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Tractor on Road in the Yorkshire Dales

Now, I already know Mrs B (CB and I were Wed in Dec 2012!)  is pretty awesome…  But back in autumn, for my birthday, she set a new awesomeness record! A surprise weekend in the stunning Yorkshire Dales village of Masham and a tour of the Black Sheep Brewery served as an awesome reminder that I was a very lucky husband to be indeed!

After a brilliant day and night  eating and drinking Masham’s finest, I was in need of some fresh air and open space. Luckily, the remedy lay just round the corner!

Hackfall is just down the road from Masham, Thorpe road, to be precise, just outside of Grewelthorpe. It’s rather gentle walking, which was perfect for someone of my rather ‘cloudy’ disposition.  The woods and surrounding area are a joy to walk through and full of little hidden surprises.  This maze of wonders is largely thanks to John Aislabie who bought and landscaped the grounds in the 1700s.

Hackfall has everything, every turn and corner reveals something new and exciting, waterfalls, ruins, viewpoints, and a working fountain that is going on three hundred years old! You can not escape the sense of history in this place. After investigating a rather unusual and old looking tree a passing dog walker stopped and chatted for a minute. “Beautiful tree isn’t it…” she said and continued to explain how she had found a 18th century coin embedded in the bark years ago. Tales like this only add to the magic and intrigue of the place. It wasn’t just me in my foggy state that was bewitched: many artists including Turner have painted here and writers too, Wordsworth himself reflected on the beauty of the surrounding area. If you don’t enjoy walking Hack Fall you might as well lock yourself away and see out the rest of your days playing FIFA and eating Nandos!

After we had almost too casually walked the grounds, taken in the the views and explored the ruins, we headed into Grewelthorpe. At the Crown Inn’s beer garden we were greeted by some friendly Morris dancers who were just finishing their liquid rewards. A pint of Marstons’ EPA in the sunshine and the metaphorical clouds lifted as we reflected on a delightfully original day’s walking!

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