Saturday, 7 July 2018

The Yorkshire Dales

This is a picture heavy post of a wonderful week spent in the Yorkshire Dales - just the two of us. A no sewing post but gorgeous scenery plus a bit of knitting at the end.

We booked a last minute bed and breakfast at a pub The Queens Head in Finghall. We had a very comfortable room, in close proximity to good English beer (important from the other half's perspective) and great food. Ian and Helen were wonderful hosts which enhanced our pleasure in the week away.

Creates Sew Slow: The Queens Head at Finghall

The Yorkshire Dales

A photo essay!

Creates Sew Slow: The Yorkshire Dales
Wild and woolly scenery
Aysgarth Falls and church yard

Creates Sew Slow: The Yorkshire Dales
Traditional stone walls and cowhouse
Creates Sew Slow: The Yorkshire Dales
Askrigg village
Creates Sew Slow: The Yorkshire Dales
Getting to enjoy the scenery before the grockles invade

The Himalayan Gardens

We spent a few truly inspirational hours walking around the Himalayan Gardens admiring both the sculptures and the garden, created over the last twenty years, with its vast array of rhododendron (including azaleas) and magnolias. This is a private 30-acre woodland garden owned by Peter and Caroline Roberts which they started opening to the public in 2005 for a few weeks in the Spring and Autumn.

Creates Sew Slow: The Yorkshire Dales - Himalayan Garden
Creates Sew Slow: The Yorkshire Dales - Himalayan Garden
Creates Sew Slow: The Yorkshire Dales - Himalayan Garden

An arboretum has been planted with over 300 species/cultivars of trees and whilst it opened to the public in 2017 it is still in its infancy and has not yet reached its full beauty.

Creates Sew Slow: The Yorkshire Dales - Himalayan Garden
Contemplation Circle - five chairs carved from Giant Redwood by Liam O'Neill
Creates Sew Slow: The Yorkshire Dales - Himalayan Garden
Clockwise from top left: Swift, Owl and Leopard by Hamish Mackie
Creates Sew Slow: The Yorkshire Dales - Himalayan Garden
Bottom right: Red Scarf by Carol Peace
Creates Sew Slow: The Yorkshire Dales - Himalayan Garden
Left: The Fir Cone by John Simpson
Creates Sew Slow: The Yorkshire Dales - Himalayan Garden
Clockwise from top left: Skywards (fountain) by Giles Rayner and
Wave (Lock Ness Monster) by Rebecca Newnham; Pinnacle by Giles Rayner
Sunrise by David Williams-Ellis
Creates Sew Slow: The Yorkshire Dales - Himalayan Garden
Left: The Hare by Christopher Marvell
Creates Sew Slow: The Yorkshire Dales - Himalayan Garden
Clockwise from top left: Magnolia, Samara, Magnolia (with the Balinese Pagoda)
and Lily Pads by Rebecca Newnham
Creates Sew Slow: The Yorkshire Dales - Himalayan Garden
Kath Kuhni Shelter
Thatched Summer House by Henry and Julius Caesar

Wensleydale Creamery, Hawes

Our visit to the Creamery combined two loves - Wensleydale Cheese (a soft crumbly slightly tart cheese) and Wallace and Gromit.  The Wensleydale Creamery was resurrected by a management buyout in 1992 after Dairy Crest closed the creamery with the loss of 59 jobs.  Now it employs around 200 people and is the only Yorkshire maker of the cheese.

The cheese is made from the milk of locally grazed cows that are free to wander about the pasture eating whatever grows there naturally. After the tasting and the cheese making demonstration I got to do the absolutely best bit - have my picture taken with Wallace and Gromit. Well perhaps not the best bit as I am a bit partial to Wensleydale cheese myself just like Wallace and got to taste some very nice cheeses and purchase some for picnic lunches.

Creates Sew Slow: The Wensleydale Creamery
Afternoon tea with Wallace and Gromit
Creates Sew Slow: The Wensleydale Creamery
Giant truckles of Wensleydale cheese (or hay bales)


It is a bit of a tradition when we visit England to have a day trip to Whitby for the fish and chips.  This time we went to Whitby but we had Wensleydale cheese on crackers sitting on the pier - not the warmest place for a picnic.

Whitby is an old established east coast fishing town, famous for Captain Cook, kippers and lobster. As well as being the home of Dracula's legacy.

Google Photos very kindly provided me with a video of the day from my pictures - not so sure about Google's choice of music.

Swaledale and Wensleydale Arts and Crafts Trail

No holiday would be complete without a bit of a craft moment. So this trip I got to do a wee craft tour around the Yorkshire Dales. I even purchased a few things.

The Old School Gallery and Craftshop. Muker
The Old School has an exhibition space and a gift shop.  When we visited the exhibition was Yorkshire's Coast and Sea.
Hartley tea towel by Nicola Jane Rowles and Tilly Tea Dance felted wool sheep brooch
The gift shop has lots of interesting bits and pieces and I purchased a couple of sheep brooches as well as a rabbit tea towel.  I have a habit of buying tea towels which I think will look good included in clothing.  So far none of them have quite made it into a finished garment.

Graculus Sculptures Michael Kusz Sculptor, Reeth
These are the most amazing sculptures.  Michael has a fantastic imagination and makes his creations from recycled materials.  They truly are wonderful and examples of Michael's work can be found on his website.  Much as I would have liked a piece for the garden we didn't indulge.

Michael shares his workshop with a crow named Jo.  Jo sits on the various sculptures in the studio cackling - he has quite the sense of humour!

Emma Sedman Gallery, Leyburn
The lady manning the gallery on the day we went was a machine embroiderer and we purchased her heron for our newly renovated bedroom. The heron hasn't made it onto the wall yet but will look fantastic when it does.

Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop, Leyburn
Having now spent many years in New Zealand I am used to the soft fine fibres of merino wool and some of the wool I found in Yorkshire was a bit of a shock. The Yorkshire sheep breeds seem to produce a more industrial feeling wool, I definitely think I would have found it quite scratchy against my skin.

I did get Cath some Wensleydale sheep wool (sorry no pictures) which in my opinion has a much nicer texture than the Swaledale sheep. 

Apparently Swaledale sheep are found in the more mountainous areas of Great Britain.  The Swaledale Sheep Breeders Association was founded in 1919 with farmers living in a seven mile radius of the Tan Hill Inn which segues nicely into the next section.

Tan Hill Inn

This is Great Britain's highest inn at 1,732 feet above sea level.  The good weather brought out the visitors and the pub was doing a roaring trade.  From the existence of a Hägglund all terrain amphibious vehicle (used in the Arctic) parked near the Inn one can imagine that it gets pretty inhospitable on occasion.

The Tour de Yorkshire

We didn't get to experience Le Tour de Yorkshire as it happened the weekend before we visited. In 2014 Yorkshire held two of the stages of the Tour de France and in 2015 they started their own competition. Whilst the race itself had been and gone we did see the amusing decorations as part of the "Best Dressed" competition.  Most of my photos were taken in the village of Patrick Brompton which is one of the finalists for the "Best Dressed Village".

Creates Sew Slow: Tour de Yorkshire - Best Dressed Village

The Food

For some reason we took quite a few pictures of the food we ate whilst in the Yorkshire Dales. Considering we ate mostly in pubs they are getting pretty sophisticated, must be the influence of all the reality cooking shows.
The Angel Inn at Hetton
Clockwise from top left - Thirteen in Leyburn. The Sandford Arms at Appleby-in-Westmorland

EZ Seamless Raglan Knit-along Progress

Last weekend we were supposed to be at the underarm stage of the body ready to knit our sleeves.  Kate at Fabrickated has very kindly given us permission to be slow and I am certainly achieving that.  There are going to be two timings of show and tell of the finished garment and hopefully the second one is far enough into the future for me to have finished my jumper. Not sure it will be knitted in time to keep me warm this Winter - maybe Spring or next Winter. Although the knitting is progressing better than the sewing, as despite cutting out three dresses since we returned from the UK, I have sewn precisely nothing.

Creates Sew Slow: EZ Seamless Raglan Knit-along

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