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A weekly round-up of outings for children: Sweets
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The Independent Travel
Parents hoping to keep children away from chocolate are setting themselves an almost impossible task. They might as well enjoy their defeat by exploring the enemy strongholds and taking a tour round some of the sights where the goodies are manufactured.

Rowlands Confectionary, 17 Old High Street, Folkestone, Kent (01303-254723). Situated on the same old cobbled street - between the harbour and town centre - since the 1920s, the premises consist of a shop and also an area where you can watch work in process. Entrance free. Shop open 9am-5pm daily - but no sweet-making on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Pontefract Museum, Salter Row, Pontefract, W Yorks (01977-722740). That's Pontefract with a capital "P", as in the town of that name; but the museum includes a section on pontefract with a small "p", as in the sweet. The liquorice plant from which pontefract is made seems to have been brought back from the Middle East during the Crusades. It has been grown, and used for sweets, in the town for centuries. John Betjeman wrote a poem beginning, "In the licorice fields of Pontefract, My love and I did meet". Entrance to museum free. Open daily 10.30am-5pm, Sundays 2.30-5pm.

Chocolate House, 1 Glenfield Park, Philips Road, Blackburn, Lancs (01254- 581019). There are demonstrations here - by appointment - of the noble art of making chocolate products by hand. Chocolates, truffles, dinosaurs, bears, Santas, caramels and three types of fudge: it sounds like a modernised version of the fairy-tale Gingerbread House. All are created in a kitchen free from machinery, apart from a couple of mixers. The whole visit lasts two hours, during which there is a raffle of the objets chocolats which you have seen being conjured up. Entrance to demonstrations: pounds 3 (pounds 3.50 in November), under-sixes free. No unaccompanied under-14s. The shop is open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday (and some Saturdays).

Dobsons Sweets, Northgate, Elland, W Yorks (01422-372165). Groups of over 20 are shown the old-fashioned humbugs, pear-drops and toffees being created - and can taste them while still warm. The firm, founded by the present owner's great-grandfather, turns out five tons of confectionary a week. Visitors by appointment only; a family might be able to tag along with a larger group. Entrance pounds 2.

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