One day you could be having a whale of a time in the wave pool of Calypso Cave before rubbing shoulders with some of the best bowlers in the world, the next you could be wandering the Victorian walled garden of Cannon Hall. That’s the diversity of days out in Barnsley; whatever the weather, you’re never far from one activity or another. To help out, we’ve gathered some of our favourites to keep you busy.
Activities in Barnsley
If you’re looking for somewhere to kill some time, then the best thing about the Barnsley Metrodome is its three activities rolled into one. As well as being home to a state-of-the-art gym – Fitness Flex Metrodome – the leisure complex is also home to a ten-pin bowling alley and the local waterpark.
Calypso Cove Waterpark is loads of fun if you’re staying at one of our Barnsley hotels with family. There’s a handful of themed flumes, including the Terror Torrent which is one of the fastest in the UK. There are plenty of pools for varying abilities, while the wave pool is popular for people of all ages. Plus, if the kids get peckish, you can always grab something to eat at The Hideout, Calypso Cove’s restaurant, which does the ubiquitous burgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and chips.
However, our favourite bit of the Barnsley Metrodome is Metrodome Bowling. Now, if you’ve got any preconceptions about rundown alleys, ancient shoes, broken machinery, and that sort of thing then you’ll be happy to hear that Metrodome Bowling isn’t like most bowling alleys. The state-of-the-art centre has played host to the World Tenpin Masters four times, and has welcomed the Weber Cup – the ten-pin bowling equivalent of the Ryder Cup – a grand total of twelve times. The lanes are clean and kept in tip-top condition. Regular prices are very reasonable, but if you make the most of the offers on its website you can get a game for as cheap as a pound. For those kind of prices, why not give it a go?
Another option when it comes to activities, particularly if the weather’s driving you indoors, is a trip to the cinema. We don’t have any major chains in Barnsley, but you’ll still be able to catch all the latest blockbusters at the Parkway Cinema on Eldon Street, a stone’s throw from the Barnsley Interchange. There tends to be half a dozen screenings each day, and if you fancy a bargain, head down on Mondays to see any feature film for a fiver.
If you fancy something to eat or drink before or after your movie, you can always head a couple hundred feet down Eldon Street to The Victorian Arcade where you’ll find some of our favourite places to eat in Barnsley, as well as the Arcade Alehouse, an excellent option in terms of Barnsley nightlife.
In terms of historic buildings and attractions, Cannon Hall is little over a fifteen-minute drive from our Barnsley Central M1 J37 hotel, but it’s well worth making the trip to what is one of the finer country houses in the area. Pay a visit and see its wonderful collection of fine furniture, paintings, ceramics and glassware. The grounds feature lakes, waterfalls, and vistas, the walled garden is particularly worthy of your time, and in the winter there’s a popular Christmas Fair for you to attend, too. It’s also well worth checking the official Cannon Hall website to see what’s on during your stay. Only recently the east wing welcomed a Dutch Golden Age exhibition featuring a masterpiece by Rembrandt.
Speaking of masterpieces, if you want to see some art during your stay in Barnsley then make your way to The Cooper Gallery on Church Street. The building itself dates back the 18th century and has had an array of different uses; it was originally home to Barnsley Grammar School, but ever since the early 20th century it’s been a public gallery with paintings, ceramics and glassware from different periods. The gallery has strong relationships with much larger institutions in the UK, so don’t be surprised to see some high-quality exhibitions. For example, it wasn’t long ago we were able to see a collection of Picasso linocuts from The British Museum.
Experience Barnsley Museum
Last but not least, if you want to find out more about the history of Barnsley, make your way to the Town Hall, where you’ll find the Experience Barnsley Museum. It’s not the biggest museum in the world, but the fascinating collection of artefacts have been donated by the people of Barnsley. They’ve been arranged into some excellent interactive exhibits documenting the history of Barnsley right the way from Neolithic times through to the modern age.A word to the wise, Bodenham Arboretum is not free, and the price of tickets changes with the seasons of the year but at roughly a few pounds for adults it's worth it for a peaceful afternoon outdoors.