Well this one was a long time coming. I knew I needed to get back to my weekends away having stalled over the winter months (apart from Singapore at Xmas) Question was, where to go, I had no great callings. Instagram is always good for inspiration. I found a photo of a waterfall that took my fancy, so I researched it. It was in Yorkshire, it was called Aysgarth Falls and apparently (according to a work colleague who looked it up) it was actually the waterfall that appeared in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, the fight scene between Robin Hood and Littlejohn. I went onto booking.com (my favourite) and found a hotel nearby that was a pay at the property with free cancellation. I always try and find those, it gives me the chance to be flexible – which was just as well in this case…. Unfortunately the weekend I’d booked coincided with a girls weekend that was planned at one of my girlfriends caravan. I was gutted, I was so desperate to get away but I was persuaded to change my booking so I rearranged for a later date, it made it a bit more expensive but I was determined to go. I was checking in on a Friday, I couldn’t have the day off as two others were already off. This meant I had to leave after work – which in turn meant I had to be organised and packed before work, which was a challenge in itself. Getting myself ready for work is often fraught with time checks and mini panics so to do last minute packing and load the car in time was an epic panic!!
My excitement built through the day, it’s a fab feeling knowing you are escaping the normal routine for a few days. Five o’clock came and I was out of there, jumping in Vinnie, and talking to him🙄🤪. I’m not materialistic, don’t like ‘things’ but Vinnie is the one possession I would simply shrivel up and die without, it’s odd how a car can become a part of your life. We’ve been through a lot of life changing stuff together – I know, I’m weird, but I’m me. I don’t care. It was going to take me around 3 hours, but I knew it would be longer as I like to stop when I can – I have a fear of getting stuck in traffic and being desperate for a comfort break ( it’s happened, parked for 3 hours on the A14 one day, I had a Tall Starbucks cup and a cardi up at the window – it’s amazing what you can do in that situation – just wish I’d had a Venti coffee!!😜) So now I stop whenever I can – and I have an emergency kit in my car which comprises a litre jug, a funnel and an empty litre plastic bottle, toilet roll and antibacterial handwash🤣🤣 – gee, I wonder why I’m single🤔🤪😂
It was a fairly uneventful journey, straight up the A1, the scenery changed, it got greener, rolling fields and I could feel myself relaxing. I eventually turned off the A1 , following my sat nav to Carperby, where my hotel was. At this point I didn’t know which way to look. Oh my goodness!! It was absolutely beautiful, gorgeous, breathtaking and stunning. I literally fell in love with Yorkshire there and then. It was just perfect. It was me. It was everything that I love. Green, trees, fields, views, villages – even a castle!! Castle Bolton. I was grinning from ear to ear and I had tears in my eyes. I can’t explain it. It was just magical. It was going dark as I was getting close to the hotel but I knew I had to do that road in daylight at some point. I arrived at the hotel, first impressions were good, it was about 9.30 in the evening, I walked into the bar to ask about checking in, I’d left my bags in the car until I knew what I was doing. They directed me to, well, basically the kitchen door at the bottom of the stairs😂 where someone met me, got my key and showed me up to my room. It was a lovely old building, floors were imperfect – in my room it was like going up hill and down dale!😁but I absolutely love that kind of thing, gives a building character and life.
My room was comfortable, with a lovely bathroom that had a rain shower. I chatted to the lady a little, telling her how beautiful the drive in had been. I then went and got my bags, going out and coming back in through another door rather than walking through the bar again. Once I’d settled in I pretty much just went to bed, I was shattered, a day at work and a long drive, but it was a nice tired The morning dawned early, the curtains were black out ones which was nice but I could still see that it was getting light and I was curious to see my view. I peeked through – I was at the front of the hotel with a couple of houses opposite and I didn’t want to scare them! When my eyes had adjusted i took a sharp intake of breath. It was glorious.
A beautiful sunrise, I took my photos and climbed back into bed for a bit, eventually making myself a coffee and looking out of the window again. It was then that I noticed outside my window, in the top right hand corner there was some activity. There were House Martins building a nest!! It was pure joy to watch as they took it in turns to go and collect the mud and fascinating to watch them place it around the top – a real treat.
After a blissful shower under the ‘rain’ I ventured downstairs for breakfast in the dining room. This is always a ‘put your shoulders back and hold your head high’ moment. Ever since my first ever single trip to Tintagel. That moment when you enter the dining room and they ask if it’s ‘just for one’ and it’s always quiet so everyone knows you’re on your own. It’s only recently since this trip and a subsequent one I’ve just done that I have realised the practicalities of why they ask. But sometimes it’s the way they ask that can make you feel ‘odd’. Anyway, she asked and I told her it was just me. She looked around the small dining room, there were a few tables occupied, one by a guy on his own. She said let’s put you in here – a snug behind a wall panel with a table made up for two. I put my key (a real one!😳) and phone on the table and went and got my juice. As I was sat reading the breakfast choices she came back and said – I’ve been asked to ask you if you’re definitely on your own, you’re not waiting for anybody? – I said no, I’m definitely on my own and no one else is going to turn up!! Apparently someone else’s partner had turned up late and they just wanted to check – no, they were curious!
I ordered and ate my breakfast and I’d also asked for a packed lunch that was on the menu which she brought out. I wasn’t sure where I’d find a shop or food so thought it was a safe and sensible thing to do – check me out being all sensible and thinking ahead!!! After breakfast I gathered my things together, sorted my back pack out, my boots and coats stay in Vinnie, and made my way to the car. Aysgarth Falls was my destination, I had to turn right out of the car park – I didn’t, I turned left🙄🤪 the way I had come in the night before, it was spontaneous and what I do. I wanted to see the road I had come in on the night before. I wasn’t disappointed. I have no clue where I went, I just did my random turning (today I downloaded an app that maps your drive, so I will be able to see where I’ve been) found some beautiful peaceful spots, took my photos, talked to sheep, watched cyclists going up a 20+% incline – it was very impressive and I told them so too as I videoed them – no pressure to keep going 😁then continued driving – I just love doing this, find some pretty amazing places.
The flowers along the side of the road were gorgeous, why we get rid of weeds I’ll never know, we should all keep a little wild part to our gardens, their colours brightening a dull and damp day. Castle Bolton looked imposing, however I only stopped to take photos, hoping that Vinnies handbrake would hold stopping on theses hills – hill starts in Cambridgeshire are few and far between so its good to drive a different way sometimes too.
I found a little village with two absolutely stunning Oak trees which meant of course had to get out of my car to take photos – while I was, a cyclist asked me if I knew where there was shop to buy some food – I said I was a tourist and didn’t know so I offered them my lunch, he said they were running on empty and I know what that’s like – but he declined.
I eventually came out onto the main road again, the road that led to the hotel, I continued past and followed the signs to Aysgarth – the reason for the weekend. I parked up in the visitor car park and followed the signs and the sound to the waterfall. Trees, so many trees!! I walked down some long, wide steps to a viewing area – Wow! It was a waterfall in full force!
Before I’d left work Sue had asked for a pic of me paddling holding a stick like Robin Hood – it wasn’t going to happen!!! I took some photos and moved on, following the path downstream. There were quite a few people walking to and from, groups, couples, all chatting away, all missing the beauty that was around them, heads down listening and watching where they were going – me, I was looking all around, tripping over because I wasn’t looking where I was going!!🙄😂 I got to the next section of the Falls, not quite as forceful but still pretty impressive. I walked along the rocks, it was raining so they were slippy, I don’t risk things on my own, as much as I would love to, but I’d be pretty stuck if I fell and twisted my ankle. I walked until I found a spot I could sit and take my boots and socks off – I was determined to get my toes wet, so I did in a safe way and did a little video but I remained sitting.
I walked back to the car – all uphill obviously – had a quick look in the shop, bought some biccies for work, a key ring for myself and chocolate squirrel poo for Max😁 I was starving by this point, I didn’t have any other destination in mind so I just drove, found somewhere to park up and eat my lunch, it’s not an easy thing to do, there are so many views but finding somewhere to stop and admire seemed to be rare to me so I just grabbed at the chance. The sandwiches were delicious, I saved one for later, not knowing when I would be eating again. I continued driving, the roads were quite busy and the rain was definitely making itself known now. In fact to the point where I thought about my cosy hotel and my comfy bed – I fancied a nap! I succumbed to putting my sat nav on but I still did my usual random turns and stops for photos. As I was about 5 miles from the hotel I drove past a parking area and as I did I noticed there was a little bridge and a stream – I stopped myself screeching to a stop and reversing and drove on until I could turn round. I went back to it, parked up and took a look at the stream.
Quite cute and bubbling and inviting me for a paddle. I put my old ‘brought out of retirement’ swim shoes on and thoroughly enjoyed paddling around. It was a very peaceful place. I could see the stream meandered through a meadow, which was apparently a nature reserve, so put my boots back on, grabbed my back pack and wandered off, following it. I’d taken my change mat with me and I found a spot to sit and relax, eating my last sandwich listening to the water and the birds – so completely perfect.
After watching some bugs wandering around me I eventually tore myself away and got back to the hotel. I freshened up, grabbed my book and made my way down to the bar. I ordered my drink at the bar, not feeling overly comfortable I have to say, found out they would take orders at 6 pm for food I sat down and enjoyed my drink, had a read and people watched as others turned up. A group of people arrived, ordered their drinks and then ordered food!!! WTF was that about!! I’d been told it was 6pm and here they were at 5.30 ordering!! So, after they’d done theirs I went and ordered mine, she couldn’t say no!! I sat and waited for my food, I’d hoped the football was going to be put on – Liverpool v Spurs – but I didn’t think I’d be that lucky. The lady came and lit the candle on my table – I said I just needed a fella now!😂 The food was delicious, I could have eaten it again, I had another drink – now there were older ‘regulars’ at the bar that we’re giving me odd looks🙄 I took myself off to my room and found the match on YouTube and watched it – it wasn’t an overly exciting match, I may have dozed off and woke up for the last 10 mins and the celebrations. I was shattered, it had been a long day and I had another long one tomorrow driving home – but I wasn’t going straight home – when do I ever😃🤷♀️