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 the new vista behind the mill gives great views of the valley and moorland beyond. Another 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 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 30 October - Friday 3 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 navigate with a map and compass. You can book onto the ever popular cooking on a campfire session, or make mini broomsticks so you can take home some of the Hardcastle Crags magic.

On 1 November we're inviting families to come along and be a ranger for a day between 11am - 3pm. Help us slow the flow through the woodland and learn how natural flood management activities such as gully stuffing and leaky dams installation reduces flooding. Bring the whole family, learn new skills, meet new people and enjoy making a difference to the woodland and local area.  

Download your October half-term planner (PDF / 0.1MB) download

Test your campfire cooking skills
Cooking on a campfire


Weaving Shed Café

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

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