Expeditions, Navigation, Guided Walks and Trekking
Based on today’s experience, I think rain in Yorkshire is not as wet as that in Cumbria or Lancashire. It did try hard to pour down, but was only a sort of drizzle; then later on, a heavy drizzle. Not the drenching we frequently get on Winter Hill or up Borrowdale.
We had set off on a walk around the waterfalls above Askrigg, but when the morning drizzle came we had only got up to Newbiggin hamlet so headed back to the cottage for lunch.
It didn’t stop, so with waterproofs on, we set off up to Mill Gill. Across fields and through woods, we kept out of the rain. A short path down to the stream took us to Mill Gill Force, a 30-metre drop over ledges in the break in the cliffs.
After returning to the main path we headed further up the gill, now into Whitfield Gill. This is apparently the highest native woodland in the Dales, once visited by William Wordsworth who came to see the waterfalls. According to a couple of walking guidebooks, this section of the path is not accessible, so I left the others sheltering under a cliff to make a quick visit. I found it was just a careful walk, made muddy by the now heavier drizzle. The path worked its way through tumbled down trees and across slippery roots and around large square boulders from the small cliff above. To see the waterfall I had to get through the trees blocking the view by scrambling alongside the river over wet and slimy boulders. A little lower than Mill Gill, this waterfall is a blanket of water falling straight down from the cliff edge into the plunge pool surrounded by cliffs and native woodland. I expect in winter conditions this becomes a solid curtain of water across the cliffs.
The drizzle had now turned to rain, so on joining the others, we retraced our steps back to Askrigg, all three of us damp and cold and ready for tea and cakes in our cottage.