Oh dear, oh dear. I am so behind on blogging. My faithful readers are calling for pictures of our October trip to the UK, but dare I say I never completed writing about our April trip? I may be succeeding in letting go of weekly posting, but my sense of order raps my knuckles and bends my will to rounding out spring adventures. And, truth be told, I just love sharing pictures of the area around Muker. So, you will have to wait for an October re-cap - and don't ask me when! For now, just sit back and peruse these emerald landscapes!
The overcast skies and cool temperatures must have dissuaded other hikers, as we had the parking area entirely to ourselves - probably a first among all the times we have visited Muker. It didn't take me long to begin snapping photos; in the center of the village, these stunning rock gardens are vibrant even in late April.
Of course, April is prime time to see new lambs. You might see a few more throughout this post! Don't you like the Goth make-up on this one?
The parish of Muker has hundreds of small field barns, or cowhouses, as they are known here. They formed part of a unique style of farming which probably started in the seventeenth century and continued on into living memory. Milk from cows provided an important income to farmers, especially when it was turned into cheese and butter. Winters in upper Swaledale are harsh, so cattle were brought in around November and tied up inside these little cowhouses.
They were fed from hay stored next to them, cut from the surrounding fields. In the spring, the cows were let out to graze on the hillside pastures, and the muck from the cowhouses was spread onto the meadows to help grow the new season's hay.
The footpaths in this area are easy to see - many feet have passed this way before us. Nevertheless, we carry a map and look for footpath signs along the route. Yellow arrows are the most common markings, but it is also typical to see wooden signs such as the one below.
As you near Keld, the footpath skirts a stream, offering views of frothy cascades.
Check out this slow-motion video of another section of the stream.
I never tire of the magnificent landscapes that roll out before me, an unfathomable expanse of green turf, punctuated by ancient dry-stone walls.
We don't often experience house envy, but the outlook (in all directions) of this stone house had us drooling and imagining afternoon tea while taking in the vistas.
I can imagine, in the summer, that this might be a refreshing pool for a dip, or for young ones to gather stones and build small dams and other creations sprung from the depths of their imaginations.
We left Keld, embraced by the fields opening before us. If you are a frequent reader, you have seen a similar picture in the past. If you are a recent addition to my fan club, you can look back at this former post about Muker and Keld: September 26, 2017.
Near this point, we took a path to the left of the main trail; this was new territory for us, and boy, am I glad we took the "path less traveled". We discovered some intimidating rock formations (is this going to fall on me as I walk past?) and several photogenic waterfalls!
With Spousal Unit to give you a sense of scale. (Can you even see him to the left of the waterfall?)
Traditional hay meadows such as the outstanding examples north of Muker (designated as a Site of Specific Scientific Interest) would once have been seen all over the Yorkshire Dales. Mown and dried in the sun, the grass and flowers become the sweet-smelling hay that was once stored inside the cowhouse mew to feed cattle (and sheep) over winter.
The only fertilizer used on these fields is still just the muck produced by cattle overwintered in the nearby cowhouses. This is one of the last places in the dale that you will see the cattle kept in these traditional stone cowhouses, although they are no longer tied in the stalls.
As we came back into Muker, the lambs scampered all around us. How adorable! An unscientific observation would suggest that most ewes have one lamb; triplets are unusual. Love this video of a three-some gamboling with no sign of Mom anywhere!
The trail is so popular that flagstones were added to encourage people to stay on the path and not trample the meadows used for hay. I stepped off the path to avoid disturbing Mama and the twins.
The final two miles of our return to Muker parallel the River Swale, a river that rises on the slopes of High Seat and Nine Standards Rigg near Keld. The Swale takes it name from an old English word meaning "tumultuous river." Its upper reaches flow through the Pennine uplands in a deep trough-like valley known as Swaledale. The heavily wooded dale is renowned for its scenic beauty and attracts many summer visitors.
Oh, Muker and Swaledale, how I love you!
Linking to Saturday's Critters
Linking to Mosaic Monday
What a beautiful place to go for a hike! Wonderful photos Angie.ReplyDelete
How I wish I had places like that to walk. I often get depressed when walking here because of all the litter, spots that are just left a mess, and so many street kitties needing love, attention and food. The green turf here is of the fake variety. People are also using it for privacy fencing but it doesn't last long in the summer heat and winds up breaking off into plastic strips that blow all around. Ugh! Thanks for sharing the beauty of Muker and Swaledale with us. December blessings.ReplyDelete
Muker looks like a beautiful place, to visit. The scenery around the footpaths is lovely. I like the lambs, the waterfalls, the stone buildings and rock walls and rock garden is pretty. Wonderful post on your trip! Take care, enjoy your day and happy weekend!!
...scenes out of a storybook.ReplyDelete
it's all so pretty.ReplyDelete
A beautiful area.ReplyDelete
This was a lovely trip! I am happy seeing blogs post of down under, as it gives me hope that spring will come!ReplyDelete
Oh, I'm so jealous, everything looks so beautiful, plush and green.ReplyDelete
What sights you saw!! I am drooling over the trails, the waterfalls, the rock formations, and the spectacular views, and the interesting barns.ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed this post and your photos, what an awesome trip. The scenery is gorgeous and I love the sheep. I appreciate your comment and for linking up your post. Take care, enjoy your weekend.
There you are. I don't blame you for going back before you post your latest trip. Such beauty. The kind of scenery that keeps beckoning me back to visit Jolly Old England.ReplyDelete
Absolutely gorgeous views and captures! The sheep pic is a winner!ReplyDelete
Such beautiful landscapes to explore. The sheep, the stone walls, the green, green grass - sigh.ReplyDelete
The scenes in your blog reminded me of many places I've visited in Ireland, Angie. It was so nice to see memories of spring flowers and green grass as winter is approaching here. When I watched lambs at play in Ireland I could no longer eat lamb meat. In fact, I think I could easily be a vegetarian or a pescatarian very easily these days, except I'd really miss eating eggs. I'm glad you liked my Christmas tree skirt--I bought that in Pottery Barn many years ago. For many years I used one made from a quilt my grandmother made but it sadly the fabric was getting too frail.ReplyDelete
thankyou so much for these gorgeous hiking scenes. It makes me want to go there, It is now getting much too hot here in Australia for hiking, so I choose to go later in the day when there is shade and a bit cooler. Stay safe and enjoy your week,.ReplyDelete
Your collection of images seems appropriate for a story book. All the books from the past with vivid descriptions of green spaces and rural settings come to mind.ReplyDelete
Hello, Angie. I hadn’t known even the name Muker until now. Your photos made me fall in love with Muker at first sight. I like everything there; handsome stone house, stone walls, the sheep…., in the emerald rolling hills.ReplyDelete
wow!!! so colorful, what a lovely place to hike. you represented it well with your images!!ReplyDelete
Such a beautiful picturesque place to hike and enjoy nature. Love your photos and narrative. Have a wonderful week, Angie.ReplyDelete
Great narrative, Angie. One could only wax rhapsodic about such a beautiful area. To hike there is to reconnect with life itself.ReplyDelete
How beautiful! Thank you for sharing these lovely scenes.ReplyDelete
You brought back happy memories of camping in Swaledale. Its so long ago that my recollection is quite poor but Muker rings bells if only for the fact of the kids enjoying the mucky bit. It was near there we found many of places where the early Herriot TV series was filmed. Askrigg and Bainbridge Ings come to mind.ReplyDelete
Beautiful scenes of pictures, lots of loves Angie.ReplyDelete
Wow gorgeous 😍ReplyDelete
If only we have such beautiful places like this to hike and enjoy the scenery. Thank you for your visit and comment on my blog.ReplyDelete
Captured beautifully in pictures, videos and captions!ReplyDelete
The husband put clean sheds on our bed ... and therefore I have time to read ... I enjoyed again your post, Angie baout your travel. And of course all the details in your captures. Yes, I agree with a comment before ... it remember me too on James Herriot. I love this serie so much and I have all films here on DVD ... YippiehReplyDelete
Thank you too for being part of MosaicMonday.
Have w wonderful time and enjoy your christmas preparations if you can.
Hugs by Heidrun
That part of Yorkshire is gorgeous! You took beautiful photos of the area and I enjoyed reading about your time there.ReplyDelete
Such a picturesque place to go for a walk!ReplyDelete
The views are so pretty!
Happy Thursday, Angie 💐
I was not sure where Muker was but the photos hinted it was Yorkshire and it was. Looks a very nice place to have goneReplyDelete
"Oh, Muker and Swaledale, how I love you!"ReplyDelete
... and it's easy to see why!
All the best Jan
MERRY CHRISTMAS ANGIEReplyDelete
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