Friday, April 02, 2010
Ingleton Waterfalls Trail
I used to find it hard to understand why anyone would pay to walk in the countryside. Walks as a child involved romping over the Dartmoor wilderness, climbing the high Lakeland peaks and a good part of the Pennine Way (our family holiday didn't take us beyond Hadrian's Wall). On occasion, we passed kiosks where people actually paid to walk along a footpath. Madness I thought! Over the years I've understood that the countryside doesn't come free and don't begrudge my annual membership of the National Trust or (providing I'm parked all day) the Lake District National Park car park charges. It's rare though that I actually pay to walk along a footpath.
Today was different as we walked the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail (£4.50 adults or £10.00 per family including parking - dogs free!). The trail is well maintained and it's easy to see where the money goes, maintaining some 4.5 miles of generally good footpaths, solid fencing and footbridges which take you through some of the most spectacular waterfall and woodland scenery in the North of England. The trail is 4.5 miles through ancient oak woodland and magnificent Dales scenery via a series of spectacular waterfalls and geological features.
Dogs are very welcome but you'd be advised to keep them on the lead throughout as there are obviously many potential hazards on the waterside parts of the walk and sheep grazing on open countryside. There are a number of refreshment sites along the route selling sandwiches and drinks.
Well worth the entry fee. Not a place to visit if you find it difficult to handle your dog up and down steep steps. Whilst not a tough walk if you're a weekend rambler the walk is described by the owners as "a strenuous walk with a large number of steps along the full route, the trail follows a well defined path and is unsuitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs."
Happily we missed the rain!
Click here for the Trail website