Wintery Fun at Stockeld Park

I read about this place a couple of years ago, we all agreed it sounded like a fun Christmas day out but every time we made plans to go it rained. This year we resolved to be successful. Son’s school Christmas holidays started quite early, the first day without rain we set off for Yorkshire direction Wetherby.

That pesky rain did start up on our journey but when we reached the very quaint market town of Wetherby it stopped. We didn’t stop, all were in agreement the town looked beautiful dressed up in its Christmas finery but the countryside and Stockeld Park was our goal and we pressed on.

Right in the middle of nowhere we arrived at Stockeld Park just after 3pm and found a very busy car park. Some people were leaving though so we got a parking spot. Plenty of mud underfoot, relief that we were sporting walking boots was my first feeling, sturdy shoes are required here.

We had a quick look around and decided on a plan of action. The good thing about this place is you do not pay a general admission charge, you only pay for the activities you want to try out. There were a few wooden buildings dotted here and there and a lake nearby – a very pretty setting.

12-18-003-stockeld-park

We spied a lit up tunnel area and walked through, en route realising this was the way to Santa’s Grotto. Lots of little children with nice new looking husky toys were coming from the opposite direction with smiles on their faces. Son was crippled with embarrassment in case someone thought he was off to see Father Christmas. Husband and I were crippled with laughter.

12-18-002-stockeld-park

Back to the ticket office we were told that due to unforseen circumstances the ice rink would not be available and as compensation three activities for the price of two would be on offer. Ice skating had not been in our plans anyway so a double bonus for us. We bought tickets for the maze, Nordic skiing and Enchanted Forest and set off.

12-18-014-stockeld-park

First up the maze – we would probably not have paid to do this so it was our free extra. It was wonderful. Lush, green, thick and illuminated with fairy lights, we all loved the plethora of special effects and sound effects throughout.

12-18-006-stockeld-park

12-18-017-stockeld-park

Quirky and funny signs appealed to Son’s sense of humour and the odd unusual prop here and there – like a Tardis – was great. We found our way relatively easily to the centre (I should say Husband and Son did, I tagged along behind them) and back out again but all agreed this was one of the best mazes we’ve done.

12-18-008-stockeld-park

12-18-011-stockeld-park

By then quite dark, we made our way to a little wooden hut and got fitted out with ski boots and with skis and poles we set off. We’ve been downhill skiing in the past but never tried cross country skiing so no idea how this compared.

12-18-020-stockeld-park

Snow in Yorkshire was in short supply, we “skied” along a green carpet through a forest on a trail that is just over 1 km long. It wasn’t too busy, it wasn’t too difficult and we loved it. The odd person had fallen over here and there, mostly though everyone seemed to get the hang of it quickly. It was fairly flat but by the end we were glad to see the finish point in the distance, it did feel like a bit of a work out.

12-18-021-stockeld-park

12-18-023-stockeld-park

12-18-027-stockeld-park

12-18-028-stockeld-park

Skis and boots left back, it was time to enter the Enchanted Forest. This runs parallel to the ski route, you could do just one or the other and get the general idea. We were glad we had opted to do both.

12-18-032-stockeld-park

By the time we entered the trees it was very dark, the whole place was magically transformed with lights and it was just wonderful. Fairytale characters illuminated in the forest, sound effects here and there, interactive stuff aplenty to climb on and buttons to push it was just great.

12-18-034-stockeld-park

12-18-036-stockeld-park

In the middle was Gretel’s Cabin, a log hut where you could buy drinks and snacks and beyond that the lake – all lit up and looking stunning. It really did feel magical – we were all thoroughly enchanted by this place.

12-18-037-stockeld-park

 12-18-040-stockeld-park

A peek in the very Christmassy gift shop before leaving…

12-18-041-stockeld-park

12-18-042-stockeld-park

We found a gorgeous old fashioned pub in the next village – the Windmill Inn in Linton was just five minutes drive away. Heaving with locals it was warm and cozy. We feasted on the most delicious food which was beautifully presented and so reasonably priced. The perfect end to a magical afternoon.

12-18-044-stockeld-park

12-18-045-stockeld-park12-18-047-stockeld-park

45 thoughts on “Wintery Fun at Stockeld Park

  1. I went with my boyfriend on “date night” about 3 or 4 years ago and we had a great time. It’s so pretty and we had a lot of fun getting pictures with all the signs in the maze. But yes it does need good weather to properly enjoy it! Glad you had a good time.

  2. It looks like a fun place to visit in the run up to Christmas – we’ve done a little cross country ski ing in Lapland, easy on the flat but hard work on uphill sections! We prefer downhill !! I liked the quirky igns but n the maze

    • School until the day before Christmas Eve – that is no fun!! Some schools here go to Thursday but we lucked out, our son finished last week and just goes back straight after New Year – I don’t mind that! This was such a fun day out, the perfect way to get into the Christmas mood.

      • We go back to school and work on the 3rd so it feels like a short break but it’s a break all the same so I shall enjoy it anyway. When I was wee, I was once in school for a half day on Christmas Eve.

    • Yes, you read about so many of these Lapland styled places which turn out to be terrible. This was superb, so much fun and plenty to do. Think we timed it right too as seeing everything in the dark was perfect.

  3. This is really amazing! What a lot of work went into creating all the magic–but I can’t imagine it being any better (unless you had real snow!) And, yes, cross-country skiing is supposed to be one of the best workouts you can get!

    • Real snow would just have been the icing on the cake – especially since it is such a novelty here – but it was so much fun. My muscles did ache the next day I have to say – despite the lack of snow!!

  4. This looks a wonderful place Joy – full of Christmas enchantment! Funnily enough my parents lived in Wetherby for 16 years (though I was down in London by then) so I know it well though don’t remember Stockeld Park. It looks so pretty and Christmassy! I am well acquainted with all the lovely pubs in and around Wetherby including Linton too! Looks a great family day out! Wishing you a very happy New Year and look forward to reading your posts in 2017!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s