Monday, 18 July 2016

A Tranquil Drive.

On a Sunday afternoon when the news really doesn't get any better, we thought we would have a drive out through the Dales.

I have just finished reading Amanda Owen's A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess and the farmer (who is a true Dalesman) really wasn't sure where Ravenseat, her farm, was.

So we set off through Swaledale, into Arkengathdale and up to the Tan Hill pub (the highest pub in England) and then down back into Swaledale.   We failed to find it, but we passed quite near as I have found by Googling it this morning.

But what a lovely drive we had, stopping for an ice cream in Reeth on the way back.

I thought you would like to see one or two of the photographs I took.
Here we are driving along the roof of the Pennines, through Arkengarthdale towards the Tan Hill pub - a very popular pub both with walkers and drivers in the Summer months, but often snowed up during the winter time.    In the distance is the county of Durham.
I am sorry to say that I can't load any more pictures - nothing seems to work, so you will have to use your imagination until such time as things are working again.

In the meantime, it is interesting to note that all of the little Dales villages we drove through have the same problem - cars.   I am sure the same problem applies to many villages in beauty spots throughout the country.   These Dales cottages were built in local stone and were finished and inhabited long before the motor car was invented, so needless to say they had no garages (in any case, the original inhabitants of these cottages - lead miners, farm works, tradesmen and the like, would not have been able to afford a car).   Now the narrowness of the roads (no more than lanes really), coupled with the fact that almost every household has one or even two, cars means that it is usually single traffic with a lot of waiting and a lot of courtesy to get through.   But it is worth the wait.
Well, here's the Tan Hill pub - at least that has got one on.   Now I will try another.   Sorry hasn't worked.   More tomorrow.   Later I managed to get a shot of the narrow road in Gunnerside on to this post.   Sadly it arrived in the top spot and I don't intend to tempt fate and try to move it.   But is does give you some idea about the narrow roads.

Interesting name - Gunnerside - a viking name, as are any of the names around here.


Derek Faulkner said...

Superb countryside and probably best visited in the week when weekenders aren't out and about. Unfortunately your remarks about cars are true wherever you go, people of our age do tend to pine for the good old horse and cart. I trust that you stopped for a pint, no way could I of gone past without doing so, I do like to try real ales from different places.
Just been out on my bike for a nice ride along the seafront near me, tide was full in and everything looked beautiful.

tilly said...

You were not very far away from Ravenseat near Tan Hill, I stayed with Amanda and family in the shepherds hut in May. On Saturday, she had her latest addition to the family
I went over the buttertubs to Hawes for the day and had lunch in the cafe that you go to.

donna baker said...

Love all the terms for the landscape. So different from here. Give me the big sky country any day. Love to see as far as you can. Why aren't there any trees?

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

You set me a puzzle there. You see, I've passed by Ravenseat at some time and what's more I can picture it in my mind. But why? I commenced Googling and found that it's on the Coast To Coast walk - but I last walked there nearly 40 years ago, the year after Wainwright published the guidebook, and I know I didn't stop at Ravenseat. It turns out (having dug out maps, guides, notebooks etc) that it's the half-way point of the walk. No wonder it left an impression.

Heather said...

Such precious expanses of unspoiled countryside. I love a view where you can really stretch the eyes. On the one hand the car is a godsend enabling us to visit remote places and tiny villages, but it is also a threat to their beauty as they try to accommodate more traffic.

Dave Martin said...

Took a drive to the Tan Hill inn a couple of years ago. Excellent traditional old public house with the bonus of an interesting drive, wondering why on earth anyone decided to build a pub so far from civilization.

Terry and Linda said...

Excellent! I LOVE taking trips with you!


George said...

There's nothing like a nice drive in the country on a Sunday afternoon. Reeth rings a bell for me. I think I walked through there — somewhere near Richmond? — on my hike of the Wainwright Coast-to-Coast path.

John Gray said...

Uyour chq arrived thank you!

angryparsnip said...

Oh I love your photos of your car trips.

cheers, parsnip and thehamish

angryparsnip said...

You have always talked about this Inn and after Dave's comment I looked it up.
Nice to know the history of Tan Hill.

cheers, parsnip and thehamish

Frances said...

As others have already commented, it is a real treat to feel as if I was able to go along with you and the Farmer on this drive.

Do you think that it is now impossible to live in this area without having a car?

I fear the answer is yes but hope that it might be not necessarily.


Margaret Butterworth said...

Parked cars nose to tail in residential streets were a big shock to me when visiting the UK after years in Australia. In my hire car, I didn't know the etiquette of driving along such streets. My daughter lived in Tonbridge Wells and we would often return home and be unable to find a parking spot near her house. (And that was 10 years ago!) We are not free of the tyranny of the motor car here in Perth, where the suburbs stretch further and further out from the city. Cars clog the freeways north and south at peak times. People don't seem to want to use public transport to get to work.

Cro Magnon said...

Our back roads are about 3 metres wide, so meeting another car means driving onto the verge. If the grass has been cut this is not a problem, if it hasn't you risk driving into a hidden hole!

Sue said...

I am in awe of Amanda Owen. All those children, so much energy and such a natural mum, plus she always looks amazing.

Librarian said...

I better not get started on a personal rant about/against cars...! Whenever and where ever possible, I walk or use public transport. But I know it would be nearly impossible (or at least would take up a VERY long time) to get from A to B in the Yorkshire Dales without using a car at least sometimes. As I do not drive (never had a license) and my sister does not dare to drive in the UK (she has never driven on what feels for her as the "wrong" side of the road), we depend on public transport and the generosity of my sister-in-law for trips other than hikes. Public transport means careful planning and good timing; not always possible when you are in an area you don't know as well as your home town.
Also, cars everywhere spoil the most picturesque villages and towns when one wants to take pictures of pretty cottages and beautiful churches.
Anyway - it is good that people do have cars, otherwise you would have not been able to go on this delightful drive, and show us the pictures!

I've watched Adrian Edmondson's "The Dales" series where he visits Amanda Owen and her family a few times, and I bought the book and gave it to my mother-in-law as a gift. Her life couldn't be more different from mine - very exotic to me!

thelma said...

Cars are something we have to live, when we looked round for a cottage the first thing to strike you was that cars had to be parked on the road. They are a necessary evil, especially as the small buses are being stopped in so many villages. Yorkshire is beautiful and attracts a lot of tourists of course, bicycles, motorbikes, caravans and motor homes. We are a small country with small lanes, the juggernauts that sometime use the B roads as a cut through are also scary.

Midmarsh John said...

Lots of natural beauty still to be seen in the English countryside. Growth in car ownership has been phenomenal. Over the 40+ years I have lived in my village I have seen it grow from an average of under 1 car per household to seeing 3 or 4 cars in more than a few households.

Rachel said...

I say long live the car. We cant do without them and our nearest town where the Lib Dem councillor condemned it to being carless killed the town and the local businesses and now it is almost a ghost town.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Rachel's comment is interesting - we really do have to move with the times i suppose.
Thelma, also living in another beauty spot in North Yorkshire, hits the nail on the head.
Librarian - unfortunately most of our rural bus services have been stripped back to a minimum and without cars many folk would be completely isolated.
Frances - the answer is really 'yes' I am afraid. It would be a very lonely life.
Yes George you would go close to Reeth on the Coast to Coast and of course Ravenseat is the half way point on the coast to coast too.
Dave - when the Tan Hill Pub was built I think this was an important transport route through the Dales and often travellers, particularly in the winters, would be stranded and need somewhere to stay. Even today it is not unusual for some folk to be stranded there for a few days in the winter.
Donna - there are no trees because the land is above the tree line. The weather is too inclement in winter for trees to flourish.
Interesting that Tilly actually stayed there!

Thanks everyone for your contribution.

Fairtrader said...

How desolate and peaceful they look, these dales. Nice pictures, Weaver, and I know what you mean about trying to arrange pictures in the fashion one had imagined. We've had several storms here, the worst one took place the night before our journey to Stockholm, so nobody slept a wink that night. On the other hand we are not farmers with the anxiety that holds for the crops.
He is a strong and good man that husband of yours, I am glad you are holding up. Is any of you born on that farm, perhaps??
Did you see the pictures I added in my latest post, the old farms from swedish countrysides?
Still, I hope to visit those dales and see all this with my own eyes, until then I will see it through your eyes. Thank you!!!!