I Do Like A Bit Of Wensleydale

As Wallace would say “I do like a bit of Wensleydale Gromit”. In fact I do like a lot of Wensleydale. A trip to the Dales never seems complete without a trip to Hawes. It was always a regular feature of our holidays in Yorkshire with our children.

There is a cracking fish and chip shop in Hawes. We decide that a portion of chips would go well with our picnic. So Lynnie is dispatched to make the purchase. She comes back with a small portion, apparently she does not want any. Chips are unwrapped and Lynnie has a taster and decides they are the best chips she has had for a long time. I do manage to get a few, but not many!

As we lunch a convoy of Austin Seven’s drives through the town. A couple have stickers saying they are from Cornwall. That must be a fair old trek in an old car. It must have taken them several days to get all the way up here.

Our walk takes us out of Hawes on the road up to the Wensleydale Creamery and then we turn right on a footpath crossing a couple of meadows. We then join the main road for a while until we reach the Cam Road, despite its name this is not a road it is a track. This is an old Roman road that follows a high route through to Ribblehead.

It is a steady, gradual climb with stunning views to our right. Eventually we reach the Pennine Way path and turn left to follow this along the ridge. We were up here two years ago, on that day the wind was blowing so hard it was difficult to stand up. Today you could sunbathe up here.

Our route takes us slowly down hill, as we descend gradually the pastures improve. The view of Wensleydale is wonderful. After joining a farm track we cross a lane that takes us through further hay meadows until we reach Gayle. This is a small picturesque hamlet just south of Hawes, although recent developments have almost linked the two. There is a trickle of water in Gayle Beck, enough to justify a couple of pictures. We then walk down to the Wensleydale Creamery.

In May 1992 Dairy Crest, a subsidiary of the Milk Marketing Board, closed the Hawes Dairy. This was the last dairy in the Dale, and production of the cheese moved to Lancashire. In November of the same year a management buyout reopened the Creamery and recommenced production of cheese in the Dale.

Wensleydale is a cracking cheese, especially from Wensleydale. There are many different options produced here and whilst I sit outside with the dogs Lynnie goes into sample a few and make some purchases. The boys look for Lynnie through the window, clearly feeling a bit put out that they can’t go in for a taste, they do like cheese.

Lynnie returns, weighed down with cheese, and we wander into Hawes for a browse. Time to get back to the Unicorn for a taster. I do like a bit of Wensleydale Gromit.

[To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure Map 30 – Yorkshire Dales Northern and Central Areas]

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19th June 2014

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2014)

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