New Year celebrations in Yorkshire

Yorkshire Dales

Winter in Yorkshire

The nights are drawing in and bonfire night celebrations have come and gone; now with a chill in the air, the countdown to Christmas has started in earnest! Festive trees are appearing in shop windows and the shelves are laden with brightly coloured trinkets. As excitement builds so does the list of things to do: mainly organising for the big day. I love Christmas and always try to fit in as much as possible, but each year I find that with work, children and all of the preparations, I’m exhausted and looking forward to a New Year’s escape. The week after Christmas can be a little flat, so packing up my kids, husband and dog for a New Year’s retreat has become a family ritual; it’s always part of my Christmas plan.

This year, I have been looking at the beautiful and scenic county of Yorkshire. The largest county in England, Yorkshire has something to appeal to all tastes: historic towns and cities, rambling unspoilt countryside and the romance and drama of the North York Moors. So what is on this New Year in Yorkshire?

Glitz and Glamour

If you have a good babysitter or older children, you may want to enjoy dressing up and spending a night of sophisticated partying and dining together. The Swan Hotel in Harrogate has a rich history dating back over 200 years, and was the chosen retreat for Agatha Christie. Set in the most picturesque location just minutes from Harrogate’s famous centre, the blend of Victorian architecture and contemporary décor makes for a stylish setting. Here you can enjoy a cocktail in one of the many wine bars in the heart of Harrogate, and then make your way to the glitz and glamour of the Old Swan’s glitter ball. For more details click HERE.

Unique and Enchanting Family Fun

Stockeld Wizard

Magical moments at Stockeld Park

For a magical day out on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, Stockeld Park is located between Harrogate and Leeds and is a perfect choice. With an illuminated enchanted forest – think Alice in Wonderland – a giant teapot slide, an interactive witch’s hat, new adventure playgrounds and a giant maze all lit up, it’s a truly magical place. The best time to visit the enchanted forest is at dusk when you can really admire the illuminations; little minds will be enthralled! With an outdoor ice skating rink and Nordic ski trail this is a real seasonal treat. The Woodland Café offers a variety of well-cooked food including hot pots, paninis and many classic favourites. It’s open until 7.00pm on New Year’s Eve and from 1.00pm on New Year’s Day. If you are a large family or enjoying the New Year with friends, group discounts are available. For more information click HERE.

New Year’s Day – Winter Walks and Cosy Pubs

Winter Welly Walks at the Yorkshire Arboretum, near the historic city of York, invites you to blow away the cobwebs, and enjoy the first day of 2014 amongst the winter wonder that the 120-acre garden of trees creates. With a variety of tree species from around the world and set in parkland with lakes and ponds, you will start off your New Year invigorated by the bracing walks to be had in the surrounding landscape. After your stroll, warm up with a glass of mulled wine; with homemade cake on offer, the kids will be happy too. Tickets are available from the visitor reception desk, by phone 01635 648598 or email

For me, nothing beats a walk by the sea with my family and friends on New Year’s Day; and Whitby is one of my favourite places to visit. With several beaches both sandy and rocky, you can walk and embrace the sea air to your heart’s content. See HERE for more information.

Horseshoe Inn Levisham

The cosy Horseshoe Inn at Levisham

So after all the cooking of Christmas you may like to feast in a Yorkshire classic pub; and the Horseshoe Inn’s a great bet. Nestled in the village of Levisham in the heart of the North York Moors, this is a cosy and inviting inn with a classic pub menu which utilises the best local produce and serves great local ales. See what’s on offer at The Horseshoe Inn HERE.

The pretty village of Ferrensby near to Harrogate is home to the General Tarleton Inn. The perfect location for a relaxed but special New Year meal, award-winning chef John Topham and his team provide a varied menu using the best local produce. You can enjoy a cocktail or pre-dinner drink in the sumptuous cocktail lounge, which is wonderfully inviting with sofas, arm chairs and a roaring log fire – starting or ending your evening here is a real treat. For more information, click HERE.

General Tarleton

Sumptuous food at General Tarleton

For my family, taking a cottage gives us the freedom to relax and unwind after the Christmas furore, and enjoy some of the UK’s most wonderful counties. Yorkshire has it all: city excitement, coastal towns and villages and stunning countryside. offers a variety of holiday accommodation in the area, spanning all budgets and catering for all tastes, so everyone’s kept happy over the holiday. Speaking of which, have a very happy Christmas and enjoy a peaceful New Year!

Written by Kirsti Banyard, a travel writer for HomeAway.



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