The Tour de Yorkshire 2017 will be passing through Upper Wharfedale on Sunday 30th April – and Kilnsey Park Estate is a good base for viewing this exciting event.
Visitors to Kilnsey Park will only be 3 miles from the race route, which passes through the picturesque villages of Burnsall, Linton and Cracoe on its way from Bradford to the Peak District. As well as offering free parking we also have a busy day of family activities planned (including bushcraft, wild art and marshmallows on the campfire). The Cafe by the Lake will also be open as normal.
The road closures will be minimal for the event, with organisers indicating that each road affected will be closed for no more than 45 minutes (25 minutes before the race arrives and 5-10 minutes after the last rider has gone).
So we recommend that you arrive before 12.30pm, or ensure that you are north of the planned road closures (Threshfield and Grassington will both be open as normal and within short walking distance of the race route).
Join us for what should be a special day in the Dales.
A sculpture trail and a series of interpretation panels have been unveiled at Kilnsey Park Estate.
One of the sculptures is a giant Lady’s Slipper Orchid woven out of willow by Wetherby-based artist, Leilah Vyner; Kilnsey is one of only a handful of places within the National Park where the flower can be seen. Another is a leaping fish, by Wensleydale chainsaw sculptor, Andris Bergs.
The ten interpretation signs, designed by illustrator Gary Davies, give insights into the history of the park and its wildlife, while a new geocache trail uses linocut prints by Hester Cox from Horton-in-Ribblesdale. Her evocative images capture the essence of the park, including the view of the lakes with the magnificent Kilnsey Crag in the background.
The project has also included the creation of new map for visitors to use. It has been made possible in part by a grant of £9,882 from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund.
Estate owner Jamie Roberts said it had been a pleasure to work with so many local artists: “With this new project we want visitors to experience a sense of wonder about what makes this area of the Dales so special. From the awesome natural landmark of Kilnsey Crag to the smallest bee at the hive and everything in between, there is something here for everyone to enjoy.”
YDNPA Chairman Carl Lis said: “An important part of our work is to promote the Yorkshire Dales National Park as a leading sustainable tourism destination. These new artworks and interpretation make Kilnsey Park an even more distinctive place to visit. I salute Jamie and his team for their imagination and investment.”
Andris Bergs, who has been creating chainsaw sculptures across the country for 16 years, said: “The trout sculpture was carved from a willow tree. I worked closely with the fishermen, so each time they caught a trout I was able to look at it and take inspiration for the carving. Fortunately the tree stumps were just the right shape to be turned into leaping fish.”
As the air gets warmer, the nights get longer and the birds start to sing, it’s time to move onto our summer opening times and welcome you onto the Discovery Trail again.
We’ve had a busy winter of improvements around the Park. This year our new attractions include:
Waterplay area (open Saturday 8th April) – pump water from the stream using a vintage hand pump and watch it race down wooden channels, turning a water wheel as it goes.
Seasonal geocache trail – boxes hidden around the Park contain different animals and scenes. Collect all 8 to enter our special monthly prize draw.
New animals – meet our cheeky Tamworth ginger piglets and our teensy weensy miniature sheep. Plus there are chicks hatching as we speak and lambs to be fed!
Improved signage – we’ve got some great new information panels that tell the story of Kilnsey, its wildlife, history and quirky stories.
Sculpture trail – new willow sculptures celebrating the heritage of the Dales are hidden around the Park – can you find them all?
The opening times and prices of the Discovery Trail can be found by clicking here.
The main 2017 events are now on the website in the Events section – with lots more being added in the next few weeks!
Our event season kicks off with Easter in the Dales (8-23 April), before we get the buzz with Life is Sweet (29 April -1 May). Flowers start to bloom with our Wild About Orchids month (14 May – 18 June) and then the little ones will be swapping Minecraft for bushcraft as we get back to nature during Go Wild Week (27 May – 4 June) and at Wild Weekends throughout the summer holidays (29 July – 28 August).
We’ve got lots of exciting new events this year, including Alpaca Picnics where you can go for a lovely woodland stroll and picnic with our alpacas, Catch & Cook days where you can catch a fish before we prepare it and cook it for you in the cafe (we call this ‘instant fish & chips’!) and new Family Bushcraft Days. Dates for these new events will be posted in March.
Out in the woods the Discovery Trail will be relaunching with a new guide map, new information signage and a new seasonal Geocache Trail which will have the little ones hunting the nature trail for clues. We’re also creating a new fun Waterplay Area which will be up and running for Easter.
This year there will be a new online ticketing system for some of our events so you can pre-book, but for the main events you’ll still be able to turn up and pay on the day.
So there’s lots of new reasons to come up to Kilnsey Park Estate this year and get closer to nature.
Scientists are warning that the traditional fish and chip supper could be a thing of the past as warming seas drive species such as cod and haddock away from the North Sea – but help could be at hand from sustainably farmed fish like rainbow trout.
The report says that in future battered squid and calamari could become the Friday night staple, but if they aren’t your thing then rainbow trout makes a lovely alternative to cod and haddock. We’ve been frying our own fish here at Kilnsey Park for over 20 years and our ‘pink fish and chips’ (so called because rainbow trout has a beautiful pink colour when cooked) are well known and loved in the local area.
As well as having a flavour that many prefer to conventional fish and chips, rainbow trout has lots of health benefits and can be sustainably farmed (in fact it’s one of the fish to have been awarded the Marine Conservation Society’s green light meaning it’s good for the planet).
So it’s not quite the end of fish and chips as we know it, just time for a change…
Kilnsey Smokehouse wins best fish product for our pate.
“It feels great to have won an award for our smoked trout pate, which was first made by my mother to her own unique recipe over 20 years ago!” says Kilnsey smokehouse owner Jamie Roberts.
The award was collected by Jamie and his father Anthony, who established the trout farm and smokehouse in 1978.
The entries were judged by a panel including Radio 2 chef Nigel Barden. The judging panel described the winning product as “rich and delectable, with a luxurious taste and lovely flavour combinations – a real pleasure to eat.”
The full list of this year’s winners can be found by clicking here.
This month will see a change at our long-established café and shop.
The café and shop at Kilnsey Park Estate was established in 1994 and has been run by the Roberts family ever since, making it one of the longest family-run cafés in the Dales.
‘We’ve loved running the café for the past two decades but we knew the time was right to let someone else take the business forward’, says Kilnsey Park owner Jamie Roberts.
New owners James McNamara and Tracey Gill are happy to be returning to their roots after working in catering across Europe: ‘For the past 9 years we’ve catered to the rich and famous in luxury ski chalets and hunting lodges, but we always hoped to run our own business at home in the Dales’, says Tracey. ‘When the Kilnsey café became available just down the road from where we live we couldn’t believe our luck’.
To mark the change the business will be rebranded as the ‘Café by the Lake at Kilnsey Park Estate’. The café was awarded ‘Yorkshire Food Destination of the Year’ in 2014 and has a number of national Great Taste Awards for its fresh patés and pies.
James, an experienced chef, is looking forward to this new chapter in the cafe’s history: ‘We’re passionate about great taste and flavour delivered with a smile and we want to make sure the café keeps its friendly family atmosphere.’
The café menu will continue to feature the best of local produce, including traditional favourites such as its unique fish and chips made from rainbow trout reared in spring water at Kilnsey. ‘To have such fantastic and fresh ingredients right outside our own front door is a dream for a chef,’ says James.
The Roberts family will continue to run the Kilnsey Park visitor attraction and fishery, which was established in 1978. ‘We’re delighted that James and Tracey are now part of the Kilnsey Estate family, we’re looking forward to exciting times ahead and working together to ensure that Kilnsey Park is a must-visit destination in the Dales,’ says Jamie Roberts.
We are now a recommended venue on Festival Brides, the only website and blog in the world that focuses on festival and bohemian style weddings. All wedding bookings at Kilnsey Park Estate will now be made through the Festival Brides website.
We’re very happy to be partnering our beautiful location with one of the UK’s most popular wedding blogs.
Here’s the Festival Brides description of our wedding venue:
Set within 1000 acres of privately owned countryside and woodland in the heart of the breath taking Yorkshire Dales, this beautiful outdoor wedding venue offers something truly unique and very special for your wedding day.
Hold your ceremony by a gorgeous meandering river or by a crystal clear stream in private and secluded woodland. Party in the wedding field and enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the wild moorlands, lush hay meadows and surrounding woodland. There is plenty of space for a tipi, pole tent or marquee and the venue also offers a camping meadow with room for 100 of your guests and luxury stone barn cottage accommodation for up to 10 people
This is a venue that truly offers it all and is ideal for couples who are looking for a magnificent outdoor setting for their wedding day.
You can find out more by contacting Laura at Festival Brides.
A photo of traditional smoked food in the Yorkshire Dales has been shortlisted for an international food photography award – and you can have your say by voting for it.
The evocative colour image, showing a Kilnsey smoked trout being prepared, was captured by food photographer Joan Ransley and has been nominated for Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2016, the world’s leading awards celebrating the art and diversity of food photography and film.
The photo originally appeared in the Yorkshire Post Magazine feature ‘Smoky and the banquet’ published on 5th December 2015. It will now be competing against more than 400 images in the People’s Choice vote in the ‘Food Off the Press’ category.
“We’re so happy that Joan’s photo of the Kilnsey Smokery is up for an award,’ says owner Jamie Roberts. “She’s captured a beautiful image of our traditional hand-smoking process.”
The panel of judges for the awards includes David Loftus (Jamie Oliver’s photographer) and Jay Raynor food writer for the Guardian/Observer.
Ilkley-based Joan Ransley specialises in photographing food and her work has featured in many national newspapers and magazines. She was commissioned by the Kilnsey Smokery to produce a series of images that showcase their traditional working methods – a selection of her images can be found by clicking here.
To cast your vote for the photo please visit the awards website www.pinkladyfoodphotographeroftheyear.com and choose the category ‘Production Paradise Food Off The Press’ before selecting your favourite image. Voting is for one week only, from Wednesday 30 March to Thursday 7 April at 12 Noon.
To read the original Yorkshire Post feature about the Kilnsey Smokery click here.
To find out more about Joan Ransley and her work click here.
Photos by Anna Lilleengen
We have a great new art exhibition in the cafe: evocative black and white photos by Swedish-born photographer Anna Lilleengen. The two series – called ‘Tales from the Forest’ and ‘Metamorphosis Series 1’ – include photographs made using techniques and processes traditional to the early days of photography in the nineteenth century. Each photograph is handcrafted from start to finish.
The photos are available to buy and can be enjoyed on the walls of the cafe until Spring 2016.
About ‘Tales from the Forest’
In the ‘Tales from the Forest’ series, we see photographs made using techniques and processes traditional to the early days of photography in the nineteenth century. Using an antique plate camera and lens that date back to the 1870s and 1860s respectively, Anna Lilleengen uses photographic techniques that are almost obsolete and handcrafts her photographs from start to finish.
Each photograph is unique, displaying evidence of time passing in its individual markings. For example, an image may show a light shaft entering in through the antique plate holder where a crack has emerged in the wood or it may show the scratches where the plate holder has indented into the surface of the negative, carrying the dried remains of chemicals used in this camera in the Victorian era.
These markings are testament to the individual nature of each photograph; the authenticity of this handcrafted process. For this reason they are purposefully included; not edited out or rejected.
In an era of copy and paste it takes a revision of how we look at images in order to appreciate each picture as a one-off. There has been a resurgence of interest recently in alternative processes. Aspects of the Pictorialist movement can be seen in Lilleengen’s work, which draws inspiration from the wet plate collodion techniques of, amongst others, the US photographer Sally Mann.
The deep forests of Värmland, Sweden are a place where growing up Anna Lilleengen has spent time, so is a natural setting for her work. Here the forests are reclaiming their elemental status as people move out and ‘the Wild’ (wolves, lynx, bears) moves back in.
Exploring the ambivalent nature of our experience of the forest, Lilleengen invites us to join her on a journey through the dark depths of the elemental forest. A place where fairytale and imagination may play against our rational sense of what to expect. Lilleengen creates work that requires you to look closer, reflect and navigate your own way through the darkness of the forest.
About ‘Metamorphosis Series 1’ (2013)
This series, taken at sunset in Norway in late summer, aims to explore a sense of movement and the possibility for change. The recurrent visual theme in Metamorphosis, Series 1 is the water lily, or lotus flower, used in many cultures to symbolise the potential for cleansing and purity. It grows from the peat and stretches up through water to reach the surface as a ‘thousand-petalled’ flower.
The flower itself is not visible in any of the images; we instead see evidence of the leaves (lily pads) on the water, or flattened onto the peat. These represent the promise of change – of evolving.
The images show a movement from darkness and entanglement to levity and light. Towards the end of the series there is an abstraction of this imagery, and left are just layers of colour and light/shade on the image.
The photographs are taken on 120 medium format film with a 1937 Zeiss Ikon camera and are not computer manipulated. The technique of manually double-exposing images in-camera (i.e. not in post-production) creates a layered effect that suggests movement, texture and depth.