8. Jun, 2021

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TUESDAY 8-06-21

We had a peaceful night followed by a lazy morning. I did my chores, including topping up the fresh water tank with my watering can, and having emptied the first of many ten-litre bucketfuls of grey water up at the domestic area I concluded that since my efforts resulted in my pouring the water in to a stainless steel sink for it then to travel down the plastic waste pipes and then run out all over the concrete base and then off in to the bushes, I may as well just pour the rest of it (about seven bucketfuls) over the grass diving the pitches which is what happened, though I did have to wait until the coast was clear before doing so.

We had an early lunch of freshly baked baguette and leek and potato soup, and very nice it was too. By now we had more sunshine than cloud and so set of for our walk along the river to take a look at the Aysgarth Falls.

So a bit about where we are then:

At the time of the Norman invasion, the manor was held by Cnut, son of Karli. Afterwards the manor was in the possession of Count Alan of Brittany, who granted lordship to Geoffrey of Swaffham. By the 13th century, the manor was in the hands of the Burgh family of Hackforth. The manor descended with the manor of Hackforth until 1480, at which time they were conveyed to the Crown in the person of Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Some lands in the manor in the 13th century came into the hands of the lords of Middleham and then followed the descent of the manor of Thoralby.

The village's railway station, part of the Hawes Branch of the North Eastern Railway, opened in 1878 and closed in April 1954.

There are two public houses in the village, The George and Dragon Inn and the Aysgarth Falls Hotel, which was the Palmer Flatt Hotel until 2010. The bar here was known as the Miner's Arms and as such was listed along with the George in Baines' Directory of 1823.

The George and Dragon dates from the 17th century when it was a coaching inn and is now a Grade II listed building. Local real ale from the Black Sheep Brewery and the Yorkshire Dales Brewing Company is served. It was among the top 30 nominees to be Yorkshire's Favourite Pub 2015, an event organized by Welcome to Yorkshire. The Aysgarth Falls Hotel was listed in the 2016 competition.

Aysgarth Falls

Wensleydale is the broadest and most fertile of the Yorkshire valleys. It is watered by the River Ure, which rises quietly on the western slope of Lunds Fell, 15 miles west of Aysgarth. Near the village the river gathers pace and comes to spectacular life as its green, translucent waters spill over limestone terraces and become a torrent of seething foam.

There are a series of three separate steps in the falls, known as Aysgarth Force, within a distance of 1 mile. The best view of the Upper Force is from the 16th-century bridge spanning the Ure. The Middle Force is reached by a footpath on the north bank of the river, and a little further downstream is Lower Force, the most spectacular of the three.

Aysgarth Falls is a popular tourist attraction and has been the subject of works by Ruskin, Turner and Wordsworth, who all visited the area. The Upper Force was featured in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

Having cut across the campsite and crossed the road we ended up at the driveway to the local church. Seeing a sign that there were Commonwealth War Graves in the churchyard we had a quick look around for them whilst disturbing a handful of sheep which had been left in the churchyard, presumably to keep the grass short. No sign of the graves and so we crossed over the river bridge to the Upper Falls, where I took a few pictures some of which included a selfish Nob who had taken himself down much closer to the water mid-stream and thus in to everybody else's pictures.

After walking some little distance along the river we realised we'd got it wrong again and should have been on the other side, so back to the churchyard we went where we could pick up the right footpath.

It was a very pleasant walk along the footpath running parallel with the River Ure, where we passed the Middle Falls, and further along the Lower Falls. Nothing spectacular I'm afraid, but since nothing much happens around these parts, so quite exciting for the locals.

Eventually the footpath took us to the road and round a sharp bend where I spotted an old Automobile Association (AA) box. My word you don't see many of them around these days. It bought back memories.

Many years ago, when my girls were young we were having a camping or caravanning holiday down in Cornwall when I started to get engine problems. But I need not worry, for I had joined the AA and had a special key which gave me access to their AA boxes in which was a free phone with direct access to their control room. I must have passed loads of phone boxes on the way to the AA box which would bring me the assistance I needed. Eventually we came across the box and I  pulled out my special key, opened the door and found ...................... a payphone!

We decided that we'd call it a day and started making our way back, it really was quite hot, but we weren't complaining, anything is better than a cold wind and rain.

As we passed through the churchyard again we spotted the war graves down a slope about one hundred yards away, but we decided to keep going as we needed a nice cold drink. Back at the campsite we sat outside in our reclining chairs, walking boots removed, and had a lovely cold Stella beer and a bag of crisps. Sometimes only a cold beer will do the trick.

This evening I have enjoyed my darling Chef's offering of jacket potato, salad, cheese and sliced ham, washed down with a couple of glasses of liquid grapes, just to make sure I get at least one of my five-a-day.

I have now put everything away and we are about ready to hit the road in the morning after a nice hot shower, and possibly followed by nice drink for the grass.

Tomorrow we are heading for Barnard Castle where we'll be for a couple of nights before starting to head north to Northumbria.