summer scenes #4 | a weekend in Ingleton part 2…

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Hey evryone, what with all the exciting things going on this summer, looking at these photographs it feels like an age since I was in Ingleton, but it is barely even a fortnight. Today I’ve got the second lot of my snaps from our quick get away. If you missed the first lot take a read here.

wpid-img_20150809_195345.jpgWe woke up Sunday morning to a really rather early but surprisingly generous full cooked breakfast, then checked out and head out to explore the town of Ingleton itself a little bit. The weather had taken a turn for the worst but it was still fairly mild, and the rain held off so we were happy.

Ingleton is a tiny place. With one street dotted with a few gift shops and one or two cafe’s but the views of the surrounding countryside are beautiful. We couldn’t have spent a whole day in Ingleton itself but it made for a very pleasant morning walk before we decided to get adventuring once more, this time heading to Ingleton White Scar Caves.

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White Scar Cave, in the Yorkshire Dales, is the longest show cave in Britain. A guided tour takes you about an hour and a half and includes, two underground waterfalls, stalagmites, stalagtites, and all the caving facts you could need. The caves remain a constant 8 degrees all year round regardless of the weather outside so be sure to wear something warm, and like with the waterfall trail sensible shoes are a must! Oh, and those glamorous hard hats? They aren’t just for show, a lot of the tour involves walking through passage ways with very low, natural formed ceilings, they call one stretch the ‘gorilla passage’ you can guess why! Entry to the caves is only £9.50 for an adult, and a beautiful guide book, filled with photographs much better than mine is only £3 and makes a nice momento.

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After all that adventuring, I was hungry again, or at least I told myself I was hungry again when we saw the cake counter at Frumenty & Fluffin! There was Salted Bannana and Chocolate Cake, Strawbery, Lime & Coconut Cake, Rice Crispie Cakes, Shortbreads, Strawberry Tarts, Banoffee Pie, Apple Crumble Bars and so SO many more to choose from. I was in cake heaven (also known as vegan hell). I couldn’t resist and went for Toffee Apple Cake with a pot of Lady Grey, and Rick had a Banana Milkshake and their best selling scones with jam and cream. This was definitely one of the best cafe’s I’ve been in in a while, and not just because it looked like my dream home! I just about managed to finish my cake (Rick didn’t) which meant the drive home was a sugar filled hyper active one!

Speaking of driving, for the first time in my entire life, I got behind the wheel of a car. I went forwards, backwards and round. I’m think I’m more than well prepared now for my first lesson in September. In fact I might just take my test and save myself a whole load of money!

We left Ingleton pretty early and headed home. We wanted to stop off and explore some of the towns on the way back but it was a Sunday afternoon and most of them were closed apart from the pubs, and neither one of us could face any more food!

We did briefly stop in Gisburn which is just up the road from me, for a walk and a play on the zip line. I’d put up a video of the young man playing, but he has threatened to retaliate by putting one of me up – in slow motion!

And that was the end of our little holiday! I hadn’t even been away from home for 48 hours but it felt like we’d been exploring for a week. I was so relaxed afterwards. When you can’t afford a real summer holiday, or a full week in the sun at any time of the year, you can start to feel a little claustrophobic, but for me this year, the summer has been packed with so many wonderful moments away from reality, i’m (just about) staying sane!

Live life & take a weekend away x

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summer scenes #3 | a weekend in ingleton part 1…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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creativity chats | saying hello to hello little lovely…

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Hey everyone, how are you? Today I have the world’s least formal interview with the wonderful Sally from Hello Little Lovely for you (ie. we had a chat over some emails). I first e-met Sally, last year when I was looking for a friends birthday present and I came across a gorgeous collection of hand painted vintage tea cups in the Hello Little Lovely store. I couldn’t believe how reasonably piced they were, and when the gift arrived I was so chuffed (and so was my friend!), I wanted to send Sally a personal thank you (as well as leaving a glowing review on Etsy.)

Since then I’ve kept an eye on what Sally has been up to and creating through instagram, and she has recently launched a gorgeous range of hand embroidered jewellery. I wanted to find out more about the lady behind the lovely pieces and we chatted all things, craft, creativity and tea.

Hello Sally, so, other than your instagram posts and that you are incredibly crafty and talented, I’m ashamed to say I don’t know that much about you!

That’s ok! I’m a wife to a lovely tall boy and a full time mummy to a wild little guy.We live in North Yorkshire, where there is beautiful greenery in every direction and wonderful places to explore. We love going on adventures together and riding our bikes when we can.  I love baking,  and am usually found in our dining room with all manner of chaos around me trying to create the perfect tea loaf or icing another birthday creation!

I drink far too much tea (Yorkshire of course!) and have a rather large collection of China tea sets. I love anything old and am always wandering around local vintage / second hand stores for treasures!

I didn’t realise you were Yorkshire based! My family are from York, and weekends at home are generally spent wandering around yorkshire towns, and drinking copious amounts of tea! Is there anywhere local to you, that you’d reccommend?

I didn’t realise I’d never said! I’m actually over in Harrogate so not far at all! We love York, it’s always our first choice whenever we all get a free day. I love wandering through the shambles..:)

We’re lucky enough to also be just down the road from Knaresborough which is also really lovely, I’m not sure if you’ve ever visited, but the view from the castle grounds in just stunning. It has a gorgeous collection of little shops including my favourite old pre-loved shop, on Castlegate, which sells all manner of vintage-ware where I’m usually found buying yet another tea set…

In my opinion, the best providers of the obligatory afternoon tea and cake, has to be the Lavender Tea Room, situated above “Ye Oldest Chemist Shoppe in England”; downstairs is filled with old fashion sweets but up an old wooden staircase you can have the loveliest cup of tea and the best (again in my humble opinion) Lavender scones.

And of course, Harrogate is beautiful this time of year, especially on the stray where the blossoms are in full bloom. Although (shockingly!) I have never been, Betty’s is the favourite for high tea judging from the mile long queues that are most often seen outside. Valley gardens is lovely and you can sample a “world famous” Ripley Ice cream at the park tea rooms – the village of Ripley is also beautiful but Ill stop here, as I’m turning this into a tour guide!

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Oh please don’t stop on my behalf! It’s amazing how you can live just down the road from somewhere, but completely miss out on local knowledge. I’ve been to both Harrogate and Knaresborough and yet I wouldn’t know where to begin to find afternoon tea. But you’re quite right, we should get back to all things ‘Hello Little Lovely.’ I always start off with the best intentions when crafting, but it doesn’t come easily to me, have you always been creative in that way?

I have always loved creative projects whether it’s icing cupcakes or restoring old furniture but it’s only since having my little one that I’ve really pushed myself to create my own space and set up my little business.

I think when you have less time as a mum you become much more productive when you get a minute or two!

I first met you (in the virtual sense) when I bought a gorgeous ‘GIN’ painted teacup from you last year, where did those cups come from and how did you move from that to jewellery?

I usually paint using watercolours so ceramic paint was new to me. Painting tea cups and plates came from having collected so many and wanting to give them a new lease of life.  I wanted to take these pieces that people had obviously treasured enough not to break and turn them into new pieces that would be loved again. The “gin”  teacups were favourites; and I am still painting teacups and plates.

I started doing more sewing last year and began to teach myself embroidery which I instantly fell in love with. I decided that I wanted to embroider my own pendants but I wanted them to be entirely my own design so, once I’d designed my own pendant frames, and had them manufactured it was all go from there!

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Having your own pendants designed is such a unique touch and I love the care and thought you put into the packaging too! I think that starting a business whilst being a mum is very impressive! I very much see being a creative as part of my identity, is it a bit like that for you too? I imagine when you suddenly have a little person in your life, it feels very important to make sure you keep your own identity too?

I completely agree! I think anything creative that we do, be it writing, crafting or anything that we put our heart into, reflects and reveals the person that we are. For me having a little person to take care of, more than making me want to “keep” my own identity, it’s made me want to understand my own identity. Giving myself the time to be creative helps me understand myself a bit better and now as a mum I always want to encourage that in my children; I believe life is one big learning process, and there’s always more we can learn about ourselves to make our own lives better and other peoples too.

Yes definitely! I very much see myself as a living breathing project, and I think when big things happen to you, whether that’s a change of job, or coming out of a relationship, or even bigger still like having a baby, it can be very easy to look in the mirror, and suddenly realise that you’ve changed. It can be a bit unsettling, but for me writing definitely helps me understand myself more!

I’m still working out how my creativity outside of theatre could add to my work or become some form of business. Do you have any tips for anyone who might be thinking about starting their own side project or hustle?

I think the best advice I could give to anyone wanting to start their own project, is just to start! Be creative until something happens; make a mess, collect inspiration. My business is still very small and I still feel unsure of myself, but it’s ok; because I’m happy doing it. It’s not about thinking big or finding a niche, first of all it’s about doing what you love and enjoying it.

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And one final question. I set you a bit of a challenge in making my jewellery and didn’t give you any briefing about colours or design! So where did my design come from?

In the end I choose to go with colours based on the colours on your blog header-pinky peach /grey/mustard (which I love together!)-  and a flower frame which I think fits your girly style and also reflects your newly found more natural lifestyle and veganism! I wanted it to reflect “tea in your twenties”  to represent you as a blogger and be something elegant enough to wear for high tea or add to brighten up an everyday outfit.

Thanks, Sally, it’s been so lovely chatting with you, it’s really interesting to hear from people who are creative in completely different ways to yourself! And of course I absolutely love my necklace and earrings!

Thanks! I’m so glad you like them and that our paths have crossed in this crazy internet world – If you are ever down this way it would be lovely to have tea and cake!

Definitely!

Where to find Sally: Shop | Twitter | Blog | Instagram

A huge thank you to Sally for chatting with me, and for gifting me with the specially designed jewellery and earrings. If you are looking for a special birthday present I’d recommend Hello Little Lovely in a heartbeat. I love the set she sent me, and she was spot on with the colours, and my tastes! Everything from the packaging to the specially designed pendants just shows how much Sally cares about the work she is making. Sally has also very kindly offered all Tea in your Twenties readers 10% off until the end of August using the discount code TIYT10. Find Sally’s Etsy shop here, and if you have a special piece of jewellery you’d like to design or any project ideas, you can contact her through Etsy too! Let me know on instagram or twitter if you buy anything!

Live life & get creative x

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