Freshen up your home for summer!

Freshen up your home for summer!

The warm weather has started and summer is upon us, so why not give your home a refresh for the upcoming summer months!

Brighten up

Adding bright colours to your home will instantly put you into a summery mood. Swap your current cushions and home accessories for something more colourful. Hanging up vibrant art work will help to brighten up your home, as will using floral and leafy patterns. Make your home even brighter by strategically placing mirrors around your home, which creates the illusion of a more open space.

Summer decor

Bring the outside inside

A great way to bring summer into your home is to fill it with plants and flowers! Greenery in your home not only looks nice, it helps to improve your wellbeing. Read our previous blog for loads of indoor garden tips. If you don’t fancy having real plants indoors, opt for fake ones or decorate with floral patterned accessories.

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Garden makeover

Summer is the perfect time to get out in your garden or balcony. If you haven’t grown your garden already, you can buy potted plants and flowers to scatter around your garden or hang off your balcony. If you have grass areas, now is the time to make sure they are neat and mowed, as you’ll be wanting to sit outside more in the warm weather! Create a relaxing outdoor space with seating, and hang up fairy lights to create the perfect mood for evenings outside.

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Defrost and a clear-out your freezer ready for more delicious summer treats. Stock up on summer necessities including sunscreen and after-sun, insect repellent and bite cream. Be ready for spontaneous days out by keeping picnic blankets, beach towels and sports equipment/games in your storage cupboards. Summer means BBQ’s, so give your grill a really good clean so you’re ready for guests, and to make the food taste even better.

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Top summer 2017 decor trends

Bright green was named the colour of 2017, and its the perfect colour for summer! Butterfly prints are also a big thing this summer, so get in on the trend by purchasing some butterfly print accessories for your home. Along with butterflies, any kind of tropical prints are a must have this season. Don’t be afraid to mix clashing prints either, its one of the top looks of the year! Rose gold was the big thing of last year, but this year its all about bronze.

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And when you’ve done all this hard work, why not treat yourself, family and friends to a summer party in your newly refreshed home!

Leeds & Sheffield Bank Holiday Weekend!

Leeds & Sheffield Bank Holiday Weekend!

The August Bank Holiday is made for a long weekend of live music, food and drink. The holiday marks the ending of summer, so make the most of it with these great events in two of Yorkshire’s major cities; Leeds and Sheffield, both famed for their great music events and excellent bars!

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Leeds 

Leeds Festival 26-28th: One of the country’s biggest music festival, with headline acts this year including Biffo Clyro, Fall Out Boy, Foals, Disclosure, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Imagine Dragons.

Temple Newsam Beer Festival 26-29th: Temple Newsam Park’s first ever beer festival, offering an excellent selection of beers and ciders, as well as delicious food and children’s activities within it’s beautiful park.

Soak & Up Yer Ronson, Mint Warehouse, 27th: Spice up your bank holiday with Mint’s end of summer day and night party, with a line up full of the best house acts around.

Chebfest, The Library, 27th: Celebrating women in heavy metal with a line up of female-fronted metal bands and burlesque acts.

Merrion Street Festival, 28th: A long weekend of fun activities and events where all the bars along the strip open their doors for a proper street festival.

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The Garden Party, The Faversham, 28th: It’s not a bank holiday in Leeds without a Garden Party. The Faversham’s famous day and night party will return with Alan Fitzpatrick, Denis Sulta and Dusky.

Insomnifest, Beaverworks, 28th: For their 5th birthday, Insomnifest have loads of top DJs and six different areas to party in.

Northern Soul Bank Holiday Special, Smokestack, 28th: A more chilled way to spend your bank holiday with good old soul music you can really dance to.

Black Music Festival, Potternewton Park, 28th: An open air concert hosting the best reggae, hip-hop, grime, gospel, afrobeat and r&b artists. The perfect warm up for…

Leeds West Indian Carnival, Potternewton Park, 29th: A day of live music, entertainment, fantastic costumes, food and drink, along with the colourful parade through Chapeltown.

Sheffield

 

Cannon Hall Farm Food Festival, Barnsley, 25-29th: If you’re a foodie you’ll love this festival; as well as delicious food stalls there will be demonstrations, workshops, live music and activities for children.

The Velvet Burlesque, Library Theatre, 25-28th: A fantastic and flamboyant burlesque and cabaret festival with excellent shows as well as workshops and classes!

Bank Holiday Pimm’s Cocktail Weekender, Malin Bridge Inn, 26-28th: End the summer with a weekend full of cocktails, live DJs and a BBQ at this three day party.

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August Bank Holiday Beer Festival, West Street Ale House, 27-29th: A weekend full of the best craft beers, cask ales and live music; perfect for real beer lovers.

Dirty House Party, The Harley, 27th: What The Harley does best; an epic night of the best house music with DJ ej and Ste Haley.

Big Soul Night, Sheffield City Hall, 27th: A fantastic night of the best soul music, with three rooms hosting northern soul, Motown hits and modern soul anthems.

Live music @ Leopold Square, 27-28th: Two evenings of chilled live music, with Danny Maddocks’ soulful sound on Saturday, and a jazzy Sunday afternoon with The Big Swing.

The Charged Garden Party, Dam House, 28th: An all day and night party celebrating the Dam House 10th birthday, with a special after party until 6am.

Roger Sanchez & Late Nite Tuff Guy, Area, 28th: A bank holiday special with these two top artists and other great DJs, set to be an amazing night of house and techno.

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Fun low cost summer holiday activities!

Fun low cost summer holiday activities!

With the summer holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking how to keep your children occupied! But trying to think of six weeks’ worth of activities that won’t break the bank can be a challenge. No need to worry though, we’ve compiled a list of fun activities that are either free or low cost to do with your children this summer that will keep the boredom at bay! We’ve got everything from day trips in Yorkshire, outdoor activities and things to do on a rainy day (which is very likely in Yorkshire). Enjoy!

Day trips

  1. Camping – there are some great campsites in Yorkshire that give you a nice break without the hefty price of going abroad. Check out our camping blog for the best ones.
  2. Go hiking – Yorkshire is full of beautiful hills to explore- Peak District, Nidderdale, Roseberry Topping and loads moreYork walks3
  3. Go to a lake/park/waterfall – such as the Malham Tarn lake, Thornton Force waterfall in Ingleton, and Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield
  4. Attend an outdoor concert/movie – Millennium Square in Leeds and Kirkstall Abbey are hosting some great outdoor screenings this summer
  5. Play mini golf – there’s a glow in the dark course at Xscape in Castleford, and a pirate crazy golf course in Hull, and loads more across Yorkshire
  6. Go to the beach for a day – the East Yorkshire Coast is a must visit
  7. Visit a museum/art gallery – there are loads all across Yorkshire from the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield to the National Railway Museum in York, and everything in between
  8. Go for a picnic – Yorkshire is full of stunning nature that provide the perfect spots for a summer picnic
  9. Visit a local landmark – Castle Howard, York Minster, Kirkstall Abbey, Brimham Rocks to name a few
  10. Go to a farm – Meanwood Valley Urban Farm is just 50p for children to visit and Goodalls of Tong in Bradford is freeDepp Hull
  11. Go on a boat ride – Skipton and York have some great boat tours
  12. Visit an amusement park – Light Water Valley, Flamingo Land, Fantasy Island and Pleasure Island are all in Yorkshire
  13. Explore a new town/city in Yorkshire
  14. Learn about wildlife – Yorkshire is home to some of the best parks and centres including Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster, Tropical Butterfly House in Sheffield, and The Deep in Hull
  15. Go to one of Yorkshire’s many festivals held throughout the summer such as The Great Yorkshire Fringe in York, Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink Festival in Skipton and so much more, suitable for the whole family!

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Outdoor activities

  1. Plan a road trip
  2. Go on a bike ride
  3. Go strawberry picking
  4. Grow flowers or vegetables in your garden, or create a cute fairy garden!
  5. Have a back garden campout
  6. Host a BBQ for family and friends with a fun theme
  7. Have a water fight
  8. Wash the car – if it’s a sunny day do it in your swimsuits!
  9. Create a scavenge huntSummer tent
  10. Host a mini Olympics in your garden
  11. Have a picnic in your back garden
  12. Do some volunteering
  13. Go to a local fair, parade or carnival
  14. Try a new sport
  15. Watch the sunrise/sunset

 

Indoor/rainy day activities

  1. Do some baking
  2. Make ice lollies, homemade lemonade or ice cream78492ecc9a2a51c764de9fc33a04f748
  3. Try some crafts/painting
  4. Make a homemade present for someone
  5. Make tie-dye t-shirts
  6. Have a clear out of your house
  7. Redecorate a room
  8. Have an at-home spa day
  9. Make a blanket fort if it’s a cold and rainy outside
  10. Organise an at-home film night or movie marathon for a rainy day
  11. Watch a live sports event
  12. Story time – the summer holidays is the perfect time for your children to read any books they want, try reading/giving them one of your childhood favouritesSummer journal
  13. Board games – dig out all your old board games on a rainy day
  14. Keep a journal or scrapbook of your summer adventures
  15. Make a family photo album

 

Update your home for summer!

Update your home for summer!

Now summer has officially begun, it’s time to sort out and revamp your home to get rid of your winter wears, and make your home lighter and brighter for the (hopefully) warmer months.Summer home1

#1 Add pops of colour to your home – bright colours will instantly but you into a summery mood, so whether its colourful cushions or bright accessories, refresh your home décor with a few pops of colour.

#2 Add indoor plants – a great way to bring summer into your home is to fill it with plants and flowers! Read our previous blog for loads of green tips.

#3 Give your garden a makeover – summer is the perfect time to get out in the garden; plant loads of flowers and even summer vegetables to create a vibrant garden, and weed and mow the lawns to get it looking extra neat.

#4 Summer crafts – creating some colourful crafts has two benefits; you can brighten up yoSummer home7ur home on a budget and it’s a great project for your children over the school holidays.

#5 Mood lighting – if the weather holds up, you’ll be spending lots more time in your garden, and putting up some pretty fairy lights will create a lovely relaxed vibe in your garden, so you can stay there all evening and enjoy your refreshed garden.

#6 Have a clear-out and deep clean – if you didn’t do this in spring, do it now! You’ll feel so much better when you’ve de-cluttered and cleaned your house, which will create much more space. And make sure to pack away all your winter things to make room for summer.

#7 Complete a DIY/décor project – in winter you often don’t feel like doing much, so now put your more energetic summer mood to good use and get on and finish that home project you’ve been meaning to do!

#8 Switch to lightweight – change your duvet to a lighter one to keep cool at night, and let more of the natural summer light in with thinner curtains.Summer home3

#9 Add mirrors – create even more light in your home by hanging mirrors, which will not only bounce light around the room to create a brighter space, but will actually make your rooms look more open and spacious!

#10 Hang wall art – a really simple way to add some colour to your room is to hang up some vibrant, unique wall art; it doesn’t have to be fancy, many high street shops do budget-friendly canvases.

#11 Create the perfect outdoor entertaining space – update or buy new outdoor seating and make it super comfy with light blankets and cushions for evening, and don’t forget about that mood lighting! Locate the space near to your house for easy access whilst entertaining.

#12 Sort out your freezer – you’ll be using it more in the summer months, so empty it out and give Summer home6it a defrost and a clear-out, ready for more delicious summer treats.

#13 Stock up on summer essentials – keep your medicine cabinet stocked with sunscreen, after-sun, insect repellent and bite cream. Keep your airing cupboard filled with picnic blankets and beach towels, and plenty of sports equipment in the shed!

#14 Deep clean your BBQ – summer means BBQ’s, so give your grill a really good clean so you’re ready for guests, and to make the food taste even better.

#15 And when you’ve done all this hard work, treat yourself, family and friends to a summer party!

Yorkshire’s best campsites

Yorkshire’s best campsites

Did you know that June is National Camping Month? Yorkshire is full of beautiful nature hot spots that are best experienced by getting properly stuck in and camping out in the wilderness, or at least a fully equipped campsite. Here is our pick of the best campsites in Yorkshire, as seen on Cool Camping.

  1. Butt Farm Caravan & Camping – best for history

A beautiful farm campsite in East Yorkshire, across the fields from the old market town of Beverley, this site is steeped in fascinating history. Check out the grand gothic masterpiece that is Beverley Minster, and a WW2 anti-aircraft gun site in a neighbouring field. Whilst the surroundings are old, the facilities on the campsite are new and modern, with showers and washroom, dishwashing area and electric hook ups.

Dogs are welcome with the site even having a dog shower, aCamp- Butt Farmnd you can hire a fire pit (with logs, kindling and marshmallows) for £10 per night or a BBQ for £5 per night. Have a look at Butt Farm’s amazing 180 acres, home to cows and sheep, head into Beverley by foot or cycle or go in the opposite direction to Skidby Mill, the last working windmill in Yorkshire. The closest pubs include The Barrel, The Ferguson Fawsitt Arms, and The Dog & Duck, which all serve great pub meals.

2. Serenity Camping – best for relaxing 

Visit this peaceful and charming campsite in the sleepy seaside town of Hinderwell on the North Yorkshire Coast for a truly relaxing camping getaway. The olde-world charm of the town is interwoven into the campsite, and silence really is golden here, where they cater for a calmer audience who want to enjoy the peace and quiet. This site has all the facilities you’ll need including showers and washroom, cooking facilities (including microwave, fridge/freezer and kettle) and charging points.

Camp- serenityThe site has space for 30 tents and 10 caravans, or if you’d prefer the glamping experience than you can use their Lotus Belle tent or the private Potting Shed, a large wooden cabin with private garden. Try one of the many walks that start from the campsite, such as an eight-mile route out to the cliffs on the coastal footpath to Whitby with breath-taking views. Have a well deserved rest when you return at the pretty wildlife pond. The artistic village of Staithes is just a mile away, with several art galleries and craft shops, and their own festival in September.

  1. Orchard Camping – best for a homely feel 

An intimate campsite just outside Sheffield at Tumble Dove Farm, with just six pitches but with plenty of room, for the ‘in your garden’ type camping experieCamp- Orchardnce. The site has all the wash and kitchen facilities, and you can even order home cooked food and baking from the house. The close, family-run campsite is popular with hikers and cyclists tackling the surrounding hills, or if you’re a larger group you can book out the whole site.

Just a 15-minute walk away is the quaint old market town of Penistone, which is great for long distance walking, and also has some lovely café and shops. Those who make it to the hilltops of the Pennines will be rewarded by incredible views, and avid cyclists can follow in the professionals’ footsteps by cycling the 2014 Tour De France route.

  1. York Cycle Stop – best for cyclists 

A specially designed glampsite for cyclists who want to tackle the Tour de France routes graced by the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins, and have a comfy place to stay after a tiring day. The site has 6 eco-pods welcome to both cyclists and non-cyclists, but doesn’t allow tents, caravans, large groups or pets. The pods have plenty of space and two fold-down beds, as well as heating and electrical points to keep you nice and toasty. In the communal buildings are washrooms, showers and kitchen, and the pods come complete with secure cycle storage and servicing.Camp- York cycle

If you’re a non cyclist or wanting to take a day off from the tracks, the site is only a 30 minute ride away from the beautiful York city centre, full of cultural and historical wealth, home to the magnificent York Minster, the famous city walls, fascinating museums and the Shambles shopping streets. For great food and drinks close to the campsite, try The Windmill serving traditional, fresh dishes and Cross Key for a great selection of ales.

  1. Wold Farm Campsite – best for the coast

For those who don’t mind roughing it a bit more, this spacious site in Bridlington, with just one toilet and no showers, is definitely worth a visit. It’s open fields, big skies and breath-taking coast make you feel free and provide a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. You will have uninterrupted views of the sheep-filled fields and the Flamborough lighthouses, as well as a sliver of the gorgeous East Yorkshire sea. Children will be entertained by stroking the donkeys and feeding the sheep, whilst hikers can enjoy the circular six-mile walk of the entire headland.Camp- Wold

Despite it’s lack of shower facilities, there are electric hook ups, drinking water and a washing up area. Guests have exclusive access to a scenic path leading up to the stunning cliffs, and nearby are the Sewerby Hall and Gardens, an excellent picnic spot for a lovely day out. For another great day out, try the Landing Heritage/Sculpture trail, a mile-long walk through a nature reserve. There are also 13 drinking establishments within a mile and a half of the site, with the best being The Seabirds.

  1. Masons Campsite – best for families

An outdoor lovers dream in Appletreewick near Skipton in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, this campsite offers a whole host of outdoor activities. At the bottom of the two large camping fields runs a wide shallow river, great for flyflishing, whilst some families even bring lilos and dinghies to float on the river, or just go for a cool paddle. Children will love this site where they can paddle, fish, climb trees and feed the onsite chickens and ducks. The site has its only little shops with fresh pastries, eggs and local meats. You can pitch your tent, or hire out their bell tents, VW Van or Airstream caravans.Camp- masons

The site offers beautiful views of the surroundings, but get an even clearer view from a steep hill over the road. Take a walk along the river to Burnsall for a lovely picnic and a swim, as well as to Appletreewick and Barden Bridge. The site is very well equipped with 40 electric hook ups, 10 showers and 10 toilets, as well as washing up area. If you fancy a drink and a good meal, choose between the two nearby pubs; The New Inn has a great selection of quirky beers, whilst the Craven Arms has log fires and gas lamps.