It’s official, the Yorkshire Dales (specifically Craven) is the happiest place to live in the UK.
The new survey by the government’s leading boffins highlights that residents of the area have the highest levels of happiness, highest level of life satisfaction and lowest levels of anxiety.
Unofficially we’ve known this for years but didn’t want to mention it for fear that a) we might be considered big-headed (never a good thing) and b) there might be a stampede of people disturbing our peace and quiet.
So if you’re looking for happiness (aren’t we all?) you could do worse than go for a relaxing drive in the Yorkshire Dales and drop into Kilnsey Park for a few hours of quiet fishing or a good lunch.
The Guardian report of the new survey can be found here: https://amp.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/sep/26/yorkshire-dales-craven-happiest-uk-ons-hertsmere-london
You might recognise the photo that they used to accompany the article. Yes it’s the much-loved view of Kilnsey Crag across our fishing lakes.
The official government report can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/bulletins/measuringnationalwellbeing/april2016tomarch2017
We are delighted to discover that we have been rated as Excellent for our carbon footprint because we only generate 0.1kg of carbon dioxide per visitor. This is due to the large amount of green electricity we produce from hydro-power each year. It confirms that we are leading the way as a sustainable business. We will receive out Green Tourism grading this summer.
“At Kilnsey Park we’ve always prided ourselves on being one of the greenest business around – so it’s great to get this recognition that we’re very close to being carbon neutral,” says business owner Jamie Roberts.
Photo shows Lisa Wilson from Green Tourism with Jamie Roberts and the carbon certificate.
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.