Dales highs and lows

dales flascoeI’ve had a pleasant week wandering around the dales. A few gentle walks averaging around four miles per saunter; some warm weather and not a sign of sciatica. The photography’s been worthwhile too, judging by the number of ‘hits’ on Facebook, Twitter and my website which reached a new high following my postings during the week. 20 dales photos to view here this week.

dales necklace
A dales necklace near Winskill Stones

I headed for the top of Langcliffe Scar last Sunday. It’s a fabulous viewpoint from which to see Ribblesdale, the Three Peaks, Pendle Hill and other nearby dales. The wispy clouds directly above me threw up all kinds of weird and wonderful shapes. Is that a broken heart and an angel looking for me? Further away, to the east, lenticular clouds were forming spaceships. And the blue sky contrasting starkly against the limestone always draws the eye.

dales pygfromLscar

dales Ingle LScar

Strictly speaking there isn’t a public footpath to the top of Langcliffe Scar. Under foot it can be quite tricky with much of the limestone clints and grykes covered by vegetation. One benefit of this is the sheep don’t like it too much so there is more chance for the wild flowers to get a hold. Sometimes getting down on the ground and really seeing what’s growing can be as rewarding as the magnificent long-distant views.

dales flowersclose

dales wispyclouds

dales angel

dales brokenheart

dales flowerstree

Dales history

Taking advantage of the valley bottom lanes around Austwick once again, I visited one of the ancient clapper bridges near the village. The first photo in the blog shows Flascoe Bridge, which is Grade II listed with Historic England. It was built in the 15th century of limestone and five slate flags on rubble piers. The bridge is about 12 strides across for those with short legs like mine.

dales austwickvill
Austwick village
dales norberfields
The fields of Austwick and Norber

Down memory lane

Somewhere from the murky depths of my mind I dredged up memories of an old deserted church seen on a walk I did many years ago around Semerwater. So on Wednesday I popped over the pass from Ribblesdale to Wensleydale and hidden Raydale to see whether the place had changed in the intervening 40+ years.

dales churchstalling

dales semerstock dales semercows

Semerwater on a quiet pre-school-holiday, midweek day with the sun blazing down seems a million miles from the world’s angst. I followed the lakeside path through the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve to the outskirts of Stalling Busk where the ruined old church still stands. The place was actually in better condition than I remember. On returning home I discovered on tinterweb that consolidation work was carried out in 1981 and further restoration undertaken in 2000. It was still being used as a church in the 1920s.

dales cloudlane

I walked back to the car via the quiet top lane so I could see Semerwater from above. The weather turned dramatically, as it often does in the dales, during the hour or so I was walking.

Animal magic

At first I thought this sheep had been crushed by a tombstone at Stalling Busk. But I soon realised it was quite happy and just shading from the sun. A bit like my dim cat, it can’t understand why its head is cool but the rest of its body remains boiling hot.

dales gravesheep

The sheep looked cooler admiring the view from Winskill, above Langcliffe.

dales sheeprock

Squirrel setting a bad example about rail safety at Settle Station.

dales squirrelrail

dales moles

On hearing of plans to upgrade our Trident missiles this week several moles in the Yorkshire Dales decided to surrender.

And finally…

dales markrand

Is that Mark Rand sitting on the S of his converted water tower at Settle Railway Station?

I’m taking a summer break from blogging but will continue to post photos from Ribblesdale and the rest of the Dales here and on Twitter (@paulinribb) whenever I can.

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