For our trip to the Lake District with the in-laws, we actually ended up staying just outside in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, as we had better accommodation options (for the same amount of money). We’d managed to leave behind the rainy skies behind in the Cotswolds, and had turned off the motorway to rolling green hills dotted with sheep, and old stone walls that criss-crossed the land.
We’d wanted to find a nice authentic experience for Risa’s parents. We could tell the accommodation was going to be special after the painfully narrow roads that we needed to drive along to get here, and we were right. Thankfully we managed to be near small overtaking areas when we encountered other vehicles. Our accommodation was an amazing little barn that had been converted. It was so charming that the Japanese words of the approval from Risa and the family was deafening. OK, I was doing my share of swooning, too.
The view from the upper bedroom was stunning, with no neighbours or other obstructions in front of us – just these beautiful rolling green hills.
It wasn’t just the rolling hills that charmed us all, but the nearby town where we went for dinners, Dent, was also a postcard of a town. The streets were cobbled with the same stone as the houses – most of which had been painted in a bright white colour. Like the Cotswolds, it felt like being in a historic movie – except when the occasional car drove past, ruining the illusion.
The little flowers on windowsills, and placed all around town gave some much life and vibrancy to the place – it even had Risa’s dad jumping for joy.
But, like many of these tiny towns, once we’d eaten, and had a quick wander around, it was time to move on. We travelled deeper into the national park, and gone were the lumpy peaks of the Lake District, in its place were endless series of rolling hills, all in a golden glow of grass in autumn. This picture best summed up Yorkshire Dales to me.
We made our way to Hawes, and as it was a Tuesday, their local markets were in full swing. Sadly, the tea-towels and gardening equipment weren’t quite the objects that we were interested in, so kept on walking to the Wensleydale Cheese factory – cheese of choice for Wallace and Gromit. You can do a quick taste testing sample, trying all of their cheeses – and by the end, those little crumbs of cheese are filling, and kind of ruined my appetite for any further cheese.
It was currently the hottest day of the year in England (London cleared 30˚), and we were certainly feeling the difference compared to the cool winds we’d had previously. Making the most of this, we sat in the sun and ate some Wensleydale ice cream. The summer hadn’t been too bad this year, however, the opportunity to sit in the sun (and not get burnt) was an incredible luxury, and one which we relished.
We started heading deeper, and deeper into the Yorkshire Dales, veering away from the major roads, and finding ourselves on more single vehicle lanes.
The scenery only got better as we travelled further, with occasional aquaducts, and railway bridges that spanned some of the valleys. I’m not sure if they are still in use, but the sight of a steam train passing over this kind of scenery would just blow my mind.
I had wanted to visit Malham Cove, an amazing rocky amphitheatre, but sadly we were running short on time to be able to do more than just appreciate it from within the car – which thankfully was possible.
Before we knew it, our four-day weekend into Northwest England was at an end. It was now a four-hour crawl along the motorway back into London. We tried to resist as much as we could, however, we knew that we’d be back again one day – and in a camper van.