Finally said goodbye to Lancashire and headed through the lanes to Yorkshire this morning. Took the scenic route on the B6480 through Low and High Bentham, brilliant for the stunning views over to Lowgill and Great Harlow hills, not so brilliant with coming across a speeding tractor on every bend as its harvest time.
First stop of the day was at Ingleton a small village on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park where we spied Seasons Bakery, a truly amazing bakery making all their own bread and cakes. We opted for an assortment of cakes and bread and then it was on to one of our absolute favourite holiday activities – a discount outdoor shop! Daleswear Outdoor shop was our little bit of retail heaven. Two enormous floors of camping and general outdoor clothes and gadgets all with massive sale discounts. An hour later we dragged ourselves out with a pair of sunglesses with 5 different sets of coloured lenses for Iain (essential) and a rather nifty bag to hold showering and toiletries for me )not essential but cheap and rather cute).
Time to get back to sightseeing so we headed up the panoramic B6255 which really is one of the most spectacular roads we have travelled on. Within a mile or so we came across White Scar Caves and decided to have a pit stop and debate whether to take the tour. A quick look around and we gathered it was £9 for an 80 minute tour taking in over a mile of caves. Being cold, deep, underground, on slippery rocks and having to slither through gaps did not appeal to me in the slightest, so left Iain to do the tour. Nearly an hour and a half later he re-emerged and said was a good tour if slightly too long. It’s the longest show cave in England and seems to do a roaring trade, there is a cafe and a tic tacky gift shop on site which seemed to be a major draw for the bus loads of school kids visiting.
After a brief shower the sun was coming back out so it was time for an afternoon walk and somewhere we had been planning to visit since day of our trip, Ribblehead Viaduct (also known as Batty Moss), just a few miles up the road. In the middle of nowhere its made more beautiful be its surroundings of mile after mile of Yorkshire Dales with hardly a building insight – except the pub a few hundred yards away which can of course be forgiven. Built in 1870 it’s 440 yards long and 104 ft high, the footpath takes you right up to the base of the arches just a few hundred yards from the road. Another stunning, and free, visitor attraction in Yorkshire that is really worth going to.
By now it was late afternoon so we though about looking for somewhere to stay. The next town we came to was Hawes, looking very ready for the Tour De France next weekend, it even had a white chalk bicycle on the hill on the way in. Nearly every house in town is covered in bunting and flags for the tour, very many have bikes hung on walls, roofs or even strung between buildings. As we were driving through we remembered there was a CC site about 30 miles away so grabbed the book for a look, as we opened the Yorkshire section the first site we saw was in Hawes! quick turn around and back into town, brilliant site less than a couple of minutes walk from town so we are booked in for the next two nights. This is the home of Wallace and Gromits favourite cheese – so tomorrow we hit the Wensleydale Cheese factory to see if it makes our ‘faces look all nice and toothy’ too 🙂