Hey everyone, and happy Tuesday! How on earth are you? I’m currently typing this, sat on the floor with my back as straight as it possibly can be, because I’m getting old, and apparently suffer from back problems now. Ok that’s an exaggeration, I’ve only been suffering with the one back problem for just over a week, but dear lord, it’s like nothing I’ve every had before. However, if feeling a little withered is the price to pay for a gorgeous weekend then I’ll take it.
This weekend the young man – whose name is Rick (might as well tell you his name, as miraculously, he doesn’t appear to be leaving any time soon) – and I headed off to Ingleton for the weekend & a couple of days of countryside exploration.
We had wanted to squeeze in a quick and cheap weekend away together in between all the other exciting things we have going on in our lives separately this summer. We nearly lost all hope of finding anywhere as, dang, summer is expensive – pesky kids – but we persevered, and after ruling out all the usual suspects for a quick city breaks we took a look at Ingleton. A friend had recommended this quiet Yorkshire town as a beautiful place to visit with it’s waterfalls and caves and luck must have been on our side, because just as we were about to close the laptop with a sigh of despair we spotted a flash deal on a perfectly located, if a little rustic looking B’n’B.
We were VERY excited about going on holiday. Even if it was only one night away, and only one hour away, that didn’t matter, what mattered is that come Saturday morning the sun was shining, the car was packed and our road trip playlist had (partially downloaded). So with giddiness and questionable musical taste (and talent) we headed straight for the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail.
The trail is supposedly a 4 and a half mile walk, but according to our gps tracker it was more like 6, and heads through forest, over hill and down by the gorges. As you can see from the photographs we couldn’t have asked for better weather. The sun was shining and despite the tourists from further afield laughing at us, we both needed to slather on the sun cream. You know you’re on holiday when you need to slather on the sun cream! The trail costs £6 per person to visit, and well worth every penny.
The first stop on the trail brings you to the money tree, which is an old tree that has grown with pennies knocked into it’s branch for good luck. You can add your own pennies or if you’re not superstitious just look for the oldest coin you can find in it’s branches. Now I don’t want to over estimate it’s powers, but I added a penny to the tree and didn’t fall over once on the whole trail, so SOME luck must have rubbed off on me.
The trail is split into 3 sections, the first set of waterfalls, the hill climb (oh the hill) that makes up the middle part, and then the second set of smaller falls. My favourite part without a doubt came just at the end of the first set of waterfalls. After climbing up through the trees, and just after stopping for a 99 ice cream, comes the biggest and boldest fall of the whole trail, Thornton Falls.
And this is where that beautiful weather really added to the whole day. I’m sure the trail would be beautiful no matter what the weather, but I wouldn’t much fancy stopping for a paddle if it was pouring down with rain! I also wouldn’t really fancy tackling the climb along the side of the rocks to adventure underneath Thorton Force f in anything but glorious sunshine and sensible shoes. Even if my dress didn’t scream ‘I’m an adventurer’ I safely, and in my humble opinion, pretty nimbly made it along the pretty steep edge to take in the view.
We happily spent an hour admiring the view and watching people play in the pool below, which was deep enough in places for people to swim, before we took on the hill climb. This part of the trail is the part that feels most like a hike. It wasn’t technically difficult, but without the cover of trees or the excuse of a pretty waterfall to stop and photograph, it was certainly more strenuous. Having said that even without the paddling pools the view was still pretty impressive!
We stopped off for a picnic before making our way through the final part of the trail, a series of gorges and falls that looked more like rapids before coming back out into the village itself.
Then we checked into our B&B, The Craven Heifer, for a nap and a shower. Our room was pretty basic and the shower made a noise like a drill but it was clean and really well priced so absolutely no grumbles there! Plus it was above a pub which had good ratings for food on tripadvisor but we decided to head back into the village, and while there weren’t a huge amount of options there were enough. A tapas bar, an italian and the old post office which served a selection of beer and deliboards all looked delicous, but after a day of walking and country air we decided only pub grub would hit the spot, so we headed to the other side of the town to The Wheatsheaf. The food was good and rustic if not instagramable and the atmosphere was warm, local and friendly.
Then we headed back for an early night before our second day of exploring which included caves, cakes, and a half 8 wake up call, which even if it was for a full cooked breakfast still felt a little cruel on a Sunday!
Walking through the waterfalls I couldn’t have felt further from Blackburn, and even though I’d still like to head somewhere for a city creak that is more cocktail dresses than sensible shoes, on a day like Saturday I couldn’t think of anywhere I would rather have been than sat underneath that beautiful waterfall paddling my feet. After a childhood spent dragging a very reluctant me around the Yorkshire dales, Pappa J will be pleased to hear, there might be a more outdoorsy version of me emerging! Although having said that I now can’t bend or slouch or sit still for too long because of my back so maybe I’m not cut out great outdoors after all.
Have you ever been to the waterfall trail? And do you have any tips or ticks for an old lady with a bad back?
Live life & enjoy the great outdoors x