Over Hill and Dale

First of all, can you even believe the banner photo???  I can hardly believe it and I took it myself!

I’ve been tramping over hill and dale for the past two days with Beth, a gal I met while walking The Camino last year.  The Camino is surely the gift that keeps on giving, no doubt. Beth has been living in this general area for the past 8 months or so and enthusiastically agreed to show me around.  We first enjoyed a really nice day at Castle Howard over near York and then two wonderful days exploring two different dales.  

I’m not sure I realized until this trip that a dale is a valley.  Did you know? You probably did.  I guess I’d never really thought about it until now, and now I can not only tell you that a dale is a valley, but I can also tell you that each dale is named after the river that runs along its bottom.  For example, yesterday we walked along the River Wharfe in Wharfedale and today we walked along the River Swale in Swaledale.  Who knew?  Not me.  I have also learned there is the dale, which is the lowest elevation-wise, the upper dale, the high dales, and then, highest of all, the moors.  It’s on the moors where the heather grows.  

I posted photos from our day at Castle Howard on Facebook, so we will move right on to our walks beginning with yesterday’s walk in Wharfedale.  Please be prepared for lots of photos.

Stone walls and stone buildings (homes, barns, and other outbuildings) abound.  There are SO many of these stone walls running for miles and miles in every direction.  Hundreds if not thousands of miles of stone walls, all stacked way back in the day by hand, stone by stone.  It boggles the mind.

I’m including a stone bridge in the mix for good measure.  Can you see how dark the tannins are in the River Wharfe?

Here is Beth coming through a stile in one of the very many stone walls.  

And Beth walking along the path between the River Wharfe and a moss covered stone wall.

We had been walking in the off and on rain for a few miles by this point, so these delicious baked goods were a treat. Included in the box were freshly homemade Victoria Sponge, Banana/choc chip bread, cheddar scone, and something dark and crisp in the corner.  Yum.

On our way looping up and back down to the car, it began raining quite hard, so we took refuge in this church we had passed earlier. We weren’t the only ones with this idea as there were already a few sodden hikers and a dog occupying the pews upon our arrival.  This church whose name now escapes me dates to 1159.  Yes, 1159.  I just have to shake my head at the history.

For those, All Creatures Great And Small fans out there, you may be interested to learn “Helen’s farm is in this dale and we walked right through it.  Later on after the hike, we drove over to the village of Grassington where we saw Skeldale House and The Drover’s Pub.  There are lots and lots of filming locations nearby.

Moving on to our walk  today in Swaledale.  We began in the upper dale village of Muker and walked to the high dales village of Keld.  Below you see the River Swale which our path followed toward the higher country in the distance.

And here we are in the high dales on the way back, looking down onto the River Swale with the heather strewn moors in the distance. 

It was a bit further along where I took the banner photo, coming down from the village of Keld back to the village of Muker.  You can barely see the village in the photo below, but can clearly see it in the banner photo.  It was a lovely 6 or so mile loop out the valley/dale and up into the high dales with tea and a scone at the cafe in Keld.

The shot below is a dime a dozen scene in the dales.  You can’t swing a cat without hitting a stone barn and wall with the odd sheep thrown in.

And last, but not least, heather on the moors.

I love the Yorkshire Dales as I knew I would, but tomorrow its time to begin heading back south a bit where I will meet up with Brian and Eileen, more Camino friends, so stay tuned.

Aaaah, and you though we were done.

Just a little bonus shot below.  It’s a Swaledale sheep.  They come with a semi black face, horns, and a long tail.  Just to the left of the really big tree in the background is a large stone house built in the mid 1600’s and refurbished in 1896. Ha!  How about being refurbished in 1896!?!

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Comments:

  • Tena

    August 29, 2023

    Gorgeous photos, as usual! I swear, from all the photos I’ve seen in all your blog posts, it looks like everywhere you go the weather is perfect (though sometimes raining), if there aren’t sheep, there are kangaroos, and not a single annoying insect anywhere. Of course, that’s probably all in my imagination, but its a nice imagining!. So good to see you doing what you love so much.

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    • Margie

      August 30, 2023

      Thanks Tena. I love your imaginings! Lots of rain that one day, but even it was glorious in The Dales.

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  • Marcia Bronson

    August 29, 2023

    I’m a huge “All Creatures Great and Small” fan, it’s so cool that you hiked through “Helen’s farm” and visited the village with Skeldale house and the Drovers!

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    • Margie

      August 30, 2023

      Me too! Such great books and recent series! It’s been so lovely being here. Did you catch the video on FB of Helen’s Farm?

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  • Nann

    August 30, 2023

    We wandered around the British Isles and Ireland back in the summer of 1990. There are many memories and stories from that trip, but your pictures remind me of an unexpected observation we made during our walks. When one sees all those bucolic photos of sheep in the fields, no noe ever mentions how all that sheep poop smells on a warm sunny day! LOL

    But as it was the summer *before* we wed, Mike always claims that trip convinced him that he should marry me. (Good thing as the wedding was scheduled for November!) We had an hours long wait for a bus in Ambleside a it was delayed by a major accident down south. We stacked the packs we were carrying to make a surface and stood there playing gin rummy in the drizzle, much to the amusement of the others who were waiting. That truly convinced him I was as much of a “traveler” as he is.

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  • Heather

    August 30, 2023

    How absolutely beautiful! I love the little box with homemade cakes. And yes, big fan of All Creatures Great and Small. Looks wonderful!

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    • Margie

      August 31, 2023

      Yes, yes, and yes! That box of cakes really was an unexpected treat. I enjoyed a slice of Victoria Sponge and Banana Chocolate Chip. Both were fresh and delicious.

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  • Sherie

    August 31, 2023

    Awesome pictures and storyline!
    Also a fan of All Creatures Great and Small

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  • Hill

    August 31, 2023

    That first picture IS quite beautiful. Enjoying your entire adventure!

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  • Janet Feinberg

    September 3, 2023

    I sure do admire your adventuresome spirit, and how beautifully relay your experience with words and photos. Thank you for taking us on your journey with you.

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