Thursday, 24 September 2015

Short break in the Yorkshire Dales

After our holiday in Gunnerside last September, we thought that another short break in that area was due.  Mr S had missed out on visiting the Ribbleshead Viaduct, and we had just driven through quite close to this area, and found it very attractive.  On the way up we stopped to have our packed lunch, and very much enjoyed exploring the town.

 every looking skyward, they were some interesting ornamentation

 We walked up to the Castle

and had lovely views

As we still had some time and a little energy, we popped into Settle to have a look around.  It was coming to closing time, and the very helpful people at the Tourist Information Centre suggested that as we were interested in architecture and railways, that we walk down to see if the lovely people at The Water Tower had their gate open.  Do go to the link and see what a great up-use has been made of this once derelict building.  We found it and very much enjoyed the walk round the garden, the back of the house, and a chat with the owner, when we told him we were from Kenilworth.  He said we were the first visitors from Kenilworth.  The whole house looked very interesting.  You don't get to look round inside!  However you can tell that it would be very interesting.  We were asked to sign the visitors book.  The reason I am making a particular point of adding this visit to the Water Tower House, is that a friend from Kenilworth visited the next day, and sent me a picture of the visitors book, with her entry just three entries down.

We stayed at the New Inn in Clapham, which was in an excellent location, in a beautiful village, with very little traffic.  It has been nicely redecorated, and has a good car park at the rear.  The public areas were also very attractive.  We had great breakfasts, and delicious evening food.  One evening I had just a seafood salad, which was perfect.

We found out from the village noticeboard that there was a guitar and harp concert at the Local Church that evening, and went out early for that.  If you have the opportunity to going to one their concerts, then you will have a wonderful evening.  They were Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman.  What  a great duo, we had such a variety of music and the banter was entertaining too...and how nice to be greeted so warmly by some of the friendly villagers whom we had chatted with just in the last 24 hours.  I did my thing too, by rescuing a bat crawling along the isle.  I took it up in my scarf and carried it outside, so much better for it than getting trodden on!  The wine and home made cheese scones made by the villagers was excellent too.

The village itself had several interesting businesses/shops. There was one dealing in sheepskin gloves, slippers etc, a really lovely wool shop Beckside Yarns, which was full of the most wonderful yarns.  I had a nice chat with the owner, who although has a web 'presence' deals just with the vast number of calling customers.  Just next door is a large shop selling retro items.  I bought myself a couple of old plant pots and a codswallop pop bottle.  The village shop too was well stocked.

Another find was the Bunk House....we dropped by after having a chat with the 'Landlord' about the lovely doorway.  We were going to have lunch after our long walk, but arrived later than we thought, so opted to share their Yorkshire afternoon tea for one: a very large sandwich on superb bread, salad garnish, fruit cake and Wensleydale cheese, scone, cream and jam, tea and an extra coffee...well we had been out for about five hours! We sat outside in the sunshine watching the world pass by:  a few walkers and cyclists.

On the ground floor:  half is a teashop and the second half a pub, the uppers are a bunk house for groups travelling through. Looks like the manor house  got a special update in 1701, when this lovely fireplace, front door and dovecote got added.

What a lovely love token...carved in stone and still standing over three hundred years later.

The houses in Clapham are well maintained, and we enjoyed little walks are just a few.  I love the canopies over the doors.

A short stroll along the river and over the little stone Brokken Bridge, found us at the start of the trail through the Ingleborough Estate Nature.  The river which runs down the middle of the village is so pretty and we stopped to watch the birds and ducks, and this little waterfall.

There is a little toll to pay on entry which we were more than happy to contribute to.  There is a leaflet to help point out the points of interest which would be quite easy to walk past.  The former large landowner Reginal Farrer was a botanist and plant collector, travelling in China, Tibet and Upper Burma in the early twentieth century,  and in the woods you could see some lovely specimens, which he planted. 

Along the footpath there are views across the picturesque lake, which was dammed and enlarged and has been producing hydroelectricity since 1893. 

I love geological features and remember this one's name from my Geography Lessons:  The Craven Fault.  Here the fault lies at the head of The Lake, and thanks to the marker we made a stop to enjoy it.

One place we found gave us contradictory emotions. The first one was the wonder at such a beautiful, large, old yew tree, then a feeling of sadness which Mr S felt coming off the tree...he felt it was suffering from all the coins which had been knocked into almost every accessible piece of it. 

It was surviving, but how sad to see such a mutilated tree.

This lovely old stone bench helped to dispel the gloom.

as did the Grotto

As we came out by the Ingleborough Cave, we crossed the stone bridge which passes over the stream which emerges here, having disappeared down the sink hole at Gaping Gill which is further up the Valley.

We followed the track till we came to this narrow cleft in the limestone

Trow Gill was formed by ice age melt waters, and we needed to clamber up some steep stones

and at the top some limestone pavements.  Mr S felt he did some 'climbing', but he is not the one who has crossed the Pyrenees, or done the Tour de Mont Blanc, come moi!

We arrived at our turning point Gaping Gill where the stream falls around 100m then goes through a series of caves 

there were surefooted sheep very close by

on our way back I stopped to admire numerous ferns of which these are just a few

After our Yorkshire High Tea, we set off by car to visit the Ribblehead Viaduct.  The route there and back had the most fabulous of views of the hills, and valleys.  We parked up and enjoyed our walk to the Bridge.  We have traveled across it several times in Steam Trains, but down in the Valley you can easily understand the scale, and the extraordinary feat it was to build this viaduct.

Mr S had to admire the stonework

On the way back, having gazed at the beautiful clouds, I looked down and could not believe my eyes:  small, really small flowers growing in the close cropped turf.  They looked like gentians, but they were mauve, not blue like the gentians on the continent...and both five and four petals in the blooms in the same clump!  Having come home and searched, I find that they are gentians:  Autumn Gentians.

We just stayed a couple of nights, and have much more to go back for.  On our homeward bound journey we stopped at Malham Cove.  The weather was quite different to the previous day, still dry, but with a slight mist in the air.  We made our way along a rather 'too tidy' path, presumably to make access for wheelchairs etc, up to the famous cliff face, where there were several parties of absailers.

The traffic coming home was ghastly!  My hero drove all the way and kept his cool ..


  1. You visited all the places we know and love. Glad to see the weather behaved too.
    Heather :)

    1. We really loved our stay, and are already planing another trip to 'Bronte Country' this time!