How a snowy weekend break in the Yorkshire Dales National Park helped banish the winter blues.
One of the first things we promised each other when we found out we were about to become parents was that we wouldn’t let it change us. Obviously we realise our lives are about to change (a hell of a lot!) but we’re determined not to stop doing the things we love doing together. And one thing we really love doing is sneaking away for countryside breaks with our jack russell Mario – so with a cold snap and high pressure forecast up north, we packed the car and booked a last-minute trip to Malham in the Yorkshire Dales.
Gemma’s now 6 months pregnant, so sadly I wasn’t going to drag her up any mountains, but all the advice we’ve been given by medical professionals is for Gem to stay active for as long as she feels up to it. Malham seemed the perfect destination, firstly because it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world (says the biased Yorshireman) and secondly because all of its most famous landmarks – Malham Cove, Gordale Scar, Janet’s Foss – can all be reached in an easy circular walk in just a few hours.
We booked into a wonderful hotel called Beck Hall, situated in the heart of the village by the river that flows from Malham Cove. The food is great, the rooms are luxurious, and it’s by far the most dog-friendly hotel I’ve ever visited. They even provide dog blankets so your furry friend can lie under your table in the dining room during meals!
Gem was shattered by the end of our walk on Saturday but it was nothing a three-course meal and a night in a four-poster bed couldn’t fix, then we woke to a white landscape on Sunday morning after a heavy snowfall through the night. Even though the baby’s still a few months away from being born, as far as we’re concerned he/she is already part of our family. This was our first proper walking trip as a foursome, our first snowfall as a family, and most of all just a brilliant and relaxing break before the madness awaiting us this spring.
For anyone tempted to wind down and stop enjoying being active during the second half of their pregnancy, we’d urge you not to do it. We’re having the time of our lives at the moment, and I don’t think we’ve ever been happier.