Very Cold Walking

The mild weather towards the end of last week lulled us into a false sense of security and we thought we’d go for a nice walk in the Dales. We headed out to the village of Grassington for a little nosey in the shops (no purchases: hurrah!) and a quick photograph or too of the local flora (that’s snowdrops and er, moss in this case)

It was cold. Very cold. Still we persevered because we’d come out this far and we were damned well going to have Time Outdoors Away From The House whether it was cold or not. We were headed for Yarnbury Lead Mines which is just out of Grassington. I didn’t know it existed until Andy suggested going, but I’m always game for an outing and happy to find new places.

To get to the lead mines you drive up Grassington High Street and just … keep going. It’s a tiny road, more like a track in places, and is very bumpy. You get a fabulous view if you look behind you (which as the passenger it is safe to do!) but it’s a steep incline which makes your ears pop.

Don’t you think that Yarnbury sounds like a places that should be made out of yarn and all things knitted and crocheted? Well to save you from the disappointment, I will tell you now that it is not in fact made from yarn. It is a very cold and bleak place on top of the Dales. With sheep, so I guess you could make the sheep — yarn connection there.

(I always try to dress appropriately for a walk. LOL.)

This is the Lead Mining Trail. You don’t really want to stray TOO far from it, because the rest of the landscape certainly bears the scars of mining …

This is apparently a Horse Whim. I prefer to think of it as “Something I have no wish to fall down.”

The sheep aren’t too bothered though, by the landscape or by people walking past. They just sort of look at you as you go by.

I tried to climb over this stile (from the other side, this photo is post-climbing) and over the gate as well and I got one leg each side sort of being battered around by the wind before I realised it was a little gate and you could just walk through. Doh.

Can you see the chimney in the distance? That’s where we were headed for but it was further than it looked and we were both freezing (and I ran out of camera battery and I always feel less motivation for walking when I can’t take photos) so we called it a day and went home.

Each side of this path is a ravine with a little stream running through. We weren’t sure what the pipes were for, perhaps in the mining days it was dammed?

Apart from the cold, it was really good to be up there: there were rabbits racing around and lots of Grouse chuckling to themselves in the gorse.

Here’s looking over the ravine, complete with pipe.

Now, as good as it was to be up there, it also felt a little scary. It’s very bleak and isolated, and you just got the feeling that the weather could turn in an instant and you’d be snowed in with no way off and would just never come back down again. It may be different in the summer!

Oh and the cold was so cold that it was making my ears whistle and I had to hold my hood around my head with both hands, which helped a lot but it was still whistly.

This is as far as we got, it was too cold to go any further and I was a little concerned about this sign:

Again, I have no wish to fall in a mine shaft!

Despite the cold it felt bloody good to be out. I like my home, but I do get fed up when all I see is my home and it’s nice to go somewhere that makes you appreciate coming back to it. I’m looking forward to more walks in the Dales (although probably with a woolly hat!)

Using my voice

I’m not sure how to introduce this post without feeling like I’m approaching you in the street with a clipboard …

Milly is a little girl in the village I used to live in (and where my family still live) who has a brain tumour that has recently been diagnosed as life threatening. I went to school with her mum … I remember when she was born … I saw her every day on my gap year when I worked there in the shop. I’m not going to pretend that I’m close to their family other than it being a small village and when I lived there we all knew each other, but it’s a devastating thing for anybody to go through and it certainly hits home when it’s somebody that you do know.

I’ve donated to their fund to help care for Milly after her operation (her needs will increase following this, although her life should hopefully be extended) and I thought the only other thing really I can do is to spread the link to her story as far as I can and although “using my voice” sounds a bit of a dramatic blog title, it is my voice isn’t it? A way to communicate with others and if you’re fortunate enough that people listen to what you have to say then it seems daft not to say something loud and clear and hope that it gets passed on.

If you would like to help Milly, you can read about her story HERE and there is a donate tab on the top.

Please don’t think I’m forcing you into parting with your money! If you aren’t able to donate but would consider spreading the link around as far as you can, then please do.

Northampton Chronicle’s article

Milly meets JLS

p.s They don’t know I’m posting this, I’ve not been asked to do so or anything. Hope it helps a little x