Days out - Dragons, castles and magical caves

Treak Cliff Cavern
Treak Cliff Cavern

There is a host of fun to be had around the region from discovering the magical world beneath the Peak District to storming a castle and finding a dragon.

Whatever the age of your children there is bound to be something to keep them entertained during the summer break, some right on the doorstep and others a little further afield.

Wentworth Castle

Wentworth Castle

Treak Cliff Cavern in Castleton is home to the largest deposit of Blue John stone in the world, which is still mined there to this day.

Throughout the summer school holidays from Saturday, July 19 to Sunday, September 7 inclusive visitors will be able to take a piece of Blue John stone and with the assistance of the master craftsmen polish it into a beautiful souvenir of their visit.

Vicky Turner from Treak Cliff Cavern said: “Kids love getting stuck in and get to take away the fruits of their labour.”

The Sheffield College will once again be opening its doors to the Lego Education Innovation Studio for holiday fun and learning.

LEGO event at Sheffield College

LEGO event at Sheffield College

Activities will include building and programming basic models such as a hungry alligator and drumming monkey, then moving onto more advanced robotic programming using Lego Mindstorms.

Places on the camps are filling quickly, so parents are advised to book quickly by visiting

Over at Wentworth Castle Gardens, families can storm a castle and find a dragon, run round a 400-year-old tree, make daisy chains on the lawns or play hide and seek in a maze-like Union Jack garden.

It will delight garden lovers, history fans and families. This enchanting garden and historic deer park is just two miles from Junction 37, M1.

Plus don’t miss the café, gift shop and much loved adventure playground.

The cycling celebrations continue in Yorkshire At The Maize Maze in Cawthorne, near Barnsley from July 19.

Families can enjoy the quiz while solving the Le Tour Racer puzzle and play a tune with bicycle bells – when they find them!

There is a village fete atmosphere in the fun field with pedal go-karts, hoppers and bales alongside traditional games and the ever popular vintage tractor and working dairy farm.

The Maize Maze is open daily from July 19 to September 1, and then weekends only for the rest of September.

The Painted Teapot in Dronfield is the place to head to fuel creative juices. The activities on offer are perfect for every age and for a day out whatever the weather.

Not only do they offer tables to come and paint or decopatch they also have a separate party room for special occasions and will open until 9.30pm by appointment for groups of six or more. Prices start from as little as £6 and they will open six days a week throughout the summer. Special offers will also be running on their Facebook page.

At Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet families can learn a new skill and make a take- home item at Make Your Own Wednesdays.

The sessions, which run from 10am to 12.30pm throughout the school holidays, include making your own nail and whittling with the Sheffield Bodgers.

A full programme of activities can be found at

At Kelham Island Museum, families can pick up a museum trail and enjoy playing in the melting shop. New exhibition War Work will be opening at the Kelham Island site on August 4.

Skipton Castle is one of the most complete and best preserved medieval castles in England and well worth a visit throughout the changing seasons. Explore every corner of this impressive history-rich castle, which withstood a three-year siege during the Civil War.

From the depths of the dungeon, traversing the banqueting hall, kitchen, bed chamber and privy to the top of the watch tower with its far-reaching views over the Aire Valley, families are transported back in time with the atmosphere of centuries of life and battle buried deep within the ancient walls.

There will be a host of events throughout the summer.

Buckingham’s Retinue re-enactment group are re-creating life as it may have been in Skipton during a period known as the Wars of the Roses on July 19 and 20.

Reenactment group, the Trayned Bandes will be setting up an encampment during the English Civil War in August 2 and 3.

The following weekend, visitors will can discover all about John Nevison, a famous 17th centuary highwayman who robbed the length of the Great North Road.

The walls of the castle will echo to the sound of swords and shields once again on August 16 and 17, when the re-enactors of Historia Normannis bring history to life.

And on August 23 and 24, visitors can hear about the castle’s siege and skirmishes from Sir John Mallory, governor of Skipton Castle during the English Civil War.