• Britain,  Travel

    How To Turn One of Britain’s Best Walks Into An Adventure

    I sat at my writing desk yesterday, staring at the snow gathering fast and thick before the eyes, coating the world outside with a thick layer of icing, rather assiduously. But I found myself thinking of Malham Dales. We were there last year around this time. It is a powerful memory, the kinds that stick with every iota of detail lodged into the cells, for our walk there had gathered momentum, assumed a life of its own. Now, this is a walk that has recently been declared by ITV to be amongst the top three in its list of a hundred ‘rambles, scrambles and ambles’ in Britain and North Ireland.…

  • Britain

    Up and Down the Yorkshire Dales

    The countryside has zero pretensions. None of the glitz, glamour, competitiveness or fatuous claims that is part of our daily lives are to be found in the country – unless you are a recluse who is pretty much done with the frivolities of life, and have therefore retired in the bosom of the country, where your life is about communion with nature. Nature is insidious, isn’t she? She will make her way into your heart with sheer smoothness. Each country escape is a reinforcement of that thought. We met an old couple at a tearoom in the village of Muker after the long walk to Crackpot Hall. The man was the spitting…

  • Travel

    Crackpot Hall on the Dales

    It got me with its name. How can you possibly ignore a ‘Crackpot Hall’ when it looms up on the map, right? In the Yorkshire Dales, last weekend, we walked 6 miles from the village of Muker to get to it. Even if it be just an abandoned farmhouse, more than half of its roof having given way to the elements, the ruins added drama, perched above the deep winding valleys of Swaledale. The word ‘hall’ is a misnomer in Crackpot’s case. It necessarily conjures up visions of grandeur, mansions, opulence, right? Only this was an isolated building. Some of its small and dark rooms were still intact under the portion of roof that remained. A big…