Monday, 18 April 2011

Yorkshire Dales walking and a retreat.

Upper Wharfedale.
A few of my walking followers are wondering by now when I am going to be putting on the walking boots and this is the moment when I am about to answer this question. My "Scarborough sandcastle manager" suggested a weekend away to a retreat in the heart of The Yorkshire Dales involving some walking.
This is essentially a three in one post as I struggled to justify posting the first part on it's own due to the British weather !!

We set off from The Aysgarth Falls car park on what we hoped would be a scenic 6 miles circular walk to the south. Unfortunately the walk ended up being more of a photographic study of various trees....

.... and an inviting door to see an Art display in the small village of West Burton.

The village of West Burton was one of the locations used by the artist JMW Turner. Given the circumstances, he would love to paint some of today's ethereal scenery !

On leaving West Burton, we climbed up the hill in an easterly direction and stopped to .... enjoy the view of the village ( err ... passing mist) while we had lunch. We took the long lane ( no, it's not quite a river) north towards Temple and the Wensleydale road.

Despite a lot of the walk majoring on farmland and Yorkshire countryside buildings....

... the main focus was near the end of the walk being Aysgarth Falls. Visitors have been coming here for centuries, although maybe John Ruskin,  JMW Turner and William Wordsworth didn't quite see it like this.

 There wasn't the enthusiasm for my artist / walking companion to paint it either (apologies to him... he knows I'm only having a bit of fun with him !) as he headed off to the car and the warmth of our weekend accommodation at Scargill House near the village of Kettlewell.

Although most of the house dates back to the 18th century, some of the more modern elements such as the 1960's chapel have been a bit more controversial in it's day with the local conservationists...

Grade II listed Scandinavian chapel

The site has an unusual history as it was once purchased as a shooting lodge for Grouse on the moors but  was sold by a family descendent at an auction to the church of England in 1957.

The building developed into a mixture of catering and accommodating for various groups and a conference centre for issues of Christian faith, youth and the environment.

Due to financial difficulties, the centre closed in 2008 but was sold to a new buyer the following year who wanted to continue the original vision incorporating it into the local Kettlewell community. Now what a place this would be to live .... an office with a view......

Checking my blog hits and comments !!
Garden wildlife.

On Saturday, we went for a walk south along The Dales way. We were joined by a youth choir from Leeds who insisted on singing certain mountain songs relating to the musical, The sound of music !!

The Dales way is an 84 mile long distance footpath stretching from Ilkley in West Yorkshire to Bowness in The Lake District. Generally the walking is pleasant and an introduction to the serious Long distance walking paths of The Pennine Way, Coast to coast and West Highland way.

 It was at this point ( 3 miles south of Kettlewell) that we decided to leave the choir and complete a circular walk via the nearby hill top to the east. Interestingly enough, my Grassington walk last year covered the southern half of this section.

Others were in agreement with this choice of route !... "Hey, did I meet you last year ? !"

Relaxation at the un-named summit

Time to move on... the sun was starting to go down and we were wanting to have something left to eat for evening meal !!


  1. Nice post not far from me I am in Selby North Yorks. Loved the windoe shot with red chair. Kev

  2. I love the shot with the sheep in the lower left hand corner/field and sky. Stunning scenery, even with the weather. A great trip for me as always!!

  3. I think they are all lovely but I prefer the misty, mystical shots at the beginning. Amazing shots at the summit, too!

  4. Enjoyed that walk from my swivel chair thanks. Seems ages since I had a proper walk - off to Northumberland for a week next month though.

    Any luck with map jpg after my last reply/comment?


  5. A very good set of one of my favourite areas. You found the falls at their very best.
    It's hard to make mist look attractive unless it is rising from a lake or hugging valley bottoms.
    You have succeeded here. It's good to be out unless it's blowing a gale and fun then.

  6. Your photos are like movie posters. Full of emotions. I see some spiritual composition also. Brilliant. Not to mention you are being serenaded by a choir overlooking that stunning sceneries.

  7. grate post i like your pictures you have shared thanks

    hotels leeds

  8. Dear J!
    I must say that your images with every post have
    improved very much!!
    I love those pictures you captured with the
    light going down!

  9. What a great walk! I of course love the waterfall, but it is all beautiful! I would love to do this walk!
    Thank you for sharing your adventure!
    Have a fabulous day!
    Debbie's Travels

  10. Love the photos, as usual. I'm Scandinavian but I'll still say that the chapel looks really out of place on that gorgeous landscape. I'd take it apart, stack the lumber, and tell them they've got a week to come and retrieve it. ;-)

    That is amazing countryside! So you were getting a little weary of 'The hills are alive with the sound of music'?? LOL West Burton is such a beautiful little village. There's a little holiday cottage rental nearby which we've considered.

  11. Ciao J., I believe you with your photos seize the soul of places and I think the photo number 6 with the tree reflected in the puddle is a masterpiece!

  12. I think it might be my next destination in England - terrific walk! I love the countryside and the architecture, and I could do with such a view through the window:)

  13. Beautiful landscape! I enjoy the old stone farms, the window photos and the horse! It's an idyllic place, nice for a stroll.

    Happy Easter!

  14. This is such a lovley landscape! And the horse smiles absolute friendly. It would be nice to go there for holidays.... But today I want to wish you happy easter and send hugs from Luzia.

  15. That was a wonderful post. The weather can't always be ideal as you know but it certainly adds to the atmosphere. Great pictures, you captured the feeling so well.

  16. I had a very pleasant week walking the Dales Way a few years ago...great area..
    As always J a really interesting post. Who needs a travel guide when we have your blog.....!


  17. You go for a quiet walk and end up with a choir!! I bet you could hear them for miles!! great set of photos my favorite is the third one on the post.
    I think there are some good recipes for squirrel, or did you have the nuts in mind!!
    Happy Easter to you
    George and Jan x

  18. Ciao J.
    peaceful and happy Easter!

  19. Very artistic photos! Most of them are like paintings; some of them like B&W delicate drawings. I love them all. Thanks for sharing.
    Happy, Blessed Easter!

  20. This is one of the most artistic post of yours!
    The story and the images are very good! I like to came here to see everything you do in your trips! It is amazing how you start to use the light and the backlight!
    Hello, J!
    Hello horse, hello landscapes!
    Now is 2.24 AM, I have been to the church, to celebrate Ressurection!
    Here we have Easter!
    I wish you good light, Hope and health!
    Have a happy and blessed Easter !


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