Now allow me to recount the main event and the reason for our travel to Yorkshire – a visit to the York Maze. https://www.yorkmaze.com/
See my previous article; https://b-c-ing-u.com/architecture/lifes-perks-1-camping-spirit-submerging-in-yorkshire/
York Maze was created by a farmer Tom Pearcy in 2002. It is a family attraction park, that is entertaining for kids, relaxing for adults, and… DOGS FRIENDLY!!! Yes, that’s right! You can visit it with your dog! Sure, your four-legged member of the family would have to stay on the leash at all times, but still, are there many family day out places you can visit with dogs? But that is not the only amazing thing about the place. There are plenty of things to climb on, to bounce on, to be entertained by and amused by. It offers over twenty different rides, attractions, and shows: extreme slides, pig races, a playground with a perfect combination of sand and water, and, of course, the main part, The Maze made in the cornfield, one of the biggest in Europe.
Every year the organizers grew the maze in a form of a picture, changing a scene every time, celebrating different events. This year the theme was Mr. Man and Little Miss 50 years!
As the maze is, basically a field, it can get muddy, but there are updates on the website and at the maze entrance on the level of muddiness, so you can get equipped accordingly. They also keep running updates on Twitter.
The maze isn’t made in a traditional way, when you are looking for the way from the entrance to exit, or to the centre of it. In York maze, you receive a question at the start answer to which you will find at the first station, where you also receive the next question, and so on. Altogether there are six stations and the goal is to find them all. You can download the map onto your mobile, which will help you to navigate the maze, and many people are using it. But our boys were adamant, “we will find the way through ourselves! We don’t need maps!”
It is hard to describe our excitement. None of us had ever been to any maze that would be worth mentioning. And now we were facing a cornfield of a maze! Can we find all the stations? Would we get lost? We didn’t get lost in (completely), as my little one dreamt, but it took us around two hours to navigate through it, taking on a leading role in turns.
It was great fun. Even more so, because my wife and I had found our’s stations in no time at all, which slightly annoyed our boys. Finally, after around three and a half miles of walking, navigating by memory, sense of direction, and hearing (as there was always more noise near the stations), we got out – relieved, a bit tired, and definitely hungry.
Here I should mention that the park offers a range of refreshments in its cafeteria and kitchen. All food is locally produced, nicely prepared, and reasonably priced (unlike in many other amusement parks). I found it also useful, and very thoughtful, that they have menus on their website, which you can download. That can help to plan your lunchtime with children even before you arrive at the place. It also can help if one is operating on a tight budget, to plan what could be purchased at the park, and what to bring along. There are also a couple of snack/ice cream kiosks at the strategic points, so the children (and adults) can keep their energy levels up.
Our next stop was a pig race. None of us had ever seen anything like it and had no idea of what to expect. Of course, it wasn’t a real race. It all was made just for fun entertainment. And fun it was for all, children and parents alike. Staff prepared a brilliant performance, with a lot of silly dancing, porky jokes, and crowd interaction. The entire performance, including a pig race itself, took maybe a quarter of an hour, but it gave us all a boost of good mood and energy and something to remember for a long time.
I will not go into the details of everything we did there. It would be better to share a few more pictures.
Six hours we spent in the park, flew like one. If not for the aching legs and feet, it would have been hard to believe that so much time had passed. It was a busy and wonderful day. Even our grumpy teenager opened up and remembered what it means to be a kid. We all enjoyed it immensely. But what had struck me as the best feature of the park was the people who work there. Every single worker of the park I got in contact with was naturally friendly, cheerful, naturally chatty, and ready to help. It made me feel welcomed and valued. Even at the end of the day, when it was time to persuade people to leave, it was done differently, at least differently from any place of a sort I had been to. It wasn’t announced over the park through the impersonal loudspeakers, and people weren’t “persuaded” by shutting everything down. Instead, it was done by members of staff with megaphones, walking around the park, and chatting to people. And a cafeteria near the exit was open until everybody left, which I found especially nice because it is wonderful when you have a chance to grab a cup of coffee for the road. And you know what? When it was done this way I felt that we need to hurry out so these guys may have a well-deserved rest after all they did for us. I am sure I wasn’t the only one who felt this way, as by the closing time, six-thirty pm, almost on the dot, the park was empty, the souvenir shop full, and a line of happy people was heading for the car park. Many stopping once more to take a picture at the entrance.
It was a lovely day out, a busy day out. But for me, it also was a special day, a day when I had a chance to meet the naturally warm and hospitable spirit of the people of Yorkshire. (Pic11. Very optional and could be ignored.)
To be continued…
Pic1. York Maze is taken from the York Maze website. https://www.yorkmaze.com/
Pic3. Mr. Man York Maze is a scan of the postcard from the York Maze.