An Engagement in the Yorkshire Dales

Last week, while away for our anniversary, my boyfriend proposed to me! Of course I said ‘Yes’. It was incredibly romantic.

I am very picky about my jewellery, especially a piece I will be wearing for the next 70 or so years. I had told Chris long ago that I wanted something that was a bit different with a solitaire diamond and yellow gold. After 4 months of searching Chris found the perfect ring for me. You should be able to see that it is a diamond inside a white gold star with a yellow gold band. I thought it looked like a star caught between 2 waves so I have called it Amariel,which means ‘star of the sea’ in a book I love. I think it is a great proof of love and how well he knows me that he could find the perfect ring which I have been unable to find in many years of searching.

We had taken a train from Manchester over to Settle.

Although Settle looks like a lovely town and several intriguing shops we decided to crack on with our hiking. If nothing else we had on massive rucksacks and were afraid of breaking things if we shopped.

As we left Settle we saw a sign ‘Kirky Malham, 5 1/2 miles’. Not too far. Of course we were actually aiming for Gordale Scar, which is a mile passed Malham, which is itself about a mile passed Kirkby Malham. The first hill out of Settle is steep and our packs were very heavy (we had cooking gear, a tent, food, clothes etc…). It was worth it for the view on the walk over the top and we felt a great sense of achievement when we could look back down on Settle.

Pictures between Settle and Kirkby Malham

There was trepidation as to how many miles we still had to go when we saw this sign (as you can see Chris is looking quite tired by now, that goes double for me). Fortunately it said there were only 2 miles to Kirkby Malham.

These sheep did not want to look at the camera.

You can just about see Malham Cove in this picture.

KIRKBY MALHAM!

There were some lovely people in Kirkby Malham who gave us directions from there. We stopped just after this for a bite of food followed by a river walk. Eventually we were ecstatic to find Malham but were less ecstatic when it started chucking it down.

It was much nicer that evening when we went for a walk to Janet’s Foss and Chris proposed. We went after dark so I shall put the daylight pictures of Janet’s Foss in their appropriate place.

The next morning we went for a walk around Gordale Scar which is where we camping. The Scar was made by several successive ice ages, they have caused some very severe rock formations which are quite spectacular.

Gordale Scar and the campsite

Chris and I sat on this bridge and played ‘splish splash’. We also cheered on plastic bottle boat races (there were a lot of children camping as well).

FACE!

These sheep definitely ate this car. It was gone when we came back.

SHEEP! 🙂

Our campsite

Janet’s FossThe night before Chris and I had walked down here. He has been telling me the legend of Janet (or Jennet) ‘s Foss for a very long time now. Janet is a Queen of the Fairies and if you go to her waterfall on a full moon you can see the fairies dancing all around and Janet herself standing underneath the falls. Chris had diligently worked out when the full moon would be but unfortunately it was cloudy. The fairies seemed to know it should be a full moon though and enjoyed dancing in the torchlight as it reflected on the water. Janet herself did grace us with her presence and you could indeed see her standing between the two streams of the falls. We lit some candles and opened a bottle of Strawberry wine. I gave Chris his anniversary present (a very nice fountain pen…not quite as nice as his present to me but still). Then he sat me down on a stone by the water, knelt down (in a puddle bless him), pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him. Of course I said ‘Yes’.

(The strawberry wine went down rather well after that, I think Chris’ rapidly beating heart needed it!)

Obviously we did not take any pictures then, it was night time and fairies are very shy but here are a few we took the next day.

Candles on the rocks on the right and sitting on the one on the left.

The falls themselves

The water was very green

What a lovely colour of light on the trees

On the Road and into Malham

We had a lovely cream tea here

Sparrows came and sat right on our table

Malham Cove

Me on Malham Cove!

Back In Malham

A pint of Rosie Cider and Copper Dragon Golden Pippin after our hike went down very well!

Chickens all over the road!

Why did the Chicken cross the road? We asked but he wasn't telling.

I think this is an obvious caption.

This breakfast at the Lister Arms was soooo good after 2 nights camping

The Lister Arms

The Buck Inn. This is where we had our pints.

From here we took a bus to Skipton and hence the train home.

Obviously we then spent the next week traveling around showing off my engagement ring. Great fun! Don’t be surprised if a lot of wedding related posts start popping up.

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Chester Zoo

For those who live in the area and have never been Chester Zoo is a great day out. We arrived at opening and left at closing and only just managed to see everything.

The habitats felt very natural and some were not even penned in in the traditional manner. For example there were several outside areas for apes and monkeys that had no fences or bars and were just hemmed in by a small river. Many of the animals were outside playing when we were there so we got to see most of them, it was a perfect day of warm and sunny but cool enough for creatures to be stirring. We watched a baby orangutan spinning himself around on the end of a rope then doing roly-polys on the floor when he was dizzy. We also saw a cheetah chasing a bird, man those cats are fast! Although there are no pictures (for obvious reasons) if you go definitely go to the bat cave. It is amazing! They fly all around you and you can feel them woosh past, incredible.

We couldn’t take pictures of all of the animals since we had some battery issues with our phones but here is the majority! I apologise for some of them not being great quality, they were taken through glass. They’re still cool. Enjoy!