Thursday, January 28, 2010

More family adventures...

I said yesterday that today I will talk about my family trip to the Yorkshire Dales. We love many areas of Great Britain, but for us, there is no place like Scotland. I was talking yesterday about my niece Callyn who is now fifteen but was only about seven years old on her first trip to England. My sister Pam and three daughters Hayley, Kelsey and Callyn along with Cameron, my mother, a family friend and myself had spent two weeks in Scotland sightseeing and castle hunting. Knowing that everybody planned to be in the UK for three weeks, I planned a one week outing in the Yorkshire Dales as it is one of my very favorite places on earth.
We were traveling in two cars and had just crossed the border when I looked behind me and saw that my sister had pulled her car over. i was pretty sure why she had pulled over because as soon as my car crossed the border everybody in my car had tears in their eyes. I went back to my sister's car where everybody except Callyn was sobbing. She was so worried and wanted to know what was happening? I asked her if she had seen the big boulder with "England" written on it? She said yes and asked me what that meant. I told her that it meant that we had just crossed the border out of Scotland and into England. She immediately broke into tears and asked me why?
I now had two full carloads of sobbing people and a whole week planned in the Yorkshire Dales. Well of course after we got there everybody had a wonderful time and fell in love with Yorkshire as much as I had. They made me promise that in the future if they gave up any of their Scotland time it had to be at the beginning of the trip. They wanted to make sure that Scotland was the last sight they saw before going home.
We had many adventures in the Dales and in the city of York. York itself is completely walled with four main gates into the city. You can walk most of the walls. The city is dominated by York Minster, a Gothic cathedral that is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. Built over the span of 200 years, the cathedral is about one tenth of a mile long and went through five different architects. York has many other historic buildings and a small street with a mishmash of 15th century buildings called "The Shambles".
The rest of the dales is full of rolling hills, delightful villages, wonderful tearooms and warm, friendly Dales folk at every turn. For those who loved the stories of the country vet James Herriot there is much to see and do along with Wallace's (of Wallace and Gromit) favorite cheese factory, The Wensleydale Cheese Factory. There is also a plethora of castles, abbeys, cathedrals and historic sites. The Yorkshire Dales for me is one of the most magical and mystical places on earth and impossible to describe in just a few words.

Shannon McDonald Tate

York, Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District

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