Thursday, May 21, 2009

Visiting The Dales

We’ve come to the end of our short expedition into the Yorkshire Dales, and what an interesting visit it has been! We managed to get out for a couple of walks, the longer of which was just over 10 miles from Askrigg to Aysgarth and back, taking in the falls at Aysgarth.
Our second walk took us up through the village of Clapham to Ingleborough Caves. The climb was fairly steep, and the advisory notice to “allow yourself at least 20 minutes” to make the ascent was rather over-optimistic for all but the fittest of walkers. But the path was good, and you can take you time.

The climb takes you up through woods, alongside a lake and within earshot of the water falls but in not sight of them. The best view comes before you enter the trail. Eventually you emerge from the woods into open skies alongside the river and you are within 300-400 metres of the cave entrance.

The tour takes you about 1.5Km underground into the cave. There are some 15-20Km of explored caves and more unexplored pathways hidden from access at the moment. The cave was first explored in the 1830’s by Victorians using candle-light. You just can’t imagine how difficult that must have been!

Anyway, we left the cave after about a 50 minute tour and set off back to the village to have some lunch. On our first day’s walking we had lunch in Aysgarth at the George and Dragon (at least I think that’s the name of the pub). They do the most amazing sandwiches! On the second day we found a small tea sop and had another good sandwich before setting of for a drive around the valley.

We took in the Ribblehead viaduct in the morning and passed it a second time as we made our way to Hawes to have a look around. It was probably the busiest settlement we’d seen. From there we made our way back to Askrigg but decide to drive over to the next valley via what turned out to be a narrow, twisty road, with a 24% gradient in places. We came back a different way!

The prize for the most amusing sign has to go the one that simply read “Crackpot 1”. I’m just surprised he stood still long enough for them to point a sign at him!

Overall we’ve enjoyed our short visit and Anne is looking out for a large house to rent for the wider family next year!

No comments: