Croft Gate Bed and Breakfast Accommodation, Ingleton.

A luxury 4 star bed and breakfast in Chapel-le-Dale, near Ribblehead Viaduct and Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales.

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A slight thaw

14/12/2010

A slight thaw has begun today but it hasn’t halted the endless queues of birds waiting their turn at the feeding station. We have robins, sparrows, dunnocks, blackbirds, blue tits, great tits, nuthatches, goldfinches, chaffinches, green finches, greater spotted woodpeckers, cock and hen pheasants – all feeding on nuts, seeds, oats, fat balls and so on. Occasionally a sparrowhawk will take advantage and swoop down and snatch a small bird and a marauding cat or two will visit – thankfully not to eat a bird but to graze instead on soggy bread or fat ball crumbs!

We have just returned from our annual pre- Christmas stay in York. We catch the 7.15 train from Ribblehead and change at Leeds. We’re in York by 9.30 and have plenty of time for shopping before checking in at the Hilton for dinner, bed and breakfast – a real treat. The Minister never ceases to amaze and the snow and Christmas lights all help us to slip into the festive mood. This year it was so cold that the river Ouse had frozen over.

Belted Galloway in Chapel le Dale

As we sit writing this blog we are looking out, through the French windows, over the garden to the dry beck. The view travels upward, over the limestone scars and terraces of Southerscales until our eyes reach the horizon where the ridge of Simon Fell meets dark Ingleborough. As we look out, a herd of Belted Galloways crosses the fell in single line, heading for shelter in a small copse. Easily our favourite cattle, these rough coated, sturdy animals are well equipped to survive the bleakest of conditions on the fells. They graze on high pastures and herb-rich meadows allowing a diversity of plant species to recover and flourish. The cattle are reared naturally for nearly two and a half years – twice as long as most beef cattle today. The beef is hung for at least 21 days resulting in great flavour and taste.

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