Everything is going on at Elsecar!

Where better to end National Tourism Week than at Elsecar Park and Elsecar Heritage centre? With the added bonus of a craft and gift fair thrown in!
Elsecar Park is such a lovely place to visit, especially on a sunny afternoon in Spring. We walked with the dog over the bridge and along the path full of daffodils and past all the bird feeders attracting many species of birds. We then walked on to the dam part of Elsecar reservoir and we could see the bandstand through the trees in the distance.

Onwards to the reservoir, past more daffodils and spring flowers. It is such a lovely walk at this time of year with nature awakening and bringing a touch of brightness to the landscape. It's lovely too to hear the children playing in the park.

We walked down to the reservoir and looked over to the bridge. I love the row of benches here, all dedicated to people who loved to visit this lovely place. The daffodils planred around them looked lovely too. Very atmospheric on top of the little hill.

We then decided to walk around the edge of the park where the blossom and the old fashioned gate looks like a page out or The Secret Garden. Then past the newly renovated cafe which is dog friendly. I love old park buildings and I'm glad whrn thet try to keep old fashioned features as much as they can. We go past the Crazy golf which is the only golf I am really any good at.

We love the view as we walk down the park towards the bandstand and I took some gorgeous pictures before on another visit. I remembered my mum telling us about the bandstand here at Locke Park bring open every Sunday in the summer with a band playing. They would sit with ice creams on striped deckchairs on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I feel sad to see the bandstands all painted up but empty, waiting for a special occasion once every season.

From Elsecar Park, we walked into Elsecar Heritage centre, bustling with people and dogs! We bumped into the owners of a dog similar to ours and got talking. I have been surprised by how many dog owners will stop and chat to you. They are so friendly! We walked past the fab WowHow! games and toy shop, remembering all the Wow! toys and Orchard Games we'd bought from there. So educational and good quality. We passed the lovely craft shop that holds workshops and the gorgeous Brambles cafe. Onto the Tourist information centre that holds workshops. We went to a brill Qdos Creates drama workshop there a few years ago.

I love walking past the red telephone box and visiting Emily's Traditional Sweets. Even though they told me my fave sweets, Butterscotch Tablets have stopped being made. The gift and furniture shop on the corner here is so nice too. We walked past the Railway Children Nursery. What a fab name! Then I noticed a new building with wooden sewing machines and flowers outside. It looked like an artist's studio so I must have a nosy at that!

Onwards to the gorgeous Pantry Deli to sit outside with the dog in the warm sun. I love visiting here and have been on numerous occasions over the years, eating inside and out. I love the decor and atmosphere inside. Soon as you walk in, the vintage crockery and cutlery make you feel at home. They have tasty savouries and sweets and they are all lovely.

I love the cosiness of both rooms and the serving part in the centre. All the pictures and plates on the walls and the teacups hanging down on coloured ribbons. I love queuing up and nosying at all the pretty things on the shelves. We sat outside in the afternoon sun and sipped our double espresso and latte.

After my small but potent coffee, I ventured into Paul's wholefood shop and was engulfed in the fabulous smell from years ago when do worked in a wholefood shop, my favourite job. I told the shop assistant and she jokingly offered me a job bagging up ginger and herbs and spices!
I normally always go in the marvellous Antique centre that keeps expanding every time I visit! I've bought much Carlton ware, Poole and Wade from here. Their jewellery is divine and I managed to find an amethyst ring years ago that actually fitted without having to have it resized! This day, however there is a craft fair so I can do one or the other. The farmers market craft and gift fair win and I step in, wondering which way to turn and what to look at first. The gin stall wins! I adore handmade jewellery and appreciate it's uniqueness so I'm always drawn to these stalls! I do like to look on my own without hubby staring over my shoulder, sub consciously questioning whether I need a new ring or another pair of earings!

There are more antique and gift shops throughout but I am ready for home. I don't want to push my luck! I love these seasonal fairs and when my friends and I used to go to Playmania, we'd take it in turns to go to the antique centre and craft fairs. I always loved a good nosy at what they'd bought and nearly stumbled on my birthday prezzy of a lovely framed heart made of buttons!
The train station and old steam train are marvellous too and you can visit Father Christmas on the train. We have been to a few her festivals over the bridge and sampled some fine ales and ciders. I really love pale ale and there were some lovely ones.

On leaving this wonderful place, I spotted some pictures of local places, painted onto the wall in a variety of bright colours. As I stepped closer there were some brilliant quotes. What a fab idea! I loved the purple and blue ones.

We love Elsecar and have so many happy memories there. The spontaneous afternoons like booking a children's party at Playmania not realising it was on the same day as Barnsley Live, therefore gaining extra entertainment and having 20 odd 7 year olds dancing in the courtyard where we always played Hopscotch after the play area. I try to not remember the time I failed to pay my tab and only remembered on the way home!


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