Postcard From Yorkshire

NAH and I have just returned from an invigorating week in the Yorkshire Dales. We stayed in a cosy "two up, two down" cottage in Embsay, a small village just outside the thriving market town of Skipton. Last Monday we ventured high into the Dales to the village of Hawes where we stuffed ourselves with deliciously authentic Wensleydale cheese from the local creamery.

The pictured scene is one we encountered about half way between Hawes and Kettlewell and is the kind of picture I've always wanted to capture of the Dales. We were only about an hour from the bustle of Leeds and Bradford, but this scene is from a completely different world: a place of sky, rock, hills and water. I love the distinctive shape and stone of the lone barn dwarfed by the hillside rising above it and the tiny cotton-wool like blobs of the grazing sheep.

What this picture doesn't show you are the sounds I was hearing whilst taking it. There was the bubbling cry of a curlew and the twittering song of the skylark as it crept ever higher into the sky. There were plentiful bleats from those tiny sheep too! It might look like a peaceful scene - which it was - but an insistent breeze was ever present. The sun may have been warm on my back, but the breeze held a sharpness which warned winter is never that far away in this place, even in the height of summer.


  1. I wish I hadn't come to read this post. The scene in the photo is so beautiful it hurts - I so much wish I were there.


  2. Great pic VP.

    I used to feel very intimidated by landscapes like that as a kid - they looked so bleak and barren.

    Now I can see the beauty in such a wild place that is so full of life.

    Fay Godwin takes some stunningly beautiful landscape photographs of places like this...

  3. how lovely! the links are appreciated as well. eldest grandchild & i will be scrolling through the site listening to bird call this afternoon!

  4. My father was sent to Hawes as a wartime evacuee; we used to return for summer holidays and stay with the family that had taken him in. I have a miniature walking stick made by the ropemaker (still there I think) that is one of the oldest items I own (apart from antiques) - it was bought for me when I was about six years old

  5. I'm wondering if you would cast your expert eye over my tomato leaves?

    I'd be glad if you were able to tell whether there's anything wrong with them.


  6. Stunning, but your wouldn't want to get lost or break down in the middle of that!

  7. Lark Ascending in life, not just played on a violin!

  8. lovely picture. I can just imagine the birdsong too. The soundtrack to what you are seeing makes such a difference - I was in Italy last weekend and the birdsong was a beautiful accompaniment to a fabulous landscape. (and a bit of a surprise too as I had been led to believe that all Italian birds are shot and eaten!)

  9. Haven't commented for ages, but have read posts, of course. What I love about N Yorks is the way the countryside crowds in on the cities and always seems so dominant. The PG and I spent an uncomfortable night at Hawes in a nasty pub & we weren't really taken with the town itself but LOVED all the surrounding landscapes.
    Proper Wenslaydale, when eaten in perfect conditon, preferably with a slice of rich, dark fruit cake, is closer to heaven than you're likely to get, without actually dying.

  10. Living in the south east I keep forgetting there are areas like that. Mind you I agree with Chris that it can look intimidating. I think it is the lack of trees. I feel safer with a tree around :-)

  11. The below site is my Q&A site for garden enthusiast. Have a look and if you can post a link for me that would be great! Http://


  12. Esther - it still hurts that we're not there! Eek - I see I haven't been over to see your tomatoes yet...

    Chris - I'm a great fan of Fay Godwin's work. Bill Brandt too - have you seen his 'Hell, Hail and Halifax'?

    Petoskystone - the RSPB website is a fantastic resource. I'm so glad you and your grandchild explored the birdsong :)

    Mark - yes, the ropemaker's still there. It's one of Hawes' main attractions.

    Dobby - it would have been fine on the day we were there, but certainly not in Winter!

    EE - absolutely :)

    Lu - they do, so I'm quite surprised too!

    PMN - fruit cake with cheese is one of my favourites too. Something I learned from my Lincolnshire born dad :)

    EG - I must show the picture I took immediately behind me when I took this one. A most reassuring tree for you :)

  13. Scott - if you post a comment which is part of the conversation rather than a 'do come and visit my blog/website', you'll find loads more people will come and visit you :)


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