More reasons to love the Dales (12 photos)

dalesWe have some fabulous old buildings around this part of the Dales. Friars Head Hall (above) at Winterburn is a prime example. The manor of Winterburn was granted to Furness Abbey during the 12th century. The original building at Friar’s Head was said to be a hunting lodge for the abbots. The present structure was built by Stephen Proctor around 1590. It’s Grade II* Listed Building – and there are a couple more houses plus a bridge and chapel that are Grade II listed in Winterburn. It’s a grand area for walking; near Malham but away from the crowds.

dalesAnother pleasant stroll is around Brae Pasture Nature Reserve, owned by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and situated between Horton and Selside in Ribblesdale. Those favourite late spring flowers such as wood anemone, primrose and early purple orchids are showing right now here and all around the Dales.

dalesWhile perched on the small limestone plateau I also enjoyed watching clouds pass quickly over Penyghent, Newhouses Tarn, and to the north up towards Cam Fell.

Early purple orchid at Brae Pasture, Ribblesdale

Size matters

I also had a full-length view of a 26-wagon freight train on the Settle-Carlisle line as it approached Selside (below). That’s 26 wagons off the Dales roads and onto rails. Surely that’s a good thing – unless of course you happen to be a lorry driver or owner of a road-haulage business.

Ancient Dales

I know, the pic below is a bit of a cliched shot, but I couldn’t resist it as I peered out of Jubilee Cave up above Langcliffe. Iron Age and Roman material along with artefacts of Mesolithic and Late Palaeolithic type have all been found in the cave. There are some great views over the Dales from up here, although a little hazy the day I took the photos.

Langcliffe blossoms

Besides taking lots of photos of the blossom around Langcliffe this week (which I posted on Twitter and Facebook) these local scenes grabbed my attention:


More reasons to love the Yorkshire Dales

18 new Dales photos. There are many reasons why I love the Yorkshire Dales – not just the scenery or way of life, or the architecture of the landscape, its people or history. Nature, too … the Dales weather, the animals, flora and fauna. It’s too easy to rush through life with just a passing acknowledgment to what’s around us. Since retiring I’ve seen the world through fresh eyes, slowing down to a gentler pace so I can properly cherish what Nature has to offer. Early one morning this week I set off in bright sunshine for a walk up to Wharfe and Oxenber Woods, above Austwick. I set off from the Helwith Bridge side so I could capture Penyghent and Ingleborough, Moughton Scar and Norber’s boulder fields. I’d envisaged a glorious carpet of bluebells in the woods but they could only be found in small patches. Instead, I was greeted by primroses, cowslips, early purple orchids and a host of other pretty wild flowers whose names I can never remember. How I wish I had a macro lens to capture their delicate detail. Caught up in the beauty at my feet and birdsong from the trees and bushes, I hadn’t realised the Dales sky had turned from blue to very grey and I had to beat a hasty retreat.

Top photo shows Higher Bark House looking towards Ingleborough. Above is my early morning view of Penyghent; below, another shot towards Moughton Scar and Norber.

Near the entrance to Wharfe and Oxenber Woods; below a selection of Dales flowers seen in the woods.

All hail the Dales


I avoided rain that day, unlike during a visit earlier in the week to see the limestone pavement and ancient settlements beneath Ingleborough in Chapel-le-Dale. After taking some shots of the pavement, Ribblehead viaduct and a moody-looking Whernside it dawned on me that the big hill was looking a bit grim because it was about to suffer a heavy hailstorm – and the wretched weather was heading my way… quickly. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s not a good idea to sprint (not that I can sprint nowadays anyway) over tufty moorland with camera equipment, so my pace wasn’t sharp enough to avoid the hail stones which pinged my face and other exposed skin all the way back to the car.

Above and below from a trip to Selside.

Above and below, a couple of big Dales sky shots showing Ingleborough.


Does anyone know how long a Christmas cactus lives? The photo shows a plant I took from my mum’s house when she died 24 years ago – I’m not sure how long she’d looked after it, but it was certainly hanging round her home for a very long time. This one tends to flower around Easter rather than Christmas and seems to thrive on neglect.

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