Our Family Holiday 2018: North Yorkshire, Settle

I can't believe it's taken me this long to actually sit down and write all about our family adventures to the beautiful North Yorkshire. Ever since I can remember my family have always taken holidays in the North Yorkshire Dales, honestly there is so much to do and so much to see. It was hard trying to cram all our adventures into one week, but we somehow managed to create some amazing memories and so today I wanted to share them with you.

But before we could explore the adventure we had to make the long five hour drive up North, with a four year old. But surprisingly, she did fantastic with only one stop for lunch. We did make sure that we were prepared for our journey and we made it to the cottage before dark so we had plenty of time to explore. We stayed at one of the most beautiful cottages. It was an idyllic cottage that's situated beside the beautiful River Ribble is the perfect accommodation to relax and recuperate from normality. The cottage being beside the river oozed tranquility and wonderment, there is no other way to drink of cup of tea in the mornings. It was a much needed break that my family needed. River Cottage is somewhere that we will try and stay again as it was perfect. 

The next morning we were all feeling more refreshed and couldn't wait to go and seek some adventures and our first stop was West Burton Waterfall. This little place has always had a special meaning to my family. Beautiful spot. Cascading waterfall, shady woodland, river to paddle in, pool for swimming, interesting cliffs, scenic walks, picture postcard village with pub, chapel and village store. Perfect location for times of relaxation. We then decided to go and have a cream tea at Kettlewell, which by the way is the best cream tea you'll ever have. So if you are near Kettlewell please make sure that you check out The Cottage Tea Room

After a fun filled day with lots of adventures, walks and discoveries we decided to call it a day and head back to the cottage as we had a big day ahead of us. We wanted to go to a farm and decided to go to Thornton Hall Country Park, but I have a whole different blog post for that adventure. We experience hands-on animal encounters with a wide selection of farm animals, feed the animals and even had lunch surrounded by chickens. My husband and I unleash our inner child in the indoor Wizzick play barn, swung on rope, delved into sandpits and got lost in a straw maze. It was such a fun day. 

The third day we decided to go and search for fairies and we arrived at Gordale Scar which is a huge gorge and it's true size is only visible once you walk through the field and Gordale campsite Just a few minutes from Malham, this is definitely worth a visit. A well maintained walk along a short path, turn round the corner and there is the waterfall. You can hear it before you can see it. You can climb over the rocks. I’d strongly recommend some good grip wellies if you’re just visiting the fall and not hiking. Just be safe and sensible and you’ll have a lovely time.

Only a short distance away we discovered an absolute gem, Janet's Foss. It is believed a fairy queen named Janet inhabits a cave at the rear of the waterfall, so as you can imagine my little lady adored this aspect and was in real pursuit to find some fairies with Grandad. However, as we got down to the waterfall my husband discovered a couple of people swimming naked, so be warned. But minus the nakedness it was a really nice walk, you can visit it standalone or incorporate with a loop of Malham cove and tarn, and Gordale Scar. The woodland is very pretty, and there’s spaces to sit and enjoy the waterfall. After the waterfall there are a couple of ‘tricky’ steps so one to watch out for if you have small children or aren’t too steady on your feet.

It then started to rain, so we made our way home for a hot cup of tea and some dinner. Up bright and early the next day for a spot of breakfast in Settle at The Singing Kettle, which is completely amazing by the way. Then a little adventure towards Nidderdale. We came across another gem Heben Suspension Bridge over River Wharfe. A very nice and peaceful walk along the side of the river. The view from the Center of the bridge is breath taking. Plenty of wildlife and the trees on there own are well worth a visit. Most of the walk is along a treated surface so it is easy. The bridge is narrow and sways when walked over. My mum didn't like this one bit!

I must admit this was a beautiful little place to discover, a cup of tea and back into the car for the next adventure. The very cute Pateley Bridge which is full of tranquil charm as it nestles in the heart of Nidderdale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The peace of this beautiful area has provided inspiration for writers and artists alike, and kept many a visitor returning year after year to enjoy the serenity. There was a lovely play park in the town as well as bakeries, cafes and shops. But no visit to the Yorkshire Dales would be complete without a visit to The Oldest Sweet Shop in England at Pateley Bridge for a truly magical and memorable experience. It is officially the Oldest Sweet Shop in the world as validated by Guinness World Records in its publication in 2014. Row upon row of glass jars filled with handmade traditional sweets weighed out by the quarter of a pound into old fashioned scales. Smell the aroma of sweets as you marvel at the old building dating back to the 1600's with its original features, fixtures and fittings. 

Our hands loaded with traditional sweets and a slice of cake from the local bakery and we headed towards Scalber Force Waterfall. A beautiful setting, not too far from the roadside, but it's a pretty hard steep walk down to the waterfall, this little gem can be easily missed so make sure you keep your eyes peeled. 

Our last stop of the day was something a little different to anything we have ever done before. The Hoffman Lime Kiln. Wonderful place, a must place to visit when in the area. We all really enjoyed the experience. I am very surprised that it is not advertised more, as many don't know it's there. I would certainly recommend a visit, but wear suitable footwear, quite slippy in places. I was quite surprised at how big the Kiln was and was quite a long walk inside and around the Kiln, it was scary in the dark, I must admit. 

As we stopped that night, we realised that something was wrong with the car and so thankfully we already made it back to to cottage but we had to wait for the RAC to try and fix out car. However, they were unable to and we had to take it to a garage the next morning. So it was a morning in the town of Settle. We really enjoyed our day strolling through the streets of Settle and being amazed, amused, entertained and astonished at over 100 quirky Flowerpot Displays. We also ventured into the Settle-Carlisle Railway, and we will make sure we come back when they have the family days out on the steam train. Back into town we discovered one of the most amazing toy shops I have ever seen. Even as an adult you could stay in there all day. The House That Jack Built has over two floors of traditional toys and including brands such as Melissa and Doug, John Crane, Hippychick, The GroCompany, Manhattan Toys, Moulin, Roty, Haba, Plan and Le Toy Van. They offer a stay and play policy ensuring that children get a chance to play before buying. 

Thankfully a little wait for our car to be fixed wasn't wasted as we discovered the beautiful town of settle. However, an early night relaxing at home was just what we all needed. Ready for the next adventure. The Coldstones Cut. A great sculpture in the middle of nowhere. Try and see it on a day when workers are in the Quarry, it's quite fascinating to watch. Make sure to check out the old lime kiln before you leave.

The Druid's Temple in Ripon. Styled after stone circles and well known prehistoric monuments such as Stonehenge. Despite its origin being common knowledge, myths and rumours of mystic practices have sprung up over its lifetime with tales of Devil worship and harrowing frights experienced by those who have spent the night. I am convinced I captured a fairy on my camera, see if you can spot it too? Bottom right. 

Our last stop at Carperby was 'The Bridge'. It has a special meaning to all of my family and goes back 45 years worth of memories, so you can only imagine the emotions we were all feeling as we walked across. For me, it was being with my brother and sister throwing sticks and dock leaves into the water to have races. It does make me feel a little sad about those times with loved ones and now I have to look at creating special memories with my own family and perhaps visit this place more, so my daughter can explore the outdoors, just like I did. 

Phew we got there in the end. Sorry about the length of this post. But I wanted to tell you all about our family trip. It's always so lovely spending as much time as we can with my parents, or at least to laugh at them. As you can see my Dad is always up for a laugh, my daughter decided to take her socks off and put them on his ears and told him to be a sheep. Well if a four year old tells you to do something you just have to. Have you ever been to North Yorkshire?