‘Take us on a tour of your office’, a couple of friends asked while visiting me when I was on holiday last week. By ‘office’ they meant the Dales, as they presume like many Dalesman readers that I spend an idyllic working life just strolling around the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. No such luck, but I had no hesitation in agreeing to this ‘busman’s holiday’. We headed up Ribblesdale through snowy Three Peaks country and dropped down Widdale into Hawes. Then it was over a misty Buttertubs into Swaledale and onto Reeth where we stocked up with some gorgeous cheese from a tiny local farmers’ market. From there we carried on to Leyburn before dropping back down Wensleydale for a saunter around Aysgarth Falls, sparkling as a few rays of sunshine broke through. Up Bishopdale we stopped above Kidstones to admire clouds skimming the top of Buckden Pike and outbreaks of sun across the snowbound fells above Langstrothdale before heading down Upper Wharfedale. Then it was on through quiet Littondale and over the wild moorland and steep-sided route through Silverdale before dropping back down to Stainforth. Here, as dusk was falling, we had a short walk down to the waterfall, to revive some old memories, before heading to Settle for an evening meal. About a hundred miles all told – and not one boring inch along the way.
Photo shows the Lower Falls at Aysgarth just as the sun made a brief appearance.

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