Sunday, 4 August 2013

Wensleydale - Bolton Castle and Aysgarth Falls

Sometime is has to be said, Claire and I get a bit stuck on a rainy day. If we're in the Lakes, we'll put on the waterproofs and head out anyway, but when you're home seeing the rain pelting the windows, it does get a bit harder to get motivated to head outdoors.

Wensleydale is a good answer though as it has a few decent rainy day options. Heading over there via Swaledale, we can always make a stop in Richmond or Leyburn to stock up on goodies, and if we head over to Hawes there are all sorts of things to do there.

We recently had a couple of friends visiting from New York and decided that on this fairly dull day, a quick tour of some North Yorkshire highlights would be a good idea. We started off with Bolton Castle, which I had not previously visited.

It is well worth doing a tour of the castle as it is a really interesting place - part ruined, part restored and part museum. The tour includes displays of birds of prey which is well worth sticking around for, although we missed the archery demonstration. One of the highlights for me was the spectacular views to be had from the castle tower, far and wide across Wensleydale.

After Bolton Castle we drove the short distance to the National Park Visitor Centre near the Aysgarth Falls. The centre is packed with books, information, displays of the flora and fauna of the National Park, as well as a cafe.

From here it is only a short walk to the upper, middle and lower falls and they are always impressive - especially so on this occasion when the river was full and fast flowing after recent rain.

The next time we are in the area I think we will do a walk combining Bolton Castle with Aysgarth Falls as they are only a couple of miles apart with what looks like a nice clear footpath joining the two.

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