27th July – a walk along the River Twiss at Ingleton

View from the bridge at IngletonOn Friday we drove down to see Verity and Chris, meeting them at Ingleton in North Yorkshire. The temperature was already in the mid-20s by the time we got off the motorway, and when we got out at Ingleton it felt like we’d arrived in a tropical country!  Scotland has had beautiful weather these last few weeks, but nothing to compare with the heatwave further south.

Luckily for us, the woodlands of the Swilla Glen along the River Twiss offered shade and tumbling water, with mossy pools.   We parked in the village and walked down to the beginning of the trail, not knowing that there is a visitor car park right by the head of the path.   Be warned that it costs £6 per adult just to walk around the loop… I have never paid to go on a walk before, as far as I can remember, but the trails are very popular and I guess someone has to pay for their upkeep.

Woodlands at IngletonWooded glenHillside with woods and limestone outcropsWe stopped lots of times for photos, especially at a ‘money tree’, a dead tree trunk that has had thousands of pennies beaten into its bark over the years.  I’m not sure how long this tradition has been going on for – most of the coins I could see were fairly recent.   I know of a similar tree near Ardmaddy in Argyll, which may have older origins.  Needless to say, we each hammered a piece of small change into the tree, which was more difficult than you’d imagine.  The fairies around there must be very rich!

The river was very low, but the falls were still impressive.   Imagine how spectacular they would be after a good spell of rain!   We eventually emerged from the woods and climbed up onto the dry moorland where a path led to the Godfather of them all – Thornton Force, regarded as one of the finest waterfalls in Yorkshire.  (‘Fors’ is an Old Norse word meaning ‘waterfall’.)

Pecca Falls (2)Lovely patternsIngleton July 2014 68Ingleton July 2014 116Ingleton July 2014 134

River Twiss

Pecca Falls (3) Ingleton July 2014 158Ingleton July 2014 160 Ingleton July 2014 135Coming up to Thornton ForceThornton Force, Ingleton

Ingleton July 2014 150Ingleton July 2014 156Lots of people were swimming below the falls, and some of the more daring ones climbed up behind the curtain of water.  We just contented ourselves with dipping our hot feet in the ice-cold pools!

From here, the path carried on up and then looped back down the eastern bank of the river, taking in quite a long stretch of open moor.   Since the sun was now scorching and relentless, we opted to turn around and go back the way we had come, under the shade of the tall trees.   Some very brave walkers were carrying on, but there’s no pleasure to be had in your surroundings, in such heat!

Colin got some lovely photos of a dipper taking a bath, and we found some fascinating rocks, as well as a few small brown trout in the pools.   There were some really big yew trees overhanging the river, with long gnarled branches.  I wonder how old they are.

Old yew tree

This is somewhere I’d like to return to on a milder day, or perhaps after a sharp frost, and I’d love to see Thornton Force in full spate!   I bet it’s an awesome sight.

Leaf and rock patterns Photos copyright © Colin & Jo Woolf and Verity Sansom

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26th July – the CLA Game Fair

CLA 2014 124Colin got back from the CLA Game Fair on Monday, having started out at 3 am in order to escape the traffic and the heat!

At the last minute I wasn’t able to go, which I felt bad about, especially since he had to put up the stand himself and survive the baking temperatures of Oxfordshire (it really is like another country down there).

This year the show was hosted by Blenheim Palace, an elegant mansion surrounded by the beautiful countryside of the Cotswolds.   The massive showground covered the area of an average-sized town, and to get around the whole of it in a day is a challenge for all but the most determined and hardy of visitors.

Despite the unseasonably high temperatures and constant threat of thunderstorms, many customers made it over to Colin’s stand in order to see his work and have a chat.  We take our hats off to you!

Colin was in the Falconry area as usual, so he had a grandstand view of the displays and the birds in their mews.  But these shows are undoubtedly hard work, and they take their toll when combined with searing heat.   It was good to see him back in one piece.

We’ve added another show to our calendar:   for the first time this year, we’ll be exhibiting at the Galloway Country Fair at Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries-shire, on 16th & 17th August.

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7th July – the Scottish Game Fair

Crowds (2)We’ve just finished packing away after the Scottish Game Fair at Scone Palace.  Another amazing show – and the usual spectrum of weather which included heavy rain, brilliant hot sunshine, fine drizzle and gusty winds.   The thunderstorms that we were threatened with on Sunday didn’t materialise, luckily, so we managed to break the stand down and pack it all away in the dry.

Colin's stand (2)Colin's stand (3)Colin's standWe always enjoy Scone but this show was probably one of our best so far.   Colin had a great display of new originals and we were delighted that many visitors decided to treat themselves!  Lovely to talk to customers new and old, and thank you again if you made the effort to come and see us.

Exhibitors making early arrivals (7 am!)

Exhibitors making early arrivals (7 am!)

Friday's weather...

Friday’s weather…

Crowds (1)

Saturday’s weather

Saturday's weather!I remembered to take my camera, and although I didn’t get to the main arena to see much of the action I managed to film some of the pipe bands as they walked past.

Colin pretending to work

Colin pretending to work

Scone Palace and rainbow

Rainbow over Scone Palace as we left on Sunday night

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