Days out during the summer holidays can cost an arm and a leg and even just doing 1 or 2 a week that require paying for can really rack up the pound signs! I’ve been trying really hard over the last few weeks to keep our weekday activity costs as low as possible, so when a friend told me about a free ‘Gnome Roam‘ then we had to go and check it out.
Newmillerdam Country Park, Wakefield
Set in a beautiful part of West Yorkshire, this woodland walk offers a great family day out at little to no cost. The only cost we incurred was £1.30 for parking, but if you begrudge that then there are plenty of places offsite to park for free but personally I don’t mind paying that when it goes back into the conservation of the park.
The walk itself is 1.8 miles which was totally manageable for my two (just turned 4yo) but if you need to take a push chair just be aware that the roam starts with quite a few steps leading you up into the woods, but they are those long and wide type steps that you can fit the buggy on each step, so not too bad. Once you managed the steps you’ll be absolutely fine for the rest of the trek.
Meet the Gnomes
Starting with Gnome Alan, you are guided through the woods and eventually down to the lake side where you need to find all 10 gnomes and also the infamous bear who has scared the gnomes off.
We took a packed lunch and stopped about half way around, followed by a cake and drink break at the last gnome, so all in all it took us about 2 hours 15mins to get around which was probably just the right amount of time for keeping my boys engaged and not flagging.
At each gnome there are different little challenges or interesting facts which helped keep the boys interest throughout, which was good going considering it didn’t involve a playground, or lego or Toy Story in any way!
We didn’t take the dogs with us as it was just me and the kids and also I’d never been before so wasn’t sure what to expect, but actually it’s massively dog friendly, you just need to watch out for the occasional cyclist as there is a trail that crosses over with the Gnome Roam at a few points.
So if you’re looking for any last minute ideas to finish the summer holidays off or just looking for a nice family weekend activity then I’d definitely recommend giving this a go… plus there’s a few really nice pubs locally to get a nice Sunday lunch and a sneaky pint in so perfect for all the family, any time of the year!
And if all that doesn’t entice you… there’s a BatGnome!