Autumn at Hardcastle Crags

A view of stepping stones actoss the stream

As leaves fall and create a colourful crisp carpet underfoot, take a waterside stroll to enjoy the last of the milder weather before winter creeps upon us.

In the woods

Autumn's a great time to visit, the colours are changing from vibrant greens to beautiful shades of gold, and the dappled light through the autumn foliage will provide the perfect backdrop to your photographs.

The valley begins to turn golden at different times, and a great place to stop and admire the autumn colours is through the 'Framing the Landscape' frame at Clough car park.

As the days get shorter, life in the woodland begins to slow down and get ready for winter. Come along and see if you can spot squirrels and jays foraging for food and birds getting ready for their yearly flight to warmer climates.

A cinema experience

This October we're bringing Gibson Mill, a former entertainment emporium, back to life with a family cinema experience.

In association with Dolly Shot Pop up Picture House, we'll be showing The Fantastic Mr Fox at 11.30am, and The Isle of Dogs at 3pm on Saturday 27 October. Dogs are welcome to both screenings.

Booking is essential and tickes are available by clicking on the links. Adults £10, children £7.50, dogs are free. Gourmet (including vegetarian) hot dogs with a variety of toppings will be available to buy from the cafe along with drinks and snacks.

The Fantastic Mr Fox cinema screening
Film poster for The Fantastic Mr Fox
The Fantastic Mr Fox cinema screening

A family day out

Hardcastle Crags is a great place to tick off some of the 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ activities. There’s plenty of space for families to enjoy time together and lots of natural materials waiting to be collected. What wild art masterpieces will you create?

The woodland floor's home to hundreds of insects and mini beasts. Take a look in the undergrowth and see how many creepy crawlies you can find.  Are you brave enough to hold one? How does it feel - tickly, slimy, prickly or smooth?  

There'll be led activities every weekday during half-term (Monday 29 October - Friday 2 November), please see our What's On section for full details.  We'll be braving the chill and building mini rafts to sail upon the mill pond, but if the high seas aren't your thing then come along and learn how to make a bat hat. You can book onto the popular cooking on a campfire session, or make mini broomsticks with our rangers.

Build the best den ever at one of our drop-in sessions
A den of branches leaning next to a tree
Build the best den ever at one of our drop-in sessions

Weaving Shed Café

The Weaving Shed Café inside the mill's a great place to meet up with friends and dogs are welcome too. During these cooler months the fire will be lit and there’s a selection of hot drinks, heart-warming soup, cakes and other treats available to help you recharge after a woodland stroll.

Hardcastle Crags is off the grid, and the energy needed to make hot drinks and soup is all generated onsite from sunlight and water. During dull days there isn't always enough power to provide hot drinks and food - but there'll always be a great choice of sandwiches and cakes available.

Visitors in the Weaving Shed Cafe at Hardcastle Crags
Visitors in the Weaving Shed Cafe at Hardcastle Crags
Visitors in the Weaving Shed Cafe at Hardcastle Crags