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I visited two of Yorkshire’s loneliest dales his week for forthcoming features in Dalesman. Every time I venture up these isolated regions I think of the incredible fortitude of those who have eked out a living in such inhospitable places. Grisedale (the one near Garsdale Head) and the furthest reaches of Langstrothdale above Oughtershaw, have no through roads, just tracks leading to a smattering of houses and barns amid thousands of acres of rough pasture. The stories of those who have made their homes here – within living memory – reveal a way of life most of us would never contemplate. One former resident of Grisedale tells me of the time he and his family were stranded for months when snow reached the roof of his farm. Up at Cam Houses I learn of the farmer who trekked miles over snowy moorland in the dark just for a bottle of gin so he could celebrate his seventieth birthday.
Photo: looking down Langstrothdale from below Cam Houses near the source of the Wharfe.

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