Where time stands still in the Dales

dalesOf all Yorkshire’s Dales, Kingsdale probably makes me feel the most relaxed. It’s such a peaceful place; small but perfectly formed. Kingsdale doesn’t belong in the 21st century and is much the better place for it. With Gragareth rising steeply on the west and Whernside to the east, this most secluded of dales can seem very lonely on a darkening winter’s eve. But on bright autumnal days with sun shining on the limestone, and glistening on the beck as it cackles over water-worn pebbles, Kingsdale is heavenly.

dalesI have a well-read phamplet that was printed by the Craven Herald in the 1930s, called Kingsdale the Valley of the Vikings. It was written and published by Frederic Riley of The Book Stores, Settle. In it are many photos of scenes which if I captured again today would not look any different whatsoever.

dalesOne day this week I parked in a lay-by on the narrow road from Thornton-in-Lonsdale to Dent where there is a classic view of Kingsdale. Should I head to the west of the dale and walk up the steep path through loose rocky limestone, or go east up the gentler slopes of Twisleton Scars? Thinking that my old knees would handle the latter much more comfortably I headed for the path up which I’d not been for more than 40 years, towards Whernside. Years ago, probably during a Duke of Edinburgh Awards hike, we’d camped in Ingleton and walked up Twisleton Scar and along the spine of Whernside (pictured above) before camping again somewhere near High Birkwith. No such trek today as I wandered around the fabulous limestone pavement where a few stunted trees leaned with the prevailing westerly wind towards Ingleborough. Here, odd weathered stones balance precariously which along with the trees present some classic (or should that be clichéd?) shots of the surrounding dales landscape. A lovely walk with extensive views over Wenningdale towards the Bowland Fells.

My granddad’s brother, Reuben Hepworth, survived the horrific battle fields of Flanders only to be killed in action exactly one month later on 11th December 1917 while on duty in Italy. He was just 24 and single. His mother Hannah, already a widow and with four children, received £105 10s 2d in April 1920 when the government finally sorted out his will. While we rightly remember those who died fighting for their countries we should also bear in mind the trauma felt by families back home.
I have Reuben’s Memorial Plaque – sometimes known as the Death Penny or Dead Man’s Penny. They were issued after the First World War to the next-of-kin of service personnel killed as a result of the war.

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A couple of shots from around Langcliffe in Ribblesdale taken on another bright day this week.

Like me, you were probably totally surprised to hear this week that some rich people get richer by avoiding tax. What shocking news. They’ll be telling us next that there are people on benefits who shouldn’t be – and folk driving round in cars that haven’t been taxed. Ah well, life just wouldn’t be the same in Little England if we couldn’t go ‘tut-tut’ about something, would it?

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I captured a couple of shafts of light while on the Silverdale Road from Stainforth – one beneath Penyghent and the other on trees near Stainforth.

Dales churches

This week’s church is in the Mallerstang valley in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. St Mary’s chapel at Outhwaite has been around since the 14th century. The small low building contains a 13th century bell. Above the porch is a stone recording the restoration of the church by Lady Anne Clifford, who owned the nearby Pendragon Castle and lived in Skipton Castle, no doubt avoiding tax.

Why life’s just hell in the Dales (12 pics)

My old milk-bottle legs got an airing in the sunny Dales yesterday. Shorts were donned for a walk around Warrendale Knotts just up the hill from home in Langcliffe. From the top of any of the limestone knolls you can enjoy great views east and west. The mighty scars here are as impressive as any along the Craven Fault, and the limestone Dales landscape contrasts greatly from the neighbouring gritstone area where Black Hill and Rye Loaf Hill loom darkly. In the west, Ingleborough and Penyghent look down on Ribblesdale. Top photo shows Attermire Scar with Black Hill and Rye Loaf Hill in the background.

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View from Warrendale Knotts towards Victoria Cave and Penyghent
Off to Hell
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Hellgill Force in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

 

Earlier in the week I drove through the Dales to the Mallerstang area, captured a steam train crossing Dandry Mire viaduct and took a trip to Hell. Well, Hellgill Force, to be precise. Sometimes this waterfall can be nobbut a trickle while other times it’s a truly spectacular sight when water cascades down from the steep fells. Hell Gill forms the boundary between Yorkshire and Westmorland and is where the water chooses which way to head to the coast – either west along the Lune and Eden route, or east and on to the North Sea via the Ure. This ‘Hell’ has nothing to do with that devil chap, in case you were wondering – the name stems from an Old Norse word ‘hella’, meaning flat stone.

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The grass seemed greener than green along Silverdale road between Stainforth and Halton Gill – the colour is just down to the reflection of the sun.

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Robin Procter Scar and Foxgloves down a shady lane at Wharfe near Austwick on Saturday.

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A quiet moment in the Dales sunshine in Langcliffe
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End of a perfect week – sunset over Ingleborough seen from Winskill, Ribblesdale