Jo’s Monday walk : A walk through a Pub!


If there’s anything that really annoys me it’s leaving home in clear blue skies to drive to the Yorkshire Dales and encounter grey, dampness.  But if you’re in search of a waterfall then you can’t really begrudge a little rain.  And to visit Hardraw Force you have to pass through a pub, so you might say there are compensations.

I don’t know the village of Hawes at all but it is surrounded by magnificent, sweeping countryside, though visibility was poor on this particular day. 850 feet above sea level, it claims to be England’s highest, and has been home to a market since 1307.  Go on a Tuesday if you’re a market fan. The name Hawes means ‘a pass between mountains’, in this case endearingly-named Buttertubs and Fleet Moss.

I’m heading for Hardraw but, on Town Head, a sign for Gayle’s Mill strikes a chord with me.  In 2004 it was a finalist on the BBC TV ‘Restoration’ programme.  It was but a short diversion to take a look.

Unfortunately this was as close as I could get.  Gayle Mill is a working saw mill, and can only be visited by guided tour.  Even the craft shop was closed.  The Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre, a highly popular venue, is nearby and I gave it a wistful look.  I do love a good bit of cheese.

Water flows through the village and is harnessed by the mill, which dates from 1784.  In the 1900s it pioneered electricity generation and brought light to the valley.  Just then the sky was darkening rapidly and it seemed like a good time to move on.

You could retrace your steps down Gayle Lane, but a pretty little footpath offers an alternative route back to Town Foot.  And sheep!

Hardraw Force is clearly signed from the crossroads, so it was best foot forwards into a chilly breeze.  I told myself it was holding off the rain.

There’s often a wind off the water, isn’t there?  I turned left into the field and trod carefully till I reached the flagstones.

It’s not far till you pass through a gate and the pub is right there, in front of you.

The sign says ‘innkeeper and waterfall provider’.  That’s quite a claim, isn’t it?  At £2.50 a person, is it a little mercenary?  Let’s see if it delivers.

One of the best sounds for me is rushing water.  Rounding the corner from the Green Dragon Inn, I can already hear the tumult of the falls. England’s highest single drop waterfall sits in a great bowl of limestone, shale and sandstone.

Incredible to think that the process that produced this landscape began some 340 million years ago.  Alternating layers were laid down in the warm seas of those times, and through the rise and fall of the land and some glacial activity the Karst scenery developed.  At the back of the waterfall it’s possible to see the individual layers.

Did you wave back?  I did!  And then I crossed over the bridge and followed the path back along the opposite bank.  It was really busy in the Green Dragon Inn, so I didn’t linger, though it did look characterful.  I was surprised at how many people had ventured out on such a grey day, and can only surmise that this will be a seriously busy place in summer.  But the waterfall will be much diminished.

I just about made it back before the rain hit.  The waterfall will be thundering for a few days yet.

Hawes lies along the A684 from Leyburn in the Yorkshire Dales.  The map on this link will give you a few clues.  Time to get the kettle on!

Thanks everybody for kindly accompanying me each week, come hail come shine (but hopefully no snow!).  It’s always a pleasure to have you along. I have some more great contributions this week. Please spare a little time to go visit, especially if they’re new to you.  Details, as usual, are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  I’d love you to join me with a walk of your own.


Lady Lee is always a few steps ahead of me!  Have you been to Dresden?

Dresden- Jo’s Monday walk

Jude has a delightful saunter in search of cake this week :

Sleaford Historic Riverside Walk

I prefer sunshine, but Shazza’s found something interesting even on a cloudy day :

Rydal Hall Sculpture Trail

I don’t think I’d do much walking in Amsterdam.  I’d hop a boat, like Woolly :

Jo’s-Monday-walk-2017-Amsterdam-wk 3

Jackie and glitz go together, don’t you think?

More Vegas Opulence

In pure contrast, I never saw snow look more beautiful!  Thanks so much, Drake!

Colourful snow

This week we have a Wild Daffodil joining us.  Sound like fun?  Do go and say hello!


Becky has laid on a lovely sunset for her wander round Olhao, because…

Everyone loves a sunset

And if you’ve never seen Lisbon before, Paula’s photo is a magnificent place to start :

Follow My Shadow

If you glory in wild and wonderful scenery, you will love this, from Jessica :

5.30 a.m 

And Inese shows us drama in Ireland, rain, shine and rainbow!

Magic road to the Mahon Falls

That’s it for another week.  It’s been a grey one here but I’m sure Spring is on its way.  Enjoy your life, won’t you, whatever the weather?


    1. You do usually comment, Carol, and I’m very grateful for your support. I’m just starting to put together my walk for tomorrow so your timing is good. Sounds like fun! 🙂

  1. You always take us on the must blissful of walks. Between the sheep in the misty pasture and the waterfall, I didn’t want it to end. Sorry the weather put a damper on this walk.

    1. This was back in December, Karen, and I’ve been sitting on it while I posted Algarve walks. The UK has its share of beauty, just not quite so predictable weatherwise. Thanks for the kind words. 🙂

  2. Picturesque even on a cloudy day. I enjoyed that walk Jo, and I love the name of that pub and the signage. I grew up in a small country town called Beechwood, the name of the pub was very uninspiring, it was ‘The Beechwood Hotel’. Have a great weekend Jo! 🙂

    1. It definitely blew the cobwebs away, Sam! 🙂 The pub was old style with bare flag stones and a real fire with the Christmas tree in the corner, and nooks and crannies to poke in. Bit fraught here, Sam. Our son is having major problems with his employer and we’re a bit helpless. Hope it’s not too hot for you?

  3. Jo, you can’t capture a more quintessential Yorkshire than this post! Just beautiful and a treat to read and absorb the views and buildings. Yep, I waved back, did you see?😀😀

  4. A waterfall well worth seeing, Jo. Your weather doesn’t sound very tempting at all, but I suppose if one lives in England, there’s no choice but to go walking in all weathers. You’re a hardy lot over there. I think I’ve become spoilt, living in South Africa and Florida. 🙂

  5. I went to this waterfall last year with my loved ones, there is something about waterfalls that brings life to bubble within you, thank you for sharing. I heard that the waterfall was for sale with the ice-cream building and pub all in one.
    Keep smiling.

  6. enjoyed this post, Jo and guess what? I also have a waterfall to feature for my February walk this week (a bit larger falls, the American side of the falls…..) anyhow, I liked the wave near the end and when you said “One of the best sounds for me is rushing water.” I agree….

    (and my post goes up tomorrow) xxooo

  7. Like you the sound of water appeals to me a great deal. Perhaps for me it’s being landlocked. Glad we avoided any snow on the walk. Always happy to see those lovely sheep.

  8. A beautiful walk to start the week Jo even in the mist and rain! Was offline all yesterday (major outage here) but happily back on today. This post takes me back to days gone by – we always went for long drives and walks in the Dales. Have always loved the name “Buttertubs Pass” – I think it’s something to do with the landscape if I remember rightly. Wild and very beautiful countryside! Hope you have a lovely week 🙂

      1. Thanks Jo and Happy Valentine’s too! Nearly over – evening here. Monsieur is romantically bringing home Thai takeaway so I don’t have to cook! It’s the thought that counts! Hope you have a lovely day xx

      2. I just bought my own roses from Aldi and am going for a romantic stroll by the river in Durham, on my own, while Mick is working! 🙂 He got a homemade ‘card’ too because I forgot!

      3. That sounds lovely to me Jo – spoil yourself! Honestly some of the stuff is so over the top these days – it’s the little things that count! Just off out soon for a walk myself – strangely humid still here though warmer again odd weather we’ve been having for the last few months. Have a lovely rest of the week xx

  9. Your photos came out really well despite the gray sky. I sensed your pain in regards to the weather, though, especially when you left with blue skies. I have been struggling with misty, cloudy days here as well, messing with my plans to sightsee! More about that later. Do you think the sheep care? I know you saw it already, but feel free to share my last Laguna Beach blog and walk in your collection for next week, Jo. Thank you!!

    1. When we started the walk I thought the sun was going to break through properly but it just got greyer and greyer, Inese. Ah, well- another day! 🙂 🙂 You’re very welcome.

  10. What a lovely walk, so much to see. Going through the pub is hilarious, I wonder how many people find themselves trapped there. Shame the mill was closed, that and the cheesery would make me very happy. Love your photos honey, really, really good. Waterfalls are not to common in the UK aren’t they? I can think of just three in the south west that I’ve visited, but I’m rather fond of them too. Hope your week’s a good one, I’m aching from Ikea and still a bit upside down and behind x:-)x

    1. Upside down and behind doesn’t sound good! The barmaid was a bit frosty faced considering she was coining it, but there was a lovely open fire and the Christmas tree was up. Very tempting! 🙂 We do quite well for waterfalls up here. I might go on the hunt if it brightens up this week. They’ll be full! Hugs, darlin 🙂

  11. la passeggiata è venuta benissimo anche se il cielo si imbroncoiato, ho amato le pecorelle che mi ricordano i prati e i ‘Irlanda, deliziosi i fiumciattoli e le cascatelle, sempre piacevole asseggiare con te
    felice sera, ciao bella

      1. We didn’t have rain, but snow. Lots of it. And with it temperatures that weren’t too bad. As my daughter says, you get quite a workout walking in it.

    1. I guess it might be if you ‘negotiate’ a bit, Robin. I’d try it if I were you. The lady barmaid was a bit stern faced so you’d need to use your charm!
      Good website on the mill, and yes- I thought so too. Did you see the programme? I dimly remember it.

  12. Interesting account of your explorations, as always, Jo. I remember visiting Wensleydale with my parents in the 60s and having a guided tour of a Wensleydale cheesery. It could have been in Hawes. As a 10-year old, you can imagine that the descriptions of how to make cheese weren’t particularly captivating. However, I remember it so well because as the guide was speaking, a cockroach started legging it across the stone floor of the dairy, Without a moment’s hesitation, the guide lifted up his boot and crunched it underfoot. Strange the things we recall, and the things we don’t!

    1. It would have been this dairy, Denzil. It’s quite famous around here. 🙂 We didn’t go in because my husband’s allergic to cheese 😦 (and I’m not too partial to cockroaches 🙂 )

  13. I must be going senile, I felt sure I’d posted a link to my walk last week but obviously I didn’t so here it is –

    And this is this week’s –

    I passed through Hawes many years ago but never went to the waterfall. How odd that you have to walk through a pub to get to it, though I suppose it’s a good way for the landlord to attract extra custom. I like the sign on the wall, but I fear someone made a spelling mistake on the one by the table 🙂

    1. I though you had too, Eunice! (posted a link) Or was that the week before? I will backtrack and check. It’s hard to keep track sometimes, especially if there isn’t a pingback.
      Well observed! Do you know my husband had the cheek to say I’d misspelt Hardraw when he saw that sign? Thanks a lot. Be with you soon! 🙂

    1. It’s a great spot, isn’t it, but I imagine it could get seriously busy in Summer. We tend to head more to Reeth or Middleton-in Teesdale. Gorgeous part of the world 🙂 Thank you!

  14. Some gorgeous views here Jo, lovely English countryside despite the weather. So what did you think of the waterfall? It doesn’t look very high to me. And don’t tell me you walked over that iron-bar looking structure to get to the other side! That looks extremely dangerous. Surely though the innkeeper doesn’t actually own the falls, so how can he charge entrance? Seems a bit off to me. Anyway, I read all the way to the end looking forward to roast beef and Yorkshires along with a glass of red and you didn’t even stop for a pint! Not good enough… 😉
    Another town walk for you – I think I shall be stuck in Lincoln for a while!

    1. I have a long shot of the fall with that chap and his dog on the ledge behind it and it is quite a drop, Jude. I thought you might know this one from your travels. Andrew says it’s usually just a trickle in Summer so there are perks to indifferent weather. 🙂 No, not that bridge- there was a more substantial one I’m glad to say!
      So far as I know the falls are National Park but the only access is via the pub (we did look for another way in 🙂 ) so they feel justified in charging. It’s a good little earner and obviously they do well in meals too. It’s a funny old place but it had a lovely roaring fire and Christmas tree. I was game to stay for a pie and a pint but the weather was setting in and Mick wanted to get back across the moors. Meanie wouldn’t even let me have a bit of cheese from the Creamery! Things I have to put up with! (but he’s allergic 😦 )
      Thank you very much, me dear. Be along soon!

      1. I couldn’t have resisted the Creamery! And I haven’t really spent any time in the Yorkshire Dales, not the northern part anyway. Went on school trips to Malham and Ingleton – my school was close to Leeds.

  15. That lone sheep looks soooo cute and I think it wanted to be friend with you 🙂 ❤ Glad to hear you made it back before the skies opened. Very lucky, and those are some amazing banks and that waterfall looks glorious. Very majestic and powerful.

  16. I love the skies in this (even though they meant rain) – such beautiful light. A nice contrast to your recent sunny walks, which I also enjoy – but for obvious reasons I can identify with this one much more easily!

  17. A trip down memory lane for me, thank you! I even wrote about my own walk around the area once upon a time:
    I have to agree the £2.50 to get through the pub was a shock, I may have stayed for a drink or two but refused to cross their palms with anymore silver. In fairness they were doing quite a bit of work at the time I visited, putting in the bridge and laying the paths, so I guess it had to be paid for…it certainly wasn’t spent on the inside of the pub!

    1. No, when I said characterful I was being kind, but they had the Christmas tree up so it looked jolly round the fire. Will read yours later, Eddy. Dashing out now to join my walking group. 🙂 Bit grey but I haven’t seen them for weeks!

  18. I count myself lucky to have seen it like that Jo, only once in a bout 2002. At other times that I have been in dry weather it is barely a trickle. Hawes is nice but viciously crowded in summer holidays as I found to my cost last year!

      1. No, gave up, the town was full of coach tours and hairy bikers so we went to the cheese dairy instead, the children liked it there.
        Picking them up today for half term week and spending a couple of nights in Beverley so hope the weather stays dry!

  19. How beautiful! Your photographs are simply amazing, as always. You have got the lighting just right. Seems a little cheeky to charge for entrance to a waterfall though. Does the pub maintain the area? It all looks perfectly natural – and beautiful – to me. They certainly didn’t create the waterfall!

    1. I’m not too sure how they ever got away with it, Lisa, because it’s National Park territory. It’s gone on for many years now though and brings them a tidy little footfall. There isn’t another way in. We looked! 🙂 🙂 Many thanks for your kind words.

  20. I love the sound of gushing water. It’s nature at her best. Love the way you take me through those green paths and fields of sheep and eventually to wet waterfalls. Beautiful! 🙂

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