Wednesday, 16 March 2011
I have had a visitor staying over the week-end and on Sunday it was such a lovely, sunny day that we decided to take her out on a drive to an area she didn't know at all. When the farmer does this, he will not say where he is taking us so it is always a surprise.
This time we went along the edge of Swaledale and turned into Arkengarth Dale and began to climb onto the high ground. (All the Yorkshire Dales are named after the beck or river which has formed them - in this case the river Swale and the Arkle beck). We came eventually to the Tan Hill pub, one of the highest pubs in England. It stands on the high ground between Swale dale and Teesdale the next dale to the North of here.
Back down into Swaledale we were struck by the way the countryside is beginning to wake up after the winter. There was a cold wind blowing but the sun was shining and in the car it was pleasantly warm.
We came down into Swale dale, over the Buttertubs pass into Wensleydale and then called at the Wensleydale creamery for afternoon tea. This creamery used to belong to a firm called Dairy Crest, who decided to close it down some years ago. There was a management buy-out and it has gone from strength to strength, exporting cheese all over the world, opening the cheese-making plant and its neighbouring museum to visitors, opening a shop, a coffee shop and a restaurant.
In the coffee shop we had cranberry and cheese cake (delicious) and pots of tea.
Then we drove back through Wensleydale to home. A lovely afternoon and a few photographs so that you can get a flavour of where we went (sorry it is not a cheese flavour, but if you find Wensleydale cheese in your local shop at least you will know where it comes from.)