Ingleton Waterfalls Walk With The Family – A New Year’s Day Adventure.
As lots of you will know I regularly wax lyrical about the wonders of living oop’ Norf.
I love it, I really do (I blogged about it here) and when the sun shines, it’s bloomin beautiful.
So far, this winter hasn’t let us down. We’ve had, dare I say it, lots of crisp, cold, sunshine-filled days (and by openly admitting it, it’s obviously going to rain from now until ‘Summer’ isn’t it….), and with those ace days come lots of gorgeous things to do in Lancashire and beyond.
We decided to take a big plunge on New Year’s Day and hit up Ingleton Waterfalls Trail.
If you’ve never been… Go! It’s a great day out for the whole family (as I’ll prove here) and hopefully this post will give you some extra inspiration. Now when I say “plunge”, I don’t mean literally into the waterfall (tempting, but no). By plunge I mean taking our 3.5 year old son and 10 month old daughter on a 4.5 mile hike around the glorious waterfalls at Ingleton. Daring or what, we certainly know how to live on the edge – have you ever tried to make a 3.5 year old walk that far!? The day was stunning, neither of us had a New Year’s hangover (boring, but quite cool at the same time) so the day was literally ours for the taking, so we took it and maaan, we smashed it.
Armed with a trusty (and super random) packed lunch of fruity cheese, Christmas cake (yes, my own!) and Nutella sandwiches (!!) we drove 30 minutes to the edge of North Yorkshire and the base of Ingleton Waterfalls. It costs £15 for a family ticket and with this you get to park your car, a map of the route and access to the waterfall splendor from the very beginning.
Even now as I type this, I still can’t actually believe we made it round!! Our boy has worn nothing but his blue power ranger costume since Christmas Day so, of course, he HAD to wear it on our walk day. We padded it out underneath with numerous layers and thick jumpers but in the face of the ‘pro’ walkers and their ace walking children in mini-walking boots and high-tog-fancy-ass-walking jackets we looked like The Dingles attempting this Water Fall Challenge. Our gear was totally minimal, except for hubbie who donned his walking boots. We even managed to lose one of Max’s gloves before we set off so he had to sport one of my ever so practical bejeweled white mittens making our blue power ranger look like something out of this Monty Python sketch! Sigh!
But as we climbed up the waterfall landscape, across the sea of giant muddy tree roots and up the many steps (yep, I’d forgotten about all those…) the scenery and the roaring waterfalls were enough to keep all of us entertained (and totally non-plussed about our bedraggled appearance!)
There are roughly four ‘levels’ of waterfalls along the ascent to the top of the walk, each with a bridge that connects one rocky pathway to one another. It’s pretty cool (and a tad scary at times) to walk across the super narrow bridges and see the wild rapids below. Obviously Max found totally cool, as did Daddy, and Kitty just smiled her little rosy cheeks off each time we tried to get a four person selfie in front of said waterfalls (quite tricky actually!)
The total highlight for all of us was the surprise hot dog shack at the top. We were all in a little bit of heaven when we saw that bad boy!
After the initial climb and a re-fuel on sausages, cakes, Nutella and all that shizzle, we walked cross-country through fields, over styles, down cobbled lanes, past a little café/toilet stop all the while taking in some of the most beautiful views the North had to offer. It kinda felt like we were walking through the vineyards of France, without the grapes or booze (so maybe not quite like France) but you get my drift. We descended back down through the overhanging trees and hidden waterfalls for the final third of the ‘trek’ which was a pretty icy in parts so not ideal for my neon pink trainers (yep, I was as badly dressed as Max) and after nearly falling on my ass a good few times, it was a relief to get on the home straight and descend into the picturesque town of Ingleton.
We were literally buzzing on our fresh air high when we made it back to the car (we clearly don’t get out that much!)
We were pretty darn cold (and I couldn’t feel three of my toes), but we were so totally thrilled at our achievement with the little ones in tow cos, to be honest, walks like that have been few a far between since they arrived! We ate a mountain of jelly tots in the car on the way home for ‘energy’ and then told everyone we came across about how ace our day was. Saddos or what! Both kids had the best nights sleep EVER following almost 5 hours of enforced fresh air and we felt we had most definitely deserved the bottle of red we cracked open as soon as we walked in the house.
So, if you’re looking to hit up an impressive, but achievable, walk in the North West then look no further than Ingleton Waterfalls. The walk is billed as taking between 2-4 hours, we did it in 4.5 hours, but we were half walking, half dragging our inquisitive Power Ranger the whole way round, and stops for foods and questions were plentiful. If it had just been hubbie and I, we would have smashed it in 2 hours for sure. And if my recommendation isn’t enough, it’s rates super well on tripadvisor, which let’s be honest is the holy grail of all things good.
There you have it our New Year’s Day excitement, oh how times have changed!