A birthday week in Malham

Sheep in Malham, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

We’ve just returned from Malham in the Yorkshire Dales – a little getaway to mark Adelle’s birthday!

Tennant Cottage, Malham, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

We stayed at Tennant Cottage, a traditional stone house which we found online.

Malham, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

It has a wonderful location, right in the heart of the village, the bubbling beck flowing out front.

Dry stone walls, Malham, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

It’s only a short drive from our home in Todmorden to Malham (just over an hour); however, Malham is a magical little place, so you still feel like you’re having a holiday!

Adelle looking through a gap in a dry stone wall, Malham Cove, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

The high, upland moors of the Dales are very similar to our own Pennine moors, but at lower levels the area has a very unique appearance and feel.

Sheep paddocks, Malham, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

The pale limestone rock plays a major part. In fact, it has the classic limestone scenery taught in geography & geology lessons in classrooms worldwide. Justin came here on school field trips in his youth – now an old man, he returned to sit on rocks where he had his packed lunch 40 years ago!

Justin in front of Gordale Scar, Malham, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

There are lots of craggy outcrops, cliffs, gorges, pavements, streams and caverns – and the famous dry stone walls and farm buildings are all constructed from this local rock.

Solitary tree, Malham, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

It’s very pretty in the summer; however, the winter months can be stunning too – it has a stark beauty.

Footpath, Malham, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

We enjoyed our many walks with Fudge, especially when the sun shone. There were lots of tempting paths that drew us through the glorious countryside.

Tree beside Malham Tarn, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

Weather-wise, we had three nice sunny days and three ‘challenging’ ones. The scenery was still dramatic on the harsh days, but driving wind & rain isn’t great for taking it all in. You find yourselves hood ups, heads down, looking at your walking boots!

Adelle braving the wind, Malham Cove, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

Still, it was late November, so a mixed bag has to be expected.

Limestone pavement, Malham Cove, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

Back in the village, we had a choice of places to relax. Our cottage was warm & cosy so that was one option. We also had a choice of pubs and cafés on the doorstep.

Looking through the window of Tennant Cottage, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

And when we say on the doorstep, we really mean it. You could actually see most of them from the house – and a tempting sight they were too!

Bridge in the evening, Malham, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

There are a couple of good pubs – The Buck Inn and the Lister Arms Hotel. We frequented The Lister Arms in particular – we loved its country style and traditional feel.

The Lister Arms Hotel, Malham, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

It had a great fire too, where a fair few refreshing pints were supped!

A pint of bitter in front of the fire in the Lister Arms Hotel bar, Malham, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

There’s also Beck Hall with it’s lovely wood panelled snug – that’s a must for your Malham shortlist. In addition to its snug and garden room, it has some outside seating areas alongside the river which will no doubt be glorious in the summer.

The lounge in Beck Hall, Malham, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

Everywhere seemed to be dog friendly which made life much easier for us.

Justin and Fudge on a bridge over Malham Beck, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

Despite his advancing years, Fudge was really in his element and loved the long walks.

Fudge drinking from Malham Beck | H is for Home

It’s perfect dog walking territory actually – paths, picnic spots and places to get drinks on the move.

Adelle and Fudge at Janet's Foss, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

In addition to the outdoor activity, he was equally fond of all the attention he got – not only from us, but fellow walkers, pub-goers, business owners and staff.

Ribblehead Viaduct on a wet, wintery day, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

We could happily spend the days in and around the village, but we took a drive through the Dales midway through our stay, getting as far as Hawes in the north of the area. There are endless country lanes, villages and valleys to explore. We’ve always loved the Ribblehead Viaduct when we’ve seen it on photos – what a joy it was when it came into view on our little jaunt out.

Adelle with Malham Cove in the background, Yorkshire Dales | H is for Home

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is a special place – Adelle will always remember this birthday in beautiful Malham.

A Yorkshire Post!

'A Yorkshire Post!' blog post banner

Ribblehead ViaductRibblehead Viaduct | Image credit: Andrew

In association with Yorkshire Water, we’ll be extolling the virtues of the fabulous county where we live & work in this post.

Malham Cove in the Yorkshire DalesMalham Cove, Yorkshire Dales | Image credit: Alison Christine

The diversity of the landscape is amazing – beautiful farmland scenery, rugged mountains & moors, pretty woodland, meandering rivers & dramatic sea coasts – it has it all.

Flamborough Head LighthouseFlamborough Head Lighthouse | Image credit: Mike Elleray

The county has three national parks either wholly or partially within its borders, which is quite something. This stunning scenery was a major factor in Yorkshire being chosen for the Grand Départ for this year”s Tour de France. The enthusiasm of the population & amazing spectator numbers would follow later.

Dry stone wall in MalhamDry stone wall, Malham | Image credit: Paul Stephenson

The man-made additions can make a wonderful impact on the landscape – just look at the stunning Ribblehead Viaduct which we featured as our main photo – or the classic dry stone walls which snake for thousands of miles across the countryside.

view over Scarborough taken from the castleview over Scarborough from the castle | Image credit: Dave Kilroy

There’s amazing architecture both old & new – from ancient castles like the coastal fortress at Scarborough to spectacular abbeys like Rievaulx, Bolton & Fountains. Stately homes like Castle Howard – through to classic Georgian market towns & spas such as Richmond & Harrogate.

Workers' houses in SaltaireWorkers’ houses, Saltaire | Image credit: Tim Green

Victorian mill buildings & civic splendour of the 19th century – Saltaire immediately springs to mind!

Salt's Mill in SaltaireSalt’s Mill, Saltaire | Image credit: Tim Green

Relative to size, the number of listed buildings in industrial towns like Halifax & Huddersfield is amazing.

Twins l and ll by Jaume Plensa at Yorkshire Sculpture ParkTwins l and ll by Jaume Plensa, Yorkshire Sculpture Park | Image credit: Bryan Ledgard

Then right into the 21st century with places like Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Even the humble car park can grab your attention. This is the Charles Street car park in Sheffield, christened ‘the cheese grater’ by the locals (it’s been voted the 3rd coolest in the world don”t you know!).

Charles Street Car Park in Sheffield also known as the Cheese GraterCharles Street Car Park, Sheffield | Image credit: Duncan Harris

We have a choice of cities such as York, Leeds & Sheffield for a metropolitan buzz and shopping trips.

An extensive canal network, originally built to transport goods in the 18th & 19th century, criss-crosses the county. It now provides the perfect opportunity for boating holidays & tow path walks.

Five Rise Locks in BingleyFive Rise Locks, Bingley | Image credit: Allan Harris

It’s hard to pick favourite places when there’s so much on offer. Everyone who lives here or holidays in the area will have their own ideas.

Whitby Abbey at sunsetWhitby Abbey | Image credit: James Whitesmith

We love the Yorkshire Dales and the coast around Whitby. Malham is a great place to visit – with it’s stunning limestone scenery of streams, springs, caverns, gorges, clints & grykes – it’s a real life geography text book!

Winskill Stones in the Yorkshire DalesWinskill Stones, Yorkshire Dales | Image credit: Alison Christine

…and just mentioning Whitby makes us dream wistfully about a trip over there.

It’s a lovely drive from here – through Helmsley & Pickering, across the North York Moors – stopping for a sandwich & a cuppa at the Hole of Horcum – then dropping down through Sleights and into picturesque Whitby.

Whitby Harbour with the abbey on the hill in the distanceWhitby Harbour | Image credit: Matthew Hartley

We’d probably stay at the Old Dispensary. No doubt, there’d be walks on the beach or coastal path to Staithes or Robin Hood’s Bay. A mooch around the town maybe, fish & chips on the harbour at sunset. Perhaps a few drinks in the Black Horse pub – and a lazy breakfast with the newspapers the morning after.  Bliss – the perfect weekend away.

Staithes Harbour looking out to seaStaithes Harbour looking out to sea | Image credit: PauliCarmody

We really enjoy a drive out somewhere – a day wandering around the local sights & shops – stopping for a coffee. We’re spoilt for choice really – places like Ripon, Ilkley, Harrogate, Skipton and Richmond all within reach. It brings to mind another favourite little trip – with flask of tea made, take the lovely drive over the moors through Oxenhope to Addingham (where you can pick up a snack for lunchtime if you  haven’t brought a packed lunch. Spend a couple of hours by the river at Bolton Abbey, then onto Ilkley or Skipton for the afternoon. Each has its own attractions depending on what you fancy that day – auction house, antiques centre, shops, park, boat trip on the canal, medieval castle, Betty’s Tea Rooms!

Stepping stones across the river at Bolton AbbeyStepping stones across the river at Bolton Abbey | Image credit: linearclassifier

And then there’s home of course – we can’t write a post about Yorkshire without highlighting our own little corner of the county. We live & work in the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire. We know the neighbouring towns of Todmorden & Hebden Bridge particularly well having lived in both.

Todmorden stone on entering the townTodmorden stone on entering the town centre

It’s Todmorden at the moment and we’re very happy here. It’s actually very easy to shop & socialise in both which is ideal. Two for the price of one! A ten minute drive or train hop between the two – or an hour’s walk along a lovely stretch of that canal we mentioned earlier – the perfect distance for a stroll with a well-deserved pub lunch at the other end!

Rochdale Canal at Hebden BridgeRochdale Canal at Hebden Bridge | Image credit: Phil King

There’s a lot going on here for relatively small towns. Interesting independent shops, markets, art galleries, restaurants & bars. Each town has a  lovely, big park where they stage a wide variety of events. There are agricultural shows, vintage car rallies, beer & music festivals and spectacular fire work displays.

View of Hebden BridgeHebden Bridge | Image credit: Tim Green

We have beautiful countryside on our doorstep where we spend many hours walking with our dog Fudge. The folk are friendly & helpful and there’s a strong will to give things a go – whether it be a new business or social endeavour. Just take Incredible Edible as the perfect example – a wonderful organisation aiming to provide access to good local food for all.

view overlooking TodmordenView of Todmorden nestled in the Calder valley

So, that’s our Yorkshire. In addition to sharing lots of lovely images, this post gives us the opportunity to highlight the importance of Yorkshire Water in all this.  It’s actually one of the county’s largest landowners and has given access to thousands of acres of their land for everyone to enjoy. Their Blueprint for Yorkshire details their achievements to date & plans for the next 25 years. Their work is essential, from providing our drinking water, to reducing flooding to protecting wildlife and the natural environment. Their activities affect residents & visitors alike and are vital for the well-being of this county.