Monday, 28 March 2011
A Day Out
Out to lunch yesterday at one of our favourite venues, The Black Swan Hotel in Ravenstonedale - it even sounds lovely, doesn't it? We met friends and spent two and a half hours of pleasant conversation and delicious meals as well.
Part of the pleasure of going for us is the lovely journey there; a journey of about thirty five miles through spectacular countryside. After leaving Wensleydale we drive along the side of the Mallerstang (a fell with a Viking name, as have many of the fells around here) and then turn across the high moor. There is little traffic on the ground and the traffic above consists mainly of lapwings, curlew and the odd skylark.
It was a sunny, hazy day with a sharp wind but the walk with Tess on the way there was lovely. The expression "Blue remembered hills" came to mind when I photographed the Mallerstang in the distance.
The white farmhouse looks splendid in its own little valley and, although it looks very isolated, it is only about a mile from the road to Kirby Stephen - a little market town.
On our walk we came aross two beautifully-preserved lime kilns. Lime has been used from the very earliest times, both as mortar for building and also to spread on the land. It always made sense to build the kilns near to where the limestone was located, so that stones didn't have to be transported. To find two so close together and in such good condition was exciting and looking at the surrounding totally empty countryside, it was easy to imagine men working in such conditions - wonderful in Summer, not so good in the depths of Winter.