My very first travel post! Please be kind!
The 5.00am alarm signifies the start of this adventure and excitement wins over the tiredness as we get ready to hit the road for the 5-hour drive to “The Pennines” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennine_Way and our very first hiking trip! A Birthday treat and although I knew we were heading to “The Pennines” I had no idea whereabouts in the Pennines we were going, my other half loves organising surprises!
As daylight approached the anticipation of this trip filled me with wonder, I know this is an area of outstanding natural beauty so my expectation of amazing views was high but would I be able to hack the physical challenge? Having not prepared It was a chance I was going to have to take!
By late morning we reached a small town called Barnard Castle which was just a few miles from where our base for the next few days would be, a quaint little town that probably had more pubs than anything else but had a hidden gem within its midst, the actual Barnard Castle ruins practically in the middle of the town, standing majestically over-looking the river Tees was the start of the most fantastic holiday I have ever had!
Now with the rain becoming heavier it was time to make use of our geeky hiking wear and get the hoods up followed by fits of the giggles and some necessary selfies we were getting into the holiday spirit and the rain was not going to deter us!
After our tour of the castle ruins it was now time for a Birthday tipple and we managed to seek out the oldest pub in County Durham The Golden Lion, built-in 1679, this cosy pub was a delightful choice to start the celebrations.
Eventually with the rain easing we headed off just 4 miles from Barnard Castle to a village called Bowes and what would be our “Base Camp” for the next 4 days! This beautiful Inn “The Ancient Unicorn” was clearly the hub of this small but somewhat busy village where it is the central meeting place for all residents young and old, with a renovated stable block providing comforting accommodation it was the perfect place to rest a weary head after a day’s travelling!
So, with no time to lose and whilst we still had some daylight it was a good opportunity to explore our surroundings before settling in for the night and we were not to be disappointed, just a few minutes along the road we were greeted with the first of many stunning views, this is what we had come all this way for and our eyes lit up in wonder as we took it all in!
Day one of hiking
This is when things really got going, we headed off to do a 7-mile hike from Low Force to High force, two waterfalls, one being quite gentle (Low Force) and the other being more aggressive you guessed it (High Force) This hike was to ease us in if you like the terrain was fairly easy-going although still pretty tiring but the views that awaited us were more than enough in return.
Day two of hiking
The best day ever, the opportunity to see some of the most stunning parts of England! It was however not for the faint hearted, my fitness levels are well below par so this was the most physically challenged I have ever been but as the day progressed I felt such a sense of achievement and pride, the climb to the top of “High Cup Nick” literally worked every muscle my body has and at times it was painful! But WOW OH WOW when we finally got to the top what we saw completely took my breath away, unfortunately photographs do not always do justice but you get the general idea!
7.5 miles later it’s needless-to-say that tea and cake by an open fire upon our arrival back at the Inn was well deserved!
Day three, a day of being Tourists
After two days of hiking we decided a day off doing touristy things was needed and we headed out to White Scar Caves in North Yorkshire to indulge in a touch of underground phenomena!
This place is amazing, stretching for a mile across The Yorkshire Dales National Park it is not to be missed if you are ever in this part of the country!
But the wonder did not stop there we wanted to cram as much as possible into our day, after all we were going home tomorrow, so off we went to a place that Andy (my other half) had visited back in his younger years on a school trip! Hard row force in a small town called Hawes, (When you see the word Force it is referring to a Waterfall.) Bizarrely this Waterfall was behind the village pub hidden in the woodlands and what a beautiful site greeted us as we made our way through the woods, I can honestly say throughout this whole trip my vocabulary became mostly one word, WOW!!! Everywhere we looked just amazed me! This country, England that is, is absolutely stunning and ok to appreciate it you may have to step out of your comfort zone and push yourself physically but I am literally mesmerized by the beauty of it all, this trip out of all the places we have been has made me the most thankful, you can easily see how people upstix and move to places like this, it may seem that you would be going back to basics and “ living off the land” so to speak but how wonderful to be surrounded by the natural world, right on your doorstep! I must say that this part of England has most definitely stolen a piece of my heart!
The final part of our tourist day took us along narrow winding roads with twists and turns that wrapped around the hillside like a snake, with viewing points along the way to give us “Tourists” the opportunity of capturing a tiny part of this outstanding natural beauty in a snapshot to keep forever! As we made our way to the “Tan Hill Inn” The highest Inn in the country, this famous Inn plays host to every tourist that comes her way as she stands alone at 1732 ft above sea level! Surrounded only by landscapes that go on for miles and miles and miles!
The last chance of a hike before home time and back to North Yorkshire to a place called Ingleton, another beautiful place with hidden wonders around every corner! We made our way to Ingleton Falls and embarked on a 4.5-mile hike through the woodlands and across the countryside, along the way this amazing walk offers 5 stunning waterfalls that each in turn leaves you breathless!
Two coffees and some rather scrumptious sconces later it was time to start making our way back down the country towards home! Feeling somewhat sad to be leaving we decided to make one last pit stop along the way and visit Rievaulx Abbey http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/rievaulx-abbey/
You can see from the pictures how beautiful this place is because quite frankly I just can’t put it into words! This was, for me the icing on the cake of some of the best days of my life, I learnt a lot about myself during these 4 days and it confirmed to me how privileged and truly grateful I am. I can honestly say that I am hooked, hooked on the beauty that is England and the British Isles. What a totally amazing country we live in!
Already planning the next adventure, keep posted!!!!