Jo’s Monday walk : Scarecrow fun in Kettlewell


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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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!

walking logo

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 :

Maidencombe to Babbacombe 

Meet Judith, as she shares some lovely woodland walking in France :

A Path Through the Woods

Jackie does history again, coupled with a nice bit of sculpture :

Canary District

High in beautiful Andorra is a fine place to be with Drake :

Morning mood on the edge

You all know Cindy?  Glorious photography is her middle name :

Eastern Sierra High

Do you find Meg’s graffiti disturbing, or not?  Don’t be a fool like me- click on the gallery!

Vignettes from a morning walk- 7 

Pretty and peaceful with Jaspa, in the capital of Slovenia :

The Streets of Ljubljana Old Town

Anyone fancy meeting Jude in Coffee House Passage?  Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Scrobbesbyrig/Shrewsbury : Town Trail Part 2 

Get set for pagodas and shopping!  That’s Cathy in Myanmar for you :

City Walk : Yangon’s Colonial Treasures 

Anyone for waffles?  Don’t mind if I do, Susan :

Walking Brugge, Belgium, Without Regrets

Mesmerising colours in Kathrin’s walk this week.  I know you’ll love it :

Garfield Peak Trail, Crater Lake

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.



      1. No… WP doesn’t like me… I’ve actually posted about many of my comments going into other blogger’s spam folders. I’m now putting a request on each post for folk to look in their spam… a bit of a drag! Thanks for rescuing me from the trash!! 😉

    1. Bit discouraging 😦 I found I could tell when it it was happening because my comment wouldn’t appear on the post, nor any waiting for approval comment. Next time I’d visit the person I mentioned it and… voila! Funny really 🙂

  1. Kettlewell is a lovely village Jo ! We used to go there all the time growing up as some family friends of my mum’s owned the Bluebell Pub. I can remember many lunches there though when I was little admiring the scenery wasn’t high on my agenda! Never been to the scarecrow festival though – some very creative designs! One week behind your Monday Walks so off to check out this week’s now. Sorry my computer has been playing up – it kept crashing for some reason and I only just about got my own posts out with lots of stress and hassle involved! Monsieur has (fingers crossed) fixed the glitch! Hope all’s well with you and yours and have a lovely week! 🙂

    1. Hiya darlin. 🙂 No worries. Nothing more frustrating than computer glitches. I have no such excuse but the lovely weather is playing havoc with my online time. Good news, huh? 🙂 🙂

  2. Thanks for this, Jo. I’ve sent it on to a friend who has recently moved to Yorkshire. We have a mutual friend who for a long time was known locally as “the Scarecrow Lady”. She’s an artist and she used to make scarecrows. Her studio is called The Scarecrow Patch. 🙂 She also founded (along with her husband) the theatre company I belong to and early on they did a production of Worzel Gummidge. I have a soft spot for scarecrows. I’d love to see it in person but in the absence of that possibility, thanks for taking me along on your walk.

  3. I love Scarecrow festivals, and this one seems to be in a league of its own. Superb . . . full of smiles reading this. The bee one is very clever, reminded me of the May Day celebrations in Fuseta.

  4. I wonder if crows actually get scared of these. They probably think it’s fun too! 😀 I like the minion and the dog. Wait, is there even a contest for the best one? I think there should be. 😉

      1. I con’t think you normally end up in my spam but I seem to have become ‘invisible’ when I leave comments sometimes. 🙂 🙂 Maybe it’s a good thing?

  5. Ohhh this is so cool! I would’ve never guessed that somewhere in this world there was a scarecrow festival 😀
    This must be something really fun to do, I’d love to go!!

    Happy to have you on #MondayEscapes 😉

  6. Hello my lovely, I’m back in the blogosphere now my G-babies have gone, I had a lovely time and the weather has been gorgeous. It looks like you’ve had great fun too, so the scarecrow fiestas probably began up north, I think it’s brilliant and great for communities. I think the hippy chick must have been modelled on me, which one is you? Sending you a big hug in the hope I receive one back as I miss my babbas x 🙂 x

    1. I’m the legs waving about on the green 🙂 🙂 Or one of the old biddies with a glass or two 🙂 I’m not keeping up too well with all this lovely weather to distract, Gilly. We were out on a lovely riverside walk yesterday and then at sunny Saltburn today. What’s a girl to do? Send more hugs, of course. Glad you had a good time.

    1. Hi Laia 🙂 I still have your walk in my Inbox. Just hadn’t got round to it yet. This summer weather is so distracting! Thank you for giving me a nudge in the right direction. 🙂

  7. This is so lovely. I have never heard about a festival like this. I like the sheep and minion scarecrows. I can see people how very proud of their cities and area since they get very creative to receive visitors.

  8. Had a great time on this walk. Would have loved to be there. My husband and I spent our vacation hiking in the Yorkshire dales many years ago and had a grand time.

  9. What fun and I think it also belongs in my open gardens theme, after all its a whole village open for charity! Love the cat teacher and the bridal group. I hope you have a lovely peaceful week with plenty of sunshine 🙂

  10. Jo I am beside myself with glee. I would have needed to have a chat with each one of these cuties. You could pretend you don’t know me while the one way conversing goes on. LOVED this and so much fun!

    1. Our local village, Elwick, usually has a much smaller version in June but they haven’t bothered this year. Such a shame. It always seems to rain so I can’t really blame them. Thank you 🙂

  11. That’s funny, I had never heard of a scarecrow festival before and now that’s two! We passed a village in Ayrshire on Friday which had one on, but unfortunately it was too wet to stop ;-( You did much better.

  12. Oh, how fun! Some of these are real masterpieces.

    I once went to a village in Yorkshire called Well that had a scarecrow festival, but I was there with my grandparents who wanted to look for the grave of some ancestor my grandma had discovered through genealogy research. I was about 14 and most disappointed that they wouldn’t let me see the scarecrows other than the few we happened to spot from the car!


  13. I cerrtainly had a great walk with you, Jo. Great one to start the week. Such a cozy scarecrow festival. Amazing how it recreated childhood scenes like Red Riding Hot and the Wizard of Oz. They all look so life-like. Were you allowed to get close to have a feel of them? Looks like they were in their own little world and wanted to be left alone 🙂

  14. Jo, what a beautiful village and filled with such inventive creative scarecrows – I can’t help but be happy viewing them all and the community spirit is evident on every photo. We used to have a scarecrow weekend in our village and it was always the best weekend of the year; everyone out and about, chatting, the children playing. An amazing cohesive atmosphere – for you with the added plus of a stunning location. I’ve passed through here whilst on holiday in Yorkshire…wonderful memories.

    1. It really is a beautiful village, isn’t it? We have local scarecrow fests too, but this past year they were rained off. 😦 I didn’t know this one was going to be on till we got there so it was a wonderful surprise. 🙂

  15. Kettlewell was lovely forty-odd years ago. Don’t they have a Development and Control Committee? What’s with the vile double glazing? Criminal I tells ya. One of those buildings looked suspiciously like the old youth hostel I stayed in during my exciting teen years.

      1. No. They aren’t and they don’t last for hundreds of years. But I am. A post. In draft.

        I did stay at Kettlewell, still have the stamp. Just, not sure if that was the hostel. Looked very familar mind. Dormitory in oneof those front rooms. Off to the pub at 14. Fun! No less. 🍻

      2. Lol. I know. Aesthetics mainly, but pragmatic as well. You can comment away when I post about buildings. And double glazing! Would you put them in Hardwick Hall? Don’t answer. Rhetorical.

  16. What a treat for a wedding anniversary. And what’s this about photo quality? You didn’t deliver on that one! The church ones and the onion necklace win my award. Have a less-than-frantic week – oh, and a hug!

    1. Back again! 🙂 Sorry to be so rude. Our walkers leave at 9.30 prompt and I was still in my jamas at 9.05 🙂 We had a lovely walk and then I spent a lot of garden time because it’s been a lovely day. Kettlewell was on our way home on Saturday, Meg. The weather had been a very mixed bag, but weather’s not everything, is it? Hugs, sweetheart. 🙂 Twin company again?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s