It’s a Dales life

North Ribblesdale in the Yorkshire Dales — Three Peaks country of Penyghent, Whernside, and Ingleborough — where the River Ribble rushes by limestone scars and over thrilling waterfalls. That’s my homeland and the main source of my regular blog posts. Thanks for dropping by. I’m Paul Jackson. I spent almost twenty years in local newspapers before joining Country Publications where I stayed for another 19+ years up to retiring in 2012. During my time with the company, I was production editor and later editorial director, editing the famous Yorkshire Dalesman magazine as well as the celebrated national magazine The Countryman. Nowadays I spend my time doing a little freelance work, strolling around the dales, or watching Huddersfield Town FC. My main hobby is photography — but I’m very much an enthusiastic amateur. You can view some of my photos by browsing through the galleries (menu above) or in my post archive. I have been adding a fresh blog about the Yorkshire Dales for several years now – have a browse through the archive.

Here’s a slideshow showing where I live – it’s nine minutes long so get a cup of tea first …

To those people who think it is fine and dandy to nick my photos from the site and use them for their own benefit please at least have the decency to credit me. Asking permission would be nice, too – pay me and I’ll befriend you for ever.

Family history

This page contains a list of surnames included in my own family tree which may be of interest to other genealogists. I’ve also uploaded an article I wrote for Dalesman called Me and Alfred the Great – an exploration of one branch of my own family tree.

Yorkshire surnames

Other hobbies include tracing my family history; an off-shoot of this is writing a column for Down Your Way magazine about Yorkshire Surnames. The magazine has recently been incorporated with Dalesman where my column continues. See if your name has been included here (or click on the Surnames link at the top of the page). I add a new name every month.

Yorkshire Dales Twitter

To follow my Twitter feed visit 

My books

I’ve also written a few mini-books – click here or on the link at the top of the page.

If you enjoy my posts let me know by using the reply section below. If you don’t like them, then keep it to yourself as I’m a very sensitive chap.

dales scenic

10 thoughts on “It’s a Dales life”

  1. I love your blogs & photos & look forward to them every month in the Vibrant Settle newsletter. Thank you.

  2. Hi – I was in Settle this past weekend and very much enjoyed the service at Ye Old Naked Man Cafe. Are you able to tell me where the name came from please?


    1. Hi Barbara – There are few stories about the name – which probably started out as a nickname given by locals for the building. A chap called John Cookson had a hostelry here in the 1600s. He decorated the house with a date stone showing a man holding a scroll across his nether regions. At first glance from a distance it looks like the man is naked, but a closer inspection shows that he’s actually dressed. Another story has it that there a man was buried naked under the building, and that the place was once an undertaker’s.

  3. Hi Paul I have just added a link to here at the bottom of the hotel home page website. I think our guests would enjoy reading this and should have done it a while ago! hope you are well xxx

  4. Hi Paul ~ Have enjoyed seeing your photos on Twitter for sometime, however only today did I click on your Website link and discover “Scribble by the Ribble” what a pleasure – John

    1. Many thanks John – enjoyed your artwork for years. Let me know dates of your next exhibition and website details so I can publicise on here.

  5. Hi Paul
    We are staying in a lovely cottage down by Langcliffe weir. This is the third time we have stayed this year the place is so beautiful.
    I have been trying to get a photograph of the Kingfisher that lives on the mill pond but only managed a blurry snap so far. He seems to hang around the mill pond near to where the river enters the mill pond.
    Have you managed to get a snap of him?
    I also sat on the commerative bench just by the bridge and saw the inscripstion it brought a lump to my throat the young lady mentioned was only 2 years younger than me, I was born in 56 .
    do you know if she was a local girl?

    1. Hi Graham – I’ve seen the kingfisher but not this year. Never been quick enough to photograph it but I did once take a poor picture of an otter in the mill pond. Couldn’t tell you anything about the lady mentioned on the bench – only her first name on the inscription. Enjoy your stay.

  6. Next spring I am planning to visit the Yorkshire Dales and a few other nearby locations.
    I have seen pictures of lone trees in/at Winskill Stones. One picture was entitled “The Malham Ash”. Other pictures stated the tree was a hawthorne I believe. But my question to you is how to I get to this place and see these lone trees jutting out of the limestone pavement. Can I drive to it and take a short walk or is a longer walk necessary. I’m from the U. S. so am a little (or a lot) lost. I’m hoping you can advise me. Thank you.

  7. Dear Paul
    Thanks for your excellent last article in the Countryman and for all your previous good work on the magazine. I am devastated by the closure of this iconic magazine. At a time when the messages expressed in the magazine are more important than ever it is a huge disappointment . It seems that it is being sacrificed to try and keep the Dalesman going. I won’t be part of that. Much as I love the Dales, it was the Countryman that covered the whole country. You must be closer to all this than most. Material costs are reducing and postage costs could be reduced by going back to quarterly. Is this really the death knoll or could it come back? I have been a reader for 50 years and have every copy since the first one in 1927 so my sadness is beyond description.

    Kind regards
    David Kirk

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