On the recent Bank Holiday Monday, we decided to have an adventure to Hardcastle Crags which is only about 40 minutes away from us. It’s a National Trust Site with scenic woodland, streams, weirs, stepping stones an old converted Mill, and plenty of footpaths. It sounded just our sort of place!
With it being on Bank holiday Monday and obviously a great place to get families out and about it proved to very popular and the carpark was heaving, with some interesting car parking manoeuvres witnessed we got a spot and headed off into the woods. There are information huts dotted about the car park and we picked up a leaflet with a map and a number of trails and footpaths marked. Hubby had also printed a walk off the internet and the intention was to use this and explore.
We chose the wide track leading into the woodland and followed this to Gibson Mill which has stood for 200 years and now houses a visitor centre and café. We were just going to have a look at what the café had to offer but the glorious looking cakes tempted us and we sat down for cakes and hot chocolate. Very naughty but delicious and there were some fab looking things on the menu should you want to have lunch here. My Daughter now had a chocolate smile and leggings covered in chocolate! Needing to work all the goodies off we headed back on the wide track to the right of the mill and followed it as it climbed high above the woodland. It was quite steep in places and having done our Brimham Rocks walk a few days before my little lady was beginning to complain a bit. Having had a little strop (maybe she was just too full of cake!) we all got to the top and once out of the trees a spectacular view greeted us and we got see for miles. We decided the random walk hubby had found on the internet was a bit vague so abandoned this to make up our own.
Looping our way back round we walked along farm tracks until we saw the footpath sign leading us back into the woodland. An interesting rocky path led us down and around deeper into the woodland until we emerged at the car park where we started. We found a nearby picnic bench and had a picnic under the canopy of trees.
The car park now had cars left all over and people were struggling to get out, we decided to leave them to it and explore again this time along the river on the river side path. Two walks in one! The path is uneven and rocky in places, there are a few flights of stairs too all perfect terrain for my trek training! The scenery was really pretty and picnic benches were positioned to take the best advantage of the scenery. The water had invited many kids and dogs to paddle but we kept our feet dry and braved the stepping stones just before the mill. We didn’t need to go on that bank of the river but the kids were both determined that they wanted to try the stepping stones! My Son eagerly leapt from one to the other, my daughter being a little more cautious needed a bit of help.
We headed back to the car taking the wide track that we had used earlier having had a lovely day exploring. We enjoyed our walks here and I’m sure the tempting cake and footpaths undiscovered will be enough to lure us back.
All views are my own and I received no incentive to write this. Pop over to my Facebook page for more photos and a sneaky peek of our Yorkshire Peak’s walk!