Walking in God’s county

I have touched the heart of England twice in the past few weeks. The first was a weekend walking in Swaledale with a friend, the second was my daughter’s school summer concert.

Swaledale, Yorkshire

Swaledale, Yorkshire

Muker meadows

Muker meadows

Late June we escaped London and hiked the low dale and high moor. Quite breathtaking…

the meadows

the meadows

buttercups, red clover, cranesbill

buttercups, red clover, cranesbill

meadows, walls, moors

meadows, walls, moors

Viking village names speak of a history that is unchanged for centuries: Muker, Keld, Thwaite. Truly a place touched by God – the shape of the dales, and by man – the partition of the land.

Stone walls and barns

Stone walls and barns

how did they get all this stone here?

how did they get all this stone here?

This is James Herriott country, the bleakness of the moors softened by the gentleness of the meadows in the dales: “The airy roof of Yorkshire. It is like taking time out of life”

View down the dale

View down the dale

Country snickleway

Country snickleway

I remember this when I was a kid. We came here and played behind this waterfall. Now they don’t like to let people venture behind – health and safety…. I went anyway, for old times sake. Sod ’em

Hardraw Force

Hardraw Force

Back home I touched England a second time. A concert at school. As a tribute to a teacher retiring after 60 years service, 2 boys sang ‘Is my team ploughing’ from Butterworth’s setting of A Shropshire Lad. Lyrical and bittersweet, hugely nostalgic. Impossible to keep a dry eye.

East Stonesdale Beck

East Stonesdale Beck

Upper Aysgarth Falls

Upper Aysgarth Falls

History of land, of loss, of remembrance, rebirth and regeneration. Swaledale and Butterworth. Of course a partial picture of England, but not a bad mix. I recommend both.

Hardraw Force waterfall

Hardraw Force waterfall

The pictures are for David, who almost admitted that this truly was God’s county. 

Friends

Friends


8 responses to “Walking in God’s county

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