SITTING beneath a cloudless azure sky, Hutton-le-Hole looks every inch the perfect picture.
With its chocolate box cottages and a babbling brook (called Hutton Beck) that winds its way through the village, you would be hard pressed to find a more idyllic countryside spot than this.
This so-called ‘honey-pot’ village, which lies within the North York Moors National Park and is about seven miles north west of Pickering, is regarded by many as one of the prettiest and most popular in Yorkshire.
Visitors here are just as likely to bump into the moorland sheep which roam freely around the place as they are one of the local villagers.
The village green is common land belonging to the Manor of Spaunton, one of the few remaining Courts Leet in the country, and not surprisingly is a big draw with families and day trippers during the summer months.
Hutton-le-Hole lies on the southern edge of the moor and is a popular base with walkers keen to explore some of the lesser known pockets of this majestic landscape.
But as well as its ambling sheep and duck races – there are several held throughout the year – the village is also home to the Ryedale Folk Museum, which includes more than 20 historic buildings that depict the lives of ordinary folk from the earliest settlements back in the Iron Age, right through to the modern day.
Set in a five-acre site, the museum includes thatched cruck cottages, an Elizabethan manor house, as well as barns and workshops.
It also boasts the oldest daylight photographic studio in the country, the renowned Hayes collection of photographs, along with the splendid 1850s Merryweather fire engine.
We often hear words like “countryside jewel” and “hidden gem” used to describe places like this.
But for me, its simple allure is the fact that it offers the ideal spot for a picnic, a paddle and an ice cream.
And a day out in the countryside doesn’t get much better than that now, does it?
Technical details: Nikon D3s, Nikon 12-24mm, Shutter Speed 1/200s, Aperture F/8, ISO 1EV under 200.
Picture: James Hardisty