The beauty of The Yorkshire Dales was a revelation to me. Until last week it existed for me only the pages of James Herriot but even reading those books didn’t prepare me for just how wonderful they are. And a mere three hours from London.
We drove from Durham where we had been at a wedding, down towards Richmond at the north east corner of the Dales, and thence in striaght-ish line down through the Dales to Skipton in the south, en route to The Devonshire Arms Hotel where we were to spend the night. (We thought it would be a more interesting drive than haring down the A1 – and it was *such* a good decision, as we whizzed through narrow roads, banked with purple heather, rolling fields, and sheer escarpments)
This was a trip where I learned not to rely on Google maps on a cellphone – I am definitely buying a European TomTom to replace my US one. Apart from forgetting that rural England suffers from a frequent lack of signal (made me long for Verizon in the US), our biggest mistake on several occasion was not plugging in the actual address or post code – just the name of our destination.
Which is what we did en route to The Devonshire Arms Hotel. Plugging the hotel name into Google maps on my iPhone, we headed up and up a single track cartroad towards a particularly empty part of the Dales. As the blue dot continued to point us up the increasingly narrow and bumpy road towards the open countryside, I decided there was no way the hotel could possibly be up here. Especially as I had read that it was part of the Bolton Abbey estate and I had already seen a sign a few miles back that pointed in the opposite direction.
Given that I drive a low-slung sports car, I decided that nothing was worth the potential damage to my undercarriage and executed a dodgy three point turn and headed back to Skipton.
Correctly, as it turned out – we were over five miles from the hotel, which is not to be found in the middle of a field as Google would have had it, but in pretty parkland by a river.
I would have been better off relying on P Bad as co-pilot. Here she is waiting for the off outside our hotel in Durham.