Category Archives: Out & About

Wakefield’s Rhubarb Festival Starts On Friday

Photo Credit: Andrew Benge

The countdown is underway for Wakefield Council’s famous Rhubarb Festival – beginning on Friday 17 February and running until Sunday 19 Feb 2023.

The highly anticipated weekend will be packed with so much to see and do, with the fabulous market – full of rhubarb treats returning this year with almost 60 chalets, that will be open from 10am to 5pm on Friday and Saturday and 10am – 4pm on Sunday.

The Rhubarb Festival isn’t just about delicious food. It’s also about great entertainment and visitors will be able to see some of the best in town lined up for you this February!

Free family activities include celebrity chef demos, family activities, live music, and street entertainment.

Cllr Michael Graham, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, and Sport said: “We can’t wait to welcome everyone to our celebration of our district’s most famous vegetable, with a weekend that is packed with so much to do for people of all ages. “The stage is set for some fabulous fun so make sure you don’t miss out, by coming down and taking part in this wonderful event.”

Entertainment will include Dame Ruby Rhubarb returning across the entire festival weekend. Morris dancers will perform on Saturday 18 February. The Roaming Flat Cap Brass Band will be performing throughout the day on Friday 17 February and Saturday 18 February.

Live music programmed by Wakefield Music Collective will be live every day from the Rhu-Bar.

Free family activities including face painting, craft activities, storytelling, cupcake decorating and more will be available in the precinct and at Treacy Hall (next to the Cathedral) throughout the weekend.

A bookable comedy night on Friday 17 February, will see MC Liam Pickford joined by Danny Deegan, Stephanie Laing and Stephen Bailey. On Saturday 18 February, don’t miss Rob Rouse, Pete Selwood and The Chase’s very own Paul Sinha.

Enjoy non-stop fringe activity including crafts at Wakefield Cathedral on Friday 17 February, free activities and talks with the gardener in residence at The Art House on Friday 17 February and Saturday 18 February, and free face painting at The Ridings on Sunday 19 February, plus much more.

Chef demos will take place every day from 11am – 3pm curated by Yorkshire Food Guide, with these demonstrations signed by a British Sign Language interpreter.

Friday 17 February
11am – Karen Wright (Great British Bake Off)
12 noon – Chef Rü (MasterChef finalist)
1pm – Bobby Geetha (Great British Menu)
2pm – Chef Rü (MasterChef finalist)

Saturday 18 February
11am – TÊT
12 noon- Crystelle Pereira (Great British Bake Off 2021 finalist)
1pm – Heather Copley (Farmer Copleys)
2pm – Crystelle Pereira (Great British Bake Off 2021 finalist)

Sunday 19 February
11am – Karen Wright (Great British Bake Off)
12 noon – Alexandra Vaughan (Crows Rest)
1pm – Chris Hale
2pm – Liam Duffy (IRIS)

The Rhubarb Food & Drink Trail will run alongside the festival to encourage visitors to explore venues across the city centre. As many as 25 venues will be taking part including cafes, bars and restaurants

Maps will be available at the festival showcasing all the participating venues and their mouth-watering rhubarb-themed offering.

Find out more information here

Yorkshire Pair Finish Snow Sculpture

Two Yorkshire men have been competing with artists from all over the world in their second snow sculpture competition this month, completing their creation in record time.

Fitness coach Martin Sharp, from York, and tree surgeon Justin Scott, from Driffield, were pitted against sculptors from Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, France and the United States in the Kiruna International Snow Sculpture Competition 2023. The pair completed their sculpture, known as Figurative Animate X Three, in just two days, which was the new record for the event, which is held 140km north of the Arctic Circle in Swedish Lapland.

The creation – an abstract human figure with three sides – was the second snow sculpture created by the team in January. They had already competed in Shapes in White, an international snow sculpture competition in Austria, where their snow boat called Unsinkable 2 was awarded ninth place.

Martin, who runs the fitness and lifestyle coaching business Sharp Fit For Life, said it was the first time they had entered the Kiruna contest and the experience had been completely different.

The 45-year-old said: “In Austria, we were working on top of a mountain at high altitudes, whereas here we were sculpting in a city with everyday life going on around us. As it was lower altitude, we didn’t get tired as quickly so it felt easier and we were delighted to be the first to finish our sculpture in just two days.”

“It took us about 15 or 16 hours in total – the snow was very soft, which meant we could pile through it quickly but the finish wasn’t as crisp as we’d hoped. There has also been a great sense of camaraderie between the sculptors with people sharing ideas and borrowing tools.”

“The thing we have really enjoyed is that lots of people have been coming to watch the sculptures take form, including lots of children. There have been school parties coming to take a look and have a go at creating their own smaller snow sculptures and high school students worked with two sculptors to create a play park made out of snow.”

Although the pair weren’t named as the winner or runner-up, they were proud of their efforts and celebrated finishing with some traditional Lapland activities including dog sledding, a skidoo ride and a visit to an ice hotel.

Ancient Egypt Season Announced For Ferens Art Gallery

Unlock the mysteries of Ancient Egypt in exciting new FREE exhibitions at the Ferens this Spring/Summer.

Featuring two free exhibitions supported by a dedicated programme for schools and public events, the season will explore the beauty and mystery of ancient Egypt celebrating two of the greatest Egyptian discoveries of the last 200 years. The decoding of the Rosetta Stone in 1822, which unlocked our understanding of the ancient Egyptian world. Then one hundred years later, the discovery in 1922 of the almost undisturbed tomb of Tutankhamun which sparked a worldwide sensation.

A highlight of the season will be the British Museum touring exhibition Egyptian hieroglyphs: unlock the mystery, charting the beauty and language of Egyptian hieroglyphs. Displaying a range of objects from ancient Egypt, the exhibition will provide an insight into the importance of hieroglyphs for ancient Egyptians, playing a pivotal role in their lives and beyond. Other objects in the exhibition include an extract from the Book of the Dead, a large limestone lintel revealing the name of Pharoah Ramses III and an ancestor statue that helped to keep the memory of the dead alive in the family house.

The second exhibition, Tutankhamun: 100 Years of Discovery, will unearth the thrilling stories, myths and controversies surrounding the treasures of Tutankhamun. Hull Museums will be displaying their collection of beautifully crafted replicas of treasures found in Tutankhamun’s tomb, which were handmade by sculptor William Aumonier Junior and his team of skilled artisans for the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924 and 1925. Visitors will be able to follow in the footsteps of those Wembley visitors from 100 years ago when the momentous discovery caused a sensation and ‘Tutmania’ swept the world.

The two exhibitions will be on display alongside each other at the Ferens Art Gallery from Friday 17 March to Sunday 18 June 2023.

For visitors wishing to discover more, the season will feature bookable talks by British Egyptologist Joann Fletcher and drop in talks by Hull Museums curatorial team.

Families will be able to explore the beauty of ancient Egypt through bookable artist workshops and a series of family-friendly drop-in activities for all ages and abilities.

Primary schools from Hull and the region will also be invited to explore the two exhibitions to discover the treasures of Tutankhamun’s Tomb and unlock the secrets of Ancient Egyptian life through bookable workshops.

Further details on the supporting programme are to be announced.

Councillor Alison Collinson, Chair of Hull Culture and Leisure Ltd, said: “Ancient Egypt has fascinated people for generations. It’s exciting that the Ferens, with the help and generosity of the British Museum, is able to offer these free exhibitions, which will showcase this sensational chapter of history for our local residents and schoolchildren to enjoy.”

Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, said: “The British Museum touring exhibition Egyptian hieroglyphs: unlock the mystery marks 200 years since the remarkable breakthrough to decipher a long-lost language. For the first time in millennia the ancient Egyptians could speak directly to us. By breaking the code, our understanding of this incredible civilisation has given us an unprecedented window onto the people of the past and their way of life.”

East Yorkshire Brewery To Introduce Brewhouse Music Sessions

Tickets have gone on sale for the first of an East Yorkshire brewery’s music nights. Emerging Withernsea singer-songwriter, Connor Penson will perform at Wold Newton-based Wold Top Brewery on 17th February and guests can expect a relaxed evening of live music, beer and food.

“We’re very excited to launch our brewhouse sessions with a set from Connor. Influenced by Folk, Country and Blues, he is known for his silky vocals and raw acoustic playing and will be performing both original music and covers. It promises to be a great evening and we’re really looking forward to it,” said Susie Freeman From Wold Top’s events team.

Tickets for the event, which starts at 7pm on Friday, 17th February, cost £10 per person and include a pint or a soft drink. There is an option to pre-order food for an additional £7. You can book online here or by calling 01723 892222.

The music night is one of a series of events to take place throughout the year, including music bingo, a charity quiz night and an open day to celebrate the brewery’s 20th anniversary.

Wold Top was founded in 2003 and is located on the Mellor family farm at Hunmanby Grange near Filey. The team use home-grown barley and water from the farm’s borehole to produce a range of award-winning cask, keg and bottled beers that are available throughout Yorkshire and nationwide.

New Solo Exhibition At Sculpture Park Inspired By Wensleydale Landscape

Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) has announced a new, solo exhibition of limited edition prints by Simon Palmer inspired by the landscape of Wensleydale, North Yorkshire.

Regarded as one of the UK’s leading watercolour artists, Simon Palmer’s solo exhibition Observation of Landscape draws inspiration from and celebrates the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales around Wensleydale where he has lived and worked for the last 40 years.

Known for his distinctive approach to watercolour, Palmer intricately captures shapes, patterns, sunlight and shadow. His deep links to a specific place align him to a British landscape tradition that includes artists such as Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland and Eric Ravilious. Palmer walks close to his home every day, filling sketchbooks with rapid pen and ink drawings. Narrow lanes, railway bridges, drystone walls, farms, ancient trees, woodland and the moors; each scene is a starting point for his paintings, which use a subtle colour palette to capture the seasons.

Observation of Landscape features a collection of 18 limited edition giclée prints of original watercolour paintings. The editions will be available to purchase in YSP Shops and online, with proceeds supporting YSP’s charitable work. The prints have been created from Palmer’s much sought-after watercolour paintings dated from 1993-2021, that depict quintessentially English scenes, reminiscent of wartime paintings from the 1940s. Each work is numbered, titled and signed by the artist and printed onto Hahnemuhle Matt Fine Art Textured Albrecht Durer 210 gsm paper in an edition of 100.

YSP has developed a series of products to accompany the exhibition which includes three mini prints featuring the works Cycling Home, Ascending from the Bridge and Novices Searching for Their Souls, and a pack of 10 A5 postcards. The mini prints will retail at £10 and the postcard pack at £12.

Palmer has exhibited worldwide, and his works are in many public collections including the National Trust and the Penn Club, London as well as private collections in the UK, USA, Australia and Japan. He was awarded an honorary membership to the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour in 2007.

The exhibition is supported by the Portland Gallery.

Hull Councillor Joins In With Cycle Path Clean Up Operation

Councillor Mark Ieronimo went ‘back to the floor’ as he joined Hull City Council’s dedicated cycle path team for a morning’s work.

Donning high-vis gear and wielding a litter-picker, the council’s Portfolio Holder for Roads, Highways and Transport mucked in with the team as they tidied up a cycle path near Priory Road.

Armed with leaf blowers, hedge cutters, grass trimmers, bin bags and a road sweeping vehicle, the team cleared the path before jumping back in their vans and moving on to the next one.

The council has three two-person teams that ensure Hull’s off-road cycle tracks are clear and safe for cyclists. The teams were set up in 2020, and mainly cover three main routes, which follow old railway lines: the Hornsea, Withernsea and the Cottingham branch lines.

Their tasks include fly-tip removal, litter-picking, sweeping, emptying litter bins, strimming and cutting back vegetation. They also focus on gritting and removing fallen leaves to prevent slip hazards, and removing glass to reduce the risk of punctures.

Cllr Ieronimo said: “If we want to encourage more people to get on their bikes in Hull, it’s essential that the city’s cycle routes are kept as places where cyclists feel safe and can enjoy their ride.”

“Keeping the city’s cycle tracks clean and tidy is something we are asked about a lot, including in last year’s traffic and transport survey, so it’s great to see how hard these teams are working every day to make sure this happens.”

“The teams obviously take a great deal of pride in what they do, and it was useful to hear about what resources they might need to do their jobs even more effectively.”

Doug Sharp, the council’s Head of Waste Management and Street Cleansing, said: “It was great to have Cllr Ieronimo working alongside our cycle path team, seeing what they do, day in and day out, to keep the city’s routes clean, tidy and, most importantly, safe.”

“We know how important the off-road cycle network is to cyclists, and the old branch lines are critical routes for navigating the city. That’s why we are working hard to ensure they are clean and safe for cyclists.”

For more on cycling in Hull, including an interactive map of cycle routes, visit Travel Hull.

New Survey Shows Top 20 Bucket List Travel Experiences

A new study has found that most Brits feel that their biggest regret at the end of their lives will be not having explored enough of the world. The poll of over 2,000 Brits, carried out by, a new specialist travel inspiration website dedicated to the discovery of the world’s greatest ‘bucket list’ travel, has shown that most of us have a travel bucket list of some description – 40% of us keep it in our heads and only 14% of us actually write it down.

56% say they’d like to see at least five more different countries in their lifetime, with over a third of us doing bucket list travel whenever we get a chance. Not surprisingly, this is highest amongst singles and the younger age groups (nearly 50%). However, almost a quarter of married couples and those living with a partner are waiting for retirement.

Of the thousands surveyed, over a quarter (27%) cited viewing the Northern Lights as their ultimate bucket list experience, followed by an American road trip (17%), a safari in Africa (16%) exploring the Great Barrier Reef (13%) and cruising Norway’s Fjords (13%).

Matt Roach, Founder of Bucket List Travels, says: “The world’s greatest light show, it’s no wonder the Northern Lights came out on top. A remarkable, ethereal light display that’s one of nature’s greatest spectacles.”

Also featured in the top ten most coveted experiences are seeing the Niagara Falls, visiting the Eifel Tower, marvelling at the Pyramids of Giza, visiting the Great Wall of China and whale watching.

Scientific research has proven that there are many holistic, physical and mental benefits of travel – which are significantly enhanced when going somewhere new. In the survey, 38% of us get a feel of achievement having been somewhere new, 36% feel it refreshes their mental perspective on their lives and 32% feel that it helps them focus back on the positives and less on the negatives.

People also say travel helps them build closer relationships with their companions (family and friends), appreciate what they have, gain an increased sense of mindfulness and even enjoy better sleep.

Planning your next big adventure can often bring as much joy as the trip itself, Matt Roach says: “Now more than ever, we all need something to look forward to. Planning your next big adventure or even just anticipating travelling somewhere new or doing something special has been shown to boost mental health.”

6 in 10 of us say that money is the main obstacle to getting things ticked off our travel bucket lists, alongside a lack of holiday time, and the effort needed to research and the risk of going somewhere new.

Matt Roach continues: “I wanted to create a one-stop, trusted site that helps people quickly discover inspirational travel experiences, and then be able to plan a holiday around them. There are so many incredible travel experiences, and they are more accessible than ever.”

“If not now, then later. A ‘travel bucket list’ saves those good ideas we find along the way for when we need them and gives us something to look forward and aspire to”.

The top 20 bucket list travel experiences:

  1. See the Northern Lights
  2. American Road Trip
  3. Safari in Africa
  4. Great Barrier Reef
  5. Cruise Norway’s Fjords
  6. See Niagara Falls
  7. Eiffel Tower & Louvre
  8. Pyramids of Giza/Cruise Nile
  9. Great Wall of China
  10. Go whale watching
  11. Machu Picchu
  12. Alaskan Cruise
  13. Visit the Grand Canyon
  14. Swim with dolphins
  15. Ride the Bullet Train
  16. See the Statue of Liberty/Empire State
  17. Visit Taj Mahal
  18. Visit Galapagos islands
  19. Petra (Jordan’s Lost City)
  20. Visit the Amazon Rainforest

Bucket List Travels currently features over 2,200 curated, trusted recommendations from leading, specialist travel writers, alongside more than 25,000 images to inspire and amaze. It includes most of the world’s signature and famous travel experiences (more being added every week), alongside many lesser known, but equally, if not more, rewarding.

An advanced search engine allows travel-seekers to quickly search these recommendations and filter the results down to their specific needs and desires – a huge time saving.

Once the travel-seeker has found something to do or somewhere to go, the site aims to help in the holiday planning by providing destination guides, recommended places to stay nearby, recommendations of who to book with, and ready-made, simple itineraries.

By making bucket list travel research so much easier, the site aims to become a leading travel planning resource, and the first-place travel-seekers will go to when looking for inspiration or starting to research their next trip. It notably allows users to save their favourites, to create their own personal ‘travel bucket list’.

For more information please visit the Bucket List Travels website here

Rhubarb Festival Returns To Wakefield In February

Wakefield’s celebration of its most famous vegetable, the Rhubarb Festival, returns to paint the city pink for three days from 17-19 February 2023.

With the all-important food and drink market returning this year, there will be almost 60 chalets, where visitors can look forward to sampling and purchasing a wide range of local and regional delights.

A highlight of the festival is always the chef demos and this year’s programme, curated by Yorkshire Food Guide, offering visitors the opportunity to watch the experts, learn from the best and expand their culinary skills.

Some of the confirmed headlining chefs are Crystelle Pereira (Great British Bake Off (GBBO) finalist 2021; Radha Kaushal-Bolland (MasterChef finalist 2022), Bobby Geetha (Great British Menu) and Wakefield’s very own Karen Wright (GBBO). The full line up will be announced in January.

Families also will love the array of workshops on offer as well as lively street entertainment and music.

After last year’s launch the Rhubarb Food & Drink Trail returns around the city, showcasing restaurants and bars putting on rhubarb themed food and drink throughout the weekend.

Cllr Michael Graham Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport said: “Our Rhubarb Festival is a fabulous event, and we are so looking forward to these celebrations. The event will be bigger and even better this year – with so much to see and enjoy. There’s something for everyone, and for all ages. Make sure you don’t miss out by saving the dates in your calendar.”

Find out more here

Enjoy A Magical Christmas Experience At York’s Web Adventure Park

The Web Adventure Park, based off Wigginton Road in York, is promising a day of unforgettable festive fun for all the family with its spectacular Christmas Festival, including the opportunity to meet real reindeers Donner and Blitzen.

With twinkling lights, Christmas trees and a magical grotto, families can enjoy a special visit to meet Father Christmas and his elves, with a special gift given to each child.

Offering indoor and outdoor activities suitable for all the family, the Christmas Grotto Experience includes unlimited rides on all twelve Christmas Fairground rides, including the popular Double Carousel, the Helter-Skelter, the Ferris Wheel and the Pony Express. Visitors can also enjoy the fun packed festive shows from ‘Dazzling Darren’ and the Elf Academy and access to its huge indoor play area with separate areas suitable for both babies and older children.

For the young ones, the ‘Toddle into Christmas’ event is available every Wednesday to -Friday throughout December before the schools break up. This special off peak, midweek ticket is a great opportunity for the Toddlers to enjoy the park with others of the same age. These sessions are available from 7 – 9 December and 14 – 16 December.

The Christmas Festival is open on 3 – 4 December, 10 – 11 December, and every day from 17 – 24 December, from 9:30am. Families are invited to stay all day to enjoy the fun, and a café is available on site offering both hot and cold food. Meet and greets with Father Christmas must be booked online, where you can select an allocated thirty-minute time slot.

John Lowery, Director of Operations, Adventure Parks said: “We’re thrilled to be providing unlimited rides on all twelve fairground rides, bringing the true magic of Christmas to the Park again this year”

With meet and greets with Father Christmas, his real reindeer, indoor and outdoor activities, and food and drink, there really is something for all the family to enjoy this Christmas. We are looking forward to welcoming more families over the next few weeks to enjoy the rides, the entertainment and all the park has to offer!”

Tickets for the Christmas Festival sessions are priced at £18 per adult and £25 per child (£22 for child under 0.9m / £10 for Under 1’s) and are available to be purchased online here. A café and free car parking is also available onsite.

Tickets for the ‘Toddle into Christmas’ sessions are priced at £8 per adult and £14.50 per child (£10 for Under 1’s).

Yorkshire Museum Hosting Women In Rugby League Exhibition

A new exhibition that showcases the female pioneers of international rugby league opens today (14 November) at Pontefract Museum.

‘Women in Rugby League: Life with the Lionesses’ was created in partnership with the Women in Rugby League project and shows how inspirational sportswomen challenged rugby league’s traditionally male supremacy. It also follows their ground-breaking journey on and off the field.

Many of the trail-blazing women featured in the exhibition come from or have played in the Wakefield district.

Visitors will discover a previously hidden history with a timeline spanning 100 years of women’s achievements in international rugby league. They will hear from the Lionesses themselves, through inspiring quotes and short films. Young rugby league fans and budding international stars of the future can enjoy a selfie opportunity and dress up, in support of the national teams.

The exhibition pays tribute to the pioneering efforts that has led to England’s women now playing on an equal stage with their male counterparts. This year’s Rugby League World Cup is the first time that the men’s, women’s, and wheelchair tournaments have all taken place at the same time. In contrast, the first Lionesses were forced to fund their own international tour in 1996.

Inspirational coach, Jackie Sheldon played for the Wakefield Panthers before becoming Great Britain’s Assistant Coach and later Head Coach. Her team tracksuit, jersey, and suit from the inaugural 1996 tour will be on display in the exhibition alongside other previously unseen objects from the women’s rugby league archive, kindly lent by Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield.

Jackie is delighted that the former Lionesses are finally getting the recognition they deserve. She said: “I would like to thank Wakefield Council for hosting this exhibition.”

“The Council’s strong tradition of supporting the female game has helped to put women’s rugby league on the map, and highlights the excellent work done by the pioneers both on and off the field.”

“Women’s rugby league has been played in the district for over 30 years, with the initial seeds sown by council programmes, which is a testament to its long tradition of supporting diversity and inclusion.”

“The exhibition records the wonderful history, one that is at the heart of the Wakefield district, where rugby league has played its part in bringing these communities together for over a century.”

Councillor Michael Graham, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “It is very fitting to be hosting this exhibition here in the rugby league heartlands of the Wakefield district.”

“We are incredibly proud that women from Pontefract and across the district have represented their country at the highest level and are so pleased to honour their achievements in this exciting exhibition.”

“We hope lots of people will come to celebrate our strong tradition of women’s rugby league and that other women and girls will be inspired to follow in the Lionesses footsteps.”

The World Cup final is being held in England, on Saturday 19 November, and fans can get in the spirit by visiting the exhibition which is open until 26 August 2023.

The exhibition was originally designed by Women in Rugby League as a touring pop-up display. Pontefract Museum has adapted the original format and will be the first location to host it on a long-term basis.

To find out more about the Women in Rugby League project, visit their website here

Photo Credit: Simon Wilkinson