A Yorkshire Birthday Trip

With a ‘big’ birthday on the horizon, I opted for a few days away, rather than party celebrations! I have not been out with my camera much and with the offer of accommodation in Hawes, North Yorkshire, it seemed the perfect place to spend a few days.

The forecast was looking a little ‘wild’ and with torrential rain and strong winds, we arrived to find that Gayle Beck, right outside the cottage, was looking somewhat scary! The roar of the raging water just metres from the cottage did alarm me, but we were assured that this is quite a regular occurrence and that levels would soon return to normal. I did have visions of waking up and finding my car somewhere further down the road in Hawes!

With my birthday morning dawning cold, wet and windy, the waterfall at Aysgarth seemed an excellent idea. With the water levels so high, I knew it was going to be worth seeing! Aysgarth Falls are on the river Ure  and flow  over the broad limestone steps. This area is  known as one of Wensleydale’s most iconic beauty spots.

There are some lovely walks along the upper and lower reaches and it was just incredible to see the immense power of the water and the sheer volume passing. There are lots of viewing points where you can get close, with lots of lovely photographic opportunities.

With the skies clearing a bit, the sun emerged briefly and this was better than any birthday party I could have organised!

With the forecast looking much better for the following days, Friday dawned cold but bright, with a light dusting of snow and Saturday was even better! We spent both mornings with a wonderful group of red squirrels!

The advantage of getting up early is that you can be treated to views like this; taken just above Hawes.

The road up to the site was covered in snow and, after slipping and sliding on the Friday, I opted for parking at the bottom of the track this time. 

The views of the walk up were just breath-taking with gorgeous light and a covering of pristine, powdery snow!

It was well worth the early start as conditions could hardly have been better with the squirrels. A combination of snow, soft light and red squirrels is difficult to beat. There were 5 individuals who kept Tim and I occupied for a couple of hours. Very confiding, they came incredibly close to us, giving us superb photographic opportunities…. and you didn’t need a posh camera…. an iPhone did a pretty good job. These images were all taken on my iPhone 7!

Of course, I had my ‘proper’ camera with me! Using mainly just a basic 50mm lens on my Canon 7D II, I was able to capture lots of shots I was really pleased with. These are a selection of them, and you can see more on my Flickr account Album.

They really are the most endearing of characters. Inquisitive and animated, they raced around us chasing and climbing, then posing … you couldn’t help but be captivated by them.

I had a great few days and it certainly made me forget about the advancing years … they say 50 is the new 30, don’t they?