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I’ve just re-read Wharfedale, a book written in 1937 by those two fine recorders of Yorkshire life, Ella Pontefract and Marie Hartley. They talk of things not as they once were, but apart from there being more cars about I doubt their description of the countryside would differ much from today’s scene. They write of Burnsall: ‘The top road to Barden, coming or going, gives some of the loveliest views in England. The stretch of dale has a breath-taking beauty. The country differs completely from that of the higher regions, and yet there is no hint of tameness. The grey limestone has given way to the warmer millstone grit, the hills have dark caps of heather, and there is a vivid grandeur about it all. Backward is Burnall’s dignified beauty; forward the brown houses of Appletreewick rest like a sleeping serpent on the hill. They beckon you to explore them…’
Well, I did this week and how right the two ladies were. My photo shows Burnsall from the viewpoint described.

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