Days Out Calderdale

Best Places For Paddling

City Park, Bradford

Fantastic mirror pool with loads of fountains that just beg your feet to paddle!

It’s right in the heart of the city, just outside the town hall, and makes a pleasant place to relax after visiting the National Science and Media Museum.

  • City Park, Bradford, BD1 1HY

Gaddings Beach – Todmorden

A fabulously well-kept secret, Gaddings is a lovely little beach next to Gaddings Dam in Lumbutts village, above Todmorden.

80 feet above sea level and 60 miles inland, it’s the highest beach in England and rewards those who face the steep hike to get there (there is no road access or official parking nearby) with a pretty beach, reservoir and views of the moors.

Just remember to exercise caution if you go in the water, it’s likely to be cold, there is no life guard and help is at least 40 minutes away.

Gaddings Dam and Beach, OL14 6JJ.


Golden Acre Park – Bramhope

Enjoy a lovely walk around the lake while feeding the ducks, then wind down in the newly refurbished café. If you would prefer to picnic, there is plenty of space , and an ice cream van to top it off!

For a different view, follow the path to the right before the tunnel entrance for a lovely walk to Paul’s Pond. You’ll be rewarded with the beautiful bluebells in “Bluebell Wood” (at the right time of year!) – complete with a stream to paddle in.

Golden Acre Park, Arthington Road, Bramhope.

Greenhead Park, Huddersfield

Beautiful park with a paddling pool, just half a mile away from Huddersfield town centre.

There are two lovely children’s play areas with picnic tables, a skate park, tennis court, two cafés, a lake and a fabulous paddling pool to cool off in during the summer months.

A miniature steam train chugs along a track during weekends and bank holidays, and there are horse and carriage rides and children’s rides (weekends, bank holidays and school holidays, check before visiting).

Other park activities include Nordic walking, exercises for new mums, drama classes for pre-schoolers and the 5K Parkrun.

  • Greenhead Park, Trinity Street, Huddersfield, HD1 4DT. Open daily from 7am.

Hardcastle Crags

Hardcastle Crags is a beautiful wooded valley to explore, with 19th-century Gibson Mill at its heart.

It’s run by the National Trust and there are often fun events for the kids during school holidays.

There are several marked trails (you can pick up a map in the car parks or have a look online here, including a couple of easy ones and one that’s suitable for prams (a mile each way).

It’s lots of fun to walk by the water, try the stepping stones and have a paddle before cooling off with an ice cream or enjoying a slice of cake in the café. Or you could look for minibeasts, pond dip, play hide and seek in the woods or admire the tumbling water falls and lovely walks.

You can explore on your own, or take a guided tour. Depending on the season, there are bluebells to enjoy and activities such as creating mini rafts to sail on the pond and cooking on campfires.

Inside Gibson Mill you can learn how a cotton mill became a popular entertainment venue before being transformed into a visitor centre and café.

  • Hardcastle Crags, Hollin Hall, Crimsworth Dean, Hebden Bridge. Phone 01422 844518.

Jerusalem Farm & Wade Wood

With 13 hectares of nature reserve, the beautiful Jerusalem Farm and Wade Wood are perfect spots for picnics and paddling!  The kids will have great fun splashing about in the stream and there is plenty of space to play ball or Frisbee. There are picnic tables, spots in the shade and you can have a barbecue too!

Look out for woodland birds such as goldfinches, robins, woodpeckers, tree creepers and nuthatches. And if you’re quiet, you might even spot a deer! In the autumn there is woodland fungi and all kinds of flora and fauna to enjoy.

Access to the woods from the car park is by a steep grass track, but there is a zig-zag path from the car park to the grass, which is stroller accessible.

Jerusalem Farm is also a campsite from April-September, with pitches for around 30 tents and a holiday cottage.

  • Jerusalem Farm and Wade Wood, Halifax, HX2 6XB. 01422 284428.

Manor Heath Park & Jungle Experience

Playground open but Jungle Experience currently closed

Come rain or shine, you’ll find something to do at Manor Heath.

This Yorkshire in Bloom Gold Award-winning park is open all year round and has a fabulous play area, outdoor gym, sunken garden, walled gardens and a café.

There is also a fun water play area (April to October) for splashing around during warm summer days.

Pop indoors to the Jungle Experience; glasshouses with botanical gardens and habitats for a huge variety of plants, butterflies and animals, such as fish, quails and terrapins.  Zones include The Time Zone, The Savage Garden, Butterfly World and The Lily Pod. The Jungle Experience costs £1 per person. Children aged 2 and under are free.

Manor Heath Park and Jungle Experience, Manor Heath Road, Halifax. 01422 365631.

Newby Hall & Gardens

Reopening on April 1, 2021

Newby Hall is an 18th century country house situated on the banks of the River Ure at Skelton-on-Ure, near Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire. A Grade I listed building, it is open March- September.

You can take a picnic and we’d recommend swim suits (for the water fountain bit!). There is adventure play, a great little train ride and a dolls House exhibit.

Newby Hall & Gardens, Ripon, HG4 5AE
Phone 01423 322583

The Piece Hall

Currently closed

Going back to 1779, The Piece Hall is a gorgeous structure with a rich history.

Recently renovated and reopened, it’s a fabulous place to visit with the family. There are gorgeous shops, cafes and bars, with water features for the kids to paddle in. It’s within close proximity to Square Chapel and the library too.

You can sit outside with a delicious dessert, or bring a picnic and soak in the atmosphere.

Events are run through the year, from markets to shows, food festivals and workshops.

  • The Piece Hall, Blackledge, Halifax. 01422 525217.