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Rural pursuits: playing Poohsticks

By Helen Pentith  //  Wed 19th February 2014
Escrick Park Rural Business Premises Yorkshire

It’s hardly surprising that here at Escrick Park we love nothing more than taking to the great outdoors to make the most of the outside world. The large area of pastoral land surrounding the Escrick Park estate, its various buildings and our holiday lodges is home to a great deal of wildlife, making every day spent outside a great adventure. While we could quite easily while away the day wandering through the woodland, horse riding or fishing, we also have a number of fun games up our sleeve to keep ourselves entertained, and one of our old favourites is Poohsticks!

Poohsticks originated in A.A Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh story The House at Pooh Corner, in which Pooh and his friends invent the game on a warm day while walking along a bridge when Pooh accidentally drops a fir cone into the river. It was then that he noticed that although he had dropped it one side of the bridge, it had floated along the stream and reappeared on the other side. He then began dropping more in to watch them float to the other side, eventually dropping two in at a time, betting on which would float to the other side first. Pooh told his friends about the game he had created and they soon decided it was better to use sticks because they were easier to mark. Take a look at our guide to having a great day out with family or friends playing Poohsticks…

Pack a picnic

If you’re going to make a day of it, you’ll need some supplies. No matter what the season, as long as it’s not raining there’s always time for a picnic! During the winter months, wrap up warm and take a couple of blankets to sit on and cosy up with and pack a couple of flasks of hot chocolate and warm soup to keep you going. If you’re taking soup, bread rolls are a must, and you may as well include some tasty cakes for dessert, too!

Choose the right location

If you’re going to be playing Poohsticks all afternoon you’re going to need to find a nice spot beside a running stream. The land close to a stream tends to be quite soggy and marshy, so it’s often best to set up camp a few metres away from the stream’s edge. To play Poohsticks the old-fashioned way you’ll need to find a bridge that crosses over the stream, but you can still play if you can’t find one. If it’s a warm day it’s probably best to find some shade if you’re going to be there all afternoon.

Follow the rules

Poohsticks can be great fun and any number of people can participate, but are you aware of the Poohstick rules? Here’s how to play properly!

– Each person playing must find a stick easily distinguished from others so that they can recognise it, although they must be similar in length.

– Check which way the stream is flowing and face upstream.

– Choose a ‘starter’ and all stand side-by-side facing upstream holding your sticks at arms length.

– The starter must then shout ‘ready, steady, go!’ when everyone is ready and all competitors should drop their sticks into the water at the same time.

– Players must then cross to the other side of the bridge or walk to a chosen point downstream to watch the sticks emerge.

– The owner of the first stick to emerge wins the round!

Now that you know the rules, you can play properly, building up points or teams. Why not create a Poohsticks championship? At Escrick Park the fun and games are endless. There is so much to do and discover that each day is bound to be different from the last. If you’re keen to find out more about the holiday lodges, residential or commercial lets available at Escrick Park, please contact a member of our team today.

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