Martin on Cnicht

Martin on Cnicht

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Catgill Camping, Bolton Abbey – 19 to 21 August 2016

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Friday 19 August – we left home early enough to arrive at Catgill campsite in time to set up camp in Kate’s favourite corner, and avoid the rain, which started as soon as the final peg had been placed.

An obvious choice of wet day activity hereabouts is a visit to Skipton Castle. I’d not been there since passing through with Andrew in June 2011 as we lumbered along the Dales High Way.

We managed to penetrate the well guarded fortifications without too much difficulty. Jacob had been sick in the car. Perhaps that’s why his mother shouted "take him to the dungeon".

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Skipton Castle in the rain – a fascinating place engulfed in over 900 years of history, with a yew tree in its central courtyard - Conduit Court - that was planted in 1659.

There's a good view over Skipton, but the town was shrouded in mist today.

A nearby walkway/moat sports a pretty ornamental waterfall.

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It was soon time for afternoon tea in a welcoming tea shop, after which Jessica spewed all over the car on the journey back to camp. “I’ve got a weak stomach but I’m throwing it as far as I can” I heard her murmur.

Back at camp, Jessica continued to exercise by throwing her stomach all over the tent, whilst the rest of us downed some welcome spaghetti bolognese.

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Saturday 20 August - a rainy start encouraged us to go underground.

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Stump Cross Caverns were surprisingly quiet when we arrived. There was a 'treasure trail' to keep Jacob happy, whilst Jessica impersonated a whingebox.

Opened relatively recently, Wolverine Cavern sports a wonderful array of formations. The height of the cavern is around 15 feet.

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"So, did you enjoy that?"

At least nobody was sick!

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Sue and I watched an excellent 20 minute film about the caverns, of which the show cave forms just a small part. That gave J and J time for a short rest before the drive to Grassington, where a refreshed Jacob made a bid for freedom.

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A 'pooh stick' bridge over the River Wharfe was soon reached, just below the weir at Bow Bridge.

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Then we went back to camp, with the children intent on travelling in a darkened room.

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Grandma and Grandpa went for a walk whilst Kate and Co tried to get a bit of rest after Friday’s late night. We headed down to Bolton Abbey and the ‘Welly Walk’, at the start of which there is this classic view towards the River Wharfe and the ruined Priory.

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Most of the stepping stones were out of the water.

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There's a children’s obstacle course that we more or less completed on our way to Wooden Bridge, before returning along the west bank of the river.

Then we all went to Billy Bobs American Diner for tea. And a children’s playground. I was getting quite a few spare moments to read John Grisham’s ‘The Racketeer, and Kate practiced drinking a milkshake up her nose.

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Here's the standard walk from the campsite, which we repeated with Kate and J and J on Sunday 21 August - it's about 6 km.

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Here we all are on that walk, dodging the showers, after packing up the tents and making use of the jump leads as I’d left the fridge on in Sue’s car. (I’m sure the old car had an automatic cut out to preserve the battery – this one was completely dead though.)

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Overnight rain had made the stepping stones over the Wharfe disappear, but the Welly Walk’s obstacle course had stepping stones of its own…

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...and a 'Bog Adventure'.

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The maze was easy peasy, and Jacob discovered the muddy tube in which I’d filthied myself the previous day. There was also the obligatory Money Tree.

On reaching Wooden Bridge, we lunched outside the café in lovely summery weather before returning to camp via the other side of the river.

And then we went home to watch GB basking in the glory of being second in the table with 67 medals in the Rio Olympics.

There’s a slideshow with a few more images, here. Click on the first picture, then click ‘slideshow’.

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