Sheep, trains and flowerpots – it’s all go in the Dales

DalesMy Yorkshire Dales photo diary. Sadly, many of the swallows living around the house have disappeared – a bit early for departure but perhaps they know something we humans don’t. There is still one pair lodging in a former outside loo – perhaps they had second chicks and are awaiting their development. I hope it doesn’t mean summer’s over before it’s really begun.

Thankfully there have been a couple of rain-breaks this week when I’ve been able to get in a little exercise and some photography. There was some mellow evening light around the local dales on Friday, as in the top photo of sheep grazing beneath Penyghent at Horton-in-Ribblesdale. The next two show Kingsdale and Ingleborough from Chapel-le-Dale.

Another shot of Penyghent, this time from Horton churchyard

Settle is certainly looking colourful with all the flowerpot creations dotted around town for the annual festival. I took a few photos one night this week before rain interrupted my tour. You can see a selection by clicking here – by no means a complete set. Great work by everyone involved.

Living in such a lovely part of the country means every day is cause for celebration here in the Dales but Monday was a bit more special as it was Yorkshire Day. I pinched a white rose from a neighbour’s tree and popped it into a glass of water – it’s still blooming nicely as I write this six days later.

Clapham is always worth a visit – I was there for an evening stroll earlier in the week…


Love this old-style road furniture.

Steam train excursions up and down the Settle-Carlisle line are still attracting a great deal of attention, especially when Flying Scotsman is hauling (first pic shows Flying Scotsman passing through Settle). Other two show other engines pulling trains earlier in the week at Ribblehead and another in Settle (Saturday).



Border crossing, Yorkshireness and Mickey Mouse


Every now and then I’ll do something very unYorkshire-like by stepping outside the county boundary. There’s some method in this madness … you see, I have a Senior Railcard and it is my duty as a Yorkshireman to make sure I get my moneysworth out of it. The nice man at Settle station worked out the cheapest way to get me to Scotland’s north-east coast town of Stonehaven and back – just £64 which is cheaper than it would have cost to buy petrol for the car journey. Despite being only 15 miles from the bustling city of Aberdeen Stonehaven is peaceful and picturesque and within walking distance of the impressive Dunnottar Castle. If you’re interested in my snapshots of the area click here.

From whichever way you reenter Yorkshire there’s always some landmark that confirms you’re back on home soil. From the north west by train it’s the highest point of the Settle-Carlisle line at Ais Gill for me. The Scottish coastline has some terrific scenery but I still adore traveling down Mallerstangdale, crossing into Dentdale and then emerging from Blea Moor tunnel into the land of the Three Peaks.
The picture above is looking across to the Yorkshire side of Mallerstangdale beneath Great Shunner Fell.

I was back in time to celebrate Yorkshire Day in Ribblesdale where in Langcliffe we had a Jacob’s Join and sang the full version of Ilkla Mooar Baht ‘at. As I’m completely tone deaf I just drank beer.
The start of the week was dismal with little chance of photography due to the weather. I managed to spot a short-lived spell of light among the grey of Stainforth Scar (above), and noted that the weir on the Ribble (below) was a bit livelier than of late.
Yesterday afternoon the mill pond looked grand as it caught the sun. Shortly after taking the photo I was spotted by about 30 ducks that all started paddling frantically towards me. I made a hasty retreat as the hungry birds seemed determined to find something to nibble.

The brilliant flowerpot festival in Settle has attracted much interest this week but I wonder how many visitors lift their eyes to see this little chap (below). He has a cartoon pal nearby too, and they’re both on permanent display. I’m not telling you where they are, you’ll just have to come and find them.


Ode to Yorkshire

Let’s rejoice on Yorkshire Day
For all that Nature’s sent
From Flamborough Head and Caton Bay
to Malham Cove and Pen-y-ghent.
On Ilkley Moor and Pennine hills
North York Moors and Dales
the scenery forever thrills
and inspiration never fails.
So if depressed or all forlorn
get your thoughts in order
and thank the Lord that you weren’t born
on t’ other side o’ t’ border.

Happy Yorkshire Day

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