When I first started this blog, I did a couple of posts about walks I’ve been on. I haven’t done one of those for quite some time, but I intend to start doing them again as a semi-regular thing, since I do live in a very nice part of the country, and go walking quite a bit.
So, this post is about Clapham Nature Trail, which I went for a walk along in November. It’s not a long walk, but there’s a lot of pretty and interesting things to see along the way.
So first of all, Clapham is a little village in the Yorkshire Dales. The trail leads out of the village and goes up to Ingleborough Cave – it’s the only way up if you want to visit the cave. I did not visit the cave, it’s not open at this time of year. They’ve made it as accessible as possible, the path is well maintained. There’s a small toll to walk along it, but it is small. They could get away with charging a bit more, to be honest. But that’s nothing to complain about.
Then you reach the lake. It’s a man made lake, built in the nineteenth century, and feeding into an also artificial waterfall in the village, which is also worth a look at. I don’t have much to say about the lake. It’s very pretty, it’s very nice to look across. I’ve lived in the countryside all my life and although I do appreciate looking at lovely countryside, I’m probably not as blown away by it as some people might be. So you just walk alongside the lake for a bit, that’s how the path goes. At one point on the side of the path there’s a money tree, and a good one. I see money trees at just enough frequency that I’m not surprised to spot one, but I am delighted. They’re a pretty normal thing for me. For the purposes of this blog I decided to actually look up exactly what the point of them is, instead of just assuming, and apparently these are a UK only thing, and I’m sure there must be plenty of British people who haven’t seen one.
So for people unfamiliar with them, they are not, sadly, actual money trees, but rather trees people hammer coins into, I’ve always thought they were like wishing wells, but apparently it’s specifically supposed to be about curing an illness. The idea was, originally, you’d stick a coin in the tree, and get better. However, it was a bit of a gamble to do this, as if someone removed your coin, you would get sick again.
I imagine most people just stick them in nowadays for the sake of doing it. It’s mostly coppers you see in them, but sometimes somebody sticks a silver coin in. I don’t think I’ve ever see anything than a twenty pence, and frankly that seems a lot to go hammering into a tree. But I guess there’s worse things to do with your money, and the trees are pretty great to see.
Most money trees are felled trees, And usually it’s just the trunk of the tree and maybe one branch, at least with the ones I know. I’m mentioning this because this one was actually still standing, and had multiple branches with coins in them, so it was quite unique. There was also a stump nearby that was also covered, and I think it looked quite artistic.
It is still quite a strange thing to be doing, I must say, and they’re normal to me. I don’t know what I’d think if I came across one for the first time.
Anyway, on with the trail. You carry on along the path, and it takes you up a bit, and it’s all very pretty, which I suppose is what a nature trail should be.
After a bit of walking you get to the grotto, a structure with a doorway and two large windows that sits on the side of the path. It’s an interesting thing, and it gives a bit of shelter if you need it. And according to the information sheet you can pick up at the beginning, that’s exactly what it was built for, as well as giving unemployed people work. Which are perfectly fine purposes for building something, but I had always assumed it was the remains of something. But it’s not, it’s exactly what it was built to be. I think it said it was built in Victorian times. So I suppose it was the same to Victorian walkers as it is to modern day ones. I always like that about older buildings, when you think about people in the past doing the same thing as you in them.
And you just keep on going along the path, enjoying the views, until you reach Ingleborough Cave. As I said, it was closed when we were there, but you can sit by the beck and rest for a bit.
And then you go back the way you came. Well, you don’t have to, there are alternate paths back to the village, and you can go off on a longer walk if you like. But that is the trail. And that’s the end of this post. Thanks for reading. If you liked the photos there’s some more of the trail here.