A popular adventure trail in Nidderdale, North Yorkshire opens this April, first with its annual Easter Egg Hunt, while later in the month it will offer the opportunity for youngsters to glimpse the homes of some of the newest nature fairies and pixies to take up residence in the scenic Dale.
The 1.5-mile trail near Pateley Bridge, which runs through wildflower meadows and ancient woodland, has become a firm favourite as a family day out where youngsters become absorbed in trying to solve the series of nature-related clues and fascinated by the natural world as they study the growing number of intricately-carved and painted fairy homes.
The Trail opens on 1st April with its annual Great Studfold Easter Egg Hunt which runs until 16th April offering families the chance to follow clues leading to the discovery of brightly coloured eggs, large willow nests, gold rabbits and some of the early Spring fairies as they stroll through the beautiful landscape. As added enticement youngsters receive a free gift of chocolate or a small toy after completing the trail.
Then from 22nd April through to 24th September the Adventure Trail becomes a fairyland as more fairies flock to this peaceful corner of Nidderdale.
This year, Studfold’s owners, both former teachers, have not only added four more fairy homes along the trail bringing the total number to 30, but they have also adapted the popular concept of Escape Rooms to create the rural equivalent, Escape Fields aimed at older children.
The new fairy homes will follow the style of the existing ones where each has an individual nature-based theme. For instance this year there’s the Dovecote which lists the names of popular birds; while another of the new homes will belong to the Tree Fairy with information designed to help children identify the varying shapes of different tree species.
As visitors wander along the trail, they’ll pass through the wooden Tree of Life archway emblazoned with words reflecting good family values such as patience and respect. In the Escape Fields families discover a sequence of numbers or letters that when placed in the correct order will unlock one of the padlocks to open a gate.
Also along the trail are plenty of sensory discoveries such as the smelly-feely boxes and listening points to challenge little ones to hear wildlife sounds; a bird hide; grass go karting track; play area and den building site.
Visitors can also pop into the on-site Nidderdale Way café to pre-book a picnic hamper which will be delivered to the play area after they’ve completed the trail.
Those wanting to make it a weekend or holiday destination can book a tent or campervan pitch on Studfold’s adjoining caravan park or stay in one of the glamping pods.
Anne Challis, co-owner of the Studfold Adventure Trail comments: “Over the years we’ve gradually been adding to the features of the trail to create a magical way for families to make the most of being outdoors.
“Each of the fairy homes are becoming more detailed which really captures youngsters’ imaginations. You can see how mesmerised they become as they follow the trail; so much so that they’re not even aware how much sneakiness there is in terms of learning about nature!”
Studfold Adventure Trail can be booked online and costs from £6.50 per child and £7.50 per adult.
Tent and campervan pitches from £20 a night while glamping pods sleeping a family of four are available from £55 a night.
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