I am incredibly lucky to have done so much travelling, yet recently I realised that I have been guilty of neglecting my own country. It is easy to forget what beautiful places are on our doorstep, and that people actually travel from all over the world specifically to visit the UK.
So, in the last year or so we have made an effort to do a little exploring closer to home, taking weekend breaks to York, Bristol, Winchester, London, Harrogate and the Yorkshire Dales.
Where would you have guessed the above waterfall was? The Philippines? Bali? I know I would! (If you look past the fact I’m wearing a huge coat haha)
But no, it was taken in the heart of Yorkshire! Want to see it for yourself? Keep reading to find out how…
DAY 1 – FRIDAY
We live about an hour East of London, and on Friday morning we set off at about 10am to the quaint village of Askrigg. The journey wasn’t great and took about 5 hours, so we spent the afternoon relaxing in our home for the weekend, a 3 bedroom cottage called ‘Hillgarth’. On Friday evening we enjoyed a lovely dinner at The King’s Arms just down the road, it was previously horse stables!
DAY 2 – SATURDAY
We started Saturday off right with a big cooked breakfast to fuel us for the day (we brought some food up with us from home as the cottage was miles away from a supermarket). After a morning walk (all of about 30 seconds, Askrigg is tiny!) to Humble Pie Bakery to buy some goodies for lunch later on, we drove (15 minutes) to Hawes.
Hawes is a cute market town full of interesting antique-style shops. After restraining ourselves from buying multiple homewares and trinkets, we continued onto the Wensleydale Creamery – absolute PARADISE for you cheese lovers out there. There is a ‘cheese room’ whereby you can work your way round in excess of 30 different cheeses with samples of every single one! And it is FREE! You can also pay to watch the cheese actually being made but they don’t do this at weekends so unfortunately we couldn’t see. But hey ho, we got a load of free cheese so who’s the real winner here?
By 12:30 we were all cheesed out and it was time to head to Hardraw Force, England’s highest single drop unbroken waterfall (100ft). Despite the photos perhaps suggesting a gruelling hike, it is an easy 2-minute walk to the waterfall through the back garden of the Green Dragon Inn! You have to pay £2.50 to enter through a turnstile which goes towards maintenance of the area. The UK had its fair share of rain in the first few months of 2018, and for the first time we were happy about it because it made the waterfall look phenomenal!
In true millennial style, we Googled Hardraw Force when we returned to the cottage for lunch and some of the photos literally show it as a dribble so I think we were really lucky to see it how we did!
Warning: if you visit when there is this much water and go any closer than where I stood in the photo, you will get SOAKED. Ask James.
There was a guestbook in the cottage and nearly everybody had written that we must also visit Aysgarth Falls, again only a 15 minute drive away, this time to the East of Askrigg. There are ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ falls at Aysgarth, and it probably took us about an hour or so to see both/walk between them. After an essential afternoon nap we then tried The Crown Inn for dinner and had a movie night back in the cottage ready for another day’s exploring.
DAY 3 – SUNDAY
A half an hour drive took us to the Ribblehead Viaduct, somewhat a point of contention on this trip! My mum had told me it was the bridge from Harry Potter so naturally I was super excited but it turns out that bridge is in Scotland! Oh well, it was still great to visit and even saw a train crossing (but didn’t manage to get a picture!).
We drove another 20 minutes to the start of the Ingleton Waterfall Trail (£6 entry), a 4.5 mile walking trail through absolutely beautiful scenery. We completed it in about 2.5 hours including a little stop for food but you could allow anything up to 4 hours if you were to take more regular breaks or walked a bit slower (we are quite quick walkers). I almost wish that we did take it a bit slower and sat down to enjoy the views a little more!
Don’t forget to put a penny in the money tree and make a wish!
Fact: The Ingleton Waterfall trail was recently voted #36 in the top 100 walks in Britain.
So, it was Sunday and we had finished a long walk, there was only one thing for it – a roast dinner!! We drove 20 minutes south to Settle and enjoyed a lovely Sunday roast in a local pub before heading back down South.
We really enjoyed this weekend. It was lovely to remind ourselves how beautiful the UK can be and also to have such a good time without having to spend out much.
Places we didn’t get the time to visit: Malham Cove (recently voted #3 of the best 100 walks in Britain) and there are also lots of caves that you can visit in the area.
Thanks for reading 🙂