Saturday 24th September 2016
Out about 1030 with a quick goodbye to Maria and into Carnforth to get fuel.
Headed for Ingleborough to visit Ingleborough Cave. We’d originally planned to go to White Scar Cave but Ingleborough seemed a bit easier going. Arrived and Ingleborough about 1130 and headed off towards the cave about 1140 after stops. Hurried along a bit hoping to catch the 1200 tour (every hour, on the hour). Got to the entrance and discovered it’s 1¼ miles – we ain’t gonna make the 1200 tour! Headed up the nature trail towards the cave. It was mostly uphill and seemed like 2 miles but we finally got there about 1230 and had a cuppa and a breather while waiting for the 1pm tour.
Helmets on and into the cave as part of a small group of 10 or so behind our guide, John. He was very chatty and good with the few kids in the group, but he talked to the adults in exactly the same way – which felt a bit patronising and weird – he meant well.
He warned us that there would be some stooping under the low ceiling in some areas, including one stretch of 60m. Oh dear, we came here as it seemed easier! Dad seemed up for it so we carried on. It was good – lots of stalagmites and stalactites and all the usual interesting cave stuff. Some of the features had names – see photo of Queen Victoria’s Bloomers – also, Grandad’s & Grandma’s false teeth, and the Showerbath (in a strong Yorkshire accent, “or Showerbarrth for the couple from Hampshire”). Dad got through the low bits with only a few helmet bangs on the ceiling – not too bad at all. Back out for another cuppa and then we headed back down the trail – finding the Yew tree with all the coins hammered into it (that John had mentioned) along the way.
The long steep walk and challenging cave took a lot more time and energy than anticipated. We had a 4½ mile walk planned for later! We decided that we’d have late lunch as a picnic mid-walk – a useful rest.
Headed off to see the Ribblehead Viaduct. Very nice – few photos and back on the road.
To Malham to visit Malham Cove. Got there a bit after 4pm and headed straight off on the walk. Soon saw signs saying “no picnics” - it’s quite a popular spot with a proper path that they don’t want you to leave. Oh well, we’d been discussing whether we’d want much dinner with such a late lunch. We’ll just skip lunch and have a proper dinner at the new house, though that too is now going to be late. The Cove was tremendous – a huge towering cliff face formed from a massive waterfall in late glacier-melting ice age. The path ended close to the cliff and the last bit involved a fair bit of clambering. Dad was suggesting he didn’t want to go any further and it seemed sensible. The planned 4½ mile walk involved a steep climb up many steps to the cliff top and a walk over the top and down over a hill on the other side back to the village. Dad headed back to the village on his own about 5:30 and Mum and I carried on – planning to meet in a village pub about 7-7:30. It was quite a climb up the rough rocky steps and we were very glad Dad had turned back – no way. We stopped for several breathers on the way up – sitting on some handy rocks. Got to the top and climbed around on the Limestone Pathway. The ancient river had gouged all sorts of weird wavey shapes into the soft limestone rock – a bit like we’d seen at Aysgarth but on a massive scale. It was amazing – and the views were amazing – and peering over the cliff edge was amazing too. It was past 6 now and we were a little concerned about getting back to the village before it got dark at around 7:30. Decided to go for it and continue the walk. Once we were off the limestone we were on grass and the walking was easy. We marched along along enjoying the bleakness, the quiet and the scenery. After about a mile we came to a road that the path crossed, but a quick check on the map showed that the road went down to the village and cut a big corner off the walk. We walked down the road and met Dad in the pub about 7. We had drinks and then back to the car. As we pulled out to leave the car park (just a field near the village) a lady stopped to tell us we were lucky – she was just locking the gate!
We got going at around 7:40 and headed straight across to Kirkbymoorside and the 2nd house. Nice journey on fairly decent and quite empty roads and arrived in the town at about 9:15. Went straight to a takeaway to get some dinner, 1x curry and 2x pizza – “20 minutes”. OK, we’ll find and get into the house and I’ll come back to collect. House was just a few 100m away, found the key and got in and sorted a few things out. All looks ok. I went and found somewhere to park and collected dinner. Curry was pretty tame and pizza’s were not great but we were mainly just hungry so they served their main purpose.
The house is nice again. Comfy and cosy and all the facilities we need, and more. One late trip back to the car when Mum realised she’d left a vital bag behind (sleeping pills). It was unbelievably mild out at around midnight - would have been perfectly comfortable in a t-shirt.
Late now finishing this diary after a long day. We’re all a bit knackered and plan a quieter day tomorrow, and probably a late-ish start.
131 miles today: 595 miles total
Sunday 25th September 2016
All up around 11am after a good rest. Slow breakfast, tidy up from last night, and read leaflets about the area, etc. Didn’t get going until nearly 2pm, but all feeling refreshed.
Headed to Helmsley and parked up. Did a quick bit of shopping for tonight’s dinner and had a look at the castle. Lots of motorbikes in the village square. Wandered around the nice village and stopped for tea and chocolate tiffins at a nice little tea shop by the castle.
Moved on to Sutton Bank to see the views - “the best view in England” according to James Herriot. Parked up and nosed around the information centre a while. Then headed out for the viewpoint – only ½ mile away. The view was amazing, and again we had clear skies and great weather in which to enjoy it.
That was the 2x main destinations done. The rest of the day was spent driving up through the North Yorkshire Moors on twisty hilly little roads and goggling at the amazing views. Also saw a hare, 2 young deer, loads of pheasants and several grouse. Everywhere you look is just brilliant.
Went up as far as Kildale and turned back south through Westerdale and home. Did the last half hour in the dark and mostly on wet roads, though we never saw the rain.
Cooked up sausages, mushrooms, onions, mixed veg and the rest of the tinned potatoes from a few days ago. Lovely feast washed down with some nice biscuits provided by Graham – our host that we haven’t met.
Another great day, and a nice quiet one too to get over yesterday’s exertions and prepare for the next 2x days that might be quite busy. Can’t believe how kind the weather has been.
71 miles today: 666 miles total
Monday 26th September 2016
Left the house at 11am and headed north-east through the moors – Hutton le-Hope – Rosedale Abbey – Egton. Saw some grouse shooting going on, and realised that the odd stone structures we kept seeing were shooting-hides. Saw lots of pheasants again and several grouse.
Into Whitby, drove in from north and parked on the south side in the Abbey car park. Didn’t go in, just stopped for tea from flasks and a few photos. Friendly shire horses came to say hello as we were sitting on the fence.
Drove back into Whitby, found somewhere to park and walked along by the marina and out on the pier – ice cream on the way. Quite a busy place and very traditional with it’s rows of arcades and fish ‘n’ chip shops. Nice place.
Drove south to Robin Hood’s Bay (the origin of the name seems to be a bit of a mystery). Walked down the steep quaint main road to the jetty / beach. Had a look around and climbed back up a different route slightly north that had great views over the bay. Nice place.
Headed south to Ravenscar. Had a look in the tourist info place and enjoyed the views. Round the corner and Dad spotted a deer in the field.
Continued south to Scarborough. Drove along North Bay, around the castle promontory and into South Bay. Parked up and walked along the prom / marina. Stopped for a cuppa in a nice cafe and stayed long enough to miss some heavier rain. Gentle stroll back to the car – back to North Bay for photos of the castle. Nice place.
Started heading for home, looking out for some decent pub grub on the way. Thought the Downe Arms at Wykeham looked nice so went in. Initially seemed like it might be a bit posh, but actually it was fine. Dad and I had steak/ale pie, Mum had gammon – both with chips and peas, and we ordered 2x side dishes of onion rings. Food arrived and looked very good. It was bloody lovely – extremely well prepared and extremely well cooked. The onion rings were superb – far better than any onion ring I’ve ever had. Fudge cake and chocolate ice cream to wash it down – also excellent. Best quality meal I’ve had in a long time. Great value for £65. And drove the last 14 miles home.
Another great day. Weather not so good today, gloomy and on/off spots of rain most of the day but it hasn’t been a problem.
None of us can believe we have to leave here tomorrow morning. It feels like we lived a while in Warton (3 nights), but we’ve hardly been here (3 nights) and suddenly it’s time to move on again. It’s not as homely here - a bit student-digsy – maybe that’s part of it.
89 miles today: 755 miles total