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A Teen's View of a Dales Winter

Winter does have its disadvantages, like the cold weather and the few hours of sunlight, but it does make you appreciate the hours of daytime that you get. In summer, sunny days are just normal and nobody really cares, but when its sunny in winter everything is golden because the sun never fully comes up so it just makes you appreciate it that little bit more.

One great thing about winter in Pateley is the lights. The whole town gets decorated and a massive Christmas tree gets put up at the bottom of the high street. It looks magical. There are two shelters that local teenagers use, there is the Youth Shelter, which is often referred to as the “Chav Shed”, and there is the bus stop. The Chav Shed is more open and quite a bit bigger so bigger groups normally sit in there.

I find the winter walks more rewarding than the ones in summer because the light is so different. It is more golden, like a constant sunset. Another great thing about winter is that the atmosphere is so much more welcoming. If you do get the chance to visit, these are the things you can do all year round:

Stump Cross Caverns, which is an underground kind of caving experience where you can look at limestone caves and then top it all off with a tasty meal at the end in the restaurant.

Coldstones Cut which is a brilliant walk (if very windy), which you can take around the back road up from Bewerley. If you catch it at the right time, you might find an igloo at the top in amongst the families sledging.

There are also so many cute little cafes you can go to, like the Old Granary tea shop, which does amazing baked goods, the Pancake House, which I think speaks for itself, and the Old Bakehouse, which is not somewhere you can sit but it does amazing Millionaires Shortbread. You can also visit the Oldest Sweet Shop, it has got so many options for very little money and the people who run it are lovely. I would recommend the chewing nuts.

There are also loads of reservoirs you can visit: Scar House; Gouthwaite (which is near the waterfall I visited in the summer if you read my blog on that) and Bewerley.

You can also go horse riding at Bewerley Riding Centre and take a walk in Fishpond Woods where you will find the prettiest views (wellies are advised though). Another walk you can do it go up to the led mines, it’s a hefty 6 mile walk from the town so I would advise bringing lots of water and snacks.

I am absolutely fascinated by our industrial heritage and wandering into a site like this is amazing. You can still get a real feel of the size and structure of the mine, which is startling when you consider that it closed in the 1870’s and was totally abandoned in the 1890’s. Mining is known to have started on this site in 1781 and continued for the best part of a hundred years, today the site is scheduled as a national monument. You need to be prepared to walk to get to it, but I promise you it is worth every step.

Something else that you will want to see is the sunsets and sunrises here, they are so incredibly breath taking and it is well worth climbing up somewhere high to watch them.

The animals here are incredible you can meet our chickens and collect the eggs or feed the fish in the pond. If you are very lucky, you might see a glimpse of the famous cat serial killer we own, (We have had him since he was a kitten and he is a big softie really).

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