Visitor boost to attractions as lockdown ease

Visitors were welcomed back to Nidderdale during the first weekend since the second phase of the government’s Roadmap out of Lockdown.

Attractions reported a positive response from people and lots of smiley faces.

“Everyone on the Studfold Static and Seasonal Pitches are so glad to be back and return to a little normality,” said Anne Challis of the tourist business.

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“The Studfold Fairy Adventure trail opened last Saturday with smiley faces and glowing reviews.”

She warned that booking is essential to control entry numbers.

Anne, who runs the attraction with Ian Walker, added: “The Nidderdale Way Cafe and Lost Earth Outdoor pursuits both based at Studfold are becoming increasingly busy too.

“We are just now waiting for the Studfold glamping and touring park and shop to open on May 17. Fingers crossed the government’s plan goes ahead.

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The Himalayan Garden was allowed to reopen on April 2 and has proved popular.

Spokesman Naomi Hutchinson said: “Since opening on April 2 we have had a positive response, with visitors keen to explore the open space and 45 acres of woodland gardens set within a beautiful valley, providing a safe and tranquil environment for all to enjoy.”

Mayor of Pateley Bridge Coun Mike Holt said the latest step out of lockdown was a big boost.

“It has been wonderful to walk around Pateley Bridge and see more than just the food shops open,” he told the Herald.

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“The weather is delightful and I feel a great relief that I no longer need to worry about too many people in too small a space potentially causing cross infection issues.

“All of a sudden, I can be happy with and appreciate the thousands of visitors who come to enjoy the beauty of our town and surrounding areas.”

Justin Scully, General Manager Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal and Brimham Rocks said that more pre-booked visitors had been welcomed.

“The sunny weather and the Easter holidays have certainly been busy with a number of days at full capacity and even some snow thrown into the mix to complicate things.”

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Nidderdale Museum is being prepared to reopen on May 21, when restrictions allow.

“It is expected that the general Covid regulations will remain, so the one-way system introduced last August will again be in operation, together with the pause points to make sure there is only one group in each room as visitors move through the 11 rooms,” said museum chairman Sue Welch.

“Booking will not be needed as the Museum is able to keep groups separate in this way.”

Sue added: “The museum hopes to have sufficient stewarding volunteers to open every Friday/Saturday Sunday from 1.30pm–4.30pm initially.

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“However, its recent Lottery Fund award includes provision for a recruitment and training programme for new volunteers, so it is hoped that it will be back to opening every day later in the summer, and welcoming families back.”

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