Feb 29

5 places in Britain for a very special Mother’s Day

by in Festival, Top Tips, UK

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day tulips

In the UK the day we now call Mother’s Day, was originally known as Mothering Sundayis a holiday celebrated by Catholic and Protestant Christians in some parts of Europe. It falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter. Wikipedia.  In the UK and Republic of Ireland, Mothering Sunday is celebrated in the same way as Mother’s Day is celebrated in the USA and elsewhere.

Afternoon tea at Betty’s Cafe Tea Tooms in Harrogate

Betty's Tea Rooms Harrogate

Harrogate, a place my Mum loved very much, is an elegant spa town in the heart of Yorkshire. Betty’s Cafe Tea Rooms is a magnet for all lovers of a good cuppa and slice of cake in charming surroundings reminiscent of a bygone age when ladies wore delicate tea dresses and their hair in a chignon. Betty’s opened in 1919 and has flourished ever since, with 5 other tearooms now open around Yorkshire. Try a Fat Rascal (a giant fruity scone topped with almonds and glace cherries), a fondant fancy or go the whole nine yards with their Lady Betty Afternoon Tea in the Imperial Room. Whatever you do, make sure you BOOK a table as Betty’s is VERY popular. Afterwards browse the designer  shops or indulge in the Harrogate Turkish Baths and Spa.

Castell Coch near Cardiff

Castell Coch Wales - photo zoe dawes

Castell Coch

Charming Castell Coch (Red Castle) floats above the hills near Cardiff like a Disney Princess’s dream home. Built in the late 19thC for John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute on the site of a much older ruin, it was created by architect William Burges, who also designed Bute’s main residence, Cardiff Castle. His brief appears to have been to fulfil his patron’s romantic fantasies about Gothic, so popular in the Victoria era. Wandering through its beautiful, ornate and colourful interior is to step back in time and any Mum with a love of romance and history will love it.

Lavenham village in Suffolk

Lavenham village //www.discoverlavenham.co.uk/

Lavenham village www.discoverlavenham.co.uk

Said by some to be the most perfect English Village, the black and white timbered buildings of Lavenham evoke a time long gone, though its popularity means that on Mother’s Day it will probably more crowded than its heyday between the 14th C and 16th C. It was the centre of the wool trade and the enormous St Peter and St Paul Church is testimony to the area’s wealth.  With over 300 wonderfully preserved medieval buildings, it’s fascinating to look round and the quaint shops are crammed full of quirkilicious delights. There are lots of pubs, restaurants and cafes; I’ve very happy memories of a Mother’s Day lunch at the 15th C Swan Inn, but everywhere will be busy so if you want to eat out, you may prefer to find a quieter Suffolk village (there are plenty in this area) after you’ve explored Lavenham.


Appleby in Westmorland Church and square

Appleby in Westmorland

My Mum loved the Lake District but it gets very busy on Mother’s Day so we used to find places around Cumbria, away from the main ‘honeypots’ of Bowness, Grasmere, Hawkshead etc. The ancient market town of Appleby-in-Westmorland is a charming town in the Eden Valley on edge of the Pennines. Historic buildings line the main street and Appleby Castle keeps watch over the town. There are plenty of pubs and tea rooms plus an excellent bakery, though probably closed on a Sunday. Take time to visit St Lawrence’s Church which dates back to the 12th century; in 1655 Lady Anne Clifford restored the church, and rebuilt the north chapel and the chancel.

The Eden Project in Cornwall

The Eden Project Cornwall zoedawes

The Eden Project – Cornwall

If your Mum likes pottering round gardens and admiring the planting, then take her to The Eden Project, an ambitious and description-defying visitor attraction in the depths of Cornish countryside. With its two Biomes and extensive grounds you can spend all day here. The Tropical Biome is used for tropical plants, such as fruiting banana plants, coffee, rubber and giant bamboo, and is kept at a tropical temperature and moisture level. The Mediterranean Biome houses familiar warm temperate and arid plants such as olives and grape vines and various sculptures. The Outdoor Gardens represent the temperate regions of the world with plants such as tea, lavender, hops, hemp and sunflowers, as well as local plant species. Wikipedia The Eden Project has a large performance arena; I saw Paloma Faith in concert at the Eden Project last year. There are various restaurants and cafes, gift shops and for more adventurous mums, a Zipwire to add adrenalin to her Mother’s Day treat!

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7 Responses to “5 places in Britain for a very special Mother’s Day”

  1. From Zoe Dawes:

    This year I won’t be seeing my son as I’m at a wedding for the weekend. It’s the first time we won’t have gone out for the day, usually with a picnic, to somewhere either pretty ie Grassington in Yorkshire, or somewhere historic like Lanercost Priory. Feeling bit sad!

    Posted on March 2, 2016 at 6:37 pm #
  2. From Helen Smith:

    Some lovely ideas here. Betty’s is very special but it does get crowded. I’d suggest a walk round Harrogate and then going off into Yorkshire Dales for tea!

    Posted on March 3, 2016 at 2:17 pm #
  3. From Zoe Dawes:

    There are so many places to choose from in the UK Helen and your suggestion to get out into the Dales is a great idea. We had a very memorable Mother’s Day in Grassington one year. Picnic by the river then browsing the quirky shops in the village 🙂

    Posted on March 3, 2016 at 2:19 pm #
  4. From John Macbeath:

    We’ve had some lovely Mother’s Days around the area and I agree about keeping it simple, avoiding crowds and overpriced restaurants!

    Posted on March 16, 2016 at 8:06 pm #
  5. From Zoe Dawes:

    Knew your Scots savviness would appreciate that!

    Posted on March 16, 2016 at 8:38 pm #
  6. From Linzi Clark:

    I love the Burrell Collection and also fancy trying Harrogate which always seems to come top of the most desirable places in the UK to live. Would love to find out what it’s like.

    Posted on March 27, 2016 at 12:17 pm #
  7. From Zoe Dawes:

    Sure you’d love Harrogate Linzi – very ‘genteel’ place with some great shops and a lot of history. Beautiful Yorkshire countryside nearby 🙂

    Posted on March 28, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

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