This is a day out I’ve wanted to review for a while now, but the mill has been undergoing a programme of refurbishment which meant I didn’t know when it had re-opened, and I was also waiting for some nice weather – and didn’t it come this week? It’s been glorious up here in East Yorkshire. I hope it’s been nice where you are.
Skidby Mill is the last working windmill in Yorkshire. It has recently undergone a period of refurbishment, where the sails have been restored and more. It’s not producing flour at the moment due to some technical snags, but flour or no flour, it’s an interesting afternoon out.
Skidby Mill is brown-signposted off the A164 between Beverley and the Humber Bridge. You can see the mill off the main road, so you shouldn’t miss it. There is a free car park just up from the mill’s entrance, and a nice little path you can walk through avoiding the busy country road.
The mill has a few parts – there is the mill and buildings, which contains the Museum of East Riding Rural Life, the meadow and play park, and the courtyard with Sails Cafe. You have to pay to go into the mill and museum, but can roam the grounds and have a coffee and a bun without paying admission. There are toilets both sides of the payment desk.
The Museum of East Riding Rural Life is small but good. It costs up to £2.50 each to get in, and under 5s are free.
There is a room about agriculture, with information about farming history in East Yorkshire, and visual displays with stuffed animals. Children can take a spotter’s sheet and see how many of the birds, mice, and rabbits they can find. There is also a working beehive.
The next room is a display of old mill equipment, and you can grind your own flour in miniature millstones, and have a go at pulling some sacks.
Through the doors and there is a display about rural life, which tells you what life would have been like in Skidby and nearby villages in East Yorkshire many years ago. There are displays of old tools, fake food, and domestic equipment like a mangle. There is also a life-sized model of a pig with an explanation of why families would have kept pigs.
There are some hands-on activities such as rag rugging, or making bricks from sand.
Then you can go upstairs (there is no lift) and have a nosy at the mill’s innards – mind your head!
Total time inside the museum is around half-an-hour to an hour, depending how much you want to read.
Outside the mill, there is a courtyard with some picnic tables, and tables and chairs for Sails Cafe. We didn’t try the cafe out this time around but I’m assured it’s very nice, and it was certainly busy when we visited.
Out the back, and there is a meadow you can run around in and eat your picnic. There are no tables so don’t forget to take a blanket. It’s a great meadow for making daisy chains and running around. There is some play equipment in the corner, which my girls enjoyed. We spent a lovely hour here eating our picnic and playing.
Skidby Mill is a lovely couple of hours out, which is good for a rainy day, but better on a sunny one! It’s in a lovely spot with views over the surrounding East Yorkshire countryside. All my children aged from 4 to 10 enjoyed it, and we will be back again in the future.
For more information about Skidby Mill, please visit the website