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Alphabetical Date Ideas – Yorkshire

Alphabetical dates are such a lovely idea, not only is it a great way to schedule time together, but it is also a great way to try out new things, get creative and break away from your usual routine.

How Do Alphabetical Dates Work?

Basically, you reserve a day or evening a week, or fortnight (or whenever is convenient for you), and on those days or nights, you do activities beginning with every letter of the alphabet. So 26 letters = 26 date nights! Here are some ideas of things to do at home and around Yorkshire with your loved one!


Go abseiling at How Stean Gorge
Try your hand at archery
Get in touch with nature at The Yorkshire Arboretum
Play at the arcade

The Yorkshire Arboretum


Take Ballroom dancing lessons at Yorkshire Dance
Rent a boat in York
Go to the beach
Go to a Build-a-Bear Workshop
Explore Brimham Rocks


Take cooking lessons
Make candles
Play Crash Bandicoot
Visit the National Coal Mining Museum
Drop into Ilkley’s Clip n Climb
Go to Ilkley Cinema
Eat cheese at The Courtyard Dairy 


Dine at your favourite restaurant
Play a game of dominoes
Go to The Deep Aquarium
Eat Domino’s Pizza

the deep


Learn all the lyrics to an Eminem song
Watch an educational documentary together


Have a film night
Make a duvet fort
Explore Fountains Abbey
Eat french fries
Watch funny films
Go to a football match together


Sip Slingsby Gin
Play your favourite board games
Walk around Gledhow Valley Woods
Go for a gamble at Grosvenor

slingsby gin


Go on a hike
Ride in a hot air balloon
Go horse riding
Plan a holiday


Eat Italian food
Make ice cream
Walk the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail
Go ice skating


Get healthy at a juice bar
Listen to Jazz at Leeds Jazz Club
Have jelly & ice cream
Play Jenga
Tell each other jokes



Walk around Kirkstall Abbey
Play laser tag at Kirkstall’s Cardigan Fields


Learn something new at the Science & Media Museum
Walk around Lake Semerwater.
Play with the Nidderdale Llamas


Play Monopoly
Listen to music
Take a stroll around Malham Tarn
Learn something new at a museum
Go mountain biking on Ilkley Moor

mountain biking ilkley moor


Go for a night out in Harrogate
Snuggle up for a night in


Eat chocolate orange ?
Go orienteering


Play a game of pool
Go paintballing
See a play at The Grand
Go on a picnic

the grand


Eat Quavers
Go quad-biking


Make rocky road
Go roller skating
Rock climbing


Enjoy sausage sandwiches
Go swimming
Try out scuba diving or snorkelling
Play snooker
Go strawberry picking

strawberry picking


Write ten things you love about each other
Go ten pin bowling
Relax at the Turkish Baths
Watch Tom Hardy films
Get a takeaway
Play tennis
Dine at the Trinity Kitchen


Play Uno
Kiss under a bridge
Explore underground caves
Make an upside down cake


Make Viennese Whirls
Make a vegetarian meal
Volunteer in your local community

lovely viennese whirls


Go for a walk
Skim stones across water
Go to Wetherspoons
White water rafting
Eat cheese at the Wensleydale Creamery


Share a kiss ? (x)
Dine at Pizza Express
Have fun at Xscape
Watch X-men


Eat at Yo-Sushi
Explore Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Play with yo-yos
Admire the animals at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

yorkshire wildlife park


Go zip-lining at Aerial Extreme


Ilkley Cinema & Baby Driver Review

Ilkley Cinema is located very centrally in Ilkley, and parking in the surrounding streets is easy. The cinema is about a 5-minute walk from the bus and train station. You can book tickets in advance online, or phone up and make a reservation, the cinema is pretty small so it is definitely worthwhile reserving your ticket before your visit to avoid disappointment.

ilkley cinema

Although the ticket prices are slightly more expensive than you would be charged at the multiplex, when you take into consideration the petrol costs and time it takes to get yourself over to Kirkstall, it actually is probably much the same. For comparison, you can see below that the cost of an adult ticket for a Tuesday night showing of Baby Driver at Kirkstall Vue, compared to Ilkley Cinema is just £2.

Ilkley Cinema: £12.45
Vue Kirkstall: £10.49

If you are visiting Ilkley especially to go to the cinema, depending on the time of your showing, there are plenty of other lovely things to do in the area! If the weather is good you could stroll around the park, or call in at the wonderful Toast House for an avocado on sourdough!

After climbing up the short flight of stairs (there is a lift available) you enter into the modern bar area of the cinema, then round the corner is a seating area, and then there is the screening room. There is also an outdoor seating area if you are lucky enough to visit when it isn’t raining. On my recent visit, and on previous visits, I have always been so impressed by the friendly and cheerful staff, who are so quick to welcome you in and look after you.

ilkley cinema sofa

You can order food to eat before the film, or it can be brought to you whilst you’re in the cinema before the film starts. The staff can also bring drinks to you whilst you’re seated in the cinema, so you can enjoy tea and cake or a glass of wine whilst you’re enjoying the film. You can also buy sweets which are served in special non-rustling bags, an idea that should be taken up more widely!

On my visit, we sampled the Margherita pizza and the kimchi noodles in chicken broth. The pizza had plenty of cheese… just the way I like it! Fortunately we ate it in the seating area before the film, I think trying to eat either of those dishes in the dark could have ended up being quite messy!

ilkley cinema pizza ilkley cinema food

The quality of the screen and the sound is as good as the multiplexes, and the sound was certainly tested by the film we went to see, Baby Driver, which has an amazing soundtrack.

Baby Driver 


Baby Driver is the new film from director Edgar Wright and it deserves and will probably get, a wider audience than just people who like car chase movies.

The plot is pretty simple, a young guy inadvertently steals a car containing a great deal of money from a criminal mastermind and ends up working for said criminal mastermind, becoming a getaway driver for him to pay off his debt. This he has almost done, but in the best cinematic tradition, there is always one more job to be done. The twist to this is that Baby, the eponymous hero of our story has tinnitus which is basically a permanent rining in the ears, as a result of a car accident when he was younger.

He listens to music all the time to block out the effects of the tinnitus and plans his getaway driving around certain favourite tracks.

In the course of the film, he meets and falls in love with a beautiful waitress but having to drive for one last robbery throws a shadow over whether or not this is a film with a happy ending. The film has two set pieces at the start, one being a car chase, and the other a long tracking shot of Baby walking through the city, set to the tune of Harlem Shuffle, with the things that are happening on the street, being set in time to the music. All clever stuff, and you probably need to see this a few times to get all the references.

The acting is pretty good, considering the rather stereotypical characters, but they’re helped out by some good dialogue. Kevin Spacey is a convincing criminal mastermind but then again, it is Kevin Spacey, need I say more? Ansel Elgort, as Baby, looks out of place with the hardened criminals he is teemed up with, and Lily James, moves from princess to waitress, and this role won’t have done her career any harm at all.

The supporting cast all chip in with good performances, the bank robbers all look the part; everyone has a nickname and disturbingly psychopathic tendancies towards shooting people, but you still feel strangely sympathicic towards them. In the wrong hands, this film could have been a total disaster, a sort of film version of grand theft auto, but with real actors. The fact that it isn’t is quite a testimony to the director, whose following films I imagine a lot of people will follow with interest.

On paper, the music, which is such an integral part of the film, looks like a strange mixture. You have some modern rap, and a few classics such as Harlem Shuffle, but also quite a few old rock tunes by 1970’s bands like Focus, and Golden Earring. The fact that the soundtrack is so mixed works in its favour. This is not high-art, but it is high-entertainment and seems to combine a touch of arthouse with mainstream cinema.

Definitely one to watch on the big screen, and wait to see what this film director does next.



Salami & Co Review

Salami & Co.

10 Market Place, Otley,  LS21 3AQ

I visited Salami & Co. in July, it was a bright sunny day and the lovely town of Otley in West Yorkshire was busy as it was the day of the annual Otley Food and Drink Festival. The market place was closed to traffic and the traders were setting up their stalls and beginning to sell food of all descriptions to the early morning crowd. Having heard great things about Salami & Co. I was pleased to finally get a chance to visit! It is, in fact, a dog-friendly coffee house and not as its name may suggest, a delicatessen. It is called Salami & Co as Salami is the name of one of the owner’s dachshunds.


I visited with my parents, and their dog, Dolly the Greyhound and Fifi my Romanian Rescue dog. Fifi is small enough to not cause much of a ruckus when we go to cafes, but Dolly with her long limbs and lack of understanding of the word ‘sit’ is a bit more difficult, and if you take her to a small cafe then everyone has to climb over her when she sprawls out all over the floor. So taking both of these dogs out somewhere is a real test of whether a place really is dog-friendly, and I’m pleased to say that Salami & Co. certainly is.

dining dogs

The place has a relaxing atmosphere and friendly, attentive staff and is easy to find being on the Main Street. The tables are quite high, perhaps intentionally so that your four-legged friends can lie comfortably underneath, which Dolly and Fifi both did for a brief moment! There are dog bowls, blankets and mats provided, and there is also a variety of drinks and treats which look good enough for human consumption!

hound menu  dog treats

The food that was being brought out to the other customers looked good and was well presented (very instagrammable!) and portion sizes seemed about right. There is an excellent selection of good quality coffee, which, by around ten on a Sunday morning is always a welcome sight!

salami&co coffee

For my breakfast order, I predictably chose the smashed avocado with a poached egg on sourdough, with feta cheese, roasted red peppers and chilli. It was absolutely delicious and sustained me throughout the rest of the day. I loved the little flower on top – it’s attention to detail like that which really makes a place special. You can tell that the husband and wife team running this operation really care about making their customers happy.

Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous this crockery is!

smashed avocado toast

The service was fairly fast as it was quite early and the place just had a few customers but I imagine it could get busy at peak times. The prices are what you might expect from a trendy coffee-house, a little on the expensive side, however, the food is all good quality and most definitely worth it. If you own a dog, or just like dogs, this is certainly the place for you! Some places just claim to be dog-friendly, but Salami & Co. really is, and they cater to every need your dog could have! If you feel like treating your dog to even more than just a Puppuccino, then they have a whole variety of lovely collars and leads in the little shop area near the front door.

dog-shop   dog things

Enlivened by our coffee we gathered up the dogs and left the delights of Salami & Co to head to Wetherby Racecourse so Dolly could hang out with her pals at the Northern Greyhound Gathering, a review of which can be read here.

If you enjoyed this post, you can find out about our day at the Yorkshire Coast here.

Northern Greyhound Gathering July 2017

After a delicious brunch in Otley we wended our way over to the Northern Greyhound Gathering at Wetherby Racecourse. It was a bright and sunny day, the car parking was easy and entry was free.
The basic layout was a large field with a ring in the middle for the dog judging competitions and a half circle of stalls running around it with every type of greyhound accessory anyone could wish for plus food, dog care and advice as to owning a greyhound.

northern greyhound gathering

There was a lady there clipping claws, and also, sausage bobbing for dogs. A great many dogs, mainly greyhounds of innumerable sizes and markings and their owners turned up. Throughout the day we saw plenty of dogs wandering around enjoying Frozzys from Stephs Pet Pantry.

rescue dogs

The greyhound competitions are light-hearted and mainly for fun and to raise money for the greyhound charity, not at all like Crufts.
Basically, if you own a greyhound this is a good place to meet other owners and generally have a good time and if you are thinking of adopting a dog you can meet the people who run the greyhound charities and find out more about how to go about it. There were even some greyhounds there who were waiting to be adopted!

greyhound classes
There are good toilet facilities on site and a refreshment room, you can bring your own picnic, folding chairs, table, etc as you wish.
A well organised day out in aid of a very good cause..

Here are the classes from the day;

Greyhound Only:

1. Most Handsome Lad

2. Prettiest Princess

3. Best Black Boy – male greyhounds

4. Best Black Girl – female greyhounds

5. Golden Oldie Greyhound – 8 years+

6. Best Greyhound Homed from West Yorkshire Retired Greyhound Trust

7. Best in Show

Any breed of dog:

8. Best Tweeter – #HoundsOfTwitter only

9. Best Lad

10. Best Princess

11. Best Young Handler – 14 years and under

12. Best Booty – for those who are camera-shy!

13. Best in Fancy Dress

As you can see, they have classes open to every breed of dog towards the end, so you don’t have to worry if you want to bring a non-greyhound you’ll still be welcomed! Fifi and greyhound Dolly very much enjoyed their day out, and are looking forward to next year’s event! Fifi got a beautiful new collar from Pink Fluffy Kitty Pet Boutique which she loves!

dog collar

If you are thinking of adopting a dog, always choose a rescue dog! Dolly the greyhound is from a greyhound rescue centre, and Fifi is a Romanian rescue dog.