Wool and walks, a Yorkshire weekend

There is a God out there. After worrying about all that’s ahead of me this week and my continually expanding ‘to do’ list, I have very little photography course homework this week and photography club has been cancelled. We’ve had 2 new single night Airbnb bookings for this Wednesday and Saturday, which nearly sent me over the edge, but John has said that he should be able to help with both changeovers and I’ve blocked some nights so we don’t get any more. We’ve lost our regular guy who used to stay 3 nights a week at the moment, and seem to be getting endless streams of one night stays, which feel like much more work. Although the money is nice, we’re thinking of changing to minimum stays of 2 nights. Either that or we could put the price up, which might lead to fewer but more profitable bookings. Anyway, this all means I have found some time to edit my photos and blog about our lovely weekend away.

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We drove up to Hellifield near Skipton on Friday evening, a horrendous journey with one traffic jam after another, even after we left the notoriously bad M6. There are too many vehicles clogging up the UK now! We stayed the night at the Black Horse pub, which had a nice big car park with plenty of room for the campervan.

The next morning we woke early and moved to Skipton where we had tickets for Yarndale Festival. Yarndale is full of stalls selling wools, craft kits, buttons, needles and hooks… anything relating to knitting, crochet and other woolly delights. It’s held in Skipton Auction Mart and, to get there, we had a lovely walk along the Leeds-Liverpool canal and then through the park where trees and lamp posts had been decorated in colourful crocheted bunting.

We arrived early but there was already a queue to get in. Once we were inside, John and I wandered systematically up and and down the rows of stalls, noting the ones I’d potentially go back to when I’d seen everything. I managed to resist buying too much but did treat myself to a huge wooden crochet hook and some super chunky wool to make a rug for the campervan, some thinner wool to make John a hat in beautiful shades of blue, a felting kit to make Sorrel the guinea pig, and a couple of gifts. By now Yarndale was getting busy and it was difficult to see anything or move anywhere so we left and walked into Skipton for lunch.

Afterwards, we had a wander round the pretty market town of Skipton and up to Skipton Castle. The medieval castle is over 900 years old and we enjoyed wandering through the towers, dungeons, courtyards and rooms, and looking out over the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

Following a quick stop in the famous pork pie shop, we left Skipton for Malham where we’d booked a campsite for the night. We’d planned a walk around Janet’s Foss, Gordale Scar and Malham Cove for Sunday. However, because we arrived at the village earlier than expected and the weather was sunny, we decided to wander to Janet’s Foss, a pretty waterfall, before having dinner in one of the local pubs.

It was a fairly easy walk and, once we arrived at the waterfall, I spent a bit of time taking photos. We were lucky that most other visitors had left and there weren’t many people around. John spotted a bag lying against a tree, which appeared to have been left behind. Rather cautiously, afraid of being accused of stealing it if the owner reappeared, he opened it to see if contained any identification. It didn’t, but did contain expensive camera equipment. We decided to take it back to Malham and hand it in at the National Trust Centre. This all made me think, I should make sure there’s some ID in my camera bag in case I leave it anywhere.

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After the walk, we had a lovely meal and a few drinks in the Lister Arms then headed back to the campsite. It was a beautiful night and I attempted some shots of the stars. I failed to find the Milky Way though! Either too much gin or the app I’m using to locate it need recalibrating!

The next morning we dropped the lost camera bag in the National Trust Centre, hoping we could reunite it with its owner. Then we set off for Gordale Scar, a limestone ravine with waterfalls falling between high limestone cliffs. On the way, we were delighted to see notices taped to fences with an email address to contact the owner of the camera bag. John sent an email as soon as he had a signal and very quickly had a reply to say that it would be collected. Great news!

Gordale scar was amazing, as was all of the limestone scenery in this area, which is why it’s so popular. We had hoped to climb the path up the ravine but it was wet and slippery, and we decided to take the long way round, over to Malham Tarn. The weather was a bit damp and breezy on the tops but didn’t spoil our enjoyment of the day.

After a stop for something to eat, we finally reached the highlight of the walk, Malham Cove. Malham Cove is a stunning natural amphitheatre of high, white limestone cliffs, with a beautiful river meandering through green fields and trees in the valley bottom.

At the top of the cliffs there’s a fantastic limestone pavement with all sorts of plants growing in the microclimate in the deep crevasses between the flat rocks. As Malham Cove isn’t far from Malham village, it was very busy here with lots of families enjoying the views and scenery.

While we were there, we watched people slacklining across the cliffs… what a sight to see! They must be mad… such a long drop! My heart was in my mouth every time someone fell, even thought they were caught by their safety lines!

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Then it was time to go. We were soon back at the campervan where we had a cup of tea and finished our packed lunches (including the lovely Eccles cakes and sausage rolls we’d bought in the pie shop the day before). Sadly, it was now time to leave, but hopefully it wont be too long before we can have another trip away in Bertie BoxLife.

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