 100 themed activity in May. This could be anything from running or scooting 100 miles to taking on 100 burpees or 100 minutes of dancing! We want to encourage our supporters to get active and outdoors.

All our participants will receive a Herriot t-shirt and a digital fundraising pack complete with mindfulness tips and activities for families.

We're asking supporters to try and raise £100 which could be enough to fund a day of care or provide a package of resources to support children or young people with their emotional wellbeing or bereavement during the pandemic, using technology and online resources to help them deal with challenges in these strange and unsettling new times.

Hospice Care never stops, 365 days a year, come rain or shine, amid periods of calm and during challenging times, our dedicated and professional team continue to offer our communities compassionate and highly skilled end of life care.

Our services are provided free of charge and we rely on the support of our community, to continue providing this special care.
Our website has more information and the free entry link:

We don't have to stay at home!

Blog image

We are now allowed to travel within England but can't stay overnight with friends and relatives away from home.

However from Mon 12 Apr one household can go to a self-contained holiday home for a much needed break away from the usual four walls.

Think about coming to Thirsk, home of James Herriot and the centre of beautiful countryside! The advice is:


– Plan and book ahead. If your plans change, remember to cancel in good time so your table or room doesn’t go to waste.

– Respect, protect and enjoy nature and the great outdoors.

– Avoid tourist hotspots and check out England’s hidden gems instead.

– Be kind to staff and locals, and support local independent businesses.

– Follow social distancing rules, wash your hands regularly and wear face coverings where necessary.

– Look out for the We’re Good to Go mark – it shows businesses that are operating in line with government COVID guidance.


Find holiday homes at

An update

From Mon 12 Apr we still cannot invite relatives or friends into our home and outdoor gatherings must remain limited to 6 people or 2 households. However some of the changes are…

– non-essential shops open,

– pubs & restaurants may serve food and drink outside,

– self-contained holiday homes open,

– many outdoor places like zoos and other outdoor visitor attractions open,

– libraries and community centres open.

Thirsk Tourist Information

Blog image

For this 'Local Events' we have requested up-to-date information from holiday homes, restaurants and places to go. You can discover in these pages some of the places which will be either fully or partially open in the period Mon 12 Apr to Mon 17 May.

The all-volunteer information centre in Thirsk's Market Place will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Mon 12 Apr when we reopen at 10am after lockdown.

Later this week we will have a new Thirsk & Sowerby postcard (see above) and two new postcards that we have produced in co-operation with the Yarnbombers.

Why not send postcards to your friends as a change from social media?

We open 10am-2.30pm Mon-Sat (closed 12-12.30pm) or phone 01845 522755. 

We have a live webcam and tons of information about Thirsk and North Yorkshire in general, at

Three Tuns Antiques

Blog image

This treasure-trove behind the Three Tuns Hotel in Thirsk Market Place will reopen from Wed 14 Apr, with hours Wed to Sat 10am-4pm.

The Angel, Topcliffe

The Hotel, Bar and Restaurant are currently closed but it is planned to reopen the Garden on Wed 15 Apr at noon for food & drinks.

The Angel at Home takeaway service Wednesday to Sunday is still operating.

For more detail see

Crief Lodges

Blog image

When it reopens on Mon 12 Apr the site will be run at below capacity (usually no more than 6 of the 9 lodges at any one time) and the Sports Hall is not in use.

The abbey is currently closed. Keep an eye on the Stanbrook Abbey website for details about reopening the abbey church and bookshop.

Old Oak Tree, South Kilvington

There is a restaurant, B&B and they have holiday homes at The Old Oak Tree, very close in to Thirsk.

They currently supply takeaways Wed and Fri 5-7 and Sun 12-2 and from Mon 17 May will reopen 7 days a week.

Sutton Hall Resort

Blog image

This stunning resort and a beautiful Grade 2 listed 18th century Manor House will be reopening on Mon 12 Apr and all of the facilities will be open under a booking system so that guests can have private use for an allocated time.

Sutton Hall has been sympathetically adapted to provide eight Apartments, 3 Cottages and 3 cosy Barn conversions.

It is set in 24 acres of manicured grounds, with woodland, a meadow (and a lazy river) running through.

There are two all-weather tennis courts as well as a small Indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, Hot Tub and Infra Red Sauna.

You will find Sutton Hall Resort in the quaint village of Sutton-Under-Whitestonecliffe on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors.

Crakehall Watermill Cottages

A mill was recorded in Little Crakehall in the Domesday Survey of 1086AD. The current working mill dates from the 17th century and is an excellent example of a country corn mill.

These holiday homes near Bedale reopen Mon 12 Apr. They sleep 2, 4 & 6 guests.  A dog is welcome in two of the cottages.

They are in a very comfortable, quiet and pretty location near the stream on the edge of the village of Crakehall.  Come and take a break! Book at

Landrace Cottage

Blog image

This holiday home at Carlton Minniot, very near Thirsk, will reopen on Mon 12 Apr.

There is a double bedroom with en-suite shower room, a twin bedroom (cot available) and also a separate shower room.

Hand-made oak furniture, leather sofas, under-floor heating, wood-burning stove, Digital TV, DVD, DAB digital radio with CD and ipod dock.

The Black Swan, Oldstead

A premium, at-home dining experience from Tommy Banks and the team, offers three and five-course menus for delivery across the UK.

They provide a taste of Black Swan dishes in the comfort of your own home. Further details are at

Thirsk Furniture Trail

Blog image

This comprises nine workshops producing fine handmade hardwood furniture to commission. Each workshop has showrooms that are open to visitors who can see local furniture makers' work.

They use a variety of hardwoods to make an enormous range of furniture, made to
the specific requirements of their customers. People come from all over Britain to have their furniture designed and made by their favourite craftsmen in the wood and style that they have chosen.

Most are open by appointment, please ring ahead.

HowStean Gorge

Featuring so much natural beauty, visitors can explore natural caves, walk through flowing ravines, climb up rocks, participate in a high wire adventure, and more!

The attraction, at Lofthouse in Nidderdale above Pateley Bridge, reopens on the Mon 12 Apr for the gorge & caves attraction, outdoor activities and cafe (eat out only).

Find out more at

Dalby Forest

Blog image

Dalby Forest is towards Scarborough from Thirsk, and about an hour away by car. Key facilities have remained open and Forestry England is now working to fully reopen safely.

Many of you enjoy visiting this, and other beautiful woodlands, across Yorkshire. Please plan ahead and maybe change those plans if sites are already busy. If you can visit during the week or later in the day, it may be more enjoyable.

Park responsibly, legally and not blocking gates. Continue to follow government coronavirus guidance. Respect Forestry staff, volunteers and other visitors. Protect wildlife by clearing your litter. Keep your dog under close control. Don’t start fires or BBQs. Stick to marked trails and forest tracks.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park

You’re in for some fantastic family fun at the UK’s No1 Walkthrough Wildlife Adventure! Come and visit Pixel, Victor and Nissan, at Project Polar, one of the largest Polar bear reserves in the world!

The gates re-open on Mon 12 Apr at Hurst Lane, Auckley, Doncaster, about 1hr 15mins from Thirsk by car.

See more at

Lightwater Valley

Blog image

The theme park between Ripon and Masham will be reopening from Sat 17 Apr.

With over 30 rides and family attractions, visit Lightwater Valley for a fun-filled day out.

New for 2021 – Enjoy an exciting expedition through the Go Safari area with animal-themed rides. As well as new rides, there are all of the park’s young family favourites including Little Dipper, Carousel, Skyrider, the Lady Bird rollercoaster, Splash Falls and many more.

Included in ticket – Explore Treetop Trails – head high above the park on the giant net walk-through experience.

Tickets must be pre-booked online

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

This is a unique cultural destination near Wakefield across 500 acres where around 100 sculptures are sited in formal gardens, parkland, woods and beside two lakes. It is less than one hour by car from Thirsk.

Tickets cost £6 per person. Under 18s are free. All visitors need to book and pay for a ticket in advance, see

Ryedale Vineyards

Blog image

Ryedale Vineyards is one of the most northerly commercial vineyards in the United Kingdom and is a family-run business in North Yorkshire, at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds near to Malton and Castle Howard - less than 1hr by car from Thirsk.

All aspects of wine production from pruning to harvesting to pressing, fermenting, bottling and labelling are carried out by hand in a converted cow byre. 

There are 14 different varieties of vines with over 120 heritage apple trees around the vineyard which are used for cider, pressed by hand.

The cellar shop is now open and tours start on Sat 24 Apr. They will be wholly outdoors until Mon 17 May. A tour group into the winery will be your own party (up to 6 people)

Castle Howard

Castle Howard’s 1000 acres of parkland are a mixture of sweeping vistas, lakeside terraces, woodlands, temples, statues and formal gardens. With so much to enjoy, you can easily spend a day exploring the vast grounds.

The Coffee Shop is open daily 9am-5pm and the Boathouse Café 10am-3pm (Mon-Fri) and from 10am-4pm on weekends, both offering a grab-and-go takeaway offer.

The Castle Howard Farm Shop and Garden Centre are open daily from 10am-5pm.

Thorp Perrow Arboretum

Blog image

At 100 acres, Thorp Perrow Arboretum boasts one of the largest collections of shrubs and trees in the North of England, including the national collections of Ash, Lime, Laburnum, Walnut and Cotinus.

The Arboretum is near Bedale and about half an hour by car from Thirsk.

In spring, snowdrops, crocuses and thousands of naturalised daffodils lift the spirits, followed by carpets of bluebells and clouds of fragrant blossom.

The playground and garden centre are open. The Tearoom offers a takeaway service for food and drink, with outdoor seating. The bird of prey and mammal centre will reopen Mon 21 Apr.

Mobility scooters are available to hire again and can be pre-booked by phoning 01677 427203.

You can visit daily from 10am-4pm. All visitors, including season ticket holders, must pre-book their tickets in advance at

Sutton Bank Visitor Centre

The National Park centre will open for retail only on Mon 12 Apr, 10am-4.30pm daily. The café will be operating a limited takeaway service at their Grab-and-Go Express hatch (10am-4pm daily).

The exhibition area, children's craft table and seating at the bird watching area will all be closed.

Teatime Yorkshire

This café in Thirsk Market Place is open for takeaway Monday to Saturday 9am-2pm.

From Mon 12 Apr there will also be a few outdoor seats serving breakfasts, some lunch specials, homemade cakes, barista coffee, speciality teas, milkshakes and hot chocolates.

Newby Hall

Blog image

The gardens, playground, restaurant (outdoor) of this stately home between Boroughbridge and Ripon are all now open.

The Miniature Railway and River Boat will open on Wed 14 Apr.

The House, Dollshouse Exhibition and Teddy Bear House will hopefully open on Wed 19 May but the dancing water jets (Tarantella) may remain closed until Wed 21 Jun.

Black Bull Caravan Park

Blog image

This caravan park on the edge of the North York Moors near Pickering will be opening on Mon 12 Apr but will have all shared facilities closed until at least Mon 17 May.

Book online at

Thirsk Racecourse

There will be racing on Sat 17 Apr, however not open to the public.

The very earliest that might be is Thu 3 Jun.

Upstairs Downstairs

This Thirsk Market Place deli and sandwich bar is open and from Mon 12 Apr there will be tables outside for customers to purchase from the deli and sandwich bar counters.

Only the upstairs tearooms will remain closed – until May.

The Yorkshire Arboretum

Blog image

The Yorkshire Arboretum is 120 acres of peace and tranquillity on the historic Castle Howard estate.

It has a botanically diverse tree collection, wildflower meadows, sweeping vistas and rich native fauna. Wander off and explore peaceful glades, follow a tree trail, or simply relax and enjoy the views with locally-sourced coffee and home-cooked food from the Arboretum Café.

The arboretum is open daily 10am-4pm, with takeaway café facilities Thu to Mon 10am-4pm with some outside seating.

Visitors must book online at

Beningbrough Hall

Blog image

Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens is a National Trust property off the A19 from Thirsk to York.

Outdoor spaces are open with a simple takeaway food and drink offer. You’ll find everything on the website including how to book.

Bolton Abbey

This abbey is in Wharfedale and about 1hr from Thirsk by car.

It is now open 9am–7pm with last admission at 5.30pm.

All car parking and lavatory facilities are open and many of the cafés and tearooms are offering a takeaway service. The Estate gift shops open from Mon 12 Apr.

Leighton Reservoir Fly Fishing

Leighton Reservoir is open for business, all bookings are now on line at

North Yorkshire Water Park

Blog image

This water park is just one hour by car from Thirsk towards Scarborough.

Since Mon 29 Mar visitors have been able to access Fishing, Wakeboarding (new!), Kayaking, Pedalos, Paddle boarding, Leisure walking, Open water swimming, Walking.

To book an AquaPark or watersports session, go online at

Bedale Camping and Caravanning

This family run, award-winning campsite & caravan park is welcoming guests back from Mon 12 Apr. Toilet and shower facilities are open, with the restrictions of one person in at a time and plenty of hand sanitisers in use throughout the site.

Fountains Abbey

Blog image

This is a World Heritage site near to Ripon. The abbey and water garden as well as the Studley deer park are open for much needed access to nature. The visitor centre restaurant, Studley tea-room and Mill kiosk are open for takeaway but the shop remains closed.

Please book a ticket online before visiting to manage numbers in the busiest areas and help keep everyone safe. Book at

Rievaulx Abbey

Blog image

Escape to this tranquil valley of the North York Moors and discover the impressive ruins of one of England's most powerful Cistercian monasteries.

The grounds of Rievaulx Abbey are open. Takeaway catering is available but all indoor areas remain closed. You need to book your visit in advance.

Ingleton Waterfalls

At the west side of the Yorkshire Dales (1¾hr from Thirsk), this waterfalls trail is back open now, everyday from 9am to 7pm. There is a one-way system, meaning visitors do have to be able to complete the full 5 mile walk - they cannot turn around part way.

Toilets are open and the takeaway areas around the trail are also operating for refreshments.

Visitors still buy tickets on the day (card only), with no pre-booking other than for larger groups.

Stonebridge Fishing Lakes

Blog image

Stonebridge Fishing Lakes is currently open for fishing.

The touring caravan park opens on Mon 12 Apr but toilet and shower facilities remain closed for now.

Lakeside glamping will open Mon 17 May (assuming no guidance changes) and bookings can be made now at

Thirsk Angling Club

Blog image

The River Coarse Fishing Season is now closed until Wed 16 Jun.

Until then, Coarse Anglers are allowed to fish stillwater venues only. Members of Thirsk Angling Club are entitled to a day ticket discount on production of their membership book when fishing Grange Farm Pond, situated on York Road just outside Thirsk (YO7 3AD / flute.adopts.originate). Book ahead on
07486 524876

Hillside Caravan Park

This caravan park in Knayton, near Thirsk, will open Mon 12 Apr for self-contained accommodation to single households/support bubbles. Touring caravans with their own toilet and shower are also welcome.

The camping pods are available as they have their own toilets and showers and Granary Cottage – holiday cottage – is also now available.

All communal facilities will remain closed for the moment.

Wensleydale Creamery

The Wensleydale Creamery is based in Hawes in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park about 1¼hrs by car from Thirsk.

On Mon 12 Apr it will reopen the Cheese Shop, Gift Shop and Coffee Shop Garden to serve food & drink outdoors and to take away.

Sample the Creamery’s menu which champions their award-winning artisan cheese range and local produce in the Garden, whilst soaking up the stunning panoramic views of Wensleydale and the Yorkshire Dales.

You can also buy handcrafted Yorkshire Wensleydale cheeses, along with locally sourced accompaniments from Yorkshire food producers, including crackers, chutney, pickles, honey, charcuterie, oils, and Yorkshire Butter.

The Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese Experience and the Calvert’s Restaurant re-opening dates are not yet fixed and cheese sampling is not available at the moment in the shop.

Daisy Doodle

This Paint-a-Pot in Garthway Arcade, Northallerton cannot open fully yet but from from Sat 17 Apr is able to offer one to one baby prints, either painted prints onto bisque or clay imprints. They are taking bookings for this now via their Facebook messenger page.

You can also buy pottery painting takeaway kits. Daisy Doodle is open on Saturdays by appointment where customers get a half hour slot to choose their pots and their paint colours. This is then packed up to paint at home. Return for glazing and firing.

Ivy Cottage, Helmsley

This is a 3 bed-roomed Yorkshire stone cottage, at the end of a small terrace overlooking a local green. VisitEngland's quality assessment team has consistently awarded it a 4* quality rating, with a Gold Award since 2019.

The cottage is situated in a quiet road less than five minutes walk from the bustling town centre of Helmsley, and also only five minutes walk from open countryside.

The holiday home will be reopening on Mon 12 Apr, initially for single households/support bubbles only, and for mixed groups (hopefully) from 17 May.

To find out more phone 07795 063861 or email

Carlton Lodge Activity Centre

Activity days are back!

Outdoor Activity Days are available from Mon 12 Apr and residential activity stays will be available from Mon 17 May (subject to change).

Groups are managed in a maximum of two family units or six adults. School groups are allowed using the same rules under which schools bubble their pupil groups.

The days on offer have a mixture of  Archery, Challenge Course, Bushcraft, High Ropes Bridges, High Ropes - Crate Stack, Climbing Tree, Problem Solving and Orienteering. Not every activity will take place each day but they will try and fit as many in as they can. 

The day starts at 9.30am and you'll be finished by 4.30pm. You will need your own packed lunch and drinks/snacks. Government covid guidance will be followed so you should bring your own mask and hand sanitiser. Spares will be available but using your own is always nicer.

Cod Beck Space Invaders

Blog image

John Aston helps us identify wildlife on our local rivers. See all his articles at


Wild Garlic

One of the many joys of spring on the beck is the huge expanses of Wild Garlic which grow on its banks. Even if you’re not a plant expert (and I’m certainly not) this plant is very easy to recognise, both from its appearance and its very distinctive smell. The leaves are deep green spears, typically 10-15mm long, and they start to peep through the soil in early February of a typical year, variable by several weeks according to the severity of winter.

As the weather warms up, the Wild Garlic’s small white flowers appear and the smell intensifies, especially after heavy rain. It is less intensely pungent than the garlic you’d put in your Spaghetti Bolognese, and maybe even has a hint of chives but, along with wild spearmint, it is my favourite smell of the countryside. It’s a favourite taste too, and now it’s even getting popular in trendier restaurants – remember them, back in the days when we could eat out? My recipe is simple – pick a couple of fresh leaves, rinse them and add them to an egg mayo sandwich. Bliss.

Wild Garlic is native to the British Isles, but the two plants I’m now going to talk about are invasive species, which can cause problems for the environment. And one of them, the Giant Hogweed, can injure you quite seriously.


Himalayan Balsam

Here’s a question for you - what have the Victorians ever done for us? Quite a lot, actually, but not all of it was good. Such was their love of discovering new species of plants abroad, that they decided that a few samples would liven up the English country garden. That’s what happened in 1839, when the first Himalayan Balsam was introduced to the UK, originally to be grown in greenhouses. And now you will find this plant along thousands of miles of British rivers and streams, destroying habitat and contributing to bank erosion and flooding. But it looks so pretty, the bees love it and so do kids, because it only takes a shake of a balsam’s main stem to create a fusillade of flying seeds.

You can’t mistake Himalayan Balsam, and you will find plenty on the Cod Beck. It grows up to 2 metres high and covers every inch of the bank in places. It produces a mass of small, sweet-smelling pink flowers in the summer months, followed by bullet-shaped seed pods in September, which literally explode when ripe. Individual seeds can be ejected up to 4 metres away and often float downstream to create new areas of infestation downstream.

So what’s the problem? Himalayan Balsam prevents anything else growing but it dies back completely in winter. Because it stops other, more robust plants growing, the river bank is much more vulnerable to erosion, and the silt washed downstream can also contribute to flooding. The solution? Despite various well-meant attempts at ‘balsam bashing’ by conservation groups, it only has a minimal effect, because more seeds inevitably appear from upstream and the banks are quickly recolonised. The only solution is to start at the top of the Cod Beck, up near Osmotherley, and to remove, or poison, every single Himalayan Balsam plant. And that won’t be easy…


Giant Hogweed

There’s only ever been one song about an invasive plant species by a Prog Rock band – Genesis, on its 1971 album, Nursery Cryme. “The Return of the Giant Hogweed” is a tongue-in-cheek song about the danger to mankind posed by this Russian plant. First brought to Kew in 1817, it has now spread across the country, but outbreaks are often quelled with glyphosate because this plant is a very nasty piece of work. Contact with Giant Hogweed makes the skin extra vulnerable to sunlight and serious inflammation can result, potentially dangerous to children. You can’t mistake Giant Hogweed for anything else, because it looks like a giant cow parsley plant, usually between 2 and 3 metres tall and with a parasol of flowers at its head. There are often outbreaks in this area, but they are rare on the beck – thankfully. If you do find one near a footpath in town, do let the town council know please.

Don’t worry if you’re not very confident in identifying plants - neither am I. But there’s plenty of free phone apps to do it for you. I have the Picture This app on my iphone but others include Leafsnap and Plantifier. Most Android phones already have the recognition app Google Lens.

My next piece will feature another invader – but this one bites…

Add your event for FREE

To have the best chance of including an event in this newsletter please do one of the following. There is no charge.


1. Complete the form at


2. Email these details: Your name and email (or phone), event date (and end date if over a period), event details - include place, description, start and finish time, price and website or other contact details. Send to


3. Let us have an A4 or A5 poster (an emailed attachment may not get printed). It is best to bring or mail a poster to us at 93A Market Place, Thirsk YO7 1EY. We are open Mon-Sat 10am-noon & 12.30-2.30pm

Last week of consultation

Blog image

The public consultation on how we will be governed locally starting two years from now ends on Mon 19 Apr. Make your views known to Government at


North Yorkshire are currently served by a two-tier system of local government, North Yorkshire County Council and District Councils like Hambleton. The Government wants to replace these with one tier.

Six of the seven districts within North Yorkshire (all bar Hambleton) have proposed two unitary councils (East and West) - the East comprising Ryedale, Scarborough, Selby districts and the current unitary of York, and the West comprising Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate and Richmondshire districts.

North Yorkshire County Council has proposed a single unitary on the footprint of the existing administrative county, to operate alongside the existing unitary City of York Council.

Vaccinations for aged 50+

Most people 50 and over have now been vaccinated.

If you missed out, please don't wait any longer. Contact your doctor or book online at

Trains to & from London

Blog image

Every day from now until Thu 3 Jun there will be significant disruption on rail services running to or from London King’s Cross.


On Fri 23 Apr
LNER trains to/from the North of England and Scotland will start/end at either Peterborough or Stevenage, where passengers can change onto Thameslink train services to/from St Pancras International.

Grand Central will run a reduced service between Sunderland, Thirsk & Bradford and Finsbury Park.


Sat 24 & Sun 25 Apr
LNER trains to/from the North of England and Scotland will start/end at either Peterborough or St Neots. A replacement coach service will run between St Neots and Bedford, where passengers can change onto Thameslink train services to/from St Pancras International. Grand Central services will not run to or from London.


Fri 4 Jun to Sun 6 Jun
A full closure of King's Cross station will be in place.

Hambleton cases to 4th April

Blog image

Hambleton comprises Bedale, Easingwold, Northallerton, Stokesley, Thirsk and all the hamlets and villages around these.

The chart was derived from the Government's Yorkshire and Humber epidemiological data sets.