Crakehall Watermill: the view from our window

Yorkshire Part 1: Horsies and Sheepies

In order to serve you better, the next couple of posts will emerge in an exciting multi-part serial format, with all the narrative runarounds and painful padding of a children’s television drama. And it would please me greatly if you could all try not to do anything notable during this period, so that I don’t fall further behind. All agreed? Good. So if you’re sitting comfortably, then I’ll begin…

For the first half of my Easter holiday with Lucy – the countrysidey bit – we were based in the Crakehall Watermill. This was an awesome B&B and exuded friendliness to the extent that our hosts were printing and annotating bus timetables with suggested visits, offering to give us lifts to the nearby village and bringing fresh milk in a little flask every evening. Reccomended! Plus, check out the surroundings…

Crakehall Watermill: the view from our window

Crakehall Watermill: the view from our window

Parish walks: the “I can read maps” look

Parish walks: the “I can read maps” look

Free! Cheese!

Free! Cheese!

On Tuesday we visited the village of Hawes (pronounced the way you wish it would be) to fulfil my primary life aim: to visit a cheese factory! And the most exciting part of a cheese factory, as you might imagine, is the free cheese. A very wide selection of free cheese samples, in fact. I think the countryside is onto a winner here, personally. As did the friendly old man sitting on a bench outside this dairy paradise, who started talking to us through the age-old method of opening with a joke (it wasn’t the best, but then it was better than most of mine) before moving on to extolling the benefits of the North. (Which was a bit of a running theme that day, actually, as a woman on the bus had already told her friend about the pressures of living at a ‘frenetic pace’ in, erm, Oxford.) The conversation swiftly moved on to why there “has to be a creator” because “a Big Bang would only be messy” and reached a bit of a low when he introduced us to a companion as “this man and his girlfriend or wife”. Beating a retreat, this man and his girlfriend or wife walked back through Hawes where the BNP had taken to handing out leaflets at the market. I really am annoyed at myself for refusing one with a smiling ‘no, thank you’ – damn British instinct – and would like to amend the record to a ‘fuck off, thank you’ if possible. But it did really highlight the peculiarities of a place that can be so warm and friendly to some and so viciously exclusionary to others.

Relaxing!

Relaxing!

We set aside the time on Wednesday to attempt a real and proper walk through the Dales. Armed with water, a few sweets, a map and a healthy sense of optimism, we made our way through the beautiful countryside to seek out the village of Redmire. There were ups and downs, of course. At one might we may have darted across a railway, jumped past a troublesome gate and had to scramble over a wall in order to regain some semblance of a footpath. And the mighty Redmire was perhaps a little too village-like, offering no possibility of lunch after all, but help was at hand in the form of a well-timed train, and we ended up somewhere slightly more populated tucking into the best burgers and milkshakes ever. Success!

The Yorkshire Dales during our walk

The Yorkshire Dales during our walk

Stay tuned for Leeds…

« | »

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *