When I read about Falling Foss and the renovation of Midge Hall and the tea garden on POE I was fascinated because I first came across them more than forty five years ago when I was on an extended walking holiday travelling from Cumbria to North Yorkshire and to be absolutely honest all I can really remember was being dog tired and wet through. With a two week holiday in North Yorkshire coming up I immediately put Falling Foss high on my “to do” list.
Leaving our home in the Midlands on a rather dull and dreary April morning we set off to collect our touring caravan from storage ready to embark upon our journey up the M1 etc to our chosen temporary home in Kirby Misperton, (home of Flamingo Land) N Yorkshire. However the best laid plans and all that – we were just about to turn into the farm where we have our caravan stored when hubby, bless his little cotton socks, realised the Sat Nav was still on the coffee table in the lounge. “Oh “b***dy hell” he yelled slapping the steering wheel sharply and breaking a finger nail into the bargain “we’ll just have to go back” he said. Happy to accept his decision rather than find ourselves hopelessly lost with the prospect of possibly having to unhitch the ‘van and turn it around on some godforsaken cart track or worse, we returned home to pick up our beloved Tom. Back on the road we had a relatively uneventful journey, apart from having to unhitch at a coffee stop because there was no room to reverse, and arrived at Ashfield Caravan Park without further incident. Hooray!
After supper of homemade stew and dumplings plus crusty bread we settled down for an early night, him with a good book and me with my Ordinance Survey map planning our trip to Falling Foss.
Waking up to a dry and fairly bright morning we were soon on the road and just to be on the safe side I put the post code for Midge Hall into Tom. With Tom guiding us we picked up the Pickering to Whitby road across the moors and eventually were instructed to take a sharp right sign-posted Little Beck – looks a bit narrow I thought! A very picturesque lane with many a blind bend and several rather steep ups and downs continued for two or three miles during which time the love of my life kept up a running commentary along the lines of “safer on the big dipper” and “can you see the grass growing up the middle of the track?” “This is not a road” etc. Eventually we came to a sign which read “local traffic only” nothing about Falling Foss, but feminine intuition suggest we take it and we did. Steep incline and even narrower road but very pretty and hey presto! On the right sure enough a car park right in the forest.
A short walk on a downward track from the car park led us to our goal, and what a sight it was. A fairytale cottage in the heart of the forest complete with waterfall and a shallow (today anyway) river meandering around the cottage and crossed by a stone bridge to take the cart track and a wonderful “Pooh Sticks” wooden footbridge. A welcome sign on the cottage gate proclaimed “Teas and Snacks” and “Freshly baked scones with jam and fresh cream”. We entered with some enthusiasm and were greeted by the owners who gave us the warmest of welcomes and invited us to choose a seat at one of the picnic style tables in the garden.
After a look at the quite extensive snack menu hubby chose a cheese and pickle sandwich (boring) and I chose a freshly baked homemade scone (that’s just one) with jam and fresh cream and to wash it all down a large cafétier of coffee to share. The scones, still warm from the oven, were the best I’ve ever tasted. Yes, I did say scones, there was so much jam and cream that rather than let it go to waste I asked for another scone.
After our refreshments we wandered around the vicinity of the cottage and gazed on the falls and the river, with me, according to my companion, spoiling the tranquillity by taking photos and muttering on about available light, f stops and other mysteries.
Eventually, having promised to return, we said our goodbyes and returned to the car. Once down the forest track we decided not to return by the same route but to turn in the opposite direction “after all it can’t be any narrower” said my life partner, who for once was right, within the shortest distance we arrived at a junction with the Scarborough to Whitby road and so called civilisation.
Picture tour of Falling Foss >