A holiday in the Yorkshire Peaks, at first glance, might sound an incredible opportunity for some of the best walking and outdoor adventures the country has to offer, (which it is). Or it may sound as though it requires a tad too much physical exertion. If you are one of the latter, like me, do not fret. As you will soon find out, the area is also full of delicious rewards for your endeavors.
Desperately in need of a break, our family set off for the Yorkshire Peaks in the far North West of Yorkshire, hoping for rest, recuperation and restoration of our spirits. We were not disappointed. We had chosen some accommodation from the Independent Hostels Guides map of Hostels in Yorkshire. The village of Ingleton nestles between the Yorkshire Three Peaks of Inglebrough, Whernside and Pen-y-Ghent, so the scenery is simply stunning. There are fabulous views in every direction. Secreted down Sammy Lane is Greta Tower, Ingleton’s independent hostel which is also affiliated to the YHA.
A warm and friendly welcome awaited us at INGLETON YHA GRETA TOWER and helpful advice about eating establishments, as we had arrived poste evening meal. We ended up at the Royal Hotel bar in nearby Kirkby Lonsdale. Their stone baked, home made pizzas were amazing and their pasta was equally delicious.
After a night in our clean, cosy and comfortable family room (with the luxury of en suite facilities), we went down to an ample cooked breakfast – great way to start the day. It being rainy, we headed off for Kendal. A happy morning was spent ambling around the interesting shops, including book shops (keeping us all happy), followed by a scrumptious lunch at the Famous 1657 Chocolate House. We had hoped to use the climbing wall actually in Ingleton but you need to have your own equipment, which we didn’t bring. So, we went to the Lakeland Climbing Centre in Kendal and boy, we were so glad we had. We had an hour and a half in the Crazy Climb room which was full of many, varied and challenging climbs – including a series of stacks which, once you’d reached the summit, you had to leap to a punch bag suspended from the ceiling and wait for it to stop swinging before dropping to the floor. Both our teenagers and grown ups enjoyed it alike.
Stopping at Booth’s (a rather upmarket supermarket) in Kirkby Lonsdale en route, we returned to the hostel’s well equipped kitchen to make our tea. The dining room was shared by diners and self caterers alike which made for a friendly atmosphere and the hostel’s license meant that we didn’t miss out on a relaxing drink. An enjoyable evening was spent partly watching TV in the lounge and partly reading and chilling in the quiet, (non-telly) lounge.
Waking to bright sunshine put a spring in our steps as we pottered down to the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail. This is an absolute must if you are staying in the Yorkshire Peaks. There are eight beautiful waterfalls on this spectacular walk. By the time you’ve completed the four and half mile, up and down round trip you most definitely deserve a trip to Frumenty and Fluffin, Ingleton’s most special tea shop. This is no ordinary tea shop and they are no ordinary cakes – they have to be seen and devoured to be believed. We even took a box of delights away with us for our tea. Being full of delicious treats we felt too heavy to attempt a swim in Ingleton’s outdoor heated swimming pool, which was a shame because it looked so inviting – we could see it from our bedroom window. The community run pool has been modernised in recent years to include new changing rooms with underfloor heating.
Before heading home the following day we did a little circuit of the Yorkshire Peaks. First stop was the nearby Country Harvest Shop full of all kinds of everything, (I can feel a song coming on). Next was Sedburgh for more book shops, followed by a trip down the idyllic Dent valley with quaint ‘shires’ views round every bend. Next we stopped at the Ribblehead viaduct just as a train was chugging over. Lunchtime was sausage, egg and chips and a huge mug of tea at the Pen-y-Ghent Café in Horton in Ribblesdale. The café has traditionally been the starting point for the Yorkshire Three Peaks Walk and we found a reference copy of The Independent Hostel Guide lying around so we perused ideas for our next escape while we ate. Finally, a browse round Settle, lingering particularly at the Car and Kitchen Shop, (historic name), purchasing lots of quirky odds and ends. Feeling completely rejuvenated, we drove home, planning to return to do the myriad of things we just hadn’t had time to do this time.