Now that I have finished my trio of Welsh posts, I'd like to follow that up with a group of three individual posts. As with the last series, the reasons will become obvious by the third post.
I have been loosely associated with a West Yorkshire social and walking group for some time, My friend, known to you as the Scarborough Sandcastle manager has a similar friendship to the people in the group. The Leeds link asked him to organise a Yorkshire Dales day event and this is the ... err ... timing challenges that he came up with. Apologies for the ordinary bunch of images but due to the snapshots, constant catch up and exhaustion of the day ... I'm putting a bit more effort here into the autobiographical writing style on this occasion, hope the variety holds it.
At the start of the day, I had my unfounded doubts on some unknown variables such as how many people would turn out for an early start so far from their usual stamping ground and was the day too ambitious ?
We descended with our cars in Leyburn and caught up with old friends before the vintage bus arrived from Ripon in mid morning. Thankfully there were enough seats for everyone.
It was a pleasant journey along some less well known roads through Wensleydale from Leyburn in the East to Hawes in the west.
For those interested in the route here's a link for the current ... Vintage Dales bus timetable
|Not the most vintage bus in the fleet but reliable nonetheless !|
On arrival at the Hawes Railway station car park, it was somewhat surprising to be greeted with the above scene considering that the railway currently terminates at Redmire.
|Transport of the past going to places in the future !|
|The narrowest but longest shop award ... in my opinion|
Enough of transport and history, it was time to stock up on some packed lunch as there was no time to shop in Leyburn. We were inspired to pick up some local delicacies in this Butcher / Baker's shop.
My friend and organiser for the day is known for his walks and to be fair the next leg of the journey was only a flat 4 miles (6.4km) round trip on flat terrain to a waterfall. The group of 9 people that turned out from the Yorkshire social group (plus myself, the organiser and another friend) had experience in walking and those that were just interested in tourism seemed to stay away.
Despite the short distance, there was always the thought in the back of my head about what time the bus departed at and whether or not this short distance was achievable or not. The scenery was quite pleasant anyway crossing over the fields.
It wasn't long though before we arrived at the toll point of The Green Dragon Inn.
|13th century Inn|
The land to the rear of the pub which includes Hardraw Force is maintained by the owners of The Green Dragon Inn. A quick look at the website reveals that the fee has increased with inflation to the princely 2014 sum of £2.50.
Hardraw Force at the end of a short wooded ravine walk is reputed to be England's highest single drop waterfall. Visiting here on a school geography trip when I was about 14 years old, I remember walking behind the waterfall on a ledge. Sadly today with erosion, water spray, slippy rocks, Health and Safety, that is no longer possible or even inviting for that matter.
Time for lunch followed by a communal dessert sample of Yorkshire Curd Tart that one kind person bought in the shop earlier.
... and enough time to sample the delights of The Green Dragon before the walk back to Hawes.
We made good time and had about 30 minutes spare to have a quick look around before the bus departed. It was an opportunity to catch anything I missed or couldn't take because of the weather on the previous occasion. Come to think of it, I've never ever been here on my own before to look ... and wait ... for the best shots, it's always been a rush !
As I didn't have the time to lose myself in what I was doing I opted to retake the shepherd sculpture in the middle of the street.
The bus journey back to Leyburn between 3 and 4pm seemed less memorable than the outward one partly because we were covering the same ground in reverse, but more importantly with the talking all done and the constant drone of the engine, most of us to nodded off for a snooze at various intervals.
However everyone had a rude awakening on the rickety approach turning off the main road and award winning reversing manoeuvre into Redmire Railway station car park.
One thing that kept me going was the thought of a pub meal at 6pm in Leyburn square. However little did I know what was in store for me next. Some of the girls fancied the freedom of a 1 hour shopping spree ... not something that readily comes to mind in Leyburn considering the flagship shop is an Ironmonger !!
The town wasn't conducive to photography as there were too many cars parked everywhere so I went with the alternative plan from my friend who doesn't give up easily on walking.
All in all it was a great day out, but we hardly had any slack in the timings to send a postcard ...
... and we could have done with the services afterwards of one of the Leyburn businesses...