To steal a line from Garrison Keillor: It’s been a slow two weeks here in Ilkley. Since I last posted, Molly has returned to Ilkley from her sibling reunion “Down South”, we have enjoyed meals out with family and friends, we have walked a little and cycled a little – and simply followed our normal routine in this lovely part of Yorkshire.
At 3:59 pm on Thursday, however, a train pulled into Ilkley railway station and three American visitors alighted. Not just any Americans but our friends Peter and Leslie (from Mason) and their daughter Lauren, who is currently studying in Spain. They were here after spending three days in London at the start of their European Grand Tour. They were to be our guests in Ilkley for two nights before their next stop – Paris.
Our first evening was spent “catching up” over tea in the flat and then enjoying a pub meal at the nearby Busfeild Arms (that IS how they spell it!) Steak and Ale Pie, Fish and Chips, a pint of bitter – what more could life hold?Friday was forecast to be a beautiful day (and indeed it was), and Lauren had decided that she wanted to walk on Ilkley Moor before we started our day out in the Yorkshire Dales. So, a little after eight, she and Bob donned boots and set off up the hill opposite the apartment towards the Cow and Calf Rocks, a famous local landmark.
After our return and a quick breakfast, we set out in the car, with the market town of Skipton our first destination. Here we strolled through the open market, saw the
narrow boats on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and were entertained by a South American group
standing outside a local pub. Note the tribute to the forthcoming visit here of the Tour de France Cycle Race.
From Skipton we drove into the Dales proper and climbed a very steep hill for a good overview of the Wharfe Valley, before we ended our day at a tea room in the beautiful village of Grassington.
Back in Ilkley we rested a while before going to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Ilkley and then it was home to bed in preparation for an early start on Saturday. We left Ilkley at 7:15 to drive our guests to the Leeds-Bradford airport where they boarded a plane for Heathrow and then on to Paris to continue their Tour – after a very pleasant, but all too short, stay in Yorkshire.