- Environmental Education and Wildlife
- Sled Dog Racing
- Community Farms and Small Holdings
- Camper Van Adventures
- Sailing Adventures
- Shetland Islands
- Cumbria and the Lake District
- Republic of Ireland
- Northern Ireland
- South West
- South East
- Channel Islands
- East Anglia
- North West
- North East
- South Wales
- Mid Wales
- North Wales and Anglesey
- Scottish Highlands and Islands
- Mainland Scotland
A New Perspective on Hackfall
“Mummy,” said James, “we haven’t been to Hackfall for ages! Years and years!” Actually, it had only been a few weeks, but that’s a long time for a small boy to be separated from one of his favourite places. It’s such a great place that Mummy and Daddy agreed it was time we went there again.
Now, whenever we go anywhere in the car, I normally spend the journey fretting about whether or not we’ll be able to park. My husband thinks I positively enjoy this and I must confess there is some truth in his theory. It’s become part of our ritual for me to fret and for him to tease me mercilessly. Anyway, we were both dismayed (and I was a little smug) to find the car park full. Fortunately, I already had a back-up plan: we would park in Grewelthorpe village and walk from there.
We walked down the lane beside the pub (The Crown) and then across fields full of buttercups. James was delighted by the little stone stiles and wild flower meadows. We’d forgotten Little Brother’s hat and so clever Daddy (who loves a challenge) adapted one of our hats using some long grass, while James watched in admiration. We entered the woods by the Top Pond which is one of his favourite places because there’s a little waterfall and a bridge to stomp on.
After James had spent a while floating twigs, dandelions, and leaves down the stream which flows out from Forty Foot Fall, it was time for some scoff. We ate our cake and sandwiches in Fisher’s Hall overlooking the river. You also get a great view up to the Ruin. Then we walked along the River Ure and up Raven Scar, admiring lots of sticks, and the twisted and gnarled trunks of the oak trees along our way.
One of the best things about our countryside is that it never gets boring: even if you go somewhere every few weeks there’s always something new to look at because of the changing seasons. As James climbed the steps to Mowbray Castle, he said, “These steps are different than last time, Mummy.” I suggested that it was because the vegetation had grown and changed a lot, or perhaps it was because he had grown a bit. “Well, I am four now,” said James gravely, “so I’m a lot bigger than last time!” We always stop at Mowbray Castle – I love the warm colour of the sandstone against the sky, and the view is great. “Wowwwww!” said James. “You can see forever!”
As we walked back to Grewelthorpe, James, who had spotted the pub as we set off, said knowingly, “I think we’re going to the pub!” We most certainly were. As we savoured a particularly good pint of IPA in The Crown, we decided that walking from the village had very definite advantages, and that we’d be doing it again!
Oh, and despite the car park being full, we never saw another soul all afternoon.