Last week I wrote about our first foray out into the wilds, i.e. not being at home overnight for the first time in months. We’d had a soggy start to the weekend, but enjoyed our first indoor pint and checked into our favourite country retreat.
We pick up at the point of our evening meal, again a first for months. Mr D enjoyed a magnificent sea bass with seasonal veggies while I went wild and treated myself to lobster thermidor. Unusually our table was chat-free, only the noises of two people enjoying every mouthful of deliciousness, washed down with wine. Knowing our limited capacity for desserts, we opted to share a cheeseboard. We love cheese but rarely have it due to the need to be able to fasten waistbands on jeans! This weekend was the exception… we didn’t stint and slept like the proverbial logs.
Day two started with an epic full English platter: bacon, sausage, grilled field mushroom (the size of a small tea plate!), hash brown, fried bread, grilled tomatoes, baked beans, black pudding, topped off with a choice of eggs. I opted for scramble, while Mr D decided on fried. I like to choose scrambled or poached to test the chef. If you can do decent scrambled or poached eggs, you go right up in my estimation.
Just as well we planned a long walk after that gargantuan feast. All we had to do was navigate to Grassington. As Mr D drove yesterday it was my turn at the wheel. I love taking my car over the moors. The roads are more interesting than the main routes, and more scenic. Mr D didn’t disappoint, although I should point out his navigation skills are somewhat suspect at the best of times. Fortunately I have a great sense of direction and can read road signs!
Anyhow, he decided to take me the pretty way, through Coverdale. Had I seen the road map before, I would have been prepared for unclassified single track roads (a.k.a drove roads with tarmac on!) with the occasional passing space, cattle grids, free-range sheep and cows! Not to mention an uphill bicycle race. Those guys are tough. I had a few moments when I had to take evasive action when meeting these cyclists on hairpin bends! We hit one traffic jam… a cow that refused to get off the road, even when I honked my horn. I was on the point of heading off-road to get round him when he finally moved on… ever….. so….. slowly…. because….. well…. because….he….could!
Finally we arrived in Grassington, shifted some sheep out of our parking spot (they’re easier to move) and got into our walking gear. Hooray for dry weather! It made for a more pleasant walk. We followed the trail along the banks of the river Wharfe, accompanied by a variety of birdlife and the occasional sheep. The wooded section of the trail still had bluebells in bloom, mixed with newly flowering wild garlic. Normally that scent makes me hungry but our breakfast provided us with plenty of ballast for the walk.
Eventually we turned back, retracing our steps, still not hungry but ready for some liquid refreshment. I can highly recommend The Devonshire, which doubles as the Drovers Arms when filming for the All Creatures Great and Small tv program is in production. There’s plenty of outdoor space to enjoy a refreshing pint while watching the world walk past.
Our route home wasn’t quite so off-road this time as we wanted to visit some waterfalls which we knew would be running high following all the recent rains. So off to we Aysgarth Falls drove. We weren’t disappointed. The noise was deafening, the water brown and icy cold. Needless to say we stayed well back from the edge. Nobody survives if they fall in!
Towards the end of the afternoon we drove through Wensleydale and back to our base, just in time for the bar to reopen and a fresh cask of local ale opened. Mr D was in seventh heaven, while I opted for a local gin and tonic. It was great to remove the walking boots and rest our tired, hot feetat last.
Next week will be the final day of our epic minibreak, coming home via the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, with me in charge of the roadmap.
Until then, have a safe and healthy week.