“Still summer’s song beats in my blood” – Alan Hartley
I’m very behind with my monthly family adventure paintings, the last one I did was in May. However we have been out and about every month enjoying the great outdoors, in Yorkshire and in Wales. Summer sand, sunshine and long walks don’t seem that long ago. I intend to try and catch up before the year is done.
I thought rather than waiting till I’d finished my painting, I’d write about our recent trip into the Yorkshire Dales whilst it was fresh in my memory.
I left the route planning to my husband this month. We wanted somewhere new, only an hours drive and in the Yorkshire Dales. A quick look at the map and a google of routes and my husband found a 7 mile walk from Aysgarth Falls. We have been to Aysgarth Falls once before with the kids when they were younger, but we hadn’t explored the surrounding countryside.
We enjoyed the mini scramble down to the Lower Falls, it was a little slippy, but well worth it to stand next to the power of so much water, the noise is incredible.
We had a little time to sketch before we headed off on the rest of our walk.
The route then runs up through farmland and the edge of Bolton Castle Estate (it looks like they are trying to regenerate the area with native trees). We braved crossing a couple of cow fields (we haven’t had much luck with cows on our walks).
We headed up the road to the pretty village of Castle Bolton with views of Bolton Castle on our way up.
There we stopped for our lunch on the pretty village green with a view of the castle and St. Oswald’s Church. The girls and I had a nosey inside the little church whilst my husband sat and sketched the castle (following in Turner’s footsteps, as he is said to have sketched the castle too!).
My favourite part of the walk continued on past the castle, through a few more cow fields (we really were very brave, we have been known to take lengthy detours to avoid walking through cow fields!), and over the edge of Carperby Moor. Thankfully, the cows in this area did not bat an eyelid as we passed, they must be so used to walkers passing through.
This section was like a mini snippet of all that is lovely about the Yorkshire Dales. Views of distant hills, dry stone walls and hawthorn trees with a million little universes of moss and lichen all over them. Bracken beginning to turn all the colours of autumn, sheep and cattle grazing. Geese flying in formation over head, whilst a cloud slowly lowered itself over the hills. A surprise around every little corner. A dry river bed, mimicking the great Limestone pavements of Malham and Ingleborough, with a stream and waterfall that appeared to just vanish into the earth. We stayed quite a while in this area, exploring the riverbed, and spotting fungi among the bracken, it felt like an ancient land.
I always feel refreshed and renewed after a good walk, and sad to leave, but it was time we carried on. We walked downhill off the moor into the pretty village of Carperby, a typical Dales village with the smell of wood burning stoves in the air. The path took us thorough yet another cow field!!, mother and calves within touching distance.
Being brave passing through a field of mothers and calves.
Back through the woodland of Freeholders Wood and to the banks of Aysgarth Falls and the visitors centre.
A 7 mile route, but we managed to clock up 9 miles with all our extra exploring. There is still so much for us to explore in the Dales, I think an Autumn camping trip might be in order.
As usual we all came home with our pockets full of little treasures from our walk (pocket hitchhikers), feathers and leaves.
Feeling inspired by the coming of Autumn, our walk in the Dales, and some pocket treasures from my runs I set to painting and have designed a set of Autumnal Postcards, an attempt to capture a little of Autumns colour. You can find them on my Etsy shop.
In the meantime I best get on with my next painting of our June camping trip to Flamborough.