BILLY BOB'S PARLOUR
BILLY BOB'S PARLOUR
This is a fun place to go. Located in Halton East, between Bolton Abbey and Skipton, we visited this when we were camping nearby at Mason's Campsite. We had seen the signs for Billy Bob's ice-cream parlour on our travels and fancying an ice-cream we thought we would get one to take-away and continue on our way. As we were deep in the countryside, I was expecting something quite small - maybe a cafe selling ice-cream on a farm or similar. Following the signs down the driveway , we came to a very big, packed car park, not what I was expecting at all. I could see some big barns. Had we accidentally stumbled into some sort of soft play hell? Why were so many people here? How big can an ice-cream parlour be?
It turns out it is not just an ice-cream parlour but a 1950s themed American diner which serves food throughout the day. There is a outdoors playground full of quality wooden equipment with seating outside next to it, so the perfect place to sit and have a bite to eat, ice-cream, milkshake or coffee whilst you can keep an eye on your child in the playground.
There is also a huge straw-filled children's play barn which is undercover with an ice cream kiosk nearby. The barn is split into two areas, under 7s and over 7s, with the most excellent ride on tricycles with trailers where you can transport your straw around, there are rope swings, slides and more. A play in the barn and an ice-cream later we were all thrilled to have stumbled across such a fun place and we headed back off to the campsite.
We have one of those inflatable tents, which have 3 beams which you pump up to support it. This is supposed to make camping easier as there is no need for fiddly tent poles and makes putting the tent up quicker. This is indeed true, it does seem to make the job easier. We were all settled in the tent, lights off, then the rain started. And the wind. I woke up at about 4 thinking that something was not quite right but couldn't quite work out what, popping my specs on, I realised that the roof of the tent was about 10 inches from my nose, This was not good. It was still raining and windy. I manage to rouse The Husband (eventually - I had to do some extreme rib poking to get him to wake up). Once he finished swearing at me and actually listened to what I was saying which was largely that the tent was collapsing around us, we both clambered out of the tent into the freezing, wet and windy darkness.
The husband was all woeful and was trying to analyse why it had collapsed. 'Just pump it back up' I kept saying, getting wetter and wetter and colder and colder, 15 minutes later and having not come to any sound conclusion, after my apparently 'very unhelpful' suggestion of 'just pump it back up', he pumped it back up and it seemed to hold. Good, no apparent punctures, or collapsing catastrophe imminent, we crawled back into the tent. By now the dawn was breaking and the birds were starting to sing. I was not going back to sleep anytime soon. Cold, wet and grumpy I was now of the opinion that I had definitely come camping by mistake. It was still raining.
Then, The Husband had a genius idea - let's go back to Billy Bob's Parlour for breakfast. This was a most excellent plan, the breakfast was the best breakfast I have ever had. Not only that, there is a yellow school bus inside and we actuallly got a table in the bus! Much excitement from The Child. I had the Iowa Farm Boy breakfast: Eggs, sausage, bacon, hash brown, hickory smoked cowboy beans, jalapeño relish and toasted farmhouse sourdough bread. Yum Yum Yum. We also had some pancakes on the side. With a good coffee to boot I was now feeling much restored and by the time we came out it had stopped raining, hurrah! Instead of packing the tent up in a fit of temper, we went on to have another very nice day in the Yorkshire Dales. Thank you Billy Bob's Parlour for saving the day!
We have since worked out that if it is windy and rainy, the airbeam tent needs to be pumped up a bit more than recommended, as the buffeting by the wind and the rain on the roof seem to make the air pressure in the beams drop a bit and we have not had this problem since. We also now make it part of our camping weekend if we are in the area to have at least one breakfast at Billy Bobs.
Billy Bob's Parlour gets a big tick from me and a big tick from The Child. ✔️ ✔️
It is wise to book if you are planning to eat. You can't take dogs inside the play area or the diner, but they can go in the outside dining area. You cannot reserve tables outside, it is first come, first served. It is £1 to play in the play barn, for 2 hours of play. In peak hours (due to capacity) only those who have been dining are allowed in the barn.
The tricycles and trailers are American, Amish built tricycles called 'Speedway Express'.
Billy Bob's Parlour: www.billybobsparlour.com/