Sunday, 1 November 2009

A Birthday Outing.














































Glorious sunshine, lovely company, chauffeur-driven, incredible scenery - what more could anyone wish for on their birthday?

My friend took me out for the day and we went into Nidderdale. It is maybe a lesser-known Dale towards the Southern edge of the Dales, and is called after its river - the Nidd. There is a river called Nidd in Norway - I think flowing through Trondheim - so I presume it to be a Viking word. It is a picturesque river and where it flows through its Dale it is quite small as you will see from the photograph - but it eventually flows into Knaresborough, where it takes on a much more mature face.
We left home at ten o'clock and drove a short way towards Ripon before branching off into the high country. Up there on the tops it is wild and empty, populated only by Swaledale sheep. The heather has finished flowering and has gone brown so we drove through miles of this open moorland before Nidderdale opened up in front of us - a pretty dale, peppered with tiny grey stone villages looking so neat and tidy in the Autumn sunlight. Everywhere we looked there were patches of deciduous larches standing tall and golden in the sun and beech trees in their weekend of glory lighting the landscape like Hallowe'en lanterns.
There was a lot of cloud overhead but round the edges was blue sky, so we decided that it wasn't going to rain - and we were right. After going through several small villages my driver suddenly turned off over the River Nidd and into a tiny hamlet where there was the most beautiful Country House Hotel. The hamlet was Wath and the hotel The Sportsman. Here, in a cosy, well-upholstered, warm, pretty lounge we had a tray with a cafatiere of coffee and a plate of biscuits, served by a charming and welcoming young lady - very civilised. As we came out we gave my friends dogs a Utility Walk (as she chooses to call it) and I took photographs of the river from the pretty little bridge.
Then it was on into Pateley Bridge - Nidderdale's market town. We didn't stop here but I took a photo from the moving vehicle so that you could see what it looks like.
And then it was off again over Grassington Moor, another high moorland place, although this one has a main road running through it, so there is more traffic. We stopped at the Old Hall Hotel for lunch. We had (to quote the menu) Award-winning sausages on a bed of mash, with onion gravy. I hope your mouths are watering - it was delicious. Here we met a lovely rescue dog, reputedly Border Collie cross Labrador, with such a shiny black coat, white feet and a tiny white tip on his extra-long tail.
Then we were off again (Heather, Marmalade Rose and all other embroiders can feel jealous here) to Embsay Mills near Skipton - an embroiderers Mecca. We had a lovely mooch, were sorely tempted - in fact I spent the Birthday money my friend had just given me on a lovely box
of materials (see photograph in order to feel intense envy those mentioned above!)
A cup of coffee in the cafe and then it was home again by a different but equally pretty route, through villages with lovely sounding names - Kirby Malzeard, Grewelthorpe, Masham - ending up back at home just as the farmer was about to light the pumpkin.
Lovely birthday - thank you dear G.

27 comments:

Elisabeth said...

Here is Australia the country and climate are so different from yours. I love to watch BBC classics, Jane Austen, George Elliot, the Brontes and the like. Your descriptions of the countryside here so remind me of the countryside I have come to love from these BBC adaptations.
Of course it's not the same, but your photos are magic and to enjoy it all so vividly on your birthday. Lucky you.
Thank you for sharing it.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…It sounds and appears to have been a lovely birthday, with a delicious day of small adventures. You live in a beautiful region with all those quaint villages and high, pastoral vistas. Makes my riverbank look pretty shaggy and unkempt.

The sound of your meals yesterday have made me hungry fro breakfast—and I know my ducks are ready for their morning corn toss. But in again, a fine post and excellent photos (I'm glad you stuck one in there of the river) it has been a pleasure sharing your birthday. Thank you.

P.S. Got to remember the term "utility walk."

Heather said...

That sounds like the perfect birthday treat to me. The scenery is wonderful - I love that little river - the weather was kind - the food sounds scrumptious and as for the birthday present, well I am suitably green with envy! Have a great time planning how to use it and don't forget to show us when it is finished.

Elizabeth said...

As ever, a delight to go with you on your outing.

Linda said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful birthday jaunt with your bloggy friends. Your pictures are so lovely and the whole experience sounded like a real treat! Your photo of the river Nidd was so fresh looking. The scenery was breathtaking and I could imagine those yummy sausages. Happy Birthday Weaver! May you keep your good health long enough to celebrate many, many more!

acornmoon said...

Happy Birthday Weaver, how lovely to indulge in new threads and materials, very inspiring I am sure!

Bovey Belle said...

What a LOVELY day out and thank you for sharing it with us, especially those lovely photos. My mum had two collie x lab dogs, who had lovely temperaments. It should be a deliberate cross, like the Labra-Doodle (a Lollie?!!!)

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Love your shots across the beautiful farmland Weaver - so quintessentially England.

I'm glad you were honoured in such a lovely fashion. Sounds like you enjoyed yourself.

Sal said...

What a fabulous birthday treat! Gorgeous photos too...what scenery!
;-)

Golden West said...

Your photograph of the little river is just beautiful. Sounds like a lovely birthday you had!

Pondside said...

I had to enlarge every one of those photos. The landscape is so different from here - the evidence of settlement so old and again, very different. I enjoyed that ride very much!

Crafty Green Poet said...

sounds like a wonderful birtday day trip

Reader Wil said...

Well thank you weaver for the nice trip! You certainly had a wonderful birthday! I love those surroundings!
Thanks for your visit too!

Hildred and Charles said...

What a lovely birthday treat. Good food, a friendly companion and that absolutely splendid drive in such a wonderfully pastoral countryside.

Thank you for sharing it Weaver, - I am going to come back at my leisure and feast on each of your photos, enlarged.

ChrisJ said...

Yes, I do feel homesick. Lovely pictures and what a wonderful drive! I've been to some of these places, but a long time ago when I was too young to appreciate them. The meal sounded mouth watering and Wensleydale reminds me of cheese. I LOVE cheese. Belated happy birthday.

steven said...

happy birthday weaver and thankyou for sharing this homesick making journey through the high country and down into nidderdale. so many of the places you mention are familiar to me - from walks and maps and from books i've read. it's so lovely to feel them alive through your eyes and heart. have a peaceful evening in the dales. steven

Penny said...

sounds like a wonderful day, and as we drove near there 2 weeks ago it was lovely to see it all, we came the other way and it is just as well I didnt know about the place at Skipton or my luggage would have been even heavier.

Titus said...

What a lovely drive, and beautiful pictures. You obviously had a kinder weekend than us!

Studio Sylvia said...

A Belated Happy Birthday Weaver. Your countryside photos are so different to what I experience here in Melbourne. I imagine taking a leisurely drive through your green and lush countryside, stopping for afternoon tea in some cozy establishment, in a welcoming village, reliving scenes from pages of classic books, such as Elisabeth mentioned. Chauffeur driven, eh? What style!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks Elizabeth - am just off to visit you.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I hope your river bank didn't read your comment Scribe - shaggy and unkempt? Your river bank photographs are magic - hope you get those ducks into a house before the bad weather comes.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Heather - the only way I can work is to finish one piece before I begin another - so it will be some time yet before I do anything more than think about those colours.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Bovey Belle - I love the idea of a lollie!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you to everyone else for your kind words about the photographs - our scenery round here more or less takes itself I find.

BT said...

What an absolutely delightful post Weaver. I just love days out where I have at least 3 stops for refreshments! That's my kind of day. The scenery was beautifully captured in your photos and I love the goodies you bought from the mill. Happy Birthday, belatedly. xxx

...Miss...Maddie's... said...

Happy belated birthday.
The colours in your thread choices are beautiful... shades of the Earth in all her glory.
Susan

Teresa said...

Happy Birthday, Weaver!

What a lovely way to spend your birthday... charming scenery, good company, good food and goodies! How fun.