God’s Own Country. Day 1: Grassington and Linton Falls.

Saturday 26 February 2022.

(Home – Grassington, North Yorkshire)

Just a few days away, but we’re looking forward to a change of scenery. And what scenery it is- the Yorkshire Dales – or God’s own country, as Yorkshire has long been known. Mind you, to get there we had to drive through Lancashire…

The journey is fairly short, so we had a lie in and a leisurely start before packing a few things: waterproofs, sunglasses, woolly hat and gloves, trekking poles, fresh ground coffee and chocolate muffins being amongst the essential items. It has been raining for, seemingly, weeks, and windy, with storm followed by storm, but as we loaded the car, the sun was out and the air has a distinct hint of spring to it.

The traffic at home was terrible, much as usual, and it was slow going through Colne, but for the most part it wasn’t too bad. We detoured into Skipton and called in at Morrisons, hoping to charge the car up, but it only has one charger and it was occupied, so we bought sandwiches and moved on to the town car park. This has two charge points, both in use, and the car park itself was packed. As we could check in after 3pm, and it was now 2.45pm, we decided to simply drive the last 8 miles to the cottage and give up for now.

Once at the cottage, after successfully opening the key box and keeping ourselves in, the first order of business was belatedly to eat our lunch. With that done, we brought our stuff in from the car and settled in. The cottage – Garside – is lovely. It’s the top floor of a barn building, with a set of uneven stone steps leading up to it. There’s a small porch, which will be handy for muddy boots, leading to an inside door and a large, airy, living-kitchen-dining room. A large bedroom and a bathroom make up the rest of the space.

We then decide to have an exploratory wander around Grassington. We are a short, five minute walk from the centre of the town, up a few narrow streets. We strolled in the late afternoon sunshine, stopping off to buy some bread for breakfast (I forgot to pack that) before continuing on towards the National Park visitor centre. We looked for a charging point which I thought was there, for future reference, but didn’t find it, so walked on and down a steep path to the River Wharfe.

The angled, low sun cast a beautiful light onto the fields, with their limestone walls, so much whiter and lighter than the dark, gritstone walls we are familiar with. We saw a bunny hopping in the adjacent field and, for once, I managed to take a photo of it.

If there’s one thing all of the recent rain has been good for, it’s for making waterfalls fast flowing and spectacular. Linton Falls were definitely fast flowing. The power of the water was palpable, the noise deafening. We walked over the bridge, admiring the cascades, before returning back the way we came, back up the path (even steeper than on the way down, I’m sure..!).

Back in the town centre, we decided to eat out for dinner, so had a look at a few menus of the pubs as we passed, before settling on the Black Horse Hotel. The best area appeared to be full, so we turned towards the restaurant section. We obviously didn’t have a booking, but we were easily accommodated, after assuring them that we wouldn’t be more than the hours. Having not really done much walking today, and having had a late lunch, I knew we were not likely to eat more than one course, and so it turned out, because the main course was huge. Tasty though. In fact, so tasty that we made a booking for tomorrow night on our way out.

With that, we walked back in the encroaching dark, grateful for the torch I’d put in my pocket. Back at the cottage, we relaxed, had a drink, did the blog and watched a movie on television. Looking forward to some walking tomorrow.

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