Clare Teal: A taste of Yorkshire’s highlights leads to a lofty ambition

We spent a rare day off last week “oop north” with mum and dad. Until an accidental ride through the Dales last month Muddy has, for the last ten years, been convinced that Yorkshire is “just a load of motorways”.

I have obviously told her repeatedly this is not the case. Mum and Dad were also keen to dispel this myth so off we set on our journey of enlightenment up the A65.

Our first destination was Settle. Heading for The Naked Man (café, not resident) we strolled past a familiar childhood haunt of mine, “Car and Kitchen”. It was the highlight of any trip to Settle, a gift shop full of knick-knacks and brilliantly useless gifts. I’m thrilled to report 20-odd years later it’s still great. I bought a splash guard for use when frying spitty things at high temperatures. In all the times I’ve been there, I’ve never noticed a “car” section.

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I had my first ever mint choc chip ice cream in Settle, but there was no time for that today. After a lunch of chicken salad for mum, Mud and I, and Yorkshire puddings and Cumberland sausage for Dad – lucky Dad – we drove to look at the 24 104ft arches of Ribblehead Viaduct. It’s a magnificent sight but you can’t help but think of the hundreds of men who lost their lives building it.

It was while admiring the majesty of Penyghent, Whernside and Ingleborough that Muddy decided that we should do the Three Peaks later this year! Over a cup of coffee and a Fly Pie aka Chorley Cake at the Penyghent Café we bought a map and measured out all 25 miles of it. By my calculations that’s 12½ miles of “up”! The idea of us two hiking 25 miles in 12 hours amused Mum and Dad no end, but once Mud’s made her mind up…

From Penyghent we drove through some of the most beautiful villages and countryside I’ve ever seen to Malham Cove, 262ft high and 984ft wide of solid curved limestone crag formed after the last ice age.

I don’t think there’s a Geography student in the land who hasn’t been to Malham Cove.

Part of me is thrilled that I finally managed to show Muddy some of what makes Yorkshire so special to me but there’s still this small matter of the Three Peaks.