The Yorkshire Dales and The Lake District 2014

Simon and I were lucky enough to return to my Mother's boyfriend's stable conversion right in the middle of the The Yorkshire Dales and The Lake District this Easter. We left London for 10 days stopping off to visit my Mum in my home city of Newcastle. Luckily I love going home and Simon likes the North East too!

It felt great being back up North and after four months of being in London, the countryside was a very welcome break. I have a few pictures to share with you and also a little information about what we did this trip. I highly recommend visiting both the Dales and Lakes, it is such a stunning area of England. You really need a car though, poor Simon had to drive us everywhere!

In this post I have included links and information to all the walks and places we visited whilst we were there so please do take a look.

We stayed in a little village called Ravenstondale, which has a handful of houses, a church, a primary school and two glorious pubs. The photo of the pup above was taken at the Kings Head, our favourite spot for drinking. I enjoyed a very tasty glass of locally produced rhubarb wine there one evening! Our favorite pub for eating though was the Black Swan. We enjoyed the mix of traditional pub food such as chicken and black pudding pie alongside slightly more refined dishes like home-cured  gravlax, all equally delicious I must add.

We began our holiday by hiking up to Smardale Gill Viaduct and Nature Reserve. Last year I was terrified to walk over it as it is 90 feet high! You can read more about the Viaduct here

The second day was lovely and Sunny so we decided to do our annual walk from Keld to Muker. Its a gorgeous circular walk from one village to the next over the dales and valley of the river Swale. Once you get to Muker there is a lovely wee tea room that serves the best and biggest cream teas I've ever had. We also made sure to drop into Swaledale Woolens to buy a jumper or too. The knitwear sold there is hand knitted from local wool which is so important to me. Its nice to support a cottage industry business and I love my new cream cardi!

I was so upset that I couldn't take that skull home, it was still a tad "fresh".

My mum had recommended the Poetry Path walk in nearby Kirkby Steven so we decided to have a lazy day and check it out. We had been hiking between 6-8 miles a day on pretty hard hilly terrain so it was nice to put on a "townie" outfit for once! The Poetry Path was a picturesque easy ramble and well worth doing on a pleasant day. The walk took us through country lanes down to a beautiful river with poetry carvings to read on the way!

In Kirkby Steven there also happened to be a classic car rally that day. Vintage busses were ferrying people too and fro free of charge and there were so many great cars to look at, including an old WW2 truck that had been converted into a beautiful mobile home and my dream car, a 1950's chevy truck!

On a rather miserable day, the only one of the holiday though, we drove up to Hilltop Farm and the home of Beatrix Potter. Her cottage was lovely and it was so inspirational to see her letters, illustration and embroidery. You can see from her illustrations above that she used the cottage in the Tale of Tom Kitten.

We had a huge plowman's lunch at The Tower Bank Arms, an absolutely amazing old fashioned pub with a very friendly landlord. I had a lovely half pint of perry with my food too. You can spot The Tower Bank Arms in the animated television series The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends, one of my favorite cartoons when I was little. I'd like to think that Beatrix had a cheeky pint or two there!

We went for a walk up to Moss Eccles Tarn that Beatrix owned, It is believed that the Tarn was the inspiration behind Beatrix Potter's Jeremy Fisher story. We then went on to explore Claife Heights and Penny Wood but we got seriously lost which I'm sad about as it looks like we really missed out on some great views.

On Our last full day we enjoyed the sunshine by hopping on a boat to explore one of the lakes. Ulswater was very close to us and although the town where you get on the boat is a bit naff we had a great day which included a nice 6 mile hike. The boat we caught from Pooley Bridge is affectionately named a steamer in homage to their original steam engines. Our steamer was called Western Belle and was built in 1935. We hopped off at Howtown to begin the walk back and enjoyed a lovely picnic next to a stream and discovered an ancient Stone Circle. Unfortunately you can't tell how high up we were in the last photo of me but the views were amazing.

I hope you enjoyed this post and make sure to visit The Yorkshire Dales and The Lake District if you can in the future!

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