Life can get pretty hectic in the run up to Christmas, so why not leave the hustle and bustle behind and escape to the great outdoors. There is no better place to wrap up against the wintry weather and enjoy some fresh air in the miles and miles of rolling countryside in the Yorkshire Dales.
There are hundreds of walking routes throughout the villages and open countryside, ensuring you can have a proper break from the big smoke of the city. The most well known in the area is, of course the Three Peaks – a trek up three of the highest summits in the area.
Together Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough makes up a 24.5 mile route starting in Horton-in-Ribblesdale, but if you are looking for something a little less strenuous or something that all the family can join in with then the Ingleton Falls Waterfall Trail is a winter wonderland of a walk.
It is just over four miles and the colours at this time of year will be spectacular with a variety of rare plants, birds and trees to be spotted along the route. Following a map you will take in Hollybush Spout – a river running through the valley – before coming to five other waterfalls – the main one being Thornton Force which pours 14 metres over a limestone cliff, formed 330 million years ago.
After taking in Beezley Falls, Rival Falls and Baxengyhll Gorge – where there is a viewing bridge but not for the faint hearted you will pass Snow Falls before coming back into the picturesque Ingleton Village. If, however, you are missing a bit of retail therapy then visit one of the many festive markets being held across the Dales in the run up to Christmas.
In Skipton there is a Yuletide Festival and Christmas market from 8 to 15 December with over 150 stalls with gifts, local produce and traditional hot roasted chestnuts and mulled wine. But perhaps, the most well known event to get you into the festive spirit is the Grassington Dickensian Christmas Festival taking place over three Saturdays – 30 November, 7 and 14 December.
Travel back in time for street entertainment, buskers, shoe-shine boys, chestnut sellers, Santa’s Grotto and an outdoor market. Make the most of your escape from reality with a stay in one of Ingrid Flute’s charming and cosy holiday cottages to complete that perfect weekend getaway.
About the Author: Emma Spencer: Currently a journalist for the Whitby gazetter, my passions are for all things Yorkshire. I feel privileged to be living and working in one of the most beautiful areas in England. From it’s stunning rolling hills to its quaint seaside towns such as Whitby, Yorkshire has something for everyone.
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