January Family Adventure

Although the weather has been pretty grey and damp here in Yorkshire, we still managed to get outdoors every weekend in January.  For our monthly mini adventure we checked the weather and decided to head into Nidderdale, and explore a bit more around Pateley Bridge.  With the help of a good old Ordnance Survey map and the Happy Hiker website, we planned a 6/7 mile route (my kids have become accustomed to my loose milage calculations now!!) from Pateley Bridge along part of the Bewerley Industrial Trail up to The Coldstones Cut (we’ve passed this so many times, and decided it was time to check it out), and back along part of the Nidderdale Way into Pateley Bridge.

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Circular walk from Pateley Bridge via The Coldstones Cut

We headed out of Pateley Bridge in glorious sunshine towards Bewerley and the lovely Fishpond Wood, a nice little slice of woodland with a pond in the middle.  The sun creating beautiful reflections from the bare trees onto the water and surrounding paths.

I took my sketching stuff with me this time, inspired by Candace Rose Rardon’s posts on instagram.  I did a little al fresco drawing, and then created an illustration of our walk when I came home, this is the section of Fishpond Wood, and the beginnings of the illustrated walk.

The path then took us past lots of farmhouses, which included plenty of squeal moments for the kids, horses, dogs, cats, alpaca, llama and of course sheep.  We all got wet and muddy across boggy, spongy fields, and part stream/part footpaths, buzzards flying and calling overhead.  It took us out onto open moorland and then up the road to The Coldstones Cut.  The Coldstones Cut is a land art sculpture built on the edge of a limestone quarry.  It’s a bizarre, interesting structure, using the material from the quarry to create two spiral towers.

We stopped for lunch.  But as per usual, as soon as we sat down a cloud moved across the sun, and it went from feeling like a Spring day, to sub zero!  We quickly ate, then investigated the towers.  We loved the info panels on the top of the towers, one with all the animals that can be spotted in the area, and the other a rail showing all the different places found around the compass.

It was soooooo cold the only thing to do was run up and down the spirals to keep warm.  I managed a sketch of The Coldstones Cut with very nippy fingers before heading off.

The route back took us along part of the Nidderdale Way, a much quicker journey going back into Pateley Bridge as it was mainly on country roads, and downhill.  When there’s a downhill there’s nothing for it but to run!!!!, especially when there’s the thought of waffles at the end of it.

 

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Running back into Pateley Bridge on the Nidderdale Way.

We ended the day off with a visit to The Pancake House, the girls had worked up a hearty appetite and managed to polish off a big plate of waffles, cream and ice cream.  A good day, we loved The Coldstones Cut, and Nidderdale is such an underrated place.  We will definitely be back to explore some other parts, and the prospect of waffles at the end of a long  walk is always a good one for the kids.

I enjoyed mixing both my loves of walking and drawing this month, and will definitely be documenting our adventures in illustration again.

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Watercolour almost finished of our journey, an ‘illustrated walk’.
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