Walking Guide And Mountain Leader Lures Those Wishing To Explore The ‘Floor de Yorkshire’
As Yorkshire achieves a new cachet thanks to the Tour de Yorkshire and ‘Emmerdale’ scooping ‘Best Soap’ for the first time ever, a Yorkshire walks guider and Mountain Leader is offering ‘Floor de Yorkshire’ experiences to walkers, wannabe navigators and compass readers wanting to explore the county’s rich landscape and walking options.
Those heading for a Yorkshire walking experience with Mark Killala, of Northern Guiding (www.northernguiding.co.uk) will discover that much of the ‘Floor de Yorkshire’ is limestone pavement, shaped by glacial movement and the impacts of man and a habitat supporting a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna.
This makes walking in the many Yorkshire ‘dales’ an absolute joy, whether you are tackling the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks of Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent, admiring a spectacular waterfall, walking the Pennine Way (Mark’s favourite) or the Coast to Coast route, or traversing the heather-clad hills of Swaledale, admiring its characteristic field walls, scattered barns and meadows as you go.
Northern Guiding makes the entrée to Yorkshire very easy for anyone with a pair of walking boots and the desire to get out in the fresh Yorkshire Dales air. Private guided walks are provided alongside one-day or weekend open walks that cater for anyone wishing to book an experience.
Multi-day walking breaks are on offer for those wishing to explore the Floor de Yorkshire for longer and you can also train for the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge with Mark and his fully-qualified and accredited Northern Guiding team.
Exciting Yorkshire Night Hikes are a must for those with a thirst for adventure, whilst those wishing to combine a taste of the great Yorkshire outdoors, with some of its most iconic food and drink, can opt for a gentler Xmas Pub Walk.
Yorkshire is also the base for one-day map reading and compass courses that see participants navigating their way around the hills surrounding idyllic Yorkshire villages such as Muker. Those wanting to take their NNAS Navigation and Winter Hills Skills Bronze and Silver Awards can do so whilst staying in hostels in Wensleysdale’s wonderful Hawes, or Wharfedale’s Buckden.
With the help of Northern Guiding’s local Yorkshire knowledge, plus the insights Mark’s team can provide, walkers can encounter a large array of wildlife, comprising both flora and fauna, and some fantastic birdlife.
Bilberry, cloudberry, cranberry, round-leaved sundew, yellow rock-rose and colourful red lichen, are just some of the flora you will see around the limestone pavements, whilst the Dales uplands meadows are at their richest in June. In this month, they sport an array of melancholy thistle, selfheal, betony, pignut, meadow buttercup and many more species of plants, whilst a rich purple heather adorns the Wensleydale hills in August and the clearest skies and best views are to be found in the autumn.
Fauna can include the iconic red squirrel, roe deer, common blue and brown argus butterflies and water crickets, whilst the birdlife is incredible, with opportunities to spot peregrine falcons, green woodpecker, snipe, curlew, golden plover, ring ouzel, red and black grouse, short-eared owls, or a very delightfully named ‘charm’ of goldfinches.
The Floor de Yorkshire is itself amazing, with walkers able to pick out the signs of the glacial retreat and see ‘shakeholes’, observe where coal seams and lead were mined centuries ago, detect distinct horizontal lines between beds of limestone created at different geological times, watch waterfalls tumbling joyfully down ghylls and marvel at the village of Kettlewell, located where all the contours of the surrounding land converge to create heaven, Yorkshire style.
If that isn’t enough, the Floor de Yorkshire offers some amazing superlatives, which can be discovered with the help of Northern Guiding. In Muker, you are close to England’s fastest flowing river (the Swale), whilst near Pen-y-Ghent, there is the largest natural hole in England (Hull Pot). At Tan Hill, you can call in to the highest pub in England (1732 feet/528m above sea level and, at Rogan’s Seat, you can determine whether this fell deserved the title of the ‘most boring hill in England’!
On Great Stunner Fell, you can visit the most southerly remaining British outpost of yellow marsh saxifrage and, at Whernside, stand in the highest point in Yorkshire, whilst observing Blackpool Tower, forty miles away, if you have the binoculars with you.
And then there’s the history associated with the Floor de Yorkshire. Some of this is found when visiting the Memorial Cross at the top of Buckden Pike, where five Polish airmen in the RAF crashed their Wellington Bomber on January 30 1942.
You can gaze down from Whernside on the incredible 104-foot-high Ribblehead Viaduct, with its 24 arches, completed in 1870 after the loss of many workers’ lives, or see the 1898 maypole in Kettlewell and the village’s Blue Bell Inn – a 1680 coaching inn. For more gruesome associations, you can traverse Deadman’s Hill, where the headless corpses of three Scottish pedlars were discovered in 1728, or walk to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, where one-eighth of the parish died of a plague in 1597.
Fans of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ can not only have a Floor de Yorkshire tour with Northern Guiding that takes in the 52-mile (84km) Herriot Way, but also visit Langthwaite, near Tan Hill – used for the opening shots of the series. The can also head to Askrigg in Wensleydale, where Skeldale House (the vets practice) and the fictional Drovers’ Inn (actually the King’s Arms) are to be found.
It all adds up to lots of reasons to explore the ‘Floor de Yorkshire’ with Northern Guiding this year
Just head to www.northernguiding.co.uk to see what level of walking, and type of activity, suits you best, or call Mark Killala on 01132 736417, to discuss.