Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Three Hundred and Eighty Five

Today NBR is rambling in more ways than one.

It's that time of year that we go venturing off around the north of England and Wales. You know. That time when you feel inextricably drawn to put money into the coffers of the oil and ice cream barons.

So far we have crammed in trip to see Thomas the Tank Engine and friends at Llangollen, Llandudno, Delamere forest and yesterday we made our way to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

In fact yesterday was a bit of an explore in many ways. Normally, if I'm off to somewhere new, or where I haven't been in ages, I print out a route from an on-line journey planner. but we are currently inkless so this currently isn't an option.

I have a fairly decent sense of direction so when it comes to getting lost, I can usually find my way. I also wanted to avoid motorway driving and Preston City Centre so looked at going "The Scenic Route" through West Lancashire. It did take  bit longer but was actually really interesting. Some beautiful scenery and interesting historical views on the way. And i got to know the routes a bit better (which may come in handy if I get a new job I have applied for). I also worked out where the cheapest fuel was (Morrisons in Leyland this week).

Our destination was Malham  which has some of the most amazing places to visit. You just can't fit it all into one day. Gordale Scar is stunning but we only had time to do the walk up to Malham Cove.

Malham village is only accessible by a single track road into the road from Kirkby Malham and a similar road out to Malham Tarn and beyond.

The cove is a 260 foot limestone cathedral and used to have a large glacial waterfall cascading over it. Malham Beck now flows from underneath the cove after the watercourse from Malham Tarn goes subterranean at the aptly named Water Sinks.

The two mini me's loved the walk up to the cove. It's not to strenuous and there are plenty of small streams (and often muddy puddles) for them to jump in. The cows are friendly enough to let you approach them and they even seemed to appreciate the stunning heights of the cove. Of course they wanted to go to the top.

It is a long way up. No. Longer than that. We were exhausted by the time we ascended and the first thing to do is take on fluids and have a rest. But when you get there, the top it is spectacular. The view back down the valley is stunning and the limestone pavement is world renowned. A scene from Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part 1 was filmed on the sumit and Steve Coogan also ventured there recording his restaurant series The Trip.

We haven't used our video camera very much recently but we have taken it out a couple of times this year. The mini me's decided that they would take the opportunity to record the first episodes of their TV Chat shows whilst atop the cove.

After a good explore and rest, we descended the steps. Mini me 1 decided that it would be a good idea to count the steps on the way down. She is like a mountain goat and can swiftly move from one large boulder to another like a ballerina. Mini me 2 and Mrs S are slightly (completely) different and take a tad longer to make the moves across the rocks. This was replicated in the speed of descent (Mrs S lagging well behind, I was with mini me 2 making fairly good progress, whilst mini me 1 was bounding down with athletic grace. Of course, I needed her to be a bit closer so I asked her to wait.

When we caught her up she continued counting the steps. Quite audibly. Initially, she was complemented on how well she was counting. I think it was around step 180 that I realised that the walkers that were on their way up the steps may not want to know just how far they still had to go. As the number grew so did the expressions of pain on the faces of the hikers. It got to the point where we started to tell them she had started at 200 just to play a trick on them. She counted 385 steps and I don't think that is too far out. I spotted the odd double counting but also one or two missed.

We followed the most picturesque route out of Malham via Airton towards Settle.

View Larger Map

I love Yorkshire and especially the Dales but I wouldn't want to live there. Why? Well simply, I never want to take it for granted. I love where I live and enjoy many days out locally. But I sometimes feel like it's the easy option. Yorkshire really has a lot more than the well known conurbations and Heartbeat. Give it a go.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds (and looks) gorgeous, thanks for sharing.  I loved the series The Trip!  How was Thomas at Llangollen?  It's not that far from us and my daughters new obsession is Thomas so I think we are going to take her in October when he's back.