“Let’s spend the weekend in the Dales” Renu said. She travelled by train from London to Darlington with Bailey and took a taxi to Richmond. That afternoon Rani and I drove up from Harrogate. We met up at the Bishop Blaize pub in Richmond’s Market Square and drove to our rented cottage in the little village of Whashton in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
It was pouring with rain.
Mount Pleasant Farm where our cottage was, looked neat and trim. The farmhouse was built in 1850 by a Margaret Harrison, a formidable Dales woman who bought it from the owner of the bakery which stood there from 1750. The cottage which was a late addition has two bedrooms, a bathroom, a lounge and a small dinning kitchen. Outside, a herd of Aberdeen Angus lounged in the field with dry-stone walls next to the cottage and sheep with sideways-jumping fluffy little lambs stood in the one beyond. Flocks of Chaffinches ate seeds from bird feeders hanging from a neatly trimmed tree.
Alison came in to welcome us. She is a cheerful soul who has been running a B&B at the farm for twenty years. “The rain will be gone tomorrow” she said confidently. We settled in, drank tea and thought about dinner. Alison suggested Fox Hall Inn about eight miles down the road on the A66 trans-pennine way.
The 350 year old Fish & Chips pub has been refurbished by the current owners and presents a bright and cheerful face. There was a big log fire in one corner. Smiling young women in black & white served. Men popped in to buy huge bags of fish & chips to take away. We sat near the long wooden bar and drank pints of Landlord ale and ate the beat cod and chips I have had for a very long time. Renu ate mussels and Bailey slept quietly under the table. The slices of cheesecake that came later were enormous. It was the perfect start to the weekend, I thought.
The rain was still beating down when we finally drove back to the cottage.
- Alison & Dirk Pittaway
Mount Pleasant Farm (Dog Friendly)
DL11 7JP t: (01748) 822784, e: click to email
- Fox Hall Inn, East Layton, Richmond DL11 7PW
01325 718262. Closed Tuesdays, (Cod & Chips £8.95, Shetland Mussels & chips £10.95) Dog friendly