This week photo quality has lost out to Fun. I’m hoping you won’t mind though, because it’s all in a good cause. The village of Kettlewell in the Yorkshire Dales is throwing open its doors, from 13th to 21st August. I know it’s short notice, but you won’t regret a visit.
The scarecrow festival has been running here for more than 20 years, and it must have been in its infancy when I last visited. Coming over the tops from a rain-soaked Malham, sunlight beamed across the valley. An afternoon of smiles had begun, and what a cast of characters!
It is the most picturesque of villages, and the surrounding scenery could steal any show. A field just beyond the village has been earmarked for parking, at a cost of £3. Smiling villagers direct traffic, and sell trail leaflets for a further one pound. The map shows the route to follow through the village, with the added bonus of a riddle to solve on the reverse. For a prize, of course.
Food is widely available, and everywhere a gentle Yorkshire sense of humour prevails. There are village matrons, with a refined glass or two. A maypole, with scarecrow children dancing, and Red Riding Hood, tucked quietly in a corner. Someone always ends up in the stocks, and someone else gets eaten, while a soldier looks gravely on.
The festival has grown hugely since my last visit, but still retains warmth and intimacy. I chat freely as I wander. ‘Isn’t it lovely to be here?’ One lady says she lives in Skipton, at the head of the Dales and just a few miles down the road, but has never thought to come before. This time the whole family are here, and having a great day out.
One of my best memories is the lovely bridal scene outside St. Mary’s Church. Now the doors of the church have been flung wide, and inside the bishop awaits. He’s in wonderful company.
There are many crowd pleasers and figures from popular culture, and all within the most beautiful setting.
There is the prettiest of village greens, and beekeeper’s rule, you’ll be glad to note. Hard to stop smiling, isn’t it?
‘Star Wars’ is a obviously a village favourite, along with ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’, of course.
‘Ding, dong, the witch is dead! Which old witch? The wicked witch.’ I hope you’ve had as much Fun with this stroll as I did. It’s not at all the walk I intended to post today, but the timing makes it imperative- just in case you should be in the neighbourhood. I’ve only shown you a fraction of the whole but I hope it’s enough to whet your appetite. The proceeds all go to the school and village funds.
Even if you miss the festival, you will still receive a warm Kettlewell welcome. This website guides you round the village, accompanied by a wealth of historical facts. And now, I really must have some breakfast!
Many thanks to you all again, for your good company and contributions this week. If you’ve never joined in with a Monday walk before, I’d love you to do so. Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page. Just click on the logo. Now, settle in for a terrific read :
Debbie was swift away this week, with a stunning coastal walk :
Meet Judith, as she shares some lovely woodland walking in France :
Jackie does history again, coupled with a nice bit of sculpture :
High in beautiful Andorra is a fine place to be with Drake :
You all know Cindy? Glorious photography is her middle name :
Do you find Meg’s graffiti disturbing, or not? Don’t be a fool like me- click on the gallery!
Pretty and peaceful with Jaspa, in the capital of Slovenia :
Anyone fancy meeting Jude in Coffee House Passage? Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Get set for pagodas and shopping! That’s Cathy in Myanmar for you :
Anyone for waffles? Don’t mind if I do, Susan :
Mesmerising colours in Kathrin’s walk this week. I know you’ll love it :
That’s it for another week. I hope you have a good one. Next week I’ll be showing you a little more of what took me to The Dales. The ladies from Monday Escapes are about again, if you’d like to join them. And, of course, I’m up for the Daily Post challenge.