Back home again...
Got back yesterday from a wonderful, relaxing and rather sunny fortnight in the Yorkshire Dales. Our rather spacious 'cottage' was in Askrigg in Wensleydale where All Creatures Great & Small was filmed. While tourism is obviously a big part of the economy, there isn't the cramped, rushed feel you get in, say, parts of the Lake District. We were able to get a lot of local produce: our beer, bread, milk and, of course, cheese was all produced in the village itself or very near by. We spent the time walking, cycling, reading and doing the odd tourist cliché like the bizarre but brilliant Forbidden Corner. Didn't watch any TV for a fortnight.
It's a beautiful part of the world, although the dramatic limestone landscape has been exposed by man - for centuries Wensleydale was a hunting forest. It is notable that the next village to us, Bainbridge, became a centre for forestors. Obviously their job was not to maintain the forest but to clear it for livestock - the stands of trees left over were few and far between. Parts of Swaledale between Reeth and Richmond gave a glimpse of the natural post-ice age environment.
I've really enjoyed holidaying in the UK for the last few years. OK, you take your chances with the weather, but some of my trips have been much more memorable than many trips abroad. This was no faddish 'staycation' - surely the most annoying neologism of the century - but part of a deliberate effort to make up for all the long distance flying I did in my twenties and early thirties. It helps that I get bored very quickly sitting on a beach all day!