Fun for all the family in Yorkshire this Easter

IT IS the most popular weekend of the year, four days in which to unwind from the pressure of work, catch up with friends and get out and about to enjoy the delights of God's own country.

Springtime at Castle Howard

Easter is a special time for people across Yorkshire, not least Christians and those involved in the tourism industry who will welcome thousands of customers through their doors as the nation casts off the winter blues and embraces spring.

For all the counter-attraction of shopping malls, DIY stores and garden centres, the glorious great outdoors is beckoning across the Broad Acres this weekend - here is our Top 10 things to do in Yorkshire at Easter:

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Easter services at York Minster

Easter is an important time in the Christian calendar and York Minster will be hosting a series of special services this weekend, including a family-focused Stations of the Cross service on Friday (11.30am-12.30pm) and a Solemn Eucharist on Easter Day (Sunday, 10am). More details here

Easter fair at Castle Howard

There’s so much more to this magnificent stately home than the setting for Brideshead Revisited and between Saturday and Monday children will love the fun and activities of an Easter Fair featuring egg hunts among the spring flowers, stalls, a mini train ride and fairground, and face painting. More details here

Springtime fun trail at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

As well as a series of fascinating collections, there are a host of activities taking place at this fantastic (and free) attraction at West Bretton, Wakefield. The park’s lake and woodlands are bursting into life and a guided trail is guaranteed to keep young and old alike intrigued for hours. More details here

Easter lambing at Coddy’s Farm, Holmfirth

Meet the animals, including lots of new-born spring lambs, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (9.30am to 3pm) at this traditional Pennine farm in the middle of Last of the Summer Wine country. Admission is just £2 (free for one years and under). More details here

Easter jousting tournament at Royal Armouries Museum

An authentic mediaeval jousting tournament takes place close to the heart of Leeds between 10am and 5pm on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Visitors are promised pomp, pageantry and lots of live action. More details here

Fossil frenzy at the National Coal Mining Museum

The Yorkshire coal seams which fuelled the industrial revolution were a rich source of fossils from Carboniferous period and a series of special interactive events at this free and fascinating attraction will keep the whole family entertained. More details here

York chocolate festival

Easter means just one thing to many children - chocolate eggs - so where better to test out your sweet tooth than in a city which has been the country’s confectionery capital for hundreds of years? Full details here

Hebden Bridge duck race

It has caused more than its fair share of problems for the folk of Hebden Bridge in the last few months but the River Calder is the focal point for fun on Monday when up to 10,000 plastic ducks will race through the town. All proceeds go to local flood relief charities. More details here

Kids cycling time trial, Sutton Bank

Children aged between four and 12 will love this timed cycle race against the magnificent backdrop of Sutton Bank near Thirsk on Saturday from 2.00pm. Prizes for the fastest times and for riders attempting the course wearing Easter-themed fancy dress. More details here

Easter Eggspress on the Kirklees Light Railway

Easter egg hunts are always popular with smaller children and the chance to help the Easter bunny collect chocolate eggs on a steam train ride is certain to prove a big hit. More details here