The curse of the Teddy Toddle!

With a fine day in prospect after taking a look at the BBC‘s weather forecasts on Saturday, Caroline and I decided that it might be a good idea to have a Sunday stroll around Ogden Water yesterday and then head off to a favourite veggie cafe for lunch.

After an early start, suitable attire and footwear was donned and the car pointed in the right direction for the ride to Ogden Water. Now we’ve been before, and not had any problems, but as we turned into the side road leading up to the car park, we almost started hailing Houston…

Why? Because there was a queue in front of us and people trying to turn their cars around in order to exit the area. The Golf in front of us obviously wasn’t going anywhere fast as the side window was down and the occupants were talking to a lady carrying some zip ties and a set of white sheets.

Once she’d finished the conversation, the white sheets revealed their message – ‘Teddy Toddle – Car Park Full’.

Ah, said I (or words to that effect!).

With no walk in prospect there, it was time to come up with Plan B – quickly!

So the car went into the caravan site entrance, was turned around and headed back the way we came.

One brief discussion later, and off we went in direction of Skipton in search of a walk and lunch.

Getting there wasn’t hard, and neither was the route finding. After living in Skipton for five years, I kind of knew the way and could easily find somewhere to park that didn’t involve paying for the privilege. No, I couldn’t park outside my old flat, but did manage to do the deed around the corner and up the hill.

With boots on and a need to walk up an appetite, back down the hill we went, passed my old gaff and then turned left when we reached the canal bank.

Things haven’t changed much in six years as the canal is pretty much a permanent feature in the town. Yes, it’s the Leeds Liverpool Canal, but it wasn’t the part we’d seen Baldrick (sorry, Sir Tony Robinson) walking on the TV the night before – he was heading to Wigan Pier.

A few others had the same idea, but it was interesting to note that just a few intrepid souls ventured beyond the Canal Basin to the first bridge and lock. We were pleased that we’d dressed for the occasion, because although it was nice and sunny, it wasn’t overly warm so merino wool base layers, fleece pullovers and either down or synthetic fill jackets were the order of the day on top and soft shell trousers on the legs and either sports boots or approach shoes on the feet.

Although I lived in Skipton for five years, some of the ground we covered whilst walking from the car towards the canal bank and up towards the Skipton Castle area was new to me, even though I’d walked around a bit on days off and headed off on my bike along the canal tow path too.

As the lighting was of the midday sun kind, the camera only came out for a couple of snapshots that weren’t wonderful when played back (we’ll see whether Bill and Ben the canal boats are there next time in better lighting conditions!). Once we’d done some walking around, our respective stomachs started to mutter those ever pervading words ‘Feed Me!’ and we went off in search of fodder.

With a load of pubs on the main street and a host of cafes or bakeries to choose from, the decision was made to head into Wild Oats cafe rather than looking for a Sunday Roast dinner.

Yes, Wild Oats is a veggie/vegan cafe, but as we’d originally planned to have lunch in a similar establishment in Thornton, we headed in. It’s a while since we’ve been into Wild Oats, but it was busy, so much so that there was only one nut roast left rather than the two we’d ordered. Never mind, the spicy sweetcorn fritters and salad went down very well.

Once done, some retail research was called for. Caroline had a look at road bikes and waterproof gloves before we hit the car once more in search of some cake to take home with us to consume with coffee and the Sunday papers.

As we know our preferred farm shop does excellent cakes, we headed there and did the deed.

And then we noticed the poster on the noticeboard for a Teddy Toddle taking place at Ogden Water.

Which is where we came in!

We will hit Ogden Water this week – when the next fine day comes along.

We have the flask, we have the bread, the sandwich filling and the clothes to combat the cold so yes we can!


Whilst heading over to Ogden Water, we passed a very posh Mercedes that had the hood down.

Would I dare allege that the driver looked suspiciously like someone who is relatively local to the area who used to baldly go where no one has gone before?

Might do…

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About Keith Rickaby

I’m a writer and photographer who has worked in the tailoring trade and the outdoor/travel clothing, equipment and footwear game. Past lives include working as an outdoor instructor, managing three bands and doing PR work through an agency or my own contacts. Was a student in the mid-90s and I'm originally from the North East, but now based in Yorkshire and back to home life after three years with a travel and outdoor activity based retailer.
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