Walking in the Yorkshire Dales
One of my favourite Dales walks is from Hubberholme to Yockenthwaite. We did this walk a couple of Sundays ago. Beyond St Michael and All Saints Church, a stile leads over the drystone wall to a path by a waterfall. There is a not too strenuous uphill climb. The views from the hills are wonderful – much reward for little effort!
This is the area where J B Priestley walked, one bright morning in the summer of 1919 when he was demobilised from the army after four-and-a-half years. He would be going up to Cambridge in the autumn, but meanwhile had a commission from the editor of the ‘Yorkshire Observer’ to write articles about his walking tour, for the princely sum of one guinea per article. In one of his essays in ‘Delight’, he remembers the larks, moorland grass, streams that glittered and gurgled, “and a wind that blew from paradise.”
Our circular walk took us through Cray and Yockenthwaite, and back along the Wharfe to Hubberholme. The windows in St Michael and All Saints Church are quite beautiful. The rood loft was brought from Coverham Abbey in 1588. Alan Bennett came here with his partner to view the rood loft, only to be slightly miffed by a party of women admiring the oak pews carved by Robert (Mouseman) Thompson of Kilburn, known for including a trademark mouse on each piece he created.
Unfortunately, the church was locked. So many rural churches have had precious items stolen. We contented ourselves with admiring the churchyard, where J B Priestley‘s ashes are scattered.
A sturdy tree stump has been carved into a seat for four. If Samuel Beckett had seen this seat, he would have written a play to be spoken here.
Here’s a link to a walk.