Tag Archives: Making Tracks

A café in the woods at Falling Foss

A few years back whilst on a walk with Mr B and our eldest son, who must have been about three at the time, we came across a tiny cottage in the woods. I clocked the FOR SALE sign and once back home, couldn’t resist checking out the estate agents’ details. I was soon swept away into a fantasy future of us running a café there.

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Fast forward almost ten years and as you’ve guessed, we didn’t sell up and re-locate to the cottage at Falling Foss. However, husband and wife team, Jack and Steph Newman, did take on the challenge and in that time they have transformed it into the idyllic and popular Falling Foss Tea Garden.

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The tea garden’s setting in the grounds of Midge Hall (once an 18th century gamekeeper’s cottage and also a tearoom in the 1900s) is magical. It’s situated deep in the woods, right at the top of the 30-foot Falling Foss waterfall…

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alongside plenty of other spots where there’s fun to be had paddling and splashing about in the water…

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To get to the Falling Foss Tea Garden, park in the car park at the top and follow the woodland path down until you see the café. There’s also a pleasant circular woodland walk if you want to build up an appetite. If you’ve got kids with you, you might like to let them lead the way with the help of these illustrated Making Tracks In the North York Moors walking packs for kids.

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The walk, which is a couple of miles long, takes you past and behind the tea garden (don’t worry you’ll be back this way for that promised tea and cake)

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You then re-enter the woods and past the Hermitage, a cave carved out of a huge stone – always a favourite for a bit of climbing…

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(Psst, did you spot Mr B peering out from the cave?)

The walk eventually brings you back to the footpath you started out on and to the tea garden where a rustic wooden hut displays an array of tempting treats.

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There’s plenty of seating to choose from…

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When we visited there were lots of vases of flowers decorating the garden – maybe left over from a wedding?

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There are plenty of places for kids to play and entertain themselves from clambering across logs  over the river to having fun in little havens like this…

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Well, you can’t really leave without a game of Pooh sticks on the wooden bridge can you? Oh, and by the way, Pooh sticks are provided. Have fun!

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Fresh air and the great outdoors

With three boys I am always on the lookout for ways to have fun outside with them. They have boundless energy and a curiosity to explore. I feel our best times together are when we are outdoors whether walking, camping or frantically digging dams at the beach.

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My boys digging away at the beach

Last weekend the weather was beautiful – bright, dry and crisp – so we were determined to make the most of it. We went on a walk using a great little guide that my parents gave us. Making Tracks is a fun activity walking pack created especially for children. It contains 12 interesting and easy to follow short walks in the North York Moors. Other packs area available covering the Lake District, the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales.

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Making Tracks activity pack

The design is beautifully hand-illustrated with child-friendly maps and images.

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Lovely artwork

We have done of few of the walks from the packs now and all have been hugely enjoyable. This weekend we did the walk from Thornton-le-Dale to Ellerburn, a beautiful hidden dale with an old church dating back to the 11th century.

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The church at Ellerburn

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Looking back at Ellerburn

The boys had a great time paddling in the stream that the walk follows. But no matter how many times I tell them not to wade too deep, they always seem to get water over the top of their wellies and end up with soggy feet – or worse.

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Ted getting drenched

We have done a few of these walks including Falling Foss, Roseberry Topping and Hutton le Hole and all have been walks that have taken us off the beaten track to enjoy some stunning scenery.

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Roseberry Topping aka Yorkshire’s Matterhorn

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Worth the climb – the view from the top of Roseberry Topping

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The Hermitage at Falling Ross

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I wonder who lives here? A door in the tree at Falling Foss