Yorkshire is fortunate enough to have three national parks to its name, the North Yorkshire Moors, the Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales. Come to think of it, The Peak District and Lake District are not too far away either….that’s a lot of national parks in the north of the UK.
I had a lovely day out in the Yorkshire Dales recently, so it’s only right that I share some of my snaps and insights before they get lost in the memory card abyss.
As you’d expect, being in the heart of the countryside, the Dales offer peace, nature, fresh air, beautiful landscapes, valleys and rural villages. The more northern parts offer more remote moorland.
‘Preserve and protect’ – that’s the tagline underpinning the way of life in the Dales, with great efforts to try and keep it as close to it’s natural rhythms and form as possible. Vikings, Romans and Anglo Saxons are known to have lived and roamed the Yorkshire Dales.
Back in those days, a journey from London to York would have taken around two weeks by horse and carriage, until the canal networks began.
The Yorkshire Dales were shaped and formed by melting glacier ice, glacial valleys, left over from the ice age.
Due to bad weather, you’ll find some roads in the Dales are closed over December/January, but it’s not just bad weather you need to worry about!
We all know that country roads can be hazardous for drivers – for a number of reasons, but did you know, that a major danger is a pheasant! Yes the feathered kind, that holds an unfortunate reputation for being a really ‘stupid bird with no sense’. Why? Because they literally put themselves in the line of danger with no attempt to avert – you might say they have a death wish.
Apparently pheasants just run out into oncoming traffic and if you knock one over – ‘no you can’t’ take them home and eat the meat if you kill one, that’s illegal, just in case you were getting any bright ideas!
Thankfully no pheasants were harmed in the making of this clip:
It is claimed that the oldest sweet shop in the world in Nidderdale – opened in 1827. It felt very nostalgic and retro in there – and they even have an old fashioned till the makes a big ‘ding’ sound when it opens/closes. I didn’t buy any sweets though, I bought some biscuits instead since I wanted a nice colourful tin to keep afterwards.
Wensleydale in Hawes
With a modest population of under 900 people, Wensleydale is known to be the largest and most scenic of all the dales in the national park.
The creamery is also a very popular tourist attraction, where you can see dairy products being made and sample some of it’s famous cheeses.
There were quite a few antique type shops in this village, including this one.
The lady running the shop explained that everything in it is courtesy of her husband’s magpie behaviour. From the day she met him he was always bringing random things home – she said one day he went out to buy some chickens and came home with two donkeys!!! Just a typical day.
Anyway, the accumulation of ‘things’ eventually turned into a business idea and they opened this shop. And of course her husband still continues to gather interesting finds to bring home and to the shop.
February to May is lambing season, and by all accounts – it’s been a very good lambing year this year – there were lots of lambs in the fields.
Below are bits of organic wool from nearby sheep – must have blown over in the breeze!
Some of the cows in the Dales have been nicknamed ‘Oreo Cows’ (aka Belted Galloways) – these are from Ireland and have a stripy look that reminds people of the biscuits:
Kettlewell is known for being peaceful, quite – and not too touristy.
St Mary’s Church, Kettlewell
A few other random nuggets of Yorkshire Dales info:
- Approximately 60,000 people live in the Yorkshire Dales National Park
- McDonalds, Starbucks, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and the like are forbidden in the Dales – again, in the name of preserving and protecting the natural appearance and landscape of the park. I heard that the Co-Op Supermarket has a presence somewhere though
- In the same vein, you won’t see any wind turbines in the Dales
- “There is a species of bat (the brown long eared bat) seen in the Dales that has ears three quarters the length of it’s head and body”
A lot of people get lost hiking in the hills. Mobile phone signals are not reliable and if you are venturing out alone you’re advised to carry maps and a compass.
I heard that there were fire alerts for the North Yorkshire Moors as early as April this year, and there had already been quite a few fires, which you don’t normally see until July – but due to a lack of rain and the ground being consistently dry this spring – the fires started (not sure about the Dales).
Deforestation in some parts of the Yorkshire Dales is helped by high acidity in the area – many trees never grew back.
Have a lovely week ahead, whatever you’re up to 🤗 🔆