Friday 5 July 2024

Back to Wharfedale

Thursday 4 July 2024

Nido's parked up at the Low Hall Farm campsite in Kettlewell, in Wharfedale, Yorkshire.  It's pretty basic - just a couple of fields with a 'long drop' toilet dump, bins and a fresh water tap in the corner of another field.  But it's only £10 per night and the views are spectacular. I'm sat looking out at the fells as the sun sets, watching the swallows swoop low over the fields.

We've been to Kettlewell before, once in 2015 when we stayed on another campsite in the village and I came in 2014 with my friend Ray to watch the Tour de France; on that occasion Ray and I camped in a tent on a pop-up campsite opposite Kilnsey Crag.

We've had a couple of trips out this year.  One was a few days on a CL in the Rheidol Valley in mid-Wales, between Aberysthwyth and Devil's Bridge.  It was a lovely spot, alongside the steam railway that runs between the two points and a man made reservoir with a hydro-electric plant built in the 1950s by a Norwegian company who were well ahead of their time.

The second trip was a week in Kent and West Sussex in May.  We met up with friends in their camper van and the highlight was a day spent at the Knepp Rewilding Centre on a walking safari on Cathy's 60th birthday. It's a place she's always wanted to visit so I booked tickets a few months ago and we really enjoyed seeing how proper rewilding is transforming the landscape and bringing in so much flora and fauna.  

We arrived here in Kettlewell yesterday afternoon and had a walk along the river Wharfe which runs alongside the campsite.  After dinner we sat and read before an early night.

Today's weather forecast wasn't great and the majority of the day was very windy with heavy rain squalls passing through on a regular basis.  Cathy had her last Welsh online lesson before the Summer break but with no internet signal here, we drove to park up at the National Park Visitor Centre in Grassington, about 7 miles back down the road. Grassington is a lovely old village which is used to film the latest series of All Creatures Great and Small on Channel 5. As such, it's now quite touristy, with lots of cafes, eateries and shops.  I took Salty for a couple of walks while Cathy was online and we stayed on to have lunch as the rain showers were heavy.  Returning to Kettlewell I had an afternoon snooze, by which time the rain had stopped and the sun was making a welcome return.  I'd originally planned a walk which took us up to the top of one of the fells before dropping down to Starbotton, but it was quite late in the day and the wind was still very strong, so we took an alternative route alongside the river, before returning via a climb to the fell top then down back to the village.  The views were excellent and we spent some time taking photos of a large abandoned farm that no doubt could tell a tale or two from years past.

Back at the van we had a cup of tea sat outside until the sun dropped behind the top of the fell and I cooked some rice and warmed up a curry I brought from home.  All is quiet now and the wind has finally dropped.  Tomorrow we'll head into Scotland.  The plan is to explore more of the Cairngorms, which we dipped into last year on our way home.

Grassington village square

Looking down towards Starbotton

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