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 older pictures in the scenic or life galleries or more recent efforts in my post archive. I add a new post every weekend.

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.

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 – 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.

Dales Twitter

To follow my Twitter feed visit

Book reviews — Dales and beyond

Click on the reviews section at the top of the page or here to read about the latest books I’ve read or worked on. 

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, which I try to publish weekly, 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

3 thoughts on “It’s a Dales life”

  1. 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.

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