Saturday, 7 August 2010

Great North Fun Day 10


Stunning Limestone Pavement

Today's blog should be sponsored by the Boy Scouts because the motto is "be prepared." I failed on 2 counts to be prepared for the weather today. Firstly I failed by leaving a roof-light open overnight during a downpour. The funny noise that I though was coming from Monty was in fact water dripping onto the carpet. But did I learn my lesson? Oh no!

Later in the day we visited "High Force" - a pretty impressive waterfall in Teesdale. All the way there we drove through glorious sun with a little broken cloud. Along the way we stopped off at a gorgeous bridge and wandered down to the river which tumbled down a series of limestone pavements allowing you to walk right out into the middle.

High Force
High Force itself is one of those bits of nature that someone has fenced off and now charges you to visit. And park next to. Not something that pleases me though I have to say in this instance the charges were fair (£2 to park and £1.50 per person to visit the falls), the facilities were excellent and the people were lovely. We had a spot of lunch out in the sun then headed off to the falls having first made sure Delores was ventilated and protected from the sun for Monty.  And this is precisely the point where I forgot to 'be prepared' again.  This is summer in England afterall and it's no good assuming that just because it's brilliant sunshine when you head off that it will remain that way for the next hour.  Once we were safely down at the falls and at the farthest point away from Delores the heavens opened.  We tried sheltering under trees but this was proper northern rain and it had no intention of letting a few measly Oaks get in its way as it pounded towards the ground.  Steve did the chivalrous thing and ran all the way back to Delores for our waterproofs - something I'll not leave behind again.

The drive there and back was truly spectacular and the roads refreshingly empty.  It seems that here, like many other places in the world, most tourists follow each other like sheep from place to place along the exact same routes. If you take the time to deviate a little and find your own way you'll usually be rewarded with some excellent views and far fewer queues.

We liked the drive and the area so much that tomorrow we're heading back to Low Force to walk back along the river and view High Force from the top. And this time I'll remember the waterproofs. Sods law says it won't rain this time though.