A NUMBER of new venues – including Holgate Windmill and York’s new council HQ – have been added to the list of attractions taking part in the city’s annual Residents Festival later this month.

The festival, which offers discounted or free entry to visitor attractions and tours for city residents, takes place on Saturday and Sunday January 26 and 27.

It is intended as a “thank you” to the people of York from tourism bosses for the warm welcome they give to the city’s seven million annual visitors.

New attractions include a workshop and family concert at the National Centre for Early Music, off Walmgate, on the Saturday afternoon.

People will have a chance to join the centre’s Minster Minstrels recorder ensemble try out the more unusual recorders and then join in a performance of Through The Arches Of Time by Anthony Purnell. The workshop is open to all recorder players of Grade 1 standard and above.

People will have a chance to look around the newly refurbished and extended West Offices in Station Rise on Saturday and Sunday, prior to its opening as City of York Council offices in March.

The windmill in Windmill Rise, Holgate, built in 1770, is a fully restored and working windmill, where flour is produced and can be bought from The Mill Shop. The mill is open to the public on the Sunday from 11am to 4pm. Access is by steep ladders.

Some attractions taking part are outside the city. At Scarborough, people can get up close and personal with sea creatures including sharks, rays and turtles at the Sea Life Sanctuary at Scalby Mills on the Saturday and Sunday.

The Kirklees Light Railway at Clayton West, near Huddersfield, is also involved for the first time, offering a scenic railway journey from Clayton West to Shelley in the South Pennine foothills.

Pre-booking is required for some of the events, and residents need a YorkCard to gain admission at each venue, available from all of York’s public libraries.

For more information about the attractions involved in the festival, visit visityork.org/residentsfestival or pick up a leaflet from the Visit York Information Centre in Museum Street, York.

Some venues have limited tickets and operate on a first come, first served basis.