A Journey through Hardcastle Crags

I’ve been very lucky to see the places I’ve seen, but am luckier still having my favourite of all these right at my doorstep. YORKSHIRE! I took another trip with my grandparents this weekend (I do have friends my own age…honest) to Hardcastle Crags at Hebden Bridge. It was great to visit a particular area I’d never seen before, and be reminded why Yorkshire countryside is my favourite.

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I’m quite at home being a passenger in my grandparents car now. Slow driving, BBC Radio 2, a lifetime supply of mints in the glove box. The epitome of an over 70’s car. That, and the inability to work the air conditioning. You don’t want to undermine your grandparents as they insist it ‘just needs to get the hot air out first’, but when it’s 100 degrees outside and the blower’s hurtling steam towards your face, needs must.

‘Granddad, I’m 99% sure the inside of my lips have melted to my teeth. Please, for the sake of my health, let me fix the air con.’

We pulled up at Hardcastle Crags, another of the National Trust’s Yorkshire gems, at about 1pm. After a five minute argument over who would carry my rucksack (Granddad was adamant it was too heavy for me, even though I assured him my back was probably stronger for it then his), I admitted defeat and let Granddad run off with it before I could stop him.

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Everything about our surroundings overwhelmed me. After all my recent walks in Northumberland, I realised what it was I loved so much about my home county. Nowhere else have I seen such wild, unkept foliage. Here, nature is in complete control over how you experience your journey. No neatly cut grass or hedges, fallen branches and overgrown tree trunks lay where they fall. If you don’t want to trip up, it’s up to you to be extra aware of what’s around you. That in itself is a benefit, it means you have no choice but to take in more of the beauty around you. 

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It’s always tricky exploring up hills and in muddy coves when you only have one hand free to steady yourself, but there was no way my camera was going in my bag. Most of the time I was off like a gazelle anyway, leaving my Granddad carrying my rucksack far behind. Poor Granddad.

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Hardcastle Crags, once known as ‘the Switzerland of Yorkshire’, is a 15 mile walk worth of paradise. With the constant stream of water echoing close by, it truly is a captivating wooded valley that should be visited by all!