Holmfirth Festival of Folk

Holmfirth Festival of Folk is an event that we attended in 2015 and the fact that we came back in 2016 says a lot about it. This is especially true as it is a 45 minute drive there!

We went on the Sunday again this year as Heidi is a huge fan of The Hey Diddles (old review here). However, there was more than just their show for the little ones.

Firstly, it is so good to see the town seemingly get together for such the Holmfirth Festival of Folk. It is certainly popular and as a result, car parking can be a bit of a nightmare. So if you’re reading this for 2017 (and beyond!) patience and planning is key!

However, as it is busy, it means that there is lots to see, even for younger children. The Saturday schedule had more activities for children with story telling, shows and music which would have entertained and tired out young and old alike and maybe next year, we could make both days.

2016 Children’s Schedule

Apart from The Hey Diddles, there were activities in the Memorial Gardens. These included owls which you could stroke, a maypole demonstration as well as a pirate entertainment show. I certainly realised that trying to explain the whys and wherefores of maypole dancing is remarkably difficult! We were hoping to see the pirate show as well as the Hey Diddles. However, the timings clashed somewhat but perhaps this was for the best as Heidi. This was because she was certainly freaked out by the mock guillotine and her screams drowned out the performance (sorry!)


However, the main part of the Festival on the Sunday are the folk/morris dancers who are dotted about the village centre. While some of them are “blacked up” (and thanks for the group from Worcestershire for explaining why) and may be scary, the music and dancing will likely entertain the little ones. The crowds show that they entertain the big ones as well.

I realise that I have not specifically written about the main reason we came to the Festival. That is because the Hey Diddles were brilliantly entertaining as always, with some new songs as well. However, if you do see them, if your child wants to get up and dance, let them! If for no other reason than it gives Heidi some company at the front and I won’t be the only nervous parent wondering if their child is going to go onto the stage area!!!! Apologies as well if Heidi was (incorrectly) answering all the questions/clues. She does get a little over excited with the show. In fact, she was crying afterwards because she wanted to stay and help them tidy up afterwards…!

The 4th Hey Diddle

Oh, and we managed to meet Snow White too!

Heidi and Snow White

Finally, in terms of child friendliness, the pavements are narrow and crowded. As such, it is difficult to take a pram, although you might need it for the storage space. For baby changing, we have found that the toilets upstairs in the Market Hall are the best ones to use. However, there may well be some others dotted around.

See you next year at the Holmfirth Festival of Folk!!!

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Standedge Tunnel (25/7/2015)

Firstly, apologies for not updating the blog for quite a while. Sometimes real life gets in the way of having fun but seeing as though I have a sleeping toddler before 9pm, I thought that I would give a review on today’s trip to Standedge Tunnel Country Fair.

Standedge is just outside Marsden, which is a 20 minute drive west of Huddersfield and while there is a quicker way over the country roads near Slaithwaite and Golcar, anyone prone of car sickness should go on the A62!

We parked at Marsden train station  (free!) and had the option of either walking along the canal to the Fair (15 minutes), getting a free minibus or getting a water taxi (£1 single for adults, 50p for children). We took the option of walking going to the Fair and getting the water taxi back. The walk was quite easy as it was flat and while the water taxi was nice, it was no quicker and as it only seats 12, if there is a long queue, you will be waiting for a long time!

The main attraction is the boat trip into the tunnel (£4.50 for adults) but it was probably not the most exciting for a 2 year old toddler! We didn’t go on it this time, simply because there was loads more stuff to do!

There were 2 sets of stalls to entertain the visitors. The outdoor stalls had tractors that kids (big and little!) can sit on and farm animals for petting (piglets, donkey, kid goats, lambs, rabbits etc) and these were the stars of the show for Heidi! Also outside were a selection of food stalls and a hook a duck stall!

Inside were a few other stalls selling clothing and other such items, as well as a free face painter. The face painter was fab, not only because the painting was good, but knowing that a 2 year old would not sit still for long and knew a quick design would be best! Oh, and the paint comes off at the end of the day! 🙂 also inside was an indoor play area which was small, but big enough for chhildren up to 6 or so to spend 15 minutes to burn off some energy!

Outside was an outdoor playground for the older children and the now famous Hey Diddles, who did 2 shows! I have written in the past about them, and it was so good that Heidi remembered them from the last time we saw them, which makes the effort worth it! Even better that they remembered her (or are good fibbers!) They were as good as ever and the main reason we came along!

The crowds got bigger during the day, which is really good to see as it is a free event in its second year and I am sure if the crowds are as good for the Sunday (weather permitting) it will be held next year as well.

All in all, it was a lovely 4 hours spent in a beautiful part of the world and I am sure that we will be back at sometime, even if there isn’t an event on, as it is so idyllic!

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The Hey Diddles!


This Easter weekend, the Hey Diddles will be performing at Holmfirth Civic Hall (Saturday at 2pm) and I urge everyone with a child under the age of 8 to go and see them!

I went to see them with H at their Christmas show in Moldgreen in December 2014 and they were brilliant! By this point, you should have googled them, but if not, they are a 3 piece group (Sunny, Sky and Poppy) who are dressed in the appropriate colours who entertain the audience for an hour singing songs while working their way through a story.

They give everything on stage and get the audience into the spirit of the show. The kids love it, with the older ones dancing at the front, getting into the spirit of the show. H was just short of 18 months old and was just walking and so she enjoyed exploring the seating area before the concert but after that she was sat on my knee fixated on the performance. She loved it! We bought the CD and while there is a Xmas theme, the songs are of good sound quality and are still played in the car now!

Update: December 2015 – we have been to see them on many, many more occasions and what I mentioned before still rings true, perhaps even more so!

A couple of recent memories are when we were buying the tickets for the 2015 show in Holmfirth Tourist Information centre was, without prompting, Heidi said “I love Poppy, I love Skye, I love Sunny” when I asked the cashier for some tickets!

Also, one evening trying to get Heidi to sleep (late!) and she crawled to lay on top of me and started singing “Shake, Shake, Shake your sillies out”!!

I think she is a bit addicted!

For a good, innocent, well priced afternoon out, go to see the Hey Diddles! If you have a younger one, get there earlier and get to the front. Also, bring your autograph book as they do a meet and greet afterwards (not sure if they do selfies with you!) and prepare yourself for the discussion on the way home, “Who is you favourite Diddle?”