A drive in the Dales



I Finished a small job in Ilkley and with half a day to kill I had a
little spin in the Dales. From Ilkley I set out for Bolton Abbey,
then on to Burnsall and Kettlewell before running over the hills to
Gayle and Hawes and then along Wensleydale heading home.

Ilkley is much as I remembered it, the general feel is the same but
with the addition of modern high street brands. Betty's have a
tearoom in the town and Morrisons have a 'local' store.

There have been some changes to the roads on the way to Bolton
Abbey. New (To me) bypasses and roundabouts have appeared. The
Devonshire Arms hotel still looks expensive. One day I will stay
there.

Towards Burnsall and the weather gets wet. Burnsall is exactly as I
remember. The old feller in the Red Lion told me most of the houses
and cottages are now holiday lets or commuter homes. But away from
the centre most homes are still locals working and living in the
area.

Called into Grassington, a proper tourist attraction. The whole
village is the attraction. Despite this it hasn't been totally
ruined. Bought a book about Cars by Stephen Bayley. I like cars.
Grabbed a butty and a drink to eat in the car and set of again.

Through Kettlewell and to Starbotton and Buckton before a trip over
the hilltops to Hubberholme, Oughtershaw and Gayle. This is one of
my favourite bits of the Dales. In the winter and spring it is
pretty empty and desolate in a good way. Stark trees bent in the
wind and low clouds tumbling over the hills. Moody. At Deepdale I
had lunch. Weather was a bit dryer and I even got the roof off.

The constant sound of dark, peaty running water follows you along
the valley. Until you begin to climb out to the top of hill, steep
sections with hairpins and blind corners and in wet weather water
cascading down from the hills make driving fun.

At the very top you can see for miles to the south. Over hill and
dale to the flatlands beyond. But not on a rainy day.

A mile along and you can see the road drop like a roller coaster
down into Wensleydale along Beggarmans Road. To the right is Cam
High Road, In fairer weather the Paragliders take of from here and
hang suspended in the air. But not this day.

Gayle is the home to the Wensleydale Creamery. Worth a look round.
Or you could just buy cheese. As I left Gayle the rain starts, roof
up.

The road from Hawes to the A1 via Jervaulx is a mix of fast and slow
and when it's empty like today it is great fun. Was chased much of
the way by a Bloke in a Caterham. I had great fun and from his manic
grin I guessed he did too. We parted company at Ripon.

The rest of the journey was A61/A19 to Thirsk and York. OK but no
real fun.

If you like the countryside, driving and spectacular scenery splash
out on a tank of petrol. You won't have many better days.

--
Mike the Mundane
Less is More. More or less.
.