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Industrial action 1-9 December
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February’s climate can often be less inviting than January, but you know what they say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing! There are some stunning places to visit in the North, and often the colder weather means that your favourite spots can be less crowded and so much more peaceful. Grab your cosy hat and scarf and head outside to blow away those cobwebs. 

But if getting outdoors in the colder months really isn’t your thing, then you will find plenty to do for all ages, from gaming festivals, to castles. There really is something to suit everyone within easy reach of Northern Railway. 

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty in store. We’ve selected our favourite five things you can do across the month that’ll light a fire inside of you no matter the weather.

1. Yorkshire Games Festival - 4 to 5 February 2023

Whoever thought to add games to a museum deserves a cup of tea and a pat on the back. The opening weekend of the annual Yorkshire Games Festival sees giant screens to play on, the latest board games and brand-new test projects from Northern developers all in one fantastic venue.

The opening weekend of the Yorkshire Games Festival plays host to a museum takeover of exciting gameplay and activities for the whole family. Experience games on our biggest screens, play the latest board games and analogue experiences with friends and beta-test new projects from Northern developers - all under one roof.
They claim to have a “small mountain” of tabletop experiences. Hope you’re not too competitive!

2. Lancaster Castle 

Lancaster Castle, also known as John O’Gaunt’s Castle, dates back to 1265 and overlooks Lancaster and the River Lune, previously serving as a fortress to hold back marauders. It’s been home to monarchs, formerly held trials and executions and was even a functioning prison as recently as ten years ago.

Owned by the Duke of Lancaster (you may know him as His Majesty King Charles III), the castle is bursting with historical, cultural and political history. 

3. Lytham Hall and Windmill 

Two truly stunning landmarks, Lytham Windmill and Lytham Hall, serve as the landmarks to puncture your visit to, you guessed it, Lytham.

The Windmill was built in the 1800s and stood tall until 1919, where a wicked gale whipped the sales so quickly that sparks ignited the inner woodwork. As you can imagine, the timber didn’t deal well with the flames and the interior was entirely gutted. In 1989, the Windmill was restored by the local council and is now open to the public.

Over to the Hall. February is Snowdrop Season, so when you visit, you’ll marvel at the parkland trail and soak in the wonderful winter nature on offer – all 78 acres of it. Make sure to warm up with a hot drink in the cafe!

4. Buxton Poole’s Cavern

Poole’s Cavern is an all weather, family friendly experience just on the outskirts of the wonderful Spa town of Buxton. Delve below the earth and experience the natural limestone stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over millions of years.

When you’re done, take a wander through the Country Park and make sure to follow the trail up to Solomon’s Temple!

5. Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival 

Take a trip to this remarkable biennial festival in the small town of Slaithwaite to experience the activities inspired by a quirky local story. The story goes that smugglers used to dunk their illegal barrels of booze under a bridge. When accosted by a local militia, they were asked what they were doing as they were dredging in the canal. Their answer? Raking the (reflection of the) moon.

Now, every other February – only on odd years – the village gathers together, music is played and a giant lantern moon is floated along the canal on a raft. Once it’s lifted out of the water, the moon is carried around the village followed by a procession of locals all adorned with their own homemade lanterns.

A lesser known, but highly entertaining, event that runs across a week but culminates on one glorious night.

A cave, a castle, a cavern, a canal and a… windmill. So close. Regardless, what a bunch of brilliant options to start the year on the right note.

If you liked this page then be sure to check out our other ideas for travelling in January and March this year. 

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