Tag Archives: sheep

Kettlewell to Swarthghyll Farm

We’re staying in Kettlewell at a little B & B above the Cottage Tea Room, where all the kids are lined up to buy an ice cream cone after school. We have a beautiful view of the hillside from our bedroom window.

Once the tea shop closes at 5pm, we have the building to ourselves. Maybe we should go downstairs and have an ice cream? Maybe some cake? Tempting, but we resist. The owner has left us little glasses of sherry and chocolates that will tide us over until supper.

We cross the street to the pub and order a Mediterranean Vegetable Wellington. Turns out, a Wellington is anything baked in a puff pastry. Very tasty, although the chips and peas are becoming standard fare.

June 13 – Today we trek 12 miles. While downing our breakfast (full English for Jim, just eggs and veggies for me), our host tells us that today’s walk is the prettiest part of the Dales. We’ve been told this every day so far, and every day it’s been true!

Now, here is something you may not know. Kettlewell was the town used as the set to make the film Calendar Girls, in which a group of old English matrons decide to pose nude in a calendar to raise money. Here is the Kettlewell Garage, where the matrons got the idea after seeing a girlie calendar on the wall.

Would you like to see more sheep? Here’s one doing morning yoga – downward facing sheep position.

Here are some cows who did not want me crossing into their territory.

Lots of buttercups today.

By mid morning, we arrived at the chapel at Hubberholme, which is famous for its mice.

We ventured in, and looked high and low, but no mice did we see. Then Jim spotted one! Do you see it?

Here’s the close-up – tiny mice carved into the front of the pews!

Well, that was our excitement for the day.

We stopped to eat our lunch in front of an old lime kiln. Evidently, you fill the kiln with limestone, set a fire, come back in three days and shovel out your lime. Voila!

After more sheep, more cows, and many more gates and stiles, we came to the cross carved into stone in honor of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

This was our landmark to turn onto the road to Swarthghyll Farm.

We walked, then walked some more. Saw pretty flowers.

Walked some more. Where was this farm?

Finally, another sign, but still no farm!

Well, eventually a farmhouse did appear, and we found our walker’s cottage, with a kitchen, bedroom, living room and bath just for us. Our invisible hosts left our supper in the fridge with instructions on how to light the oven. A different kind of adventure!

The Dales Way – Burnsall to Kettlewell

So now we’ve reached Burnsall, a very small village with no shops or amenities, dominated by the 500 year old Red Lion Hotel, where we are staying.

There is a bridge here.624CF834-4BA6-4A15-86A3-7F34CABDAB91

And a church.9A5415AE-7645-47EE-B860-A56ED59243B6

After a refreshing and much needed shower, we went down to supper in a traditional English pub. Although this is definitely not a food blog, we are trying to experience and share info about traditional English dishes while we are here. If you are already acquainted with these dishes, my apologies.

Jim ordered shepherds pie (lamb, carrots and gravy under a fluffy mashed potato crust) with cabbage on the side.

I opted for the even more traditional haddock and chips, accompanied by a serving of mushy peas. After liberally applying salt, pepper, catsup and brown sauce, we pronounced all the food delicious. Everything you’ve heard about the blandness of English cuisine is, as far as we can tell so far, true.

June 11 – We walked around the tiny village of Burnsall this morning. The buildings are uniformly rectangular and made from the same brown stone, so the residents pour their energy into their front gardens.D4397C15-D1F0-49E2-AD9A-DFEE12A99CC8.jpeg

This morning was our first opportunity to order what is called “the full English” breakfast, which consists of (clockwise) eggs any style, fried mushrooms, black pudding (a sausage that tastes sort of like liverwurst), bacon (we would call it ham), fried tomato, fried toast, sausage and baked beans.  I’ve heard this meal also called “a fry-up”.26AE085B-E7BB-4CFA-B6EF-221630A31934We now understand why defibrillators are available here on every corner!CC00F776-9B9C-4FC9-9AA2-7AE9EF9D2900June 12 – This morning we proceed nine miles to Kettlewell, which our guidebook promises will be a pretty and pleasant walk.

We started by getting our daily dose of sheep and cows.

We crossed the River Wharfe one more time, over a bouncy suspension bridge.

Here’s another tree stump filled with coins. Maybe for good luck?

We left the river, and climbed up into the hills, where there are lots of stone walls. Yes, for every wall, there was a stile to climb over.

We walked through the village of Grassington, which has a little waterfall and an interesting carving.

So, as we are walking along, all the sheep in the field we are traversing start maa-ing and baa-ing. Dozens of sheep. Maybe a hundred sheep. Jim wonders if we’ve upset them somehow. Next they all start running toward us. Oh no! Trampled to death by sheep? What a way to go! Over the horizon we hear the drone of a tractor, and here comes the farmer with the morning meal. The sheep run right past us, continuing to make an unholy racket until the tractor stops and the first handfuls of grain are thrown. Then blessed silence. Sheep!