I spent the week before Easter visiting family in Swaledale. I’d forgotten how beautiful it is. The town itself is really nice, full of old buildings and charm. It also has a castle, and I ate some memorable fish and chips under the castle wall with a view of the river.
Like most castles, it’s built on higher ground, so you get a great view from the Castle Walk – the old promenade which used to be very popular for rich people to enjoy fresh air.
Further up the valley, Reeth is a lovely place for a walk. I’d been joking that the sheep around Richmond weren’t Swaledale sheep, which have black faces. They’re a very hardy breed, good at surviving snow and cold, so it made sense to find them mostly at higher altitude.
I kept wishing I could get close enough for a good photo of the lambs, because they were unbelievably cute (as lambs usually are). But I didn’t have suitcase space for my DSLR and had to make do with the camera on my smartphone, which was frustrating.
On Tuesday we we followed the river above Muker at the head of the valley most of the way to Crackpot Hall (yes really – I’m going to put that name in a story!) There’s a lovely waterfall on a tributary stream.
Even further up the valley, at Muker, the lambs were tiny. I was finally able to get close enough for a photo of one. I saw another lamb in the same field which was so young it still had the dried up umbilical cord attached. Meanwhile, back down at Richmond, the park was full of spring flowers.