Traveling Around in Yorkshire

We start the day with rain and drizzle and a fast trip to Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes. Yes, we try five varieties of Wensleydale (some plain, some “mature,” some with cranberries, etc.) and decide not to buy anything but a tea towel. The clerk gives me Wallace and Grommit stickers to give out to my family–we’re fans.

Hawes is a small town that is bisected by a stream, complete with stoney bridge. Very picturesque.

And did I mention it was raining?

The B&B host had mapped out a ride on the white roads of death, up over a rock formation called Buttertubs, through the Yorkshire Dales park, but when we couldn’t see out of our windshield, we decided on a more forthright course of action: drive the other direction on red-roads. We headed through Swinithwaite, West Witton and Wensley to Leyburn. I don’t know what we were expecting, but it was still raining and the town (that we were willing to explore with umbrellas) ringed the paved-over town greens. Lunch was from a grocery store, where I’m sure the clerk was snickering to her pal about those strange Americans. I tried to be polite, asking for “chips” to go with our sandwich and she said “they’re in the freezer.”

She meant fish and chips. I meant potato chips, what they call “crisps.” Snicker, snicker.

Back in the car at the car park we ate our sandwiches while watching the rain. We retraced our route to take another daring step: home for naps.

Later on the sky had cleared enough that we decided to venture out for a drive and head to dinner.

We arrived at Swinithwaite just in time to see the cows moved into another pasture.

This pastoral view was replicated in many turns of the road.

We headed south, detouring into a small town, West Burton, where I finally saw a proper village green. I’d heard about village greens in storybooks, but had never seen one. Basically it’s a Central Park for small towns–a large open grassy area where people meet and greet and play.

The Methodist Church on the village green–we were suprised at how many Methodist churches we saw.

Near Thoralby, a tiny town in the Dales.

Near Newbiggin, another tiny town in the Yorkshire Dales.

We stopped here for dinner–taking the brilliant suggestion of our B&B host.

The Street Head Inn. I think the lamb I had for dinner was frolicking in the pastures behind them last week–it was like no other lamb I’ve ever had.

View into the dining room, from the entryway. We were the first diners–we like an early dinner.

Roasted vegetables in a vol-a-vent was my appetizer. I could have stopped right there.

Dave had the butternut squash soup.

His dinner was three different types of sausage, I think–yes–they were the local award winners, or so it said on the chalkboard where the day’s menu was written. This time we didn’t look like idiots when they said head to the bar to order. We knew the drill.

I had stuffed lamb rolls, presented like this. The sides (in upper R corner) were green salad and vegetables. The lamb, like I said, was amazing.

We drove past Aysgarth Falls, Caperby, heading for Castle Bolton. I also wanted to get a video clip of lambs and friends bleating in the fields. It was so quiet there, that this was a common sound. Dave waited patiently for the sun to hit the castle.

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