I recently spent a weekend in the rather bizarrely named Crackpot in beautiful Swaledale, North Yorkshire. Our friends own a small bungalow, set back in time with its retro fittings and furnishings and lovingly referred to as ‘the party shack’. Some of us stayed indoors and a couple of tents also went up in the garden. An amazing BBQ feast was created complete with spit roasted chickens…move over hog roast this is how we roll in the dales.
Swaledale is one of the most stunning areas I’ve visited in the UK. With dramatic views across the hills, cute villages, tons of walks, mountain biking and proper countryside pubs. What has this got to do with my blog I hear you say. So, I firmly believe that the outdoors, whether it be tending to window boxes or some full on vegetable planting in the allotment is balance from my job, but I also need balance from my gardening and Yorkshire provides that. I love travel and feel lucky to have all this countryside on my doorstep. Exploring the UK is high on my agenda. I didn’t find any allotments but there was plenty of natural soft fruit growing wild and some rather splendid rosehips.
If you fancy visiting the dales and want some real down to earth, charming accommodation then the YHA Grinton Lodge is a great place to stay. A perfect location right in the heart of Swaledale, complete with stunning views. The old shooting lodge converted into a large hostel with ‘pod’ style camping in the grounds is one of my favourite places to stay. It’s a wonderful countryside retreat.