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Social Programme

Social Programme - Mon 22 May – Fri 26 May 2017

Social evening events

Here you’ll find details of the exciting entertainment programme that we’ve organised each evening for delegates and their partners and we hope to have provided something for everyone.

Book early to make sure of your place at these very special and sure to be popular events.

Accompanying Person’s Programme

There’s nothing worse than being left at a loose end whilst your partner is away ‘conferencing’ so we’ve followed the well tried and tested Congress tradition of arranging daily excursions to some of Yorkshire’s most iconic attractions. Additionally, in response to requests for more active outdoor visits, we’ve arranged daily rambles in the Yorkshire Dales, long recognised for their wonderful scenery. Spaces are limited so book early.

Social evening events

Monday 22nd May 2017

Complimentary for delegates attending the full Congress –

£30 for day delegates and partners

Welcome Reception 

Harrogate International Conference Centre from 6pm

After the earlier official opening of the Congress come and meet fellow delegates and sample true Yorkshire hospitality with drinks and a bite to eat. This will be your first real chance to have a proper catch up with your friends and to have a look around the Commercial Exhibition and the Scientific Posters.

Tuesday 23rd May 2017

costing £66 per person

Congress Opening Dinner - The Majestic Hotel, Harrogate

7.00pm for 7.30 pm

The Congress Opening Dinner pays tribute to God's Own County of Yorkshire, England’s largest county that is packed full of good food, great characters and wonderful humour (they’ll tell you that at the London Olympics athletes from Yorkshire topped the international medals table for several days and finished 12th overall). Those attending the dinner will enjoy good old Yorkshire hospitality, food and entertainment in the Victorian elegance of one of Harrogate’s (and Yorkshire’s) finest hotels that genuinely live up to its title The Majestic.

Join the throng for a drinks reception on the lawn followed by a three course meal, with wine, sourced from local Yorkshire produce. There will be a chance to listen to and be entertained by a traditional Yorkshire Silver Band and after dinner we’ve managed to get a renowned and accomplished speaker, from Yorkshire of course, who has much to recount about the Yorkshire character, the county’s agriculture and its place in the world.

As they say in Yorkshire, it will be "A reet grand neet"

Wednesday 24th May 2017

Free Evening

Delegates are free to search out and try some of Harrogate’s many and varied restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs that offer a huge range of eating and entertainment choices. We’re really spoilt for choice.

Thursday 25th May 2017

Costing £60 per person

International Evening - The Royal Hall & Theatre, Harrogate,

7.30 pm for 8 pm

The International Evening has become one of the most popular and entertaining traditions of each International Congress, the highlight being when delegates from participating countries have delighted us by demonstrating their thespian skills performing short, often humorous, party pieces.

Well this year there’s the chance to tread the boards of a real theatre as we have booked the Royal Hall in Harrogate. The Royal Hall and Theatre, adjacent to the Congress Centre, is a Grade 2 listed Edwardian building that has recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment and provides a spectacular setting for our very own little bit of home-produced theatre.

We’ll meet for drinks in the foyer before enjoying a glass or two of wine with dinner in preparation for a night to remember as we sit back in splendid surroundings, graced by royalty in the past, for our very own entertainment programme.

So take this once in a lifetime chance, get your colleagues together and come and perform in this sumptuous and elegant setting, then just sit back relax and enjoy the fun as the entertainment continues, whatever you do don’t be left outside!!

Friday 26th May 2017

Costing £ 90.00 per person

Gala Farewell Dinner - The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, 7.30 pm for 8 pm

Join us for our Gala dinner to be held at the Old Swan Hotel Harrogate on the final night of our Congress. The perfect way to celebrate with old and new found friends and colleagues. We’ll begin the evening by enjoying a Pimms Reception followed by a country house themed three course dinner, with wine, in the hotel's elegant surroundings. Entertainment will be provided and the winners of the bid for the next International Congress will be announced.

The Old Swan is one of Harrogate's finest hotels and was the chosen retreat of the world famous crime queen Agatha Christie. In 1926 she sparked off one of the nation’s biggest (wo)man hunts in history when she mysteriously disappeared from her Surrey home for 11 days before being found, alive and well, staying at the Old Swan under an assumed name. The hotel combines country house splendour with a romantic past and retains all the elegance of a former era so come along and join us in closing the Congress in style.


Accompanying Person’s Programme - online booking now CLOSED

There will be a choice of two tours offered each day, all bookable through the Show Data System on the Congress website.

In Section 1 you’ll find the slightly more historical/cultural/retail orientated tours, whilst in Section 2 we’ve put together countryside walks in the Yorkshire Dales to help the more energetic burn off the excesses of the evening’s social events.

Section 1

Monday 22 May 2017

The World of James Herriot, Thirsk; Ampleforth Abbey - Orchard and Cider Mill tour.

We’re off to Thirsk (Darrowby) to the real Skeldale House which is at the heart of the James Herriot visitor centre. Monday is market day in Thirsk so there may a bargain to be had before we travel along the edge of the North Yorks Moors to Ampleforth Abbey and College - home of the Benedictine Monks.  We’ll sample the hospitality of the Benedictines by staying for lunch in the college refectory, furnished with the world famous "Mouseman" oak tables and chairs. How many pieces of furniture bearing one of the hand carved little mice will you be able to spot?  After lunch we’ll take a trip around the monastery’s cider orchards, which will be at their very best in May when the apple blossom is in full bloom, rounding off the visit by tasting the final product.


Capacity:      Maximum 50

Pricing:        £ 40 to include lunch and tastings

Included:      Transport, entry fees and lunch

Tuesday 23 May 2017

The City of York

Enjoy a day out exploring one of England’s finest and most beautiful historic cities. Steeped in history a day is hardly long enough to see the sights and sounds of York, known to the Romans as Eboracum, to the Saxons as Eoforwick and to the Vikings, who came as invaders but stayed on in settlements, as Jorvik. Learn all about it at the award winning Jorvik Interactive Visitor Centre.

Take a walk along the ancient, encircling town walls, wander the medieval streets, especially The Shambles where houses almost touch above your head, and stop off to view the majesty of the vast gothic Minster that dominates the city. This magnificent building took 250 years to build and was consecrated in 1472. It contains England’s greatest concentration of medieval stained glass, including the great east window which, measuring 186 square metres, is thought to be the largest area of stained glass in the world.

And there are shops in abundance too!! Stonegate and Petergate, York’s two most stylish shopping streets, still run along the same routes as they did 2,000 years ago, when they were called Via Praetoria and Via Principalis.


Capacity:    Maximum 50

Pricing:       £ 20

Included:    Transport

Not included:          Lunch – there are many cafés, gastro-pubs and restaurants in York.

Wednesday 24 May 2017

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden; Masham and the Black Sheep Brewery

Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved Cistercian Monasteries in England and became prosperous through the medieval wool trade. It was founded in 1132 and operated for over 400 years before Henry VIII ordered the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The water garden at Studley Royal, created by John Aislabie in 1718, is one of the best surviving examples of a Georgian water garden in England. The garden's elegant ornamental lakes, canals, temples, follies and cascades provide a succession of dramatic eye-catching vistas.

Lunch will be at the Abbey’s on-site café.

Masham and the Black Sheep Brewery

Masham is a traditional Yorkshire Dales Market town in lower Wensleydale and Wednesday is market day. The town boasts, amongst many other things, two breweries, one of which we will visit, tour and sample its product if we wish.



Capacity:      Minimum 25

       Maximum 50

Pricing:          £ 35

Included:      Transport and entry fees

Not included:          Lunch – cafe at Fountains Abbey

Thursday 25 May 2017

British Wool Board, Bradford.

The British Wool Board is a fascinating place to visit where we’ll see how the wool from the British flock is sorted, graded and sold. We’ll take a walk around the wool sorting floor, see and hear the wool graders at work and, if we’re lucky, there may be a wool auction taking place, in complete silence!! After lunch, which is provided, we’ll follow the wool and see it being scoured and combed ready for dyeing and finally spinning before being made into socks, woolly jumpers and carpets.


Capacity:     Maximum 50

Pricing:        £ 20

Included:     Transport & lunch

Friday 26 May 2017

North York Moors Steam Railway; Captain Cook Museum, Whitby

We’ll take a steam train across the North Yorkshire Moors from Pickering to the seaport of Whitby where Captain James Cook served his apprenticeship and trained for his life at sea.

We will lunch at one of Whitby’s award winning fish and chip restaurants, the menus are extensive so we’ve left the choice of lunch open. Afterwards we’ll take in the sea air of bustling Whitby Harbour, learn how Whitby inspired Bram Stoker to write about Dracula or pop into the Captain Cook museum.

We’ll head back across the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors and view the Yorkshire Wolds arriving back in Harrogate in plenty of time for the Gala Dinner Dance.


Capacity:      Maximum 50

Pricing:        £ 45

Included:     Transport and steam train fare

Not included:          Lunch

Section 2


 Daily - Walks

Daily Rambles in the Yorkshire Countryside

If there is sufficient interest (minimum number of 18 people per trip) we’re offering to arrange a day’s rambling out in the fresh air of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

Each days’ walks will total no more than about 10 miles over easy walking terrain requiring stout footwear and of course waterproofs, this is England after all!!



Price will be £25 per person per day for the bus, a guide and insurance etc. Lunches, teas/coffees will be an additional cost and the walks have been arranged to include suitable refreshment stops.

Monday 22 May 2017

Malham and Wharfedale

Today’s walk is through the spectacular limestone scenery of the southern Dales taking in Malham Cove and Janet’s Foss waterfall before returning to Malham village for lunch (5 miles)

In the afternoon we’ll take the short drive over the hill to Grassington in Wharfedale and walk to the Linton Falls returning along the River Wharfe (3 miles).

Capacity:      Minimum 18

       Maximum 19

Pricing:        £ 25

Included:      Transport, guide, insurance

Not included:          Lunch

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale & Brimham Rocks

Starting in Pateley Bridge (where a visit to England’s oldest sweet shop is a must) our Nidderdale walk will take in some of the geological features that have shaped the landscape of the Dales from times past to the present day. En-route to the Cold Stones Cut sculpture, with its amazing views of the Dales, we’ll visit Heathfield Lead Mines then Hanson’s working limestone Quarry, before taking lunch at the Toft Gate Café. (6 miles)

In the afternoon we’ll visit and walk through the impressive balancing rock formations of Brimham Rocks on Brimham Moor. (3 miles)

Capacity:      Minimum 18

       Maximum 19

Pricing:         £ 25

Included:      Transport, guide, insurance

Not included:          Lunch

Wednesday 24 May 2017

Nidderdale and Colsterdale

Walking between the steep sided limestone cliffs of How Stean Gorge in upper Nidderdale has been described as like walking through Switzerland or the Grand Canyon, only in miniature. We’ll have lunch at How Stean before continuing along the track past a highwayman’s cave on the way to the villages of Stean and Middlesmoor. We’ll follow Nidderdale, through woods carpeted with blue bells, to the village of Lofthouse and back to the start (6 miles).

Returning to Harrogate by the Moor Road to Masham we’ll stop and walk through Colsterdale to The Leeds Pals Memorial, a sombre reminder of the human cost of the so called Great War (2 miles).

Capacity:      Minimum 18

       Maximum 19

Pricing:         £ 25

Included:     Transport, guide, insurance

Not included:          Lunch

Thursday 25 May 2017

Upper Wensleydale

Leaving from the village of Aysgarth this circular walk passes Aysgarth’s three waterfalls (visited by Wordsworth, painted by Turner) on the way to the ruins of Castle Bolton where we can have lunch.

We return to Aysgarth via the village of Carperby (James Herriot’s honeymoon destination). (7 miles)

Once back in Aysgarth there will be time to look around the Visitor Centre and have a refreshment.

Capacity:      Minimum 18

       Maximum 19

Pricing:         £ 25

Included:     Transport, guide, insurance

Not included:          Lunch

Friday 26 May 2017

Swaledale & Arkengarthdale

The riverside walk from the village of Muker in Swaledale takes us through old hay meadows filled with a multitude of wild flowers that aren’t seen anywhere else in the UK; this really is a trip back in time for naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts alike. (4 miles). Lunch will be in the archetypical Dales village of Reeth and we’ll walk it off by going to the Surrender Bridge and the Old Gang Lead Mines where we’ll see the effect on the Dales of centuries of lead mining (2 miles).

We’ll round off the day with a short circular walk in Arkengarthdale finishing with a refreshment at the Charles Bathurst Inn, known to locals as “the CB”, which takes its name from Oliver Cromwell’s doctor who once owned the local estate (2 miles) then its back to Harrogate for the Gala Dinner Dance.

Capacity:      Minimum 18

      Maximum 19

Pricing:         £ 25

Included:      Transport, guide, insurance

Not included:          Lunch


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