Yorkshire Dales & The Pump House

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WOW, what can I say about Yorkshire. So let’s just take it back to a few years ago, even a year ago. Travelling England NEVER appealed to us, we had never done it but for some strange reason we felt like we HAD to travel hours away in a plane to see beauty. How wrong was i? England is a truly beautiful country (okay okay I know I’m late to this knowledge but I know I’m not the only one!), and I want to prove to other families that travelling with children and showing them beauty is TOTALLY possible on a budget. We’ve not seen much of England but I think the Yorkshire Dales is going to be hard to beat. So let’s just take it back to the beginning of our trip.

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I first found this stunning retreat through the beautiful owner, Justine, of the log cabins we stayed at in Scotland over Christmas 2017. I had NO clue what was in Yorkshire when our trip was booked to visit the retreat but we just wanted to use the opportunity to CHILL OUT, we knew it was the ultimate relaxation! We don’t get a lot of help with the kids so when we got an opportunity like this, we didn’t want to waste it! From the south coast it took us 6 hours to drive there, we always find driving in England tougher than America, for some reason – no idea why. (I only say America as we have drove so much of it!)

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 Driving down the lane forThe Pump House you’d have no idea it was there, it’s down a country lane with no signs. No soul in sight, just the fresh air and the sound of the sheep and baby lambs. Once we arrived to check in we were left a key in the key safe where we let ourselves in to the retreat, I have struggled to know what to call it, it isn’t a hotel or b&b. We kept calling it our home the whole weekend, because that’s exactly how it felt upon walking in to it. Justine is an incredible home designer, she gives her properties everything you’d ever want in a break away. Thing like cutlery, pots and pans, plenty of plates a posh glasses, fancy oils to cook with. Even a goodie basket, filled with Prosecco, teas, coffees, a box of crisps and so much more!

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The fridge had some butter in which went perfect with the fresh brought loaf of bread (totally craving that bread ever since!) which was EXACTLY what we needed after such a long drive. What a welcome 😍

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The blinds go up when the sun rises and they go down as the sun goes down ❤

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We didn’t quite no what to expect from this long weekend, we didn’t do huge amounts of research, just because we were so busy on the run of to it. So it was SO helpful that Justine and her staff had put out a lovely collection of things to do in the area, we wouldn’t have done half as much without such useful information! So I’ve included a list of places we visited (mainly waterfalls!).

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From The Pump House is a beautiful walk up towards the hill, you could easily spend a day just walking and exploring through these hills, and if you did have a day spare I’d recommend walking along the hills, passing lots of different viewing spots, wildlife and more! Towards the pub ‘the cow and calf’, we didn’t eat here but it did look lovely, also just opposite is an incredible rock that I particularly wanted to go up to watch the sun set, we didn’t get a chance but we’ve certainly added that to the list of things to do with the kids!

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Aysgarth Falls

Our first adventure was heading towards Aysgarth Falls. Parking was easy and not far from the falls. This place was incredibly perfect to bring children along, you get to see three different falls, the upper falls you’ll see there is a lovely grass verge next to it where, if you wanted, you could bring a picnic and let the kids splash around in the river alongside it all day long! We then headed down for a short 5 min walk down to the middle falls, this was great to see but not somewhere you can spend much time, keep walking 5 more minutes, down through some rough rocks (you wouldn’t be able to take a pushchair but many left their pushchairs bear the steps/rocks though), where you’ll be met with some rocky edges but with the most perfect views of a beautiful waterfall. This may not be 100% child friendly but if you’re an easy going parent who is happy for their child to explore and possibly graze their knees then you’ll love it here. We were actually able to go underneath the waterfall – safely too! The water was so warm it was beautiful! There were lots of rock pools that children can play around in, just perfect. For extra protection water shoes would be perfect here!

Hardraw Force

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A lovely walk to the falls here, there is a small car park right behind the Green Dragon (put this in to the sat nat). With an entrance fee of £2.50 for adults, £1.50 per child (under 5’s free!). The walk to the falls is perfect for wheelchair access and pushchairs with a level gravel path that takes you right up to the falls, only a short 5 min walk will see you right to the impressive force of Hardrew Force, this ones size is so dramatic it will have you staring at it forever. There is a lovely greenery area where you’re able to picnic and spend some time too.

Wain Wath Force

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We then took a BEAUTIFUL scenic drive up to Wain Wath Force with is North of the Yorkshire Dales. For me the drive was better than the falls here, although, we did meet the most loveliest couple who had lived in the Dales all their lives, they would visit this falls every week and go for a swim together, they were complete pros and had we had our swimwear we would of been in there with them! We told them we’d meet them again very soon! And we will indeed!

Ribblehead Viaduct

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So back through the beautiful hills of the Yorkshire Dales we headed towards Ribblehead Viaduct. I recommend to everyone to come and visit this bridge, it’s an incredible landmark that you can only really feel the true size of it enormity when you are standing right next to it! Such a beautiful structure – I am NOT one to be fascinated by this sort of thing usually so either I’m changing or this just blew me away! So yeah, if your near by, make sure to check it out!

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Ingleton Waterfalls Trail

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Wow, Ingleton falls, you had my heart within the first few minutes!! So let’s just start with costs, it’s £6 for an adult and £3 for children. This includes park all day and the entrance fee. Which I think is totally worth it! Opening times vary so check out the link above for all details. This walk isn’t an easy stroll like many of the others BUT it’s totally worth it. We squeezed this one in at 6pm so we were conscious of having to get around this walk before the sun set. They do say it taking about 3 hours to get around this walk, it took us about that going pretty fast. So allow yourself plenty of time, it’s 7km circular route which is going up and down steps most of the time. Some of the path is small, so for young children I’d 100% use a carrier.

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Unless you are able to spend all day here then that will ease the stress of each path. Personally I’d happily take the kids here but if you find yourself worrying a little more it may not be the most enjoyable walk for you as parents. You do however get to see 8 waterfalls so it’s pretty spectacular. Once you reach the top of the walk (half way), you’ll be met with Thornton Force, this is the biggest and best waterfall here and I was lucky enough to get my kit off and go for a swim!

IMG_1800Make sure you bring swim shoes to help you out walking on the uneven rock surface! We cannot wait to take the kids back here, such a beautiful sight!

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Malham Cove

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100% recommend this walk. You can make it a short walk or make it a lovely morning/afternoon of it and go for the whole circle. We did the whole circle – apparently backwards 🤷🏼‍♀️
If you arrive early you can park on the road, saving you £5 on the car park for the day, both are about the same distance so it really doesn’t matter. Actually, aim to get here as early as you can, it gets BUSY! Nothing is fun when it’s busy but this place is a main attraction in Yorkshire, so highly popular. So we walked to Malham Cove first, this was breathtaking, even more so because it was just us and a few rock climbers on the actual cove ❤ standing beneath the 260ft drop was fantastic, it’s also a sweet walk up to it along the riverbank!

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That’s when we decided to do the circle, so we headed up the long, steep, brutal stairs. I’d do this with kids, but just allow time, a carrier when possible and lots of water and snacks. Then you reach the top of Malham Cove which gives you stunning views and you find the limestone rocks which was once the base of the waterfall, however over the years it’s eroded which means it’s not only created an incredible sight but the water actually falls through the rocks and goes under the cliff now! Pretty amazing!

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I found out that a scene in Harry Potter was filmed right on this spot!!

df0412fc-a8ff-48c3-ab9c-9f4415a88f1f This isn’t the SAFEST part to go through with kids but it’s doable, again just allow time and go around the rough rocks. So once you get to the top of the stairs you want to head right, this will take you down a grass verge, where you want to head towards a small country lane, across the road is another grass path, head along that. That will take you down a hill where you will see a camp site, head towards that (ps. this looks like an amazing camp site that we will be going back to stay in one day soon). You actually have to head through this camp which takes you to Gordale Scar, this goes along side a river bank and has a lovely path right up to the falls. We actually ran out of water here, which was ideal because we filled up our water bottles from the river and it was THE most freshest water we had ever tasted! You can actually climb up the Gordale Scar if you want to also! We then headed back on ourselves but then headed towards Janet’s Foss, this is a beautiful walk and not too difficult at all. Janet’s Foss is a fantastic waterfall for all to jump in and out. We will totally be taking the kids back here for a swim, although we’ll probably do this part first so that we beat the crowds! The walk back from here to the car park was a sweet peaceful walk too. So this walk you can either do the way we’ve done it or the opposite way around. It really doesn’t matter, what does matter is that you visit here! This place is a must!!

TIPS:

  • Make sure you carry cash around with you, many places don’t accept card and you’ll need cash for things like parking and ice cream 😉
  • We 100% needed our water shoes, swimwear and our Wovii towel, we find our Wovii to be lightweight and perfect for absorbing water making it easy to carry and not damp after some dips in the waterfalls!
  • Make sure you have topped up with fuel before you start the day, there is hardly any petrol stations in the Moors!
  • We saw so much litter throughout the walks we went on, trying to pick as much as we could up but it was impossible to pick up everything. Please remember to look after these beautiful spot, carry around an empty bag and just pick up a few bits. Let’s not ruin our treasured areas ❤
  • During your walks you’ll see some odd looking trees that have fallen down, at a closer look you’ll see money stuck in them. These are called money trees and are good luck! So make sure to bring some pennies for your walks too!
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With so many beautiful walks through the Yorkshire Dales you’ll find yourself pushed for time but not pushed for money, there are so many fun and exciting walks that you won’t be spending a fortune on family days out. You’ll find a ton of hidden gems throughout the Dales, the sights you’ll see are beautiful and breathtaking. I’d love to hear of any spots you’ve found too, as we’re sure to head back soon!

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If you enjoyed this read make sure to follow me on Instagram where you’ll see our daily adventures!

Details on The Pump House:

Address – The Pump House, Off Hillings Lane, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 6AU

Phone – +44 0/1943 876083

E-mail – info@theilkleypumphouse.co.uk

If you are interested in staying here, make sure you book well in advance 😉

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