Our Hip2trek adventure at the weekend was to Aysgarth falls and Castle Bolton in Wenslydale in the Yorkshire Dales. The falls are a beauty spot made famous by the film starring Kevin Costner in ‘Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves.
An hour and half journey away from where we live I negotiated the winding and sometimes hair raising roads thorough spectacular countryside to our destination at the Aysgarth Visitor centre where our walk started.
We wandered through pretty woodland down to a viewing platform to the Middle Falls and then followed the sign post to the Lower falls. Sadly, no sign of Kevin and his friends but the River Ure did look pretty cascading down the limestone and we all took turns for a look.
You can stop your little walk here and return to the visitor centre where there’s a fab looking tea room (the cake looked awesome!) and a shop but we wanted a longer walk to Castle Bolton.
Making our way following the footpath signs and referring to a book we had brought with us we wandered through fields, meadowland and woodland with a view in the distance of Castle Bolton. This was our planned picnic stop and the kids couldn’t wait to get there! You can view the route we took here on the viewranger map we plotted as we went.
Some of the directions were a little open to interpretation and we did go wrong somewhere, so we had to do a bit of walking on the road which was a little scary. However, we soon made our way up a steep hill and there was the Castle, at last!
Look out for the Dragon on the right hand side of the road, a poor Knight seems to have been eaten with only his leg sticking out of its mouth!
This weekend Hip2Trek visited Bolton Abbey and here are the 7 reasons we love it.
1) Nostalgia! I grew up not far from Bolton Abbey, so family outings and School trips were often here and I know the area quite well. I love being able to now take my own children and see their little faces as we enjoy a similar day out.
2) The Stepping Stones – No visit to Bolton Abbey is complete without at least having a look at the stepping stones across the river. Some days the water is too deep to make the crossing! Last year my husband and then 7 year old had a go and did make it across without getting wet feet. The view from the far bank across to the ruins of the Abbey is stunning and many photographers have captured the glorious setting.
3) Beautiful views – I could, and have taken so many photos around here. As mentioned above there are stunning views of the Abbey. When you take to the footpaths there are also other viewpoints amongst the trees of the River Wharfe, and whether calm and peaceful or raging with water it always makes for an interesting view.
4) Great Walks – A small stroll along the river or more of a hike there are plenty of footpaths and routes you can take whilst at Bolton Abbey. We quite often do a little loop and depending on the kids legs can change the route accordingly. As the kids are getting bigger and we’re getting fitter the route is getting longer. Some of the paths are suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. When my son was a baby we once took our sturdy pushchair around some of the paths as he squealed in delight!
Next on my walk list in the Valley of Desolation and Simon’s seat. I can’t believe I’ve never been there!
5) Fab facilities – With a number of carparks, shops, cafes and tea rooms there are plenty of places to keep you fed watered and comfortable. On sunny days there are often mobile ice cream vans on the meadows.
6) Wide open spaces – One of my favourite places for a picnic is on the banks of the river. There’s plenty of room even on the busiest days and you can even take a BBQ if you park in the special areas of the car park. There’s plenty of room for the kids to run safely around without having to hang onto you the whole time.
Since my Physio has put my appointments on hold for a few months I’ve been trying to increase my endurance. In the past few weeks I’ve joined a fitness club, gone swimming, managed aqua-cise and a few sessions in the gym on the exercise bike and cross trainer. I’m feeling quite pleased with myself, but maybe a bit achey! Our weekend walks have been neglected a little with the kids having Birthday parties and weekend activities, so this week despite another rubbish forecast and a mad few days beforehand I made all of us leave the house!
Only half an hour drive away is Ogden water nature reserve and armed with a walk printed off from the website we set off.
Parking is 50p paid into an honesty box at the small shop just on the edge of the dam and this is where our walk started along The Promenade by the side of the reservoir. You can see the route we took here as I recorded it on my viewranger app.
The rough path takes you up the side of Halifax golf course and climbs steeply. The views are amazing across the valley and you can see for miles if your eyes aren’t streaming like ours were from the strong wind!
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.