Picture Post: Unbridled majesty of Yorkshire’s rural tapestry

PIC: James Hardisty
PIC: James Hardisty
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Stunning views of the Yorkshire Dales were a feature of the recent opening stage of the Tour de France and impressed millions of viewers around the world but even to those who see them regularly they remain a source of inspiration.

The Yorkshire Dales is famous for its man-made patchwork of dry stone walls, traditionally-built barns and hay meadows.

Indeed, dry stone walls are one of the largest man made features in the Yorkshire Dales. A survey in 1988 recorded over 5,000 miles of them. Some of the oldest dry stone walls date back to the Iron Age.

With its open fells and numerous valleys, the Dales offers expansive views that show the area’s true beauty and variety. A true sense of tranquillity, remoteness and a sense of solitude can still be found here, which is rare in the UK.

Today’s picture was taken from Whipperdale Bank between Leyburn and Grinton and really captures the unbridled majesty of the landscape.

Leyburn stands next to the River Ure, it’s name meaning ‘clearing near the stream’. The market town was used in filming the series Heartbeat and is famous for the Leyburn Shawl, an escarpment of about 1.5 miles in length which provides panoramic views over rolling Wensleydale.

According to local legend, Mary Queen of Scots, upon fleeing captivity in nearby Bolton Castle, dropped her shawl en route to Leyburn.

The Shawl is the start of several circular walks taking in the nearby village of Wensley, from where Wensleydale takes its name.

Grinton meanwhile boasts Blackburn Hall, situated between the River Swale and the churchyard and which dates from 1635.

The impressive stone bridge which crosses the Swale was widened in the 18th Century, no small task considering it is reputedly the fastest flowing river in England but it was an important operation given it was the first point above Richmond where the river could be easily forded.

Technical details: Nikon D3S, lens VR 70-200mm, shutter speed 1/250s, aperture F/8, ISO 0.3 under 200.

Picture: James Hardisty

Words: Neil Hudson