Thursday, 5 June 2014

Yorkshire Rocks!

A week before the half term holiday, Martin reminded me he'd taken a week off work too. This was great news but I had a slightly sinking feeling. I could see how it would pan out. Martin would spend the week doing DIY, Zac would spend the week on Minecraft or battling with me to be on Minecraft, Danny would require lots of attention- he's a sociable chap and in the absence of school friends I'm generally on duty, and I would be feeling like I should be spending hours writing school reports. I decided it was time to get away from it all!
Last summer we'd had a very successful week in Cornwall, booked very last minute via Cottages4You, so I checked it out and found what looked like the perfect spot...
Heights Barn at the bottom of the Yorkshire Dales.
 As you can see, it was all alone on a little hill pretty much in the middle of nowhere with nothing to distract us but stunning views! And when we arrived on the Saturday afternoon I couldn't believe just how perfect it was...
First stormy look at the view from the patio.
A rainbow landed in the garden.

View of Pendle Hill on the first eveing.

Can we find the pot of gold??

We had a really great week exploring the area, doing lots of amazing walks, making the most of our National Trust membership, meeting up with some of our "Northern Rellies" and generally just chilling out!

Sunny breakfast
Glider flying
Adventuring without adults!

Nature's lessons in life...
...and death!
It was so lovely having the countryside literally right on our doorstep. All the menfolk flew their toys in the meadow, the boys could roam across to the opposite hill on their own little adventures and we had breakfasts and barbecues to the sound of the curlews. There was a field of horses at the bottom of the lane who were extremely pleased to get regular feeds of the lush grass from the other side of the fence!
New friends.

Tempting tho it was to just stay at home sitting on the patio and admiring the view we did make the effort to get a bit active. I reckon we walked at least 6 miles each day, often with some steep up and downs. I'm not going to pretend there wasn't a bit of moaning and groaning on the part of the boys, however with a ready supply of snacks and the use of my camera to record the stunning views they generally kept going pretty cheerfully.
Swishy, swashy, swishy, swashy!

Hiking to Gordale Scar

Limestone pavements at Malham Cove.

A wet climb in the Lakes.

Studying the map of the falls.

Foam Yorkshire pud!
One good walk we did was the waterfall walk at Ingleton. It was quite a busy path but there were lots of beautiful falls and the boys were transfixed by the strange foam formations floating at the bottom of each!

We visited a few National Trust properties. Our first was a stop at Tatton Park on the way up the M6. We had a delicious breakfast in a cottage tea room and then spent a few hours exploring the beautiful and very varied gardens, which really broke the journey up.

Leaping the gap
How high can you get?
 Another day we went to Brimham Rocks. There was only a little pic in the National Trust booklet but it had an interesting description so we gave it a try and discovered it was fab! The rocks made an absolutely perfect natural playground and the boys scrambled,climbed and jumped all over them for hours!

Fountains Abbey.
From there it was only a short hop to Fountains Abbey, where we wandered through the ruins, walked round the water gardens and the boys got a chance to explore their feminine sides!!

We also broke our journey on the way down by stopping at the National Trust's Little Moreton Hall, a totally unbelievable Tudor Manor. It was so wonky I have absolutely no idea how it has managed to stay standing for 500 years!

Time out!

All in all it was a brilliant break and we brought home lots of happy memories. I'll sign off with a few pics of us conquering Pendle Hill!
We made it!
The view from the top.