Monday, 20 June 2011

Holiday in Yorkshire

Town Head House, Cotterdale
Town Head House, Cotterdale

We've just come back for a lovely relaxing week away in Cotterdale, a tiny hamlet close to Hawes in Wensleydale, North West Yorkshire. We found our cottage, Town Head House, through Cotterdale Cottage Holidays, and have to say it was a wonderful place with personal touches here and there to make our stay very comfortable.  We'd checked out many holiday cottages before finally deciding on Cotterdale.  We were quite surprised how many required us to take our own bed linen and towels.  This would have been fine if we hadn't of been taking our Landrover and Poppy the dog, which meant very limited space in the back with her, Katie and Ben too.  We were very good with our packing!  One large box of necessary items etc. plus one small suitcase for Paul and me and a small bag each for Katie and Ben.  Poppy's sleeping cushion went on top of the box and suitcase in the car, which she slept on, so she had a very comfortable ride to Yorkshire and back! 

We loved the fact that there was an old butler's sink full of fresh herbs in the garden (which I certainly made use of), some little toiletries in the bathroom for emergencies, Wi-Fi (the kids were mega happy), a slow cooker (never used one so was thrilled to have to chance to) and the most comfortable beds and bedding we've ever come across.

Paul and Ben rearranging stones in the beck
Rearranging rocks in the beck

We spent quite a lot of time in the beck, rearranging the rocks to make a dam or to just see how the flow could be changed. Having had a quite a bit of rain one day we noticed how it had totally transformed the beck to very fast flowing water. Cotterdale Woods was just outside the door with pretty water falls (especially after the rain) and plenty of rabbits for Poppy to chase! Cotterdale has red squirrels in the area too and we were very lucky to have many sightings of them. One sat on the wall by the car as I was loading it up to go home - very pretty little thing.

Red squirrel at Cotterdale
Red squirrel

We went to White Scar caves and took the 80 minute tour through the cave over fast flowing water (we walked on a caged floor), ducking our heads a couple of times to avoid the very low ceilings. The final part of the cave revealed a white shape on the wall which, when pointed out to us, resembled a white witch with her white cat! Our journey home took us past the beautiful Ribblehead Viaduct.

White Scar Caves - Ben
Hard hats were definitely a must inside the caves - some very low ceilings!

White Scar Caves -
Can you see the white witch?
Ribblehead Viaduct
Ribblehead Viaduct

We visited Hardraw falls hidden behind the George & Dragon pub (and stopped there for a nice meal too). Spectacular falls in a very pretty setting. Hardraw was a stones throw from Hawes, the local town, which we loved.
Hardraw falls
Hardraw falls

So many individual shops to have a nosey in and everyone seemed to welcome dogs and make a fuss of Poppy, which she enjoyed. We particularly loved Bear Cottage Interiors (could have bought everything from there) and Elijah Allen & Son, a wonderful food store selling not only the usual yummies, but plenty of special food finds too.

Not getting our complete fill of water we ventured to Aysgarth Falls which is split into Upper, Middle and Lower falls with a lovely restaurant, information centre and shop at the car park at the Upper falls. Apparently, the water fight scene from Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves was filmed at the Upper falls with Kevin Costner insisting that the water be warmed before filming! We had lunch at the restaurant which was delicious and very reasonable in price. Paul and I had a roast pork, stuffing, apple sauce and gravy (yes, gravy) baguette for £3.75) - big noms!!

Upper falls at Aysgarth
Upper falls at Aysgarth

Heart shaped petals at Aysgarth
Heart shaped rose petals

Amazing tree roots at Aysgarth
Fabulous mangled tree roots

Wonderful shops and lovely market at Leyburn (plus the Little Chocolate Shop with it's free tour and video) - well worth a visit.  We discovered these chocolate cigarettes on a market stall - remember them? These came from Holland and the guy behind the counter asked if I was 18 or over!! Yep, but only just!

Chocolate cigarettes from Leyburn

During the week was also visited the Wensleydale Creamery. They weren't producing cheese the day we went but you can phone up in advance to arrange a tour and see how it's made. Lovely gift shop there with some wonderful cheeses available to buy.

As we had the Landrover we also did a couple of drives. one off road along a byway and another along a pretty, narrow and winding stretch of road from Redmire (close to Castle Bolton) through Grinton and down to Askrigg. Luckily we only came across one other car coming along in the opposite direction!

So, a lovely holiday, lovely location and we're all back rested and ready to resume life! Oh, and I even managed to do some sewing too - bonus.


Anonymous said...

Looks like you had a lovely time - you almost came right past where we live!

Hannah@HomeBaked (blogger wont let me comment as myself at the moment)

Elaine, Ellie's Treasures said...

Fancy that Hannah, you live in a beautiful part of the country.