What could be nicer than walking with your daughter in wonderful countryside in the Yorkshire Dales? Not a lot, for me anyway, unless I’m walking with both my daughter and my son. Joanne and I have been talking about doing the Crackpots Mosaic Trail for a little while, others I know have walked the trail so it came recommended and we weren’t disappointed.

No great hills, easy instructions to follow, twenty two mosaics to find depicting local scenes, the wild life and wild flowers, and a great variation in terrain with open moorland, woods, streams, tiny hamlets to wonder through and lush valleys. The mosaics were made in 1997 as part of a community project by a group called 'The Crackpots' to celebrate the designation of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

We have cottages quite nearby here and if you would like to stay with us check out availability online or call me, Nadine, or my daughter Joanne, on 01969 663559 for friendly help and advice.

We set off from Tom’s Corner a few miles west of Kirkby Malzeard, in between Ripon and Masham, in the Laverton area. Tom’s Corner is on the moor and what views to set off from, over to the North York Moors, the Vale of York and we could even see Roseberry Topping!  There is a dedicated parking area for the walk here so no problem parking up. Follow the road from Kirby Malzeard to Swetton Moor then right up the hill along the road that says it is unsuitable for motors. Over the brow of the hill and on your right is the car park with mosaic number 22 of a Roman Soldier. Please do print out the PDF for a detailed map and written instructions to follow, these are indispensable. Wear suitable clothing and stout footwear as it can be quite muddy and wet in places and always take a drink and snacks for the journey. Enjoy!

At the end of the walk you follow a path dotted with gorse bushes and I just happened to be reading a little article in The Guardian, Country Diary on 2 December 2020 written by Phil Gates, about gorse seed pods, sounds a little gruesome, but again we can never cease to be amazed by the wonder of nature!