How to Celebrate Burns Night

All the Christmas decorations and just about down by now. The New Year party feels like it happened ages ago, and here in the UK, we’re in the depths of winter. Short daylight hours, dark nights, and cold, wet days.

Sounds pretty grim if truth be told.

That’s why, when there’s an opportunity to have a celebration, most people jump at the chance.

Burns Night held on 25th January, is traditionally a Scottish celebration of the great poet Robert Burns. But that’s not stopped the rest of the UK from joining in too.

Five years after he passed away, a group of Robert Burns’ friends gathered for supper in remembrance of him. Over the years the tradition continued and grew.

A Burns supper cannot be celebrated without the famous Haggis. Composed of the liver, heart, and lungs of a sheep (or other animal), minced and mixed with beef or mutton suet and oatmeal and seasoned with onion, cayenne pepper, and other spices. The mixture is packed into a sheep’s stomach and boiled.

Ironically, this traditional Scottish dish is believed to have been created and eaten in England long before it moved North of the border and adopted by the Scott’s.

So, if you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps after the Christmas and New Year Celebrations and like the idea of another get together, Burns Night is something to look forward to later this month.

Remember to keep within any Covid restrictions that are in place, to stay safe.

If you’re not sure where to start, the BBC Good Food website has some fantastic recipes – How to Throw a Burns Night Supper

Oidhche losgaidh sona! (Happy Burns Night)

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14th January is Dress Up Your Pet Day

A bit of winter fun for all and you can spread some happiness at the same time.

Celebrate ‘Dress Up Your Pet Day’ by making or buying a cute (but comfortable) outfit for your little furry friend then post your fabulous photos on your Facebook page.

Even more fun, why not make a matching outfit to you.

Let’s see how your fur babies can dress to impress!

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5 Exhilarating ideas to try out in 2022

The New Year will soon be upon us. Want to achieve something for yourself next year? Layhead is the perfect base to try something different. Here are 5 exhilarating things to do in the Yorkshire Dales in 2022.

Gaping Gill Winch
Drop 31 metres to the floor of Gaping Gill, one of the largest chambers in Britain, sitting in a winch. It’s fantastic fun. Kids of all ages will love it.
Find out more

Dog Sledding
Ever fancied running a team of sled dogs? Well, now’s your chance. No need to travel to Lapland or Norway. It’s right here in Yorkshire.
Find out more

What to know what it feels like to fly like a bird? Then here’s your chance. Sit back, relax and admire the view from on high.
Find out more

Never been caving before? Go for it. Yorkshire Dales Guides are the perfect people to take you underground. Great fun for all.
Find out more

Climbing and Abseiling
An afternoon climbing on Yorkshire limestone in the sun is a great way to learn more about Yorkshire’s diverse range of outdoor activities, and a way to learn more about yourself.
Find our more

Merry Christmas for us all at Layhead!

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Bake Our Fabulous Christmas Cake Recipe

It’s very nearly Christmas but if you still haven’t managed to get round to buying or making your Christmas cake, here’s one of our favourite recipes we know you’ll love – and it sooo easy!

  • 12oz mixed fruit
  • 8oz sugar
  • 8oz self-raising flour
  • 6 oz butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons of mixed spice

If you want, you could add a few nuts, cherries, and anything else you like into the recipe to make it your own. Personally, I stick to the recipe and just add a touch a whisky to give it some Christmas spirit!
Line an 8″ round cake tin, leaving approximately a 2″ collar of grease proof paper to prevent the cake from over-browning. Pre-heat oven at 150ºC. In a large pan cover the fruit with water and bring to boil. Simmer for around 5 minutes. Strain the fruit well. Take the pan off the heat, put butter into pan to start to melt it. Pour in the fruit. Stir until the butter and fruit together until butter is melted. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the eggs and stir in well. Add flour and mixed spice and stir in well. Pour ingredients into cake tin and bake in middle of oven for 1 hour, checking around 50 minutes to ensure top of cake is not browning too quickly. If it is, cover cake with tin foil for remainder of time.

Cool overnight, turn cake upside down and prick cake bottom a few times with a clean knitting needle or skewer. (Optional: Pour a tablespoon of whisky over cake base. In a week’s time, add another tablespoon of whisky.) Wrap in grease proof paper and store in an airtight tin.

Ice cake if required, before Christmas Day. I usually put a layer of marzipan on top of the cake held on by a spoonful of warmed up apricot jam or marmalade brushed over cake top. Place a layer of ready to roll icing on top of marzipan and decorate with cake decorations. Wrap a beautiful ribbon around the sides and you’ll have a Christmas cake you’ll be proud to share with family and friends.
This cake is lovely with a slice of mature cheddar. Enjoy!

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Make today great.

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