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Day 1: Home to Whitehaven

Time for another UK holiday! Like all recent holidays, this one has been planned fairly last minute and working around the problem of very limited availability of accommodation. Our main objective is to visit the Isle of Mull, which we couldn't quite fit into our trip to the Isles of Arran and Islay in June, but we enjoyed seeing a bit of the Lake District on the way home from that trip, so decided to break our journey to Scotland there rather than in Northumberland or Hawick this time around. Our holiday therefore started today with a drive from home to a town called Whitehaven on the Cumbrian coast.

The journey was around 4.5 hours and I had planned to break it in the Yorkshire Dales. I figured that seeing as we were going to the Lake District the Sat Nav would take us up via the M6, and therefore chose a stopping point at Malham, which in my mind was on the M6 side of the Dales. The Sat Nav had other ideas and decided to take us up the M1 instead, so we had a slightly convoluted first part of the journey, which included a scenic drive through Bradford city centre :D 

Once we'd survived the road system around Bradford we weren't very far from Malham and after a quick stop at a McDonalds in Keighley for some coffee we were there. We parked in a National Park car park and followed a signposted trail towards a waterfall called Janet's Foss.


I was surprised when the start of the walk took us across a small clapper bridge. I didn't even know what a clapper bridge was until we went to Devon earlier this year!


The walk was easy, following a clearly visible path.


There were some lovely views of the surrounding countryside as we walked.


The path took us a along the side of a stream...


...and then through fields with some beautiful flowers.


After a while the path led us into some woodland.


And then we got our first glimpse of the waterfall!


It was a really pretty little waterfall :) Though I was surprised to see some people swimming in the pool beneath it; it didn't really feel like the weather for that!


From here we could have done a circular walk which would have taken us a bit further into the Dales and then back round to the car park. A few bits of the path on the way to the waterfall had involved slippery rocks so I was keen to continue rather than retrace my steps... but then I saw this!


That was the way the signposted path led but the rocks were all really slippery with the rain so I definitely didn't fancy it! We decided to retrace our steps to the car after all :) 


We made it back and then had another 100 miles or so to drive to Whitehaven, where we were staying for the night in a hotel. The hotel restaurant was closed, so we figured we'd stop somewhere on the way to get food. We tried stopping at a pub in Yorkshire but they said they were fully booked for the evening, so we carried on figuring that we'd find somewhere closer to Whitehaven. Once we reached Cumbria we tried a chain pub next to a Premier Inn, figuring that that was unlikely to be jampacked, but it turned out they were still only using a fraction of their tables for social distancing and so they were full too. In the end we drove all the way to Whitehaven and went to Wetherspoons, which we knew couldn't be fully booked because they don't take reservations! It turned out to be pretty empty; I guess it's not such a glamorous location that people want to go to it on holiday :D

From Whitehaven it was only a mile or so to the hotel. We checked in and found that we'd been upgraded :o 


We now have a rather posh room, complete with four poster bed!


It's been quite wet this evening so not sure how good the weather is going to be tomorrow, but at least if it rains torrentially this looks like it's going to be a nice place to spend the day :) 

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