I needed some gardening advice, and on Tuesday I headed for the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and to Burtersett, near Hawes, in Upper Wensleydale. It's a lovely part of the world, and I picked a great day for my visit.
This is looking back up Wensleydale, towards Hawes, just a mile away.
Some of you may remember Brian Alderman, sometime top competitive curler and for two years in the 80s the Royal Caledonian Curling Club Secretary. He retired from teaching in Rutherglen a couple of years back and eleven months ago moved to Burtersett. His researches have shown that his house used to be the village pub, the 'Shoulder of Mutton'!
Brian and I have remained friends from the days we used to curl together. We share an interest in gardening, and I am impressed with the progress he's made in the short time since he moved in last July. The vegetable plot is impressive. I certainly got the advice and encouragement I needed.
The greenhouse has gone up, and a lot of plants are getting established. The house is blessed with a fantastic view! Mind you, it is not always so benign, as you can see from some of Brian's own pics here.
Tuesday was market day in Hawes.
I found Charlotte Sotherby in the old station yard car park with some wonderful transport on which to experience excusions in the Dales. This is a licensed hackney carriage! And these are real Dales Ponies. Next time!
This is another possibility.
Sadly the railway no longer runs to Hawes, although the famous Carlisle - Settle line is not too far away. Indeed, on a previous visit to see Brian last year I went by train! The Dales Countryside Museum is in the old Hawes railway station. This loco is a static exhibit, the carriages housing a film room.
A pilgrimage to the Wensleydale Cheese Visitor Centre is a must for all Wallace and Gromit fans, or if you just like cheese!
On a great day like Tuesday, walking was certainly the best way to get around. (Did you notice the butterfly in the pic?)
I love all the dry stane dykes and stiles.
And the old stone barns.
Sheep country of course. This is a chainsaw sculpture by Andris Bergs, part of an installation called Spring Gathering.
And the real thing seemed keen to make friends!
The animals are removed early from many of the fields which at this time of year are spectacular wildflower meadows, due to be cut in July.
Some of the footpaths have obstacles to overcome!
I'm not sure I would like to attempt this after recent rain! What's the name of this river which flows through Upper Wensleydale? (Answer below)
This old building was at one time a silk mill! Its last use was as a candle mill, making these for the local Burtersett mines which produced a famous type of sandstone, used for building, examples of which can be seen on the fast deteriorating roof of this building. More on the stone and the quarries is here.
(It's the River Ure, of course)