So we get to that time of year when teachers breathe sigh of relief as the school holidays come around, and the sun comes out (or not!). This year we have decided to do two one week trips rather than a single two week trip. This way we can go to completely different parts of the
country, hopefully have different weather and road conditions. Setting off on the first Saturday after schools broke up was a risk. It turned out that we had some of the easiest driving ever in the ‘van. Straight up the A1, pop onto the M1 before heading around Leeds on the way to see some friends in Horsforth. As ever, we needed to stop and have a coffee on the way.
After lunch it was off up through Otley and over towards Skipton to out first stop at
Howgill Lodge It’s a lovely campsite facing west, and is tiered to make the best use of space and to make it relatively easy to park up level.
Next morning we woke up to rain (it wouldn’t be the last time), so we headed off into Skipton for a wander round. Before leaving Skipton we popped in to Keelhams farm shop to buy some meat and various accompaniments for a BBQ. Getting back after lunch rain was still in the air, but the thought of sitting in the ‘van for the afternoon was not too appealing. We therefore decided to go for a walk along the Wharfe to Barden Bridge to get an ice cream. Unknowingly, we had now set the pattern for any day that it rained – get up, go to local town and have coffee/tea, buy food, sort out a walk for the afternoon, repeat.
After a couple of good nights at Howgill Lodge it was time to move on to Thornbrook Barn near to Ingleton. On the way we stopped off in Settle (you guessed it, for a coffee!) and then to Clapham. We had spied a great walk that took us from Clapham, up Thwaites Lane, across to Norber’s Erratics before dropping down to Austwick and then back to Clapham. The hardest bit was the climb out of Clapham itself.
We arrived at Thornbrook Barn, a very smart and well laid out campsite. Our conclusion was that this was the best campsite that we have stayed at so far for facilities. The weather was good enough to BBQ some of the food that we had bought from Keelhams.
The walk that everyone says that you must do if you are in the Ingleton area is the falls walk, especially if it has been raining – we definitely scored on this point! We set off from the campsite to walk down to Ingleton and find the start of the walk. It costs £6 per person, with the money going to maintain the paths along the way. As with many walks, it starts a bit slow with you wondering where are the waterfalls, have they been over-hyped, have we just missed them? Nope, be patient and as you climb up the valley alongside the river they begin to appear
When you get to the top, it’s a short walk across to the cafe, before starting the second leg of the walk alongside a different river. The route eventually drops you back into Ingleton – time for a cup of tea. We then headed back to the ‘van, had something to eat and then decided to have a drink in the local pub – Marton Arms for a drink.
Next morning we awoke to heavy rain (and a bit of work – eek!). Once the work was out of the way and the rain had abated a bit we decided to go and explore Kirkby Lonsdale, first stop – a cup of coffee!! Once we had had a good wander around we headed for Sedburgh, then on to Hawes (no coffee this time) and we picked up the road back to Ingleton. This took us past the famous Ribblehead Viaduct, where we pulled over to take some photographs; this time we had a cup of tea in the ‘van. Our meal that night was in the Marton Arms; thoroughly enjoyed it except for I’m not one with the modern fad of serving a brioche bun with a burger, for me it’s far too sweet (rant over).
That night it rained again and continued to rain as we left Thornbrook (we will definitely go back) to head over to Barnard Castle. We stopped on the way in Richmond, a town that I’d always wanted to visit, but didn’t see too much as it was raining heavily.
On to the Camping and Caravan Club site at Barnard Castle and the sun was beginning to peek through and blue skies were appearing. This was too good an opportunity to miss, so we went for a walk in Deep Dale woods, a nice circular walk from the campsite. Sal had bought a fleece in Kirkby Lonsdale and wanted to see if she could blend into the background….
Hey, the next morning it wasn’t raining so up and in to Barnard Castle to explore, before getting some fantastic sandwiches from William Peat and then going for a walk along the Tees, and some exploration of the castle. We were too close to High Force, and as we were now on a ‘waterfall tour’ we felt that we had to go!!! It was well worth it, a nice easy walk out there and with the amount of rain there was a fair amount of water coming down the waterfall.
Finally back to the campsite for fish and chips from the van that comes around on a Friday night (well recommended).
This trip didn’t have any Owens who wouldn’t get up in the morning, or lads who wanted to sit around a campfire talking to the early hours. It did have loads of great views, some great campsites, enjoyable walks and lots of coffee!!