Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Inspector Called!

We have had our first Visit Britain inspection - a "Mystery Guest" overnight stay last Tuesday, and we have been graded Four Star with Silver award. Needless to say, we are thrilled!

The assessment covers all aspects of giving a Bed & Breakfast service - cleanliness, sourcing & quality of ingredients, and presentation - the whole guest experience from booking to departure.

Thiis also recognises that we are Walker- & Cyclist-friendly, pleasing as we are so close to paths onto Ingleborough and in the surrounding area, and on a National Cycle route.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Wonderful Walks

On a fine day recently we set out from Clapham along the bridlepath towards Austwick, then up a clearly marked path to Norber Erratics - huge boulders perched on small limestone plinths. From here one can complete a circuit through Austwick, or continue over the hill & down to Ingleborough Cave & the Nature Trail. As you can see, the autumn colours are superb this year!

Last Sunday we parked the car near Chapel-le-Dale, gently climbing behind the church to reach the bridlepath that runs below Whernside up to Ribblehead. This is a lovely walk on days unsuited to summit treks. It takes in views of all three peaks - Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-Ghent - and also the Ribblehead Viaduct, and returns via an often dry riverbed, so typical of limestone country.

One could break the walk by stopping at the Ribblehead Inn, or finish at The Old Hill Inn - both renowned for good food & warm hospitality.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

First Ascent!

On a glorious day last week, cousin Mary, John & Jack, now 3½ months old, set out up Ingleborough and this is us at the top at 10am, having left home at 8. There are two paths up from Crooklands, both starting from within a ½mile of the house. Mary went on to do Whernside, swing round the north of Ingleborough & come home over the pavements to the east, while Jack & John went home. And, if you look closely at the photo of Jack, that's Ribblehead Viaduct in the distance behind!
And, in a busy walking week, the three of us plus Diane, did the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail yesterday. After all the rain last weekend, there's plenty of water coming down the rivers, making for spectacular views of the falls.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


Jack arrived at Crooklands 2 weeks ago and is proving to be a welcome member of the family. He does "cute" well and is a hit with our guests! We have done a number of walks that we would otherwise have not got around to as a result of his arrival. The Ingleton Waterfalls Walk was his first outing, and it is a wonderful day out - there are several waterfalls on 2 rivers, and with the rain we have had, they are spectacular.
Last week, we took advantage of the wonderful sunny weather, and ventured up Ingleborough on consecutive days. The pillar holes, (potholes) are really worth seeing - with heather, ferns and rowan growing up through them. Jack managed it all, chasing rabbits too!
Today Jack discovered our pond - he climbed the rockery and when trying to play with the plants around it, ended up falling in, which seemed to give him added energy, resulting in a mad charge around the garden and a huge game with the towel.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

3 peakers

Where to begin, life has been so busy, it is hard to believe it is over a month since we last blogged!

We have had a run of weekend guests who have all managed the 3 Peaks - yes, all 24.5 miles of it - in under 11 hours!
Our contribution has been to ensure they all had a full breakfast at about 6am to set them up for the day!

Equal admiration to the cyclists who seem to manage miles of extremely steep roads with such ease!

Craven Caving Club is setting up a winch to allow non-potholers to go down Gaping Gill. We hope to give it a go ourselves - sometime between 23rd and noon of 30th August is when the winch is available. The route up to Gaping Gill from Crooklands is certainly shorter than the walk from Ingleton, and is about the same distance as the walk up from Clapham.

There is quite a lot going on in the Dales over the next few weeks, so have listed some of them on our Things to Do

Monday, 12 July 2010

The Birds (& the bees)

We wake every morning, rain or shine, to a persistent chatter. Look out of the bedroom window & there's continuous action. If its not the bunnies hopping around, eating everything in sight (Grrrr!), there are gangs of young birds charging around madly, just like kids - starlings, blue & great tits, chaffinches, greeenfinches & goldfinches, house sparrows & dunnocks, house martins & swallows. There's a woodpecker comes to the birdfeeder & being smaller, the tits & finches have to wait, but the sparrows just barge in anyway. Then the dunnocks and blackbirds hop around underneath. When we look through binoculars, there are other less familiar birds, chasing from tree to tree....then, reluctantly... one really must get going.

But, then...there's two hares in the field below the house, together. Eat a bit, then chase. Eat a bit more. Have a roll about.. hop off a few feet. And there's a rabbit in the field on the right. And jackdaws circling from the barn to the side.

And then there are the bees. Constant comings & goings. Some arriving heavily laden with pollen in the sacs on their legs. They don't seem to mind a great heavy lump (me) just a few feet from the hive. Absorbing. It's very easy to stand & stare.

And then....MUST get on !

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Sheep shearing.

Yesterday, John joined our local farming neighbour to help bring the sheep down from the high fells. The sheep had to be brought down for shearing. The day began at Bleak Bank farm at 5am! There were several farmers working together to round up the sheep from the top of Ingleborough and bring them down to Bleak Bank Farm. It was hard work, but thoroughly enjoyable.
Judy provided wonderful food for the various breaks, and John came home at 7 pm very tired, extremely well fed and very happy.

Sunday, 27 June 2010


The Clapham Communiy Bee Project has provided 5 colonies for the village. We have been fortunate to be one of the selected sites to have a hive.

The bee group spent time on Thursday putting the hives together and making up the frames that go into the hives. It was quite a bit of work, but also a good social event.

Our colony arrived on Friday evening, and with help from Sue Manson and James Innerdale, who already have their own bees in the village, the new hive was set up and colony transferred successfully. It involved opening up the nuc (travelling) box and inspecting each frame carefully and then placing the frames into the new hive. A bee keeper is expected to find and identify the queen bee, which with as many as 10,000 bees can be difficult to do. Nevertheless, Sue spotted the queen, as well as a drone, so the colony is complete!

On inspection this morning, they look happy and the foraging bees are returning with pollen which is a good sign!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

First efforts

This is our first attempt at blogging! We've been encouraged to by a number of people, including Christine Ryder at Scaife Hall Farm in Blubberhouses who's been full of fantastic help and encouragement, in starting our B&B business.

We've had a number of nesting birds in the garden. The prize goes to the pheasant sitting on 16 eggs under the lounge window, but there's also been wrens, blackbird, dunnock, tits & redstart. It was a real treat to see a pheasant with 3 very young chicks exploring in the garden yesterday.

Our new website has just been launched, please visit