When your GPS takes you off blindly …in to the Yorkshire Dales.

We’re heading north, up the map.  The brief autumn leaf season is fast tumbling to dust, so driving almost 2 hours to Leeds for a 1 hour briefing session on my day off leaves me with only one option: a long, winding drive back up through the Dales.

Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

from To Autumn by John Keats

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-10-00-22Leaving Headingley, I hanker to drive somewhere rugged and remote.  The target is set, Kettlewell.

The Kettlewell road is a dribble of asphalt that meanders, windswept and wild past tiny waterfalls….the hobbit falls we call them, babbling and sparkling.  They burst through craggy hillsides and tumble like snow melts.  All the while green valleys unfold one after the other, like layer after layer of drive through memorabilia. This hand made quilt of a landscape seems to be stitched up by paddocks and dotted with small villages sporting names like Kettlewell.

Keep driving through bends and past fell walkers.  Eventually you’ll arrive at Hawes where it’s time to think All Creatures Great and Small (it was set here) and every flavour of melt in your mouth morcel.  We never drive through Hawes without stopping to indulge our tastebuds in Wensleydale Creamery’s complimentary tasting room: cranberry, blue, ginger, garlic, smoked, bitey, mango…that old favourite too, Wensleydale itself.

Hawes sits near the top of the Dales like a marker: turn left for Cumbria!


Driving and dreaming, at one point Matt (my husband the photographer – and secret videographer!) asks me for quotes about Autumn…  We need to build our falling leaves library…

The real surprise for us that day however is leaving Leeds.  Had we always turned the other way before?   Today we must be dumb lucky.  The GPS is our adopted genious and lands us in a discovery trail.  Every new command to turn here or keep straight leads us down roads that bear no resemblance, nothing but strangeness and every corner reveals another marvel.  The machine eggs us on…follow this narrow detour that you’d only EVER land on with the help of your all knowing GPS.  Don’t ignore that little back bend that rambles over the hill: Proceed To The Route.


screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-10-31-29We try to guess where we are, not caring.  We drift until every so often a village appears, like a random clue.

The hush of not knowing takes hold.  The road reveals itself slowly, like the ultimate prize in a pass the parcel contest: Golds, reds, brazen yellows, greys and muddy shades of brown.

…we stop to enjoy the view across the valley at The Old School Tea Room Cafe in Hebden.  We share bowls of carrot and ginger soup and watch waiters push trolleys stacked with high tea plates back and forth.


img_1919When we take off again we look out the window, the rear mirror…

there’s just the road and the Dales.

…and when it comes, we even like the rain.




How did I make this?

  • I google searched the destinations and made selected screen grabs of the wikipedia results on the top right of my search results, which I later used as image anchors to link to the relevant Wikipedia page.
  • I also created an image gallery using the built in wordpress gallery maker.  This video from WPVids explains how to do that..


  • The driving/dreaming video is a montage of the photos and videos that my husband Matt recorded on my iphone during the drive.  I mixed them together using Apple’s desktop video editing software package, iMovie.  How to do that requires a longer explanation, so although there are many how to videos available on YouTube I won’t nominate any one of them at this point.  However, I do encourage you to explore desktop video editing tools as they offer greater artistic control and expression.