We've had a quick trip 'oop North' to turn off electricity, drain water and generally batten down the hatches on our small bolt hole in preparation for winter. It was a still, sunny day for the six hour journey and the countryside looked beautiful, the strong, low light dramatising the landscape and the foliage still displaying rich autumn colour.
The following day was equally kind, and, because there had been so much rainfall during the week, (that had made our building project a messy, muddy affair) we knew that there would be plenty of water coming over the falls at Aysgarth.
The Ure is a beautiful river, wide, slow and innocent in dry weather, fast moving and treacherous when rain or melting snow drains from the surrounding moors. We should have been beside the river in the very early morning to catch the sunlight highlighting the water, but it was after ten by the time we had left the car and walked to the upper falls.
The river makes a tremendous noise when it is in spate, but the exposed tree roots demonstrate that the river is often far higher than this.
The upper falls lie above the road bridge and feed an old mill that is now a museum.
The middle and lower falls are in the wooded valley below, accessed by a pathway with steps down to viewing platforms. The pathways used to be dangerously narrow and muddy when I was a child, but the area is now managed by the National Park and surfaces are well made and relocated further away from the riverside . The water, coming from peat moors, is stained brown, the colour of tea or whisky.
We were not alone; many people had obviously had the same idea as us, dog walkers and a camera club from Hull, well equipped with tripods, tinted lenses and all manner of paraphernalia. There were elderly couples taking a peek over the parapet of the bridge before continuing their drive around the dale, no doubt to stop at one of the many country pubs for Sunday lunch. What a good idea!
good weather brings the people
We went to the Wyvill Arms, where they know how to make an impressive Yorkshire Pudding, (a savoury batter, cooked in a very hot oven so that it swells, large and light, and is then served with gravy.)
Not to mention sticky toffee pudding and banoffee pie for afters!
The following day the weather was disgraceful, with rain, snow and gale force winds. We only stepped outside when we needed a few more logs for the stove.
Snow still lay on the hilltop as we travelled back towards home over the head of the dale .
Cloud strata lay in thin strips above the village of Kettlewell, echoing the pattern of the field walls. Spirals of smoke drifted upwards from chimney pots. Once again I was photographing into the sun and unfortunately my camera could not pick out the cloud patterns.