The summer holidays are finally here after what has undoubtedly been a tough year for students, staff, parents, and carers across our region. I hope the break will provide a chance for most to relax and spend quality time together.
This summer many will be taking advantage of local attractions and helping support our brilliant local businesses. We can all do our bit to rebuild and renew our economy: by shopping local and backing independent retailers, pubs, cafes and restaurants – including at the state-of-the-art town centre Glass Works and Market Kitchen; supporting our domestic tourism industry and visitor economy; and wearing face covering in shops and on public transport to give our fellow customers the confidence to use the High Street once more.
As a parent, I know how challenging it can be to keep the kids entertained throughout the holidays! Luckily, there are a whole host of events taking place across Barnsley for all to enjoy.
Barnsley Council’s summer Healthy Holiday clubs started last Monday, kids enrolled on the schemes will experience jam-packed themed activity days, with arts, crafts, baking, sports and lots of tasty food! Any child who receives free school meals is entitled to a free place and can get involved in a huge range of activities to keep them active and entertained throughout the summer break.
Elsecar Heritage Centre is a fantastic community resource that celebrates the very best of our historical and industrial heritage. Storyteller Chris Cade will be bringing Barnsley’s history to life with interactive tales and the team are running guided tours throughout August.
You can always pay a visit to Worsbrough Mill and Country Park, which is a working 17th Century water-powered mill. Although the Mill itself has not yet reopened to the public, there are a wide range of activities taking place as part of ‘Wild at Worsbrough’ – from exploring nature and biodiversity to finding out more about the milling process and seeing history come to life.
Pot House Hamlet at Silkstone is always a firm favourite with my kids, and we always try to pay a visit during the summer holidays. The petting farm will be running all summer, hosting alpacas and Pygmy goats, finishing off with a Puppy Party on 5 September. Any pup under 12 months old is invited to attend and this year, we’ll be visiting with the latest addition to our family, our new Springer Spaniel puppy!
If you’re wanting to explore the beautiful countryside that South Yorkshire has to offer, then a visit to Cannon Hall is always a treat; whether that’s for a visit to the Farm or exploring the historic country house and grounds. This August Bank Holiday weekend, Channel 5 has chosen the farm to host a spectacular three-day festival ‘5 on the Farm’, with a line-up that includes the cast and crew of Channel 5’s hit TV series All Creatures Great and Small.
If you fancy venturing a bit further afield, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park has beautiful natural scenery and inspirational, world-renowned artwork on offer, as well as providing a great opportunity to explore the natural surroundings on the border between South and West Yorkshire.
If you’ve been inspired by the heroics of Team GB at the Olympics – including our home-grown South Yorkshire talent! – to take up a new sport, you’re in luck. Whether it’s taking part in the Parkrun on a Saturday morning, or a game (or two!) at Barnsley Lawn Tennis Club, there’s plenty of local sporting opportunities!
Whatever you do this summer, I hope you manage to find some time to take a break, recharge your batteries and enjoy summer safely.