Over Hill and Dale

Later today we will be meeting up with our fellow travelers on the Labyrinthos 2014 Mysterious Scotland tour. This is an exciting moment, when all our careful planning and preparation finally cross paths with the people we have come to know and love over months of correspondence – from here on, it will be both people and planning that colour and shape our pilgrimage.

WoolPackYesterday was a travel day, hours of meandering up the length our country as we made our way up to our Glasgow rendezvous. We started the day just outside Dewsbury, an old mill town in West Yorkshire which has recently captured my imagination. (If you’re curious about that, please see my article here. I’ll be saying more about that in due time — lots more!) We spent a productive morning trawling the archives of the local library, an activity we love, then drove around town to see the mill buildings and other traces of times past.

From Dewsbury, we headed north through the Yorkshire Dales, surely one of the most pictuesque places on the planet. I looked longingly at the road signs posting the way to Bronte Country, but that is an adventure for another day. Having time on our side, we took to the little roads that lead through tiny villages and along peaty streams and rivers. Stone cottages protruded into the roads, and surprises popped up as we cruised along miles of stone walls:

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Stopping by a bubbling stream for a picnic lunch, I’m afraid our simple repast didn’t compare to either the enchanting scenery or the grandeur of the lunches being enjoyed by our fellow picnickers — who had laid out a table, complete with tablecloth, wine in real glasses and all manner of feastly fare.

Picnickers

But what food wouldn’t be elevated to royal status when eaten in scenery like this?

Dales StreamPast the Dales, we headed north on the more mundane Motorway until after we had crossed the border into Scotland, where we once again headed out onto small roads, this time heading toward Dunure on the west coast of Ayr where we were warmly welcomed to Enoch Lodge, just in time to go out searching for this:

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