Mick's holiday year at work runs from the 1st of April to the 31st of March and he still had sixteen days left to take before the end of this month. He's added ten of those days onto next year's allocation but that still left him with six days to take, so he decided to take last Friday and all this week. We struck lucky with the weather, it's been glorious.
Last Friday we decided to head off into the Yorkshire Dales but instead of sticking in one place, we drove around and spent a shorter time in a number of places. We started off in Ingleton, known as the Land of Waterfalls and Caves. Ingleton Waterfalls Trail is a 4 1/2 mile trail through ancient oak woodland and Yorkshire Dales scenery via a series of waterfalls. We didn't follow the trail, preferring to wander through the village. St Mary's Church dates from 1886, though it's possible that there's been a place of worship on the site since the 12th century.
The viaduct with eleven arches is an imposing structure in the village and was designated a listed building in 1988. It's been redundant since the closure of the Clapham to Low Gill railway line in the 1960s.
It's always good to find a yarn shop on our travels. Amanda Bloom who runs Little Box of Crochet used to be the owner of this shop but it was taken over and reopened last year with new owners. It's a lovely shop stocking both commercial and hand-dyed yarn. I didn't make a purchase on this occasion but it was lovely to have a look around.
After a mooch around Ingleton we headed off to the much larger market town of Settle. The market is held each Tuesday, but there's lots of independent shops to visit on other days of the week. There's an abundance of lovely cafes and places to eat here too.
Malham is a village a little over six miles from Settle so that was our next destination. The white area in the photo above is Malham Cove, a huge curving cliff formation of limestone rock. The vertical face is about 260 feet high and the top of the cove is a large area of deeply eroded limestone pavement. The scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows where Harry Potter is camping was filmed on the limestone pavement. There are steps which you can climb to the top of the cove onto the limestone pavement and though we didn't visit Malham Cove on this occasion, we have climbed the stairs up to the top of the cove previously.
Wherever you are in the Yorkshire Dales, the scenery is stunning. Acres upon acres of land and miles upon miles of dry stone walls.
Sheep can be seen grazing all over the Yorkshire Dales and there's lots of newborn lambs too at the moment.
Malham is only a small village but it's picturesque and Malham Cove, Gordale Scar - a huge gorge, and Janet's Foss waterfall are all within walking distance.
A stream runs through the village and Archie always likes to have a paddle. He had a little more difficulty getting in and out of the stream on this occasion and it's at times like these that we can see how he's becoming more unsteady as he gets older. He'll be twelve in a couple of months.
The ducks were enjoying the stream too.
Our last port of call was Grassington, another market town and also the fictional market town of Darrowby in All Creatures Great and Small. When we arrived there was a film crew getting the village ready for filming. The house you can see above is Skeldale House in the programme where James Herriot lives and works. The man in the photo was dressing up the exterior with fake flowers.
Grassington's Devonshire Inn had been converted into Darrowby's Drovers Arms. Apparently, scenes from inside the pub are actually filmed in The Green Dragon Inn in Hawes as the interior of the The Devonshire is too modern.
Many of the shops in Grassington were all ready for filming. Darrowby Ironmongers is actually Walkers Bakers and Chocolatiers and though the exteriors have been changed, the shops themselves are still trading.
I never tire of my days out to the Yorkshire Dales, I've been visiting the area since I was a babe in arms when my parents used to take us for days out and it's somewhere we've taken our children too.
So that was the first day out while Mick's been off work, but we've visited other places too, blog posts to follow.