Our First Yorkshire Dales and Moors Adventure
Aysgarth Falls to Castle Bolton
We set off on our first Yorkshire Adventure to the Yorkshire Dales. The day was very overcast and windy which made it a little cold. However, undaunted, we drove to the waterfalls, parked and began the first walk.
There are three waterfalls at Aysgarth and they are quite spectacular at this time of year being very full of water. Poets and artists alike have visited them to record their majesty and power.
Our walk starts before we reach the falls as these will be at the end so we turn to a small wood called Freeholders Wood to take the path to Castle Bolton.
This wood is called Freeholders because it has allowed all local villagers to collect and coppice wood for their own use. This means the trees were cut down to ground level to encourage new shoots. These often grow very straight and can be used for tool handles, fencing and other uses. The practice continues today to create a good biodiversity in the wood.
We continued through the wood and on to Castle Bolton.
After a lot of rain the fields were quite muddy but the sun began to come out which made the walk more pleasant. It was, nevertheless, a very windy March day.
As we approached the castle the day got brighter and we could see this ancient building in all it’s glory, in a moorland setting with the first spring flowers bobbing cheerily. Bolton Castle (also called Castle Bolton) is a favourite place with all our visitors both for its views and also the history (as well as a well-stocked tea room). The castle is still owned by the original family – Scrope, although it is now a museum rather than a home.
It has a long and interesting history featuring famous monarchs as well as battles and political struggles.
From the castle there is a magnificent view over the Dales which on a bright day takes your breath away.
Although it was lovely to bask in the sunshine, we needed to move on with our adventure to take a look at the waterfalls before going home.
The second half of the walk took us along a country road and through a village before turning once more towards the river and the waterfalls. A feature of this part of the world are dry-stone walls. These are made by arrange stones on top of each other to create a sturdy and very firm wall around the fields. The art of dry-stone walling requires a lot of skill and has to be learned but the feature is very attractive and makes the Dales quite unique.
We finally arrived back at Aysgarth Falls, the sun shone and the wind seemed less wild. The Dales looked amazing and I was excited about seeing the waterfall as they always seem to delight everyone who sees them whatever season it is. We walked down to the viewing platform for the middle falls and were not disappointed.
The water roared and came tumbling over the rocks spraying cold drops of water everywhere. The noise was incredible and the power awesome.
It’s hard to imagine that on a summer’s day this waterfall is almost a gentle river and in some areas it is possible to paddle and even swim.
So we come to the end of our first Yorkshire Adventure and we hope that you have enjoyed the walk with us and would like to do it with us in person. Whatever time of year you come, there will be something exciting to see at both these venues.