For many years Mum and Dad spent their holidays up in North Yorkshire, driving up and down the dales and across the wild and bleak moors. I had been up there also a few times and there's something about this place that just steals your heart and becomes a little piece of you, embedded deep. I'd covered all of The Dales in my visits by hiking or driving through them, and grew to love them as dearly as my parents. Of all the photos I brought with me to America, my memories in England, North Yorkshire claims the largest portion. There is little commercialism up there and everything modern is made to blend in with its surroundings, you won't find a golden arch in any of the tiny villages or a large retail store, and really after spending some time up there, you begin to wonder if you actually want to see those any more. It becomes apparent that those things you thought you needed weren't actually necessities at all. The tiny villages have all that's required for a life of content, peace and quiet, a village store, a community comradery and the all important local pub. And if you're really lucky, you'll have a fish and chip shop. But for anything else, then you have to travel to a larger town, and these visits are few and far between.
And so it was this little piece of heaven that Dad had decided on being the place where his ashes would be scattered. Mum had been hanging on to his urn but during a phone conversation a few months ago she'd asked if we could go to the Dales to fulfill Dad's final wish. So with small bags packed we set off on the 6.5 hour drive with Mum feeding me boiled fruit sweets as I drove. We both grew excited as we left the busy towns behind us and entered the beautiful world of the Yorkshire Dales where you won't see any brick, only local stone used in all the buildings, walls or any construction.
In remembrance of Dad we decided to go to Muker where there was a little tearoom that had been a favorite of Dad's, and where he had found the best ever Welsh Rarebit. We were sent on a detour rather than the direct route and spent the next 45 minutes or so traveling along the narrowest and prettiest of lanes from Reeth to Muker.
Our Welsh Rarebit arrived and was absolutely delicious. The 'new' owners had been there about 10 years but the previous owners had handed down the recipes, so it was the same that Dad had favored so much, loaded with blended Wensleydale cheeses on thick local bread and served with salad and a homemade relish. I was bitterly disappointed when it was all gone. But there was lots of tea and we drank it all, along with the extra hot water poured into the pot. Because I was paying with my bank card I had to leave the tea shop and walk round to the little store next door where they had the VISA machine. So quaint! We said our farewells and walked back to the car, the sleet still falling but not settling here in the valley.
his interesting page on the mill, seen below to the right with Mum standing outside the front, and there's also information on the church at the top of the hill, which Mum told me was beautiful building; she'd been chatting to a local while waiting for me to turn up with the car. We glimpsed it as we passed a few moments later driving up the hill, but all we wanted to do now was get back to the hotel and relax