Just a few places to tick off updating today: Askrigg, Bainbridge, Hawes. Just as well, as I had a ferocious headwind all day.
I took another lovely little back road that was new to me – between Aysgarth and Cubeck via Thornton Rust, who sounds like a minor 1950s thespian. Fine views over Wensleydale, and no traffic save the odd tractor and quad bike.
Askrigg is famous as the setting for the first All Creatures Great and Small TV series from the 1980s. James Herriot’s Skeldale House of the programme is there, now helpfully renamed Skeldale House, and with a 1944 Austin 10 parked outside. By the looks of the grass growing underneath its wheels, it’s not a commuting vehicle.
I did the updating rounds of Hawes: lots of cafes and pubs to check on, and a helpful tourist info. I also dropped in on Wensleydale Creamery, where the marketing staff were rather less helpful. I got the impression they’d have wanted to charge Nick Park for daring to mention Wensleydale cheese in the Wallace & Gromit films, despite the fact that the free PR turned the cheesemaker’s fortunes round.
Nevertheless, I bought some cheese from the busy shop. And made sure I tasted at least as much from the generous samples trays over a dozen-plus varieties as I ended up paying for.
Finally, I rode up and over Newby Head to my train home from Ribblehead into an energy-sapping headwind. This was because I wanted to check out for the book the Red Squirrel Trail at Snaizeholme, a project to re-establish the native ginger nut-hoarders and road safety experts in the face of invasion by the pesky American greys.
The Trail is not accessible by car, as there’s no parking on the narrow farm lanes (apart from two expensive pre-book-only spaces), and visitors are encouraged to travel by the bookable Little White Bus from Hawes. As a cyclist, though, you’re free to visit, for free.
Alas no, I didn’t see any reds this brief visit (though I’ve seen a few around here before). I did at least get a fine glimpse of Ribblehead Viaduct at the end of today’s ride. And an equally fine glimpse of my pint of house beer at the Railway Inn between viaduct and station.