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Be inspired every day with Living North
collage of four images Clockwise from top left: Abel Selaocoe, photographed by Matt Davis, Whitby Surf School, Paint and Sip, Ugly Duckling, photographed by Emily Nuttall
What's on
April 2023
Reading time 3 Minutes

You made it! You've nearly completed another school holiday - but the question is what to do this weekend?

Whether you want to relax at a new yoga retreat post-Easter, or you're looking for one last activity to keep the kids busy, here's everything you'll want to do this weekend.
man surfing

Look up at the sky…

It’s National Look Up at the Sky Day on Friday 14th April and we think a great way to celebrate is by doing just that. Whether you go out into your garden to look up at the moon, or head to an organised event to learn more about the sky above us, make sure you take the time to look up this weekend. On Saturday you can also take part in an Aurora Night at Grassholme Observatory A fun-filled night with stunning graphics, state-of-the-art equipment, expert tuition and out-of-this-world stargazing, this is sure to be an event you’ll remember as experienced astronomer Gary Fildes will take you on a whistle-stop tour of the Universe, before you are split into groups (weather depending) to start observing the sky with telescopes and cameras.

Enjoy the sunshine…

The weather's actually set to play ball this weekend and what better reason to get out in the fresh air? At Living North we like to visit the beach all year round but it’s definitely more tempting when the sun is shining – especially if you’re venturing into the water. We’re so lucky to have such a beautiful coastline and from Holy Island all the way down to the Humber, there’s a host of places to enjoy it. Whether it’s sailing, surfing, paddleboarding or kayaking grab your wetsuit and hit the waves this weekend. If you’re new to watersports we would recommend starting with some lessons, so here we've rounded up some of the best places in the North East and Yorkshire to learn.

Something sweet…

Still not had your fill of Easter treats? Head to Castle Howard on Saturday to take part in their Secret History of Sweets Workshop in partnership with York Cocoa House. A hands-on workshop for anyone with a sweet tooth it explores the heritage of confectionery and the creation of the dessert course. Learn about our universal fascination with sugar, and how the stately homes of England gave rise to dessert-based celebrations from which York as a centre of global trade thrived. Work with traditional recipes and ingredients, exploring the evolution of the luxurious sugared treats that eventually became household staples. Each participant will take home their own stash of delicious treats.

Abel Selaocoe, photographed by Matt Davis

Walk to the beat…

For something a bit different this weekend, take part in a soundwalk in Leeds written for Opera North by South African-born composer and cellist Abel Selaocoe. Written and recorded as the country emerged from lockdown, As You Are invites audiences to experience Leeds in new and transformative ways, with an emphasis on healing, ritual and community. Audiences can collect their audio sets from the Victoria Gate shopping centre, then begin their 30-minute journey passing through the opulent County Arcade. A series of transmitters will trigger each chapter of the composition which takes its inspiration from the architecture along the route, and from Abel’s African heritage. Leeds Bridge – another of the city’s Victorian treasures, and the subject of Louis Le Prince’s pioneering 1888 film – marks the final stage of the walk.

See a show…

Northern Ballet’s hugely popular Ugly Duckling is at Northern Stage on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th April and, as seen on CBeebies, this sell-out production for children is not to be missed. Ugly Duckling is lonely and fed-up, ignored by those around her who think she is too ugly to fit in. She tries to make friends with fellow ducklings as well as with frogs, cats and even a fox, but realising she is not like any of these animals, she is left sad and alone. Follow the duckling on her journey as she overcomes her troubles and realises that she was beautiful all along. Retelling the famous Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, Ugly Duckling is the perfect opportunity for your little ones to enjoy live ballet, music and theatre for the first time. 

Breathe and let go…

Skipton’s iconic medieval High Corn Mill is set to cement its role as one of the wellbeing hubs of the Dales this weekend. The ancient mill, with a history stretching back to the 12th Century, is hosting its first body, soul and mind wellness retreat. Organised by mill-based business Balanced Life Physiotherapy, and in conjunction with other mill businesses and specialist local yoga practitioners, the three-day yoga break offers yoga sessions for all levels, sound bath immersion, meditation, woodland picnic walks, the opportunity to book holistic therapies with other tenant practitioners and free time to explore Skipton. Finally, guests will enjoy an overnight stay in the newly opened Eller Beck House luxury four-bedroomed apartment which has just opened within the Grade II-listed building too.

Laugh out loud…

Double Emmy award-nominee and star of Ted Lasso, Nick Mohammed has taken his critically acclaimed alter ego Mr. Swallow on his first UK tour and this Saturday you can see the hilarious show at the Gala Theatre, Durham. Nick is one of the UK’s most celebrated comedians, actors and writers, having received feverish critical acclaim for his previous Mr. Swallow shows Dracula!, Houdini and The Vanishing Elephant, as well as wowing audiences as Mr. Swallow in Dictionary Corner on Channel 4’s Cats Does Countdown – with clips of his performances quickly going viral. Now with a mix of new, old, very old and previously unusable material, members of the audience can expect noise, maths, magic and the whole of Les Mis!

Creative and proud…

Unleash your creativity this weekend by taking part in the Paint and Sip class at Hotel du Vin’s stylish Shipyard Room. A one-of-a-kind event encompassing an evening out with a love of art, simply enjoy a drink or two while painting the afternoon away, listening to good music with even better company. Don’t worry if you’re not the next Picasso as beginners are welcome and the expert teachers will guide you, giving advice and tips throughout the two-hour class. All materials you need including a canvas, paints, apron and brushes are provided, and alongside creating your own masterpiece to take home with you, you also get to enjoy a two course meal from the Hotel du Vin’s bistro a la carte menu.

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