Why Ribblesdale’s all steamed up

Not Trump – or Blair – or Brexit – no, this week’s hot topic in Ribblesdale is the Tornado. Follow link for more photos. Whether a railway fan or not, the sight of a steam engine running between Skipton and Appleby pulling a regular service has certainly brightened a dull winter here in upper Ribblesdale. Train buffs in their thousands descended on the region for the first scheduled passenger service on a British main line for almost 50 years. More than 5,500 people travelled on the 12 scheduled runs and thousands more watched from stations and vantage points along the scenic route.

ribblesdale railway
Giggleswick in the background

I felt a little inadequate with my cheapish lens and camera as photographers around me brandished equipment the size industrial vacuum cleaners, drones buzzed overhead and even helicopters hovered above the line – especially at Ribblehead Viaduct. There are hundreds of shots far better than mine to be seen on tinternet but here are half a dozen I took from locations in Ribblesdale.

Approaching Ribblehead Station
Leaving Settle in Ribblesdale
ribblesdale rail
Near Selside heading backwards towards Settle
ribblesdale rail
The first trip over Ribblehead on a moody morning.
ribblesdale sun
No, this one’s not showing steam. One decent sunset this week in Ribblesdale.

Skipton: Castles in the air

I came over all arty on my last visit to Skipton Castle. Must have been something in the air that day. Fascinating place.




Reds in the Dales


By the time I’d taken this photo those two Jaffa cakes had melted. The cuppa was welcome though here at Ottiwell Lodge, Snaizeholme, near Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales. I’d come to see how the population of wild red squirrels were doing. I spotted a few of the cuties but the little beggars weren’t in the mood for posing for the camera and I certainly wasn’t quick enough to capture them in focus! The scenery of course was wonderful and the temperature in the wood very pleasant.

Water way to walk




The stretch of the Leeds-Liverpool canal between Kildwick and Skipton offers one of the best waterside walks in the county. Blank out the never-ending traffic noise from the nearby A629 and you can witness beautiful scenery up and down the Aire Valley as well as enjoying nature at close quarters. With the car in for a service at Kildwick this beautiful June morning I walked the four miles or so on the canal towpath to Skipton before catching a bus back. I lost count of the birds I heard; I watched hot sheep in their inappropriate woolly jackets drinking from the canal, and cows lazily grazing in golden buttercup meadows. The bluebells in Farnhill Woods looked stunning where the spotlights of sun breeched the branches. All along the path wild garlic flowered a brilliant white and the smell was intoxicating. Ducks fussed over their untidy straggle of ducklings while two swans looked a little more serene as they guided a group of cygnets out of harm’s way. Cyclists, walkers, boaters all said a cheery ‘morning’. What a difference a bit of sunshine makes. Mind you, the car service bill brought me back down to earth with a bump.

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