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Yesterday dawned clear and bright (yes, for once the weather forecast was correct)..we had grandson Mackenzie staying with us for a couple of days and he wanted to go for a walk to see “a mountain and a cave”. There are plenty of those not too far away, so after a hearty breakfast we set off for the little village of Clapham in the Yorkshire Dales.

Clapham village with Fashionista Mackenzie

The plan was to walk up Ingleborough mountain, and as we passed Chapham show cave we would stop in there as well. It is a nice walk up through the grounds of ‘Clapdale’, past a lake and following the little river for a mile or so.

Clapdale – with the river and horses

We arrived at the show cave, but Mackenzie didn’t want to go in as ‘it was dark’ and he doesn’t like the dark. I told him it would be lit up, but still he wasn’t having it. So we had an ice cream and I bought him a fossil.

Trow Gill

Eventually you round a corner and the path enters Trow Gill, a steep claustrophobic gorge, the sides were festooned with nettles and wild flowers. We stopped to collect a dinosaur sheep bone and a fossil piece of rock. Coming out of Trow Gill, we came to the plateau and followed the path between several potholes – overgrown by nettles now, nothing much to see. This was one of my old caving areas many years ago, and I told Mackenzie all about my exploits exploring the deep caves beneath. He didn’t appear interested in the slightest.

Gaping Gill – 365 ft. deep

After half a mile or so we came to the huge shaft of Gaping Gill – a 365 deep pothole, with Fell Beck pouring into it. It is Britains longest unbroken waterfall – and the bottom is so large you can fit St. Paul’s cathedral in. It is the start of a 12 mile system that really is superb.

An old photo of me going over the edge at Gaping Gill

An old photo of me going over the edge at Gaping Gill

I abseilled it a couple of times many years ago, and I remember still looking down at the rope swaying between my legs disappearing into nothing. It is a frightening place – especially when clipped onto a rope.

One of the many tunnels in the Gaping Gill cave system

One of the many tunnels in the Gaping Gill cave system

Ingleborough in the distance to the right – a good day to summit it, but too far for Mackenzie

We had our lunch, and I could tell that Mackenzie would struggle getting up Ingleborough. It is a long way to the top, and at 2372 feet high I guessed he would have a hard time, I keep forgetting that he is only 8.

So we headed back home, and had another ice cream on the way. We walked nearly 7 miles – not bad really – and when we got home we zapped some monsters on the X-box. A good day was had by all 🙂