Hawes to Lower Wensleydale

Day three of The Slaw’s North Yorkshire adventure dawned with sunshine and birdsong and all was well with Mrs Slaw. The pooches’ morning constitutional was a circular walk from Hawes to Gayle and back via Mossy Lane. A lovely sunny walk with photo opportunities in every stone building and rustic signpost. Mrs Slaw got all arty farty with the photos 😜

Hawes church from the Gayle footpath.

Around midnight last night, Mrs Slaw decided to check if there was availability at Lower Wensleydale for day three. It had always been the plan to feature Leyburn in this trip; indeed, Slaw merrily told anyone that asked that the Slaws were going to Leyburn 🤣 So much was this ingrained in his brain that he actually ignored the sat nav, carefully programmed by Mrs Slaw on day one, and head for Leyburn instead of Threshfield. It added a good half hour onto the journey, but it wasn’t a problem as Mrs Slaw had ensured Helga is well stocked with Werther’s Originals 😜 Anyway, we digress. Yes, there was availability for Leyburn. Bookings were swapped and plans changed.

Pennine Way through Gayle.

After the very pleasant walk this morning, it was time to head off to the next campsite. Helga was dutifully packed up and off they went. It’s a wide Dale from Hawes to Leyburn. Bright blue skies were scattered with white powder puff clouds. Limestone walls zigzag across the rolling hillsides as far as the eye can see. The roadsides swathed in the glorious spring triumph of golden daffodils. The road wend through lovely little villages following the course of the river Ure, but every so often was an ominous flood marker giving a stark reminder for the unsuspecting traveller of the force of nature.

Leyburn.

Check-in at Lower Wensleydale campsite was pretty pain free. The Slaws chose the same pitch they had last August. Lots of sunshine! A quick bite to eat then a 20 minute walk into Leyburn along the main road. It is quite busy, but a pleasant enough walk. As the Slaws walked into the market square Mrs Slaw’s heart sank. The Bymor Ice Cream kiosk was closed! Poor Mrs Slaw; thwarted yet again in her quest for a quality ice cream. It will end up being a Mr Whippy in Scarbados 🤪

An empty table was spied on the veranda of the Golden Lion in the Market Square. The Slaws settled in for a couple and a bite to eat. Oh dear! The pub stopped serving food at 2.30pm and they had no Pinot Rosè 😱 Mrs Slaw really is struggling on this holiday 🤣 A packet of Pipers crisps and a white Pinot Grigio it was then. All was well until Mrs Slaw realised that the crisps were £1 a pack 😳

Golden Lion.

It was a day of two halves. When the sun was shining it was toasty warm, but with cloud cover it was biting cold. What to wear at this time of year really is a dilemma. Oh well, just to be out socialising and sitting outside a pub with a drink is such a treat after lockdown that the Slaws will take it!

Wharfedale to Hawes

Mrs Slaw slept the sleep of the dead. Straight through without waking. She awoke to the rat-a-tat-tat of a distant woodpecker and the surrounding birdsong. A perfect dawn chorus.

Yesterday was the Glorious 12th. The first day of the lockdown easing where you can spend the night away from home in self-contained accommodation. The Slaws tripped off in Helga to Wharfedale Caravan and Motorhome Club site near Grassington in North Yorkshire and a lovely afternoon was had by all.

This morning, Prince William and The Cottingham Cowgirl enjoyed their morning constitutional around Threshfield Quarry. This is a pleasant walk from the site up the hill and down into the quarry. Lots of information boards and sites of industrial heritage telling the stories of the lime kilns. Then it was time to leave the site and move on.

Threshfield Quarry Lime Kilns

The journey north from Threshfield to Hawes was beautiful. Single track roads, through quaint stone villages of chocolate box cottages with pocket handkerchief gardens and quirky names such as ‘Starbotton’. The Slaws meandered in Helga along the dale bottom; past Swaledale eyes and lambs grazing in pea-green meadows. Stone shepherd huts randomly dotted around. Climbing out again past the waterfalls and stone bridges at Cray, underneath the terraced limestone hillsides, before finally reaching the main road and turning left to Hawes.

Yorkshire Dales

A warden at the campsite was on hand to meet and greet and explain the COVID procedures. No toilets open on this site. Pitch up, NHS track and trace, then up to reception to pay. Not as many empty pitches here, but still plenty of choice. The Slaws chose their pitch then Mrs Slaw head off to reception to pay. As she was putting her arm out to open the door a man swiftly side-stepped her and shot through the door first. He must have felt Mrs Slaw’s piercing stare burning into the back of his head as he turned around and held the door open for her to follow him in. Mrs Slaw clenched her teeth, breathed deeply and calmly informed him that it states very clearly on the door that only one person is allowed in at once and she had been just about to walk through the door. He blithely said ‘oh sorry, I didn’t see that’ and shut the door in Mrs Slaw’s face. Now, he either caught Mrs Slaw on a good day, or she is mellowing in her old age, as the pocket rocket didn’t launch on this occasion 🚀 She merely chuntered outside about how this is the exact same attitude as those people who park where the hell they please, and they think it’s okay because they have put their hazard lights on!

Mrs Slaw was now in dire need of an indulgent creamy ice cream from the Wensleydale Creamery. Off the Slaws trotted through the charming little town of Hawes and up to the creamery. Shock horror 😱 No ice creams!!!!!! Mrs Slaw is not having the best of days 😭 Back down the hill and a ‘table a deux’ was spotted against the pub wall. Then ensued a relaxing afternoon chatting with locals and tourists alike and watching the world go by. How do you tell the difference between a local and a tourist? Tourists have clean wellies and locals have sh*t caked wellies 🤣

Hawes

The Crown has a good range of drinks and food on offer. Table service and patio heaters made for a very pleasant experience. The two waiting on staff were very friendly and efficient. Dog chews for the pooches and attentive service for the Slaws. The landlord made an appearance every now and then, reminding punters of the rule of six. One party of eight squashed onto a wooden bench seat which only really fits six at a push! Why do some people think the rules don’t apply to them? The Slaws both had the rotisserie chicken it was moist and tasty and a good choice. A random rain shower cooled things down and it was soon time to head back to Helga to settle down for the new series of Our Yorkshire Farm. Amanda Owen does shop in Hawes, but Mrs Slaw, super stalker, didn’t spot her today 😜