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16th May 2012 - 31st May 2012
A stay at Stonelands Farmyard Cottages, Litton in the Yorkshire Dales
Wednesday 16th May 2012
Poolsbrook Country Park Caravan Club Site, near Chesterfield, 53 15 44 N, 01 21 15 W (65 Miles).
Jenny was busy this morning, firstly driving over to the storage unit at Tamworth to take the last of the bits we are leaving there, before returning the hire car to Enterprise at Sutton Coldfield. I spent most of the morning resting as I had had a bad night with my leg pains, I have had to be careful with the medication as it can cause drowsiness. We left Kingsbury at 1:00pm and had an uneventful drive North, helped by the fact that over 60 miles of the journey was motorway, so it was “cruise control” most of the way and the campsite is only about a mile from Junction 29a of the M1. Once the site of a colliery, the land has been transformed into a tremendous country park with a visitor center, café, children’s adventure play area with lakes for fishing and extensive trails for cyclist and walking, we are only stopping one night, but certainly it is a place that deserves a further visit.
Thursday 17th May 2012
Roseanne Guest House, Market Weighton, via Swifts Caravan Group, Cottingham, 53 52 32 N, 00 41 29 W (total 88 Miles).
Another easy drive this morning to Cottingham, near Hull and we were at the “Swifts” reception a little after 11 o’clock and after receiving our security pass waited for Carol our contact and Customer Services advisor to see us. We were then introduced to Ken, the manager of the department who deals with our problem. Without going into a great deal of information, we are confident that our motorhome will be looked after and the necessary work undertaken to our satisfaction. Whilst we were talking to Ken in the motorhome Enterprise arrived with our hire car, NOT WHAT REQUESTED, which was for a medium sized estate car, we have been given a Hyundai ix35, there was no way we were able to fit everything in, despite having both rear seats flat. As we had to go to the Enterprise office we put in what we could with just 1 rear seat down (obviously Jenny needed to sit somewhere). The next thing was that the depot was about 15 mile away, the depot we had ordered from was just about 5 mile from the Swifts factory, evidently they (the furthest one) looked after that area, Pity, the driver didn’t know where he had been or where he was going! To cut a long story short, we accepted the Hyundai and then returned to Swifts to re-evaluate what to take and what to leave behind. Some non-perishable food items, our chairs and a windbreak were the main victims of reducing what we could take. Leaving Swifts we only had a short distance to travel to our overnight accommodation at Market Weighton, stopping just once for a cup of tea and food at a small garden nursery, just as well as I was now in a great deal of pain, our reason for not travelling the complete distance to the Yorkshire Dales was justified, I could not have driven the whole distance in one day. We have a very comfortable room, albeit it was up a flight of stairs that seemed to take ages to negotiate and I was soon resting on the bed, we had decided to go into the small town for an evening meal, but in the end we didn’t bother, anyway I will look forward to a “Full English” in the morning
Friday 18th May 2012
Stonelands Farmyard Cottages, Litton, “ The Yorkshire Dales”, 54 09 25 N, 02 07 55 W. (77 Miles).
Arrived at Litton early afternoon, with just one stop at “another” small garden nursery, Jenny had tea, I had tea and scone, with jam and fresh cream, or should I say I had fresh cream with a scone, the cream was piled inches high and yes I did eat it all! We were greeted at “Stonelands” by Ruth and Mark the owners of the complex and we were shown first the swimming pool, wow, we are going to enjoy ourselves in there and the sauna. Our apartment is equally as great, we are going to be very comfortable here in the next 2 weeks. Spent the rest of the day resting, although we did try out the swimming pool.
Saturday 19th May 2012
We need to get enough food for our stay here, we had intended to stop in Malton yesterday to obtain everything we required, but because of the lack of space in the hire car we drove to the Tesco supermarket in Skipton today instead, which is about 17 mile away through some very pleasant countryside. Returning to the cottage, I again needed to rest so I spent the rest of the afternoon reading (and sleeping) and Jenny doing her knitting (an aran jumper for me), before we once again went for a swim.
Sunday 20th May 2012- Monday 21st May 2012
Rested both days.
Tuesday 22nd May 2012
Feeling much better today, clear blue sky and it is getting very warm. Inevitable we had forgotten a few items from Tesco, so once again this morning we drove to Skipton. We had already decided to “sight see” today so Jenny had prepared a nice picnic for us so we found the small village of Linton, which boasts a nice waterfall. We didn’t go directly to the falls which are above the village instead Jenny walked and I with the aid of my walking pole hobbled down to a very picturesque part of the River Wharfe and found a great spot near some stepping stones to spend the afternoon. That was fun, in the centre there was a stone missing and one young lady got her bum wet when she slipped, shouldn’t laugh, it’s the sort of thing that Jenny does, but better was to follow. Another couple with a dog arrived shortly afterwards, foolishly the girl put the dog on a lead, the inevitable happened in the centre of the river, when she was trying to make the bigger step because of the missing stone, the dog pulled her in and down she went (the water was about a foot deep), she got her priorities right, the first thing she did was fish (pun intended), her mobile phone out of her pocket, before continuing soaked up to her chest to the other bank. I was annoyed with myself, I KNEW it was going to happen, I should have had my camera at the ready, I might have got a few pounds from “You’ve Been Framed”, I told Jenny to walk across later, she refused! After a very pleasant (and fun) afternoon we walked back to the village and took some photographs of Linton Waterfalls before returning to the cottage.
Wednesday 23rd May 2012
Malham Cove was our destination today (yes, I know we are not near the coast but nevertheless a cove it’s called). Driving through Arncliffe which was the original setting for the fictional village of Beckindale in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale Farm, from its inception in 1972 until the relocation to Esholt . Then over Malham Moor to Malham stopping for a couple of photo opportunities on the way, When we arrived at the village we missed the car park (actually we hadn’t gone far enough) so we took a left turn which on the map showed a waterfall symbol, what a find, the first place we found was Gordale Bridge where we parked the car opposite a small lay-by with a road side refreshment trailer and had perfect cups of tea for just a £1 sat in a chair overlooking the small Gordale Beck. We had seen a footpath sign to Gordale Scar a ½ mile along the dale and as the path was flat, we decided to walk to it and what a good decision it was. Gordale Scar is a huge gorge and its true size is only visible once you walk through the field and alongside the beck and turn the corner into the Scar itself and its small waterfall, it was a wonderful walk/hobble and hopefully the photographs I took will do it justice.
There’s more! A short walk along the lane and there is a footpath which goes to Malham village along the banks of Gordale Beck and within a few metres is Janet’s Foss a beautiful little waterfall, Foss is the old norse word for a waterfall or force and Janet (or Jennet) was believed to be the queen of the local fairies who lives behind the the fall in a cave, And we had it all to ourselves, that is until a group of school children arrived and sat down to have a geology lesson from a (very patient) teacher. Jenny and I learnt a lot about the history of the rock in the area of the falls and found it very interesting . . . . . the children aged about 12/13, the greatest percentage of them, by their body language and behaviour, did not, we expect they wanted to be in front of a Playstation or the television, instead of out in the fresh air in wonderful surroundings.
A great day, on returning to the cottage we had our now obligatory swim, Oh, Malham Cove? We didn’t have time to walk there, we will save it for another day.
Thursday 24th May 2012
Not feeling great today, perhaps too much walking yesterday, having a quiet day.
Friday 25th May 2012
No particular place in mind to visit today, only that we would drive along Wharfedale and then drive the narrow single track road through Langstrothdale, over the moors towards Hawes. Coincidently, (honest) we passed the Wensleydale Cheese factory, well we had to stop there didn’t we and we didn’t bother too much with looking in the gift shop, full of Wallace and Gromit memorabilia, but made our way to the free tasting room with its circular counter full of different cheeses. Unlike at Cheddar where they only gave you small ½ inch square and you had to ask for a particular cheese, here, they had plate after plate of the different cheeses, I only missed out one, that had blue mould through it, disgraceful putting mouldy cheese on display, Jenny liked it though. We had a cup of tea and a toasted tea cake in the café before we left and thought we were in Aus’, a coach load of Australians had arrived who were on an Agricultural tour of the UK. Hawdraw Force was our next destination said to be England`s highest unbroken waterfall and is set within the grounds of the Green Dragon Inn, making sure the walk wasn’t too long or arduous we paid our £4 each entrance fee, and walked along a path which had Hardwar Beck on one side and a cliff with a profusion of Bluebells, Wild Primroses, Wild Garlic and other wild flowers on the other, before reaching the impressive waterfall.
What we should have done was bought our picnic lunch with us, as there were several seats along the path and we were starting to get hungry. Looking on the map there was a no through road to Cotterdale, which wasn’t too far away and we drove there, another good decision, we enjoyed a picnic sitting on the banks of the small beck with only the sheep and birds to be heard. Returning to the main road we then drove a very short distance, parked on the side of the road and ventured along a purpose built footpath to Cotter Force a waterfall we had seen this morning on a postcard in the gift shop at Wensleydale Cheese, (likewise Hardraw Force and another we want to visit). Cotter Force is a lovely secluded waterfall. It is a step series of about half a dozen waterfalls with the largest single drop being about 5 feet and I managed with the aid of both mine and Jenny’s walking poles to get to some rocks in the centre of the beck to take some photographs.
Jenny didn’t disappoint while she waited for me, she sat on what she thought was a dry area of grass, wrong, underneath was a small stream, the rest is history and she didn’t let me photograph her wet bum, silly girl within 2 feet from her was a perfectly dry rock she could have sat on, but that would have been no fun! Returning to the car, we drove back to Litton along the same route through Hawes, pity the cheese factory was now closed, I was feeling a bit peckish. Another great day in the Yorkshire Dales,
Saturday 26th May 2012
A restful morning watching the Grand Prix 3rd practice from Monaco followed by qualifying lunch time. In the afternoon we decided on a short walk from the cottages down to the River Skirfare, which was just two Buttercup filled meadows away before a short path along the bank side. The river for a short stretch here is dry, especially after a dry spell, well “sort of” dry it runs underneath the layers of limestone rock for a short stretch and only occasionally can any water be seen. What amused both Jenny and I was the notice “River impassable after heavy rain” and the stepping stones that stood out like monoliths (no, that’s not right, you cannot have a plural of monolith), on the mostly dry river bed stand out a lot and would be more dangerous if you just fell off them, Jenny and I stepped over to the opposite bank and walked a short way along the permissive footpath, stopping to sit on a large rock whilst resting my aching leg at Guildersbank, a preserved woodland and harbouring one of the largest Ash woodlands in the Dales, before walking the short distance back to our accommodation and a swim in the pool.
Sunday 27th May 2012
Resting today, my leg is painful at present. We watched the Grand Prix from Monaco which was very enjoyable and then in the evening had a nice chat to Rhiain, Ian and Kura via Skype.
Monday 28th May 2012
A drive late morning through the lower half of Littondale which we haven’t been to before (we’ve been turning right out of the drive, this time we went left), reaching Hatton Gill, before climbing steeply on the single track road (passing a motorhome on the way, braver driver than me) over Pen-y-Ghent Fell before reaching the small market town of Settle finding the car park less than 100 yards from the town centre.
As is our “norm” we just window shopped up one side of the high street, down the other and around the market place, it was now lunchtime and we had spotted a fish & chip restaurant near the car park. I wasn’t too hungry and Jenny followed suit deciding to have the “senior citizens” special a smaller portion of Haddock and chips with bread and butter and a pot of tea for just £6.50, very nice it was too. The restaurant had some lovely photographs hung up around the walls and one particularly took my notice, which was a waterfall called Scaleber Force and the location was only 5 mile away. We found it straight away and parked just after the bridge and after overcoming a typical Yorkshire stile, i.e., a narrow gap and low wall, we walked just uphill to the falls, very nice they were to and I decided to use my tripod and filters to “slow” the water down. One problem, they were in the car, however my trusty photographer’s “mate” (Jenny) elected to walk back to get them, whilst I rested on a very well positioned seat. She informed me when she arrived back, that if we had parked above the bridge, we would have had less of a walk and not uphill, still I only walked it once! After taking the photos we sat on the seat, enjoying the view of the falls, with the warm dappled sunlight shining through the trees we decided refreshments were in order. And what better place than the little refreshment kiosk at Gordale Bridge which was but, just a short distance away and once again we sat by the beck with two great mugs of tea and as it was quieter this time we had a nice chat with the lady that ran it. Last time we were there we walked to Janet’s Foss and I thought it would be another opportunity to take photographs of the fall’s with the tripod and filters which I hadn’t used last time. Alas, when we arrived there it was being used by a group of boys and girls as a swimming hole (brave souls, Australia this isn’t) who were thoroughly enjoying themselves, they saw me set up the camera on the tripod and very nicely and without me asking they moved out of the way for me to take a few photos. We then continued to the Yorkshire National Parks car park in Malham village and I had a pleasant talk with a man who like me was interested in photography and we “swopped” some of our technics, Jenny in the meantime was talking to his wife about what I don’t know and forgot to ask. The man did point out one amusing point, the National Park information office and toilets were closed for the day as there was no electric power due to some work, however, the parking meter ticket machines were all working, strange! Malham Cove was our walking destination, which entailed a long walk through the village and then along the well-marked public footpath to the cove itself. We didn’t make it, when we were close we could see the cove and because it was now late afternoon it was in partial shade, not conducive to the photograph I wanted, plus with the walking we had done today my leg was feeling distinctively painful, so we sat on a rock for a while, abandoned thoughts of seeing the cove proper and returned to the car park and then drove over the dales to Stonelands and a “paddle” in the swimming pool. Malham Cove itself will have to wait for another visit.
Tuesday 29th May 2012
A restful day today, we went to Grassington in the afternoon just for a few bits of grocery and returned to Stonelands via a different route along a narrow lane on the opposite side of the River Skirfare, we found a fantastic spot on the side of the river to park the car and we got our sitting mats out and sat at the side of the river for about 2 hours reveling in the hot sun but shaded by the trees watching the small trout feeding on small flies, good job we had got a drink and some biscuits with us.
Wednesday 30th May 2012
Today we visited Aysgarth Falls which is about 18 miles from Litton, on the way stopping at West Burton one of the falls we had noted on a postcard when we went to the Wensleydale Cheese Factory at Hawes. Arriving at the village of West Burton we noticed the sign for the waterfalls and parked near the village green and walked back, only to find a small car park we could have used right near them. The falls on Walden Beck were surprisingly quite spectacular and only a few yards from the car park (if only) and there was a proper footpath along the right hand side almost to the base so I took a few photos from there, before crossing the picturesque bridge to the left hand side along a more difficult path to the base of the falls. What a good idea that was, I got what I consider one of the best photographs of a Yorkshire waterfall so far, with the fall silhouetted in the water. After the totally unnecessary walk back to the car we travelled about 5 miles further to Aysgarth Falls on the River Ure and parked in the Yorkshire National Parks car park. Now there was a choice, there are three falls, Upper, Middle and Lower, which to do first? Before making a decision I needed to visit the toilets and as us fellas do, I started talking to a man whilst we were doing what a man’s got to do and asked if he had already been to the falls, he had, so I asked him the best order, he suggested the lower first then middle and then the upper, (which entailed a return through the car park). He was right. We did the longest walk first to the lower ones and I took some photos from the viewing platform, having been told a very emphatic “NO” when I looked down a steep bank which would have given me a better photo opportunity.
The Middle falls were next and again I took photographs from the viewing platform, Grrrr! Walking back to the car park we decided to have our picnic sitting in the car (today is the first cloudy and cold day for over a week), before attempting the walk to the Upper falls. We definitely went in the correct order the Upper falls were quite disappointing compared to the others and the best place to photograph them was from the road bridge near the village, we needn’t have walked to the head of the falls, still we weren’t to know that.
Another very enjoyable day out, both agreeing that the waterfall at West Burton deserved our award for “Best Waterfall of the Day”. The wonderful old Ford car in the car park wasn’t bad either!
Thursday 31st May 2012
Did too much yesterday, “I told you so” she said! In pain (and etc’s) so rested and slept, although I did go to the pool with Jenny, she swam, I “exercised” my leg in the water sitting on the steps before having a short sauna. Our last day in the Yorkshire Dales and we wanted to go out so it was a pity I wasn’t well, but I do need to be able to drive to Derbyshire tomorrow. What a wonderful holiday we have had here, we can’t wait to come back in our motorhome and see more of this delightful area, so peaceful, apart from the Curlew who seems to call “cour-eee” with an occasional lonely-sounding bubbling trill 24 hours a day or as they say now (and I hate), 24/7. As you can see from the photograph, our accomodation (the two open windows) was in a stunning location and we are so pleased that we chose there.