At last we have a Summer's day here with a temperature in the low twenties and with wall-to-wall sunshine and no wind. On the strength of that the farmer and I thought we would have a drive out to Hawes and to our friend's restaurant 'The Pantry'.
It is a big, straightforward restaurant where the food is all put straight on to your plate, gravy added and it is put in front of you, so it doesn't suit everyone (although they always do at least a hundred plates each Sunday regardless of the time of the year.) But the big plus (they are farmers too) is that it is their own meat and there is always a choice of roast beef, lamb or pork. I had lamb and the farmer had beef (he likes the Yorkshire Pudding!)
Hawes is always full of people winter and summer - I think one big draw is the Wensleydale Creamery, where they make the now World Famous Wensleydale Cheese. You are able to go round and watch the process and coach loads of visitors arrive to do just that.
One draw back with the little town is that it is a mecca for motor cyclists in Summer. This is the view at the doorway of our friend's restaurant today:
After our lovely lunch I persuaded the farmer to drive over the Buttertubs Pass and back through Swaledale in the lovely weather.
Climbing up towards the Buttertubs gives spectacular views above the tree line. As you go up, the first thing to be passed is the hotel and restaurant where Jeremy Clarkson had the famous fracas which resulted in him leaving Top Gear and the BBC.
Then it is on and up to the top and the watershed where the road drops down into Swaledale.
Dropping down into Swaledale with its protected Hay Meadows, which cannot be mown until after July 15th (to give time for the seed of the abundant wild flowers to set for next year's show), the buttercups were spectacular, as was the May Blossom. There are fields alive with mountain pansies, but they are well away from the road.
By the time we got home Tess was ready for her walk and I had a few pots of plants to water - then a well-earned rest.