Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The best medicine in the world.

Today I reached a major milestone in my life; I took early retirement from my place of work, the Yorkshire Building Society. I knew that as this was my final day, there would be a presentation and everything which goes with it. As I'm not a person who likes fuss and attention, the lead up has been rather stressful. As it turned out, it was a nice day and I think I coped well, plus it did make me realised what a lovely set of people I have worked with over the years. We started off with a buffet comprising of meat/veg samosas and sheesh kebabs which was followed by my presentation and then finally finished off by me being applauded out of the building. I have spent most of the evening responding to messages and posts received from many friends through social media and I think that it is this that has brought home to me how lucky I have been to work with such people.

I did this little walk two days earlier just to take my mind off of things. I mean, how can anybody moither and be stressed when they are amongst such natural beauty as this. I have a lot of things to be thankful for and one of them is to live in such close proximity to the Yorkshire Dales. The walk followed the Dales Way from Barden Bridge to Appletreewick and then back again. It is only four miles but when the sun is shining and the wild flowers are in the meadows, it is four miles of heaven. It closely follows the River Wharfe as you would expect before heading up in to Appletreewick which is the home to the best pub in the Dales, namely The Craven Arms. I didn't call in but later in the day, the lure of the Fountaine Inn at Linton proved too hard to resist. There was both Hetton Pale Ale and Wharfedale Blonde on so I was spoilt for choise. I chose the Blonde and it was pulled to perfection. Saying it finished my day off nicely would be an understatement!


The Dales Way at Barden Bridge

The Dales Way at Barden Bridge

River Wharfe

Mad tree

The River Wharfe

The River Wharfe

The River Wharfe

The River Wharfe

The River Wharfe

The Dales Way


The Dales Way

River Wharfe near Appletreewick

River Wharfe near Appletreewick

Hay Meadow, Wharfedale

Hay Meadow, Wharfedale

Hay Meadow, Wharfedale

Flowers by the Wharfe

Busy Bees

Flowers by the Wharfe

Monday, 6 June 2016

England's highest hill, deepest lake, smallest church and biggest liar.


I can't believe that I haven't done a blog on Wasdale before now as it's one of the most impressive valleys in the Lake District. Come rain or shine, you feel you are somewhere special. A visit to these parts would not be complete without a visit to the bakers in Gosforth as well. They serve the best pies and pasties I have ever eaten by a country mile but, guess what, they don't open on a Monday which was the day I visited. Unfortunately cafe's being closed, bakeries not being open and pubs closing down seems to be a theme in all too many of my jaunts these days.

Not being put off, I carried on down to Wast Water shore (England's deepest lake) with camera bag in hand. It was a gorgeous day but not the kind of day for good photography. It was a bit too warm and hazy for that but some days you just have to expect it and compensate by doing other things. I had a stroll along the shore and took a few photographs just for the record. There was plenty of activity on the Lake with canoeist and swimmers out in force and who can blame them? There cant be many better places than here to enjoy your passion. Add to this the many tourists and the place was quite busy.

I then headed up to the head of the Lake and had a short stroll in to the valleys which lead from it. I always like to call at the Church of St Olaf (reputed to be England's smallest Church). Looking at the headstones from the past gives you a real feel for the history of the place. The vast majority are graves of people who have passed away whilst climbing in the area they love although I did notice a cluster of graves for the Naylor family who I presume are all relative of the famous farmer and fell-runner Joss Naylor who I believe is doing a special 30 mile run to celebrate his 80th birthday! His assent and descent of Scafell Pike (England's highest hill) in 47 minutes is still a record to this day.

My visit was finished off with a drink in Ritson's Bar (the world's biggest liar) at the Wasdale Head Hotel and this is no word of a lie...I had a coffee!! My return journey was along Coniston Water and then up to the Northern Lakes on the recently re-opened A591 which was closed when it collapsed in the January floods. What a Godsend that is as every journey I made seemed to take twice as long when it was being repaired plus I have noticed a vast increase in the visitors to the Keswick area which is good for local businesses.

Hope everyone likes the photos.

Buckbarrow from the lake

Wast Water

Wast Water

Wast Water

Wast Water and The Screes

Wast Water

Wasdale and Wast Water

Pack Horse Bridge, Wasdale Head

St Olaf's Church

St Olaf's Church

St Olaf's Church

Ritson's Bar

Up and over the Bealach

The Bealach na Ba is a historic pass through the mountains to the Applecross peninsula in Wester Ross and is the name of the famous twisti...