Category Archives: yorkshire dales

Harrogate. 

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A few weeks ago we spent a couple of nights in the Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate. This charming town is the ideal mini break destination , boasting elegant architecture, beautiful parks, art & theatre, olde worldy pubs, over 130 restaurants and shopping galore. Whats not to love!

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From the cobbled streets and boutique stores of the historic Montpelier Quarter to the chilled 70’s vibe of Major Tom’s Social, we discovered some fab places, yet there is still so much left to explore.  Which of course can only mean, we shall have to return. 😁

Wil had booked us into one of these lovely apartments , quite centrally located,  off  Cold Bath Road.  Because we had planned a morning at the Turkish Baths Hugo did not accompany us on this trip. But just in case your wondering, our accomodation did turn out to be pet friendly, so he could  definitely come with  us in the future.

I’ve made a little list of some of my personal favourite places that we came accross in Harrogate.  😁

 

 

Major Tom’s Social.   Describing itself as a ‘ Youth Club for grown ups’ this laid back hangout above a retro vintage shop specializes in selling craft beer and real ales. Also on the menu are fantastic stone baked pizzas made freshly on site. We spent an enjoyable couple of hours here one evening chilling out on a comfy sofa and soaking in the 1970’s flavour of the place. Dotted around Major Toms are allsorts of retro memorabilia and like it’s name suggests it’s a very sociable bar, welcoming everyone including families with children and dogs too.  www.majortomssocial.co.uk

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Covet.   A few doors down from  Major Tom’s Social is an eclectic gift and interiors emporium called Covet  which has a sister store in Ilkley.  Packed full of unique pieces this quirky independent is a treasure trove of the unusual. I wish I had gotten a photograph of the ground floor as some of the more unusual items for sale included wire moose heads and taxidermy butterflies. Well worth a browse for a thoughtful gift or interesting pieces for the home.

 

 

 

 

Baltzersen’s.   Sometimes it’s good to try something a little different and Harrogate certainly caters for all tastes. Balterzen’s on Oxford Road uses Yorkshire sourced produce in its  Scandinavian inspired menus.  This place was buzzing when we arrived on a Saturday lunch time so it’s probably best to roll up early to miss the queues. I tried a delicious open sandwich with maple and mustard roasted root veg , houmous and pickled baby carrots. Was soooo good!  Other goodies on the menu include Lentil and root veg Lapskaus ( Norwegian Stew) , Gravlaks on potato cake with poached duck egg & sweet dill dressing and Mackerel Pate with rye toast, gooseberry chutney and feta salad. www.baltzersens.co.uk

 

 

Betty’s Tea Rooms.  No visit to Harrogate is complete without a trip to Betty’s.  This Yorkshire institution blends the county’s friendly  hospitality with elegant surroundings and a distinctly Swiss flavour. It’s founder Frederick Belmont was born and raised in Switzerland almost 100 years ago. Bettys is renowned for its delectable cakes and chocolates and of course Afternoon Tea ,which has been enjoyed here for nearly a century. One way to avoid the crowds ( Bettys is extremely popular) is to treat yourself to a Betty’s breakfast early in the morning. My Swiss Rosti set me up the day. Make sure you check out the gift shop too with it’s dazzling array of baked goods and confectionary.  www.bettys.co.uk

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Turkish Baths.  Harrogate is  home to Britain’s most fully restored Turkish Baths, dating back to the 19th Century. I have long wanted to discover them for myself, so I booked us both in for a Saturday morning session. 🙂  The Turkish Baths experience begins in the elegant Frigidarium above, where you gradually become acclimatized to the warmth. Next it’s a case of braving The Steam Room, The Tepidarium ( warm room), Calidarium ( hot room) and Laconium ( hottest room) with showering and immersions in the invigorating plunge pool in between. And then…. simply…repeat!  What I treasured most about my visit was admiring the stunning moorish architecture. The Baths are so beautiful and definitely worth a visit. Make sure you book, take some flip flops ( the terrazzo flooring gets quite hot) and drink plenty of the free water that is provided.  www.turkishbathsharrogate.co.uk

 

The Little Ale House.  A very happy discovery , the Little Ale House on Cheltenham Crescent is Harrogate’s first Micropub. Cosy and friendly with a great selection of real ales and gins, this bar is run by a young husband and wife team , often accompanied by their gorgeous collie cross rescue dog. 🙂 A tiny pub but well worth a visit if you can squeeze in. Oh and the pork pies are to die for!

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Weetons Food Hall.  My browse round Weetons was all to brief ,but if you are a foodie you will definitely enjoy perusing the many goodies on offer in this attractive Food Hall. Overlooking the Stray ( one of the town’s many green spaces) Weetons also has a restaurant , an award winning butchers and lots of mouthwatering displays. www.weetons.com

 Have you ever been to Harrogate?  Where would you recommend me to visit on a future trip? I am sure I will return. 🙂

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A waterfall walk in the Dales.

Last Sunday we decided to take Hugo on a proper long walk ie somewhere different to the usual trudge down the fields and back. After checking the weather forcast we grabbed our walking boots and headed for the Dales, where it was meant to stay dry until at least after lunch. 😉

I had found an 8km ( 5 mile) walk starting from the village of Stainforth near Settle in a Northern Eye book called Top 10 walks to WATERFALLS. The route takes in two waterfalls Catrigg Force and Stainforth Force as well as moorland and riverside. We parked at the pay and display car park in the village and followed the ‘Pennine Bridleway’ up the fellside.

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The view as we headed out of the village.
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Belted Galloways on the hillside.

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Sign for Catrigg Force or Foss.

It wasn’t long before we came upon Catrigg Force, tumbling 50ft down into Stainforth Beck. The falls and surrounding area were explored often by composer Sir Edward Elgar,  who would stay in nearby Settle when visiting his friend and fellow musician Dr Charles Buck. Maybe the peaceful Yorkshire Dales inspired his compositions…

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Catrigg Force.

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You may be wandering why I am dangling a pink and green toy dog over a waterfall?? This is Sybil and these cute stuffed dogs are made by a group on facebook called Hounds4Huntingtons in exchange for donations to the Huntington’s Disease Association. Sybils love adventures so I shall take her on a few of mine. If you like , check out their facebook page or Sybil_On_Tour  on Instagram. 😁

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A lonely old barn.

After admiring the waterfall we continued on until Higher Winskill Farm where we had to walk through a field of these magnificent beasts! They seemed quite interested in us but pretty friendly.

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I think we took a wrong turn at Higher Winskill and we ended up on the moorland road that leads into the village of Langcliffe , instead of taking a footpath there. Luckilly the road was quiet and the scenery lovely. The rain was moving in however and by the time we got to Langcliffe it was pouring down.

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St John the Evangelist Church, Langcliffe.

Langcliffe looked a nice village but disappointingly there was nowhere to shelter from the bad weather. No pub, no cafe and no shop. 😦 We persevered on , crossing a railway and a weir over the river Ribble.

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The weir at Langcliffe.
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One of the less muddy parts of the riverside.
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Hugo negotiates a stone style.

The rest of the walk followed the Ribble, a river that flows through my hometown of Clitheroe as well. We continued on past a caravan site and eventually we were rewarded with the cascading Stainforth Force and an old pack horse bridge. Happilly by this time the rain stopped long enough to pose for a few photos. 😁

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Stainforth Force.

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The old packhorse bridge dated 1675.

After crossing the old packhorse bridge we followed the short road back to Stainforth itself to complete our waterfall walk.

Have you any waterfalls near you?  What is your favourite waterfall walk? 

Afternoon Tea at The Cake ‘Ole. 

A couple of weeks ago it was Afternoon Tea Week here in the UK, so what better excuse for an indulgent treat at The Cake ‘Ole  in Skipton.  My friends Arwen and Gill and I, just happened to be walking past this Hidden Gem whilst enjoying a little retail therapy. 🙂 Tucked away in the Craven Court Arcade, just off the high street , The Cake ‘Ole’s funky vibrant decor enticed us through the door.

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A dazzling array of cakes.
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Cuckoo !

The lovely staff were charming and friendly and found us a table straight away.  Our eyes were drawn to every colourful nook and cranny.  The Cake’Ole is definitely a cafe that likes to dazzle you with it’s quirky decor. 🙂

 

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Fairy Lights.

I’ve experienced the Cake ‘Ole’s mouthwatering cakes before, so I was eager to see what our Afternoon Teas would look like. As expected , they were served on pretty vintage china. I had a refreshing fruit tea with mine.

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Mismatched Vintage Crockery. Always a delight. 🙂

Our Afternoon Teas were prepared speedily and oh so wonderfully scrumptious.  There was an assortment of soft roll sandwiches on the bottom tier. The middle tier contained the obligatory fruit scones with clotted cream and yummy strawberry and black pepper jam. On the top tier a super selection of delicious cakes rounded off our feast.

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Let us eat cake !

We found our dining experience at The Cake’Ole to be the perfect addition to our girly afternoon shopping in Skipton. Quirky, friendly and fun , with a delightfully delicious Afternoon Tea. 🙂

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Fabulous. 🙂

 Thanks to Gill for taking the photos. X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hawthorn’s August Scavenger Hunt.

Hey there, it’s time for another bash at Hawthorn’s Photo Scavenger Hunt.  Looking at this month’s pictures makes me realise, I have been out and about quite a bit in August. Not that I’m complaining!

1. Relaxed.  A friend’s cute Bedlington Terrier is supplied with her own cushion in the pub , on our camping trip to Ingleton.

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2.  It begins with an M.  This curved sculpture on the beach in Cleveleys is called Mary’s Shell.

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3.  Time For…… a delicious slab of moist ginger cake in a cute cafe bar in Sedbergh called ‘The Three Hares’.

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4.  Tangerine.  Ok this photo is a bit of a stretch!  I am seeing a slight hint of tangerine colour here , in a waterfall on the Ingleton Falls Trail.

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5.  It begins with an O.  The Old Fashioned Traditional Sweet Shop on Blackpool’s North Pier sells all sorts of goodies. 🙂

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6.  Whiskery. Ok he’s not really that whiskery, just scruffy and cute. I met this sweetie in The Three Hares in Sedbergh. His name is Tigger!

7.  Lace.  Cow Parsley in a local meadow. It’s also known as Queen Anne’s Lace.

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8.  Bridge. Well how about this bridge! Ribblehead Viaduct is Europe’s longest viaduct and its in our very own Yorkshire Dales, not far from Ingleton.

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9). Letters.  The letter appears prominently on these colourful Collins hardbacks in a book shop in Sedbergh. Sedbergh is a Book town in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

 

 

10.  My Own Choice. My two god daughters with their camping breakfasts. 🙂

 Please check out Hawthorn’s Blog for more Scavenger Hunt posts. 🙂

 

 

Sunday Sevens ~ 20th August.

A week off  work, so a good way to summarise it, would be to join in with Sunday Sevens I think.  Its been a pretty great week, despite the very unpredictable weather!  Here are 7 pictures of what I have got up to over the last 7 days. 🙂

1. We took Hugo on a walk from Cleveleys to Blackpool. Here he is on the wonderful Comedy Carpet , in front of Blackpool Tower. Wonder which joke or catchphrase has caught his eye? Boom, Boom ! maybe. 🙂

2. Wil treated me to lunch at a new eaterie in Skipton called Alexander’s. It was a rare dry sunny afternoon and we shared this delicious platter outside on their lovely sun terrace. He definitely did treat me as it cost him £32. Yikes! 

3. Last weekend we were camping with friends in Ingleton , in the Yorkshire Dales. We walked the Ingleton Falls trail and got our hands muddy knocking ten pence pieces into this money tree. 🙂

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4. Yesterday we went a walk round Ribblehead Viaduct ….and it was bloomin freezing! Felt more like November than mid August.  Seen in the black comedy film ‘Sightseers’, Ribblehead has 24 arches and is the longest viaduct in Europe.

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5.  You may have heard the story of how Ribblehead was built in the 1800s. One Hundred railway workers ( Navvies) lost their lives building the iconic structure, which carries the Settle-Carlisle Railway over Blea Moor. The Navvies also built  shanty towns on the moors , where they lived whilst constructing the viaduct. I quite like this shot of a train journeying accross. 

6.  We visited Northern England’s Book Town ‘Sedbergh’ which is also in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  There are 7 or 8 book shops here, most selling other products too ,such as outdoor gear or gifts and toys. I picked up some pretty postcards, an Observer’s book of Wild Animals from the fifties and a couple more RSPB pins for my collection. As I flip through my Observer’s guide, I am definitely picking up clues to the demise of some of our beloved wildlife. Badger Hams were apparently a ‘thing’ back in the day. What!!

7.  This week has been National Afternoon Tea week in the UK, the perfect excuse for booking a sublime afternoon tea at The Cake’Ole in Skipton. My friends Arwen, Gill and I tucked into the treats. I will blog about it very soon! 

Natalie at Threads and Bobbins organizes Sunday Sevens. Anyone can join in on a Sunday with 7 ( or more ) pics of their week.

 

Ingleton ~ Camping and Waterfalls.

Oh British Summertime where are you? Oh wait, this is British Summer Time!!  We have just returned from a camping weekend with friends ,in the Yorkshire Dales. We donned our wellies and waterproofs and didn’t let the continuous downpours spoil our fun. 🙂 Happily we found a really good campsite just outside of Ingleton village, which definitely catered to all our needs.

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Meadow Falls is kid and dog friendly.

Meadow Falls is a proper family friendly campsite. Along with the usual campsite facilities, Meadow Falls has the additional benefits of a small shop selling essentials, a children’s play area, fire pit hire, a games room converted from an old barn (great for rainy days ~ there is also a fridge freezer and microwave in there)  and a fairy trail , which proved popular with the youngsters in our group. 🙂

The site also welcomes dogs and has an enclosed dog exercise area ,plus there is even a warm water dog shower!  A recently refurbished family and dog-friendly pub, The Marton Arms, is only a 5 minute walk away. And Ingleton with it’s host of shops, cafes and pubs is about 15 minutes walk.  Pretty much the perfect campsite then for our band of five adults, two kids and two dogs.

 

 

The weather did not play ball on this trip, for a splash around in Ingleton’s  Open-air swimming pool , so we decided to have a splash around the Waterfall Trail instead!  The  Ingleton Waterfalls Trail   is a four and a half mile waterfall wonderland and is well signposted in the village.  There is a charge for the upkeep of the trail. Adults £6, Children £3 and a family ticket costs £15.

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The trail winds its way through woodland , following the River Twiss and the River Doe. It also covers rugged moorland and as a geological site, much of the trail has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.  Here are a few pictures from our walk.

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Muddy hands and a Money Tree.
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Bridge over the River Twiss.
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Mushroom carvings.
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Pecca Falls.
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The refreshment hut at Pecca Falls makes great hot dogs.
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The sun came out at Thornton Force.
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It is possible to stand behind the waterfall.
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Heather in bloom.
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Bridge Buddies. 🙂
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Swaledale sheep.
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A Wheatear .
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Beezley Falls.
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Rival Falls.
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Emerging Ghyll Scramblers or Canyoners. Brrr , must have been cold!
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Snow Falls.
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Limestone.

Our walk was interlaced with sunshine and showers, but we all agreed it was great fun. It almost looked like the sun was here to stay…….then a sudden downpour sent us scurrying to a pub in Ingleton, for refreshments and card games. 🙂

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Drying off in The Wheatsheaf.

Luckily later on it stayed dry enough for a barbecue and the kids showed us how to make marshmallow toasting sticks, with the aid of potato peelers and gardening gloves!

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Hugo eyes up the BBQ.
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After a stick hunt, the girls make them pointy with potato peelers. Will double up for vampire stakes I expect! Future Buffys in the making.:)
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Toasting on the cobb. We will definitely hire a fire pit next time!

Have you ever done the Ingleton Waterfall Trail? I thoroughly recommend it, even in the rain. 🙂

Annie & Betty’s ~ Grassington.

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On our way home from our Appletreewick camping trip, we decided to call in at nearby Grassington for another walk to Linton Falls and a hearty breakfast. Grassington is a bustling little village, jammed with  gorgeous  gift shops and quaint cafes.  I had spied Annie & Betty’s  Vintage Emporium and Tea rooms the day before, so  marched my other half in before he could object. 😉 Wil is not one for pretty pastels and Cath Kidson fabrics, but see, he is smiling in the picture below…and Hugo has been brought a dish of water.

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I love how Annie & Betty’s has been done out , and of course it being a Vintage Tea Room, I had to order a pot of tea. There were lots of refills from this baby blue teapot, and of course I appreciated the floral teacup and saucer. 🙂

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It is to be expected , that  Annie and Betty’s is an amazing place to go for Afternoon Tea , but as we were morning visitors, I had to settle for Baked Beans on toast instead. No complaints though!

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Adjoining the Tea room is a very girly Vintage Shop. Definitely one for the ladies, wouldn’t you agree? There are lots of mannequins, wearing jaunty little hats and plenty of frocks, doilies and tea sets.

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I had to steal a cake picture from Annie & Betty’s facebook page. A slice of this would definitely entice me to visit again. 🙂

We found Annie & Betty’s to be very friendly and relaxed, a must visit if you are ever in Grassington. X