This week we made our way to Dalby Forest which is on the edge of the North York moors. I had been invited by the Yorkshire Tots website to do a review of the Stick man trail which you’ll be able to read on their website shortly. I’ve wanted to go there for ages and whilst we were there we took the opportunity to discover the other walking trails on offer. The drive for us from near Leeds takes nearly an hour and a half, although we did have fun with the satnav taking us beyond where we wanted to be. We were that excited and busy chatting about our day that we completely missed the brown tourist signs!
As soon as you turn into the drive taking you into the forest the scenery is really pretty. The kids were getting excited in the back seats. We stopped at the first car park where the visitor centre is but there were signs for other car parks further into the forest should you wish to explore some more.
Dalby forest has a Visitor centre with café, shop and there’s a bike hire place and another café in a little courtyard. There’s lots of bike routes and a few walking routes too. We discovered after we came home that there’s also an adventure playground!
Our first walk was quite short so just for fun we picked a coloured route off the information board and decided to follow that for our second walk. My only criticism is that there isn’t a lot of information about the walking routes, some are marked with their distance but others don’t tell you how long they are. We would have also liked to have done a longer route but maybe there’s more next time to discover!
You can see the route here that I recorded using the Viewranger app on my phone. Although a tiny walk it started with a rather steep incline and us cursing Daddy whose had chosen this particular route! Despite being just feet away from a little road we felt deep in the forest as we climbed a path carpeted with pine needles. I think it has to be the most narrow, secluded path we have found ourselves on during our walking adventures and the kids weren’t entirely sure we knew where we were going. It was well marked and although there are also cycle routes nearby should you come to a cross roads with these you are well warned and there is no danger of getting squashed!
The walk varied from steep and narrow, deep in the trees paths to wider open spaces. The scenery was very dramatic in places and the fir trees smelt amazing. We soon looped our way back around and came out on familiar territory to a path we had seen earlier and bumped into an old friend!
We all loved this area and I would like to find some longer walking routes around here. It is a long way to drive though for a short walk, and I think it might be somewhere to visit if you’re holidaying in the area or on your way to/from the coast.
We were given complimentary parking passes but for cars to park all day it is £8. All views are my own.
Have you a walk suggestion for me? If so comment below or come say hi on my Facebook page and if you don’t want to miss my next blog you can follow me on Bloglovin’.
Last week started with great news that my Physio was happy enough with my progress to put my appointments on hold for three months. That doesn’t mean I can stop the exercises and take it easy though, and I have no intention of doing so. Our walking distance has been increasing and for my Hip and IT band rehab he wants me to build up my endurance. My IT band is still niggling but I decided to try some of the Physio’s suggestion and attempt a swim.
I’ve not been swimming properly for years, with the whole hip debacle and two kids it’s been messing about in the water rather than swimming lengths. But with a new determination I made it into the pool and managed nearly forty minutes doing lengths. I had jelly legs coming out and my arms certainly felt it the next day but I feel pretty pleased with myself I actually did it. There’s nothing stopping me now!
The weather forecast was pretty rubbish for the weekend after what had been our first really hot week of the start of Summer (!), so we decided not to venture too far from home and just have a short walk.
I spent most of my late teens and early twenties frequenting the market town of Otley as I grew up just a few miles away, but had never for some reason ventured up onto the Chevin for a walk. The whole area has so many beautiful places to walk you can be spoilt for choice. We headed for Otley Chevin Forest Park, parking in one of the three free carparks. We had no route in mind and were happy just to pick a path and see where it took us.
The park boasts woodland, heathland and meadowland and there are a variety of paths and routes that you can follow. Handy information points are situated regularly and although we didn’t quite know where the path would bring us out exactly we never felt lost and we could plot as we went. We recorded our route on my Viewranger app on my phone and you can see our route here.
What I loved about this walk was the variety of different things we came across and the different environments. At times we felt deep in the woodland and played games trying to scare each other by hiding and jumping out, ever so often there were wooden carvings and the kids loved looking at these, we also found ourselves on the top of crags and rocks with spectacular views across the Wharfe Valley. There’s also a pond area and we spent some time here with the kids trying to spot Tadpoles and pond skaters.
The weather had started out quite misty and as the photos at the beginning of our walk show, you can only just see into the distance. By the time we stopped for a picnic it had cleared a bit and we had some brilliant sunshine. However, as we made our way down a very rocky path back to the carpark the raindrops began increasing. Were we in for a soaking again? No, not this time!
For us this was quite a short walk, although we could have gone further into the park, but the varying terrains from smooth easy paths to rocky climbs meant that we all felt that we had done some exercise and I think the humid weather played a part in that too. We piled hot, sticky children into the car and made for Grandma and Grandad’s house with the promise of cups of tea and Cake!
I’ll definitely be taking the kids back here to explore again, there were so many paths that we hadn’t gone down that I’m sure we could have another walk and not be bored.
All views are my own and I’ve received no financial incentive to write this blog. If you like my blog why not follow me on Bloglovin just click on the link below.
We’re always on the lookout for walk suggestions so comment below or make a suggestion on my Facebook page where there are more photos of our adventures.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin
_We visited relatives this Bank Holiday so we took the opportunity for a walk in a completely different area. Chester has lots to offer and if you’re looking for a short walk the City Walls are ideal, with historical points of interest along the way. The Visit Chester website has lots of useful information.
We decided to try something a little longer walking up river to Saltney and Higher Ferry. You can view our route here on my Viewranger map.
We first made our way along the bottom of the City Walls, setting off from near the weir, walking past the University and up to Grosvenor Bridge. There’s a car park here should you need somewhere to park. This promised to be the highest climb of the walk and the rest was relatively flat! A quick view off the side of the bridge to the river Dee and the Chester race course and we made our way to a footpath tucked away in the trees on the right hand side leading us down to Dingle Bank.
We had escaped the gloomy weather of Yorkshire and were lucky that the sun had come out for us here. Following a little footpath and making our way through swanky residential streets, we eventually picked up another little footpath at the side of substation that took us under the railway and out beside the golf course. The kids were deciding along the way which nice house they would buy when they were bigger!
The footpath under the railway bridge was a little spooky and we all did our usual “echo sound, echoing” shouting! Following this path beside the golf course we walked under a tunnel of trees. The pictures don’t do the natural tunnel justice and it led us out onto the banks of the river.
After navigating our way through a large commercial estate we came to River lane, Saltney. The kids were thrilled that we had crossed the border into Wales, “What? We’re in another country?”! Here this part of the river bank has been regenerated with a wide cycle/walk path and for majority of our walk we now followed this to the footbridge at Higher Ferry. Along the riverside path are four fabulous sculptures by artist Michael Johnson, seven foot high and reflecting the local plant life in the area. They are absolutely beautiful, I would love one in my garden!
Having crossed the footbridge, turning right, we started the walk back along the other bank of the river towards Chester, dodging the many cyclists also enjoying the long path. You could actually keep going and walk to Connagh’s Quay another 6 miles along the River Dee if you turned left. Further along the border between England and Wales on this side is marked by two granite boulders, etched with pictures including a Lighthouse, Dipper and moon. The kids loved being in both Wales and England at the same time.
The path is long and winds only slightly, it’s quite smooth and easy to walk on although after a few hours in the beautiful sunshine we were flagging a little bit. There’s lots of plants and wildlife to look for on the riverbank, we possibly saw a rat (!) and some beautiful birds – must pack a bird spotting book so we know what they are next time! Lots of vegetation each side which did result in little lady getting nettle stung. A handy dock leaf growing and Mummy and big brother being silly with piggy back rides soon had her laughing again. The promise of ice cream when we got back to Chester and she soon forgot that her leg hurt.
You can’t go wrong on the path and we followed it back into the centre of Chester, past a park, some new build apartments and after popping under the city walls and then back up onto them we were more of less back at the bridge. We crossed the road and followed the Walls back to the weir and the starting point of the walk.
We were all treated to the most amazing ice cream from ‘The Café at the Walls’ which we highly recommend, lot of flavours to choose from. Little lady was so much happier and the nettle sting was almost forgotten.
Our walk was just over 6 miles long and quite flat, it took us just over 3 hours with recovering hips, a little legged 5 year old and a few sit downs on the many benches along the river side.
All views are my own and I have gained no financial incentive from writing this blog.
Have you any idea where we should walk next? A favourite picnic snack we should take? Let us know in the comments or come chat to me on my Facebook page Hip2trek.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin
I'm a 'thirty something' Yorkshire Mum of two, recovering from two hip arthroscopies and hoping to get fit for a new challenge. My aim is to also get my kids out into the countryside and get fitter as a family. Follow my blog about hips, trips, training and getting my kids outside!
I'm taking part in a charity China trek. For my story or to sponsor me please follow the Just Giving link.