Sunday, 27 January 2013


We drove up Swaledale this afternoon to visit a few sites we'd noted in the past where K fancied taking photographs. As the snow is melting fast and it has been raining a lot, the river and the waterfalls were at their most dramatic. The weather kept changing. One minute the sun shone, the next we were in the midst of fierce showers of rain, hail or snow. It was windy and intensely cold, so we didn't want to spend a lot of time out of the car. We hoped a gallery or a teashop might be open where we could take a break but no such luck (we'd driven the same route the week before and, to our surprise, one or two places had been open). We drove as far up the dale as we felt to be sensible. Not far from the highest point, where the road crosses the col which divides Mallerstang Edge from Nine Standards Rigg, we stopped and turned round, as the road was encrusted with ice. Fortunately, there was a layby at this point. We stopped and opened the flask of coffee we'd brought with us. All around us the hills were streaked with snow. I pointed the camera out the car window and took a couple of photographs. The one I've included here is, I'd guess, the East side of Mallerstang Edge.

 We made our way back down the steep, winding road, stopping for K to take photographs of the waterfalls at Cotterby Scar. This outcrop lies just West of Keld, a small village situated at the crossroads of two long-distance footpaths, the Pennine Way and the Coast to Coast path.


George said...

Oh how I love Swaledale and the surrounding area, Dominic! I remember those falls west of Keld well. Indeed, I spent the night at a wonderful inn in Keld. I could live there, and you would never hear a whimper from me.

Tom Stephenson said...

H.I.'s old playground. Nice cheese too.

Rachel Fenton said...

Ah, to have a meander through the dales again....

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Dominic:
Such a very dramatic landscape in all seasons, but even more so when seen under such wintry conditions.

It is now many years since we were in that area - so much unspoilt beauty.

Marion McCready said...

love the photo, looked like big waves from the thumbnail :)

Alan Burnett said...

That is a perfect picture of the Dales in winter. Somehow it captures everything : that delicate balance of civilisation and wilderness only the Dales can do.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for posting that photo. I did suggest to the farmer that we had a drive up there yesterday afternoon, but he counter-suggested that I was mad!

The Solitary Walker said...

I think someone came to grief in the river there at the weekend, Dominic - a sober reminder that it's easy to get into trouble in wild nature.

We must come up and have a walk there with you and Karen in the spring.

Dominic said...

Thanks for these comments, everybody.

G: It would be good. I think if I moved, though, it would have to be to somewhere with a very vibrant cultural life - it might exist up there, but I've not seen evidence that it does.

TS: Personally, I prefer Stilton.

RF: Have you tried doing iy on Google Maps, dragging the little orange man down to the road?

J and L H: Unspoilt, yes. I sometimes wonder though if its not too unspoilt. That sounds odd, I know: but in the National Park there are severe restrictions on what and how you can build (certain stones and slates, etc). It worries me sometimes that we're creating a "living museum" - I'm not sure if the aesthetics add up.

M McC: I took a few shots like that - some with no sky which I though would look OK for desktop "wallpaper".

AB: You're right. I can't say that's my favourite thing about the Dales. I prefer the Lake District - I think there's more magic there.

WG: It was 95% fine as far as roads were concerned. The only ice being very near the top.

SW: Yes. We saw a group with canoes near the Swale. I think the accident happened in the Arkle Beck, (in neighbouring Arkengarthdale). I did sadly wonder if it involved them, though.

And yes, feel free. That would be great.Anytime.

GOAT said...

Great shot, and I reckon it would look good in black and white as well. Just back in blog-reading mode and nearly everyone, in varied corners of the world - UK, Mississippi, Croatia - is writing about snow.