scarecrow festival

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.


Six word Saturday

Jo’s Monday walk and some scarecrows

It's scarecrow time again in the villages

It’s scarecrow time again in the villages

And the ladybird came to the ugly bug ball

And the ladybird came to the Ugly Bug Ball

'Let us crawl, let us crawl...'

‘Let us crawl, let us crawl…’

It's quite a horsey kind of village

It’s quite a horsey kind of village

Exhausting, at times!

Which can be exhausting, at times!

What a beautiful garden for a swim!

What a beautiful garden for a swim!

And, naturally, we're all set for the Tour de France

Naturally, we’re all set for the Tour de France

A disappointed spectator?

Is this a disappointed spectator?

Or is she keeping her eye on the children?

Or is she just keeping her eye on the children?

I thought that was big sister's job!

I thought that was big sister’s job!

But it wouldn't be an English village without a patriotic gnome

It wouldn’t be an English village without a patriotic gnome, now would it?

The scarecrows ‘speak for themselves’ , but I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce my Monday walks page.  I’ve been posting Jo’s Monday walks since March and they’ve had a wonderful response.  I’m very grateful for all your support, and thought it was time I constructed a page to explain a few details.  A click on my new logo will take you to the page.

walking logo

Speaking of logos, you won’t forget to visit Cate at Show My Face, will you?  She’ll be waiting expectantly for your Six word Saturdays.  Whether you’re chasing scarecrows, out walking or just relaxing at home, I hope you have a happy Saturday.


Six word Saturday


A week of scarecrows, and “fun”!

Castle Eden "bottle bank"?

Castle Eden “bottle bank”?

As I was updating my Six word Saturday page yesterday I realised that this is my 70th Six word Saturday post.  Amazing!  It started out as a bit of fun, and I hope it still is?  I posted my round up of the scarecrow festival in the villages on Tuesday, but I think I might just have a few more photos to share.

A "snorting good time" in Elwick

A “snorting good time” in Elwick

Elwick's a nice looking village with a beautifully well-kept green.

Elwick’s a nice looking village with a well-kept green. (and Bertie Bassett!)

But there were some rough-looking individuals there on Sunday!

But there were some rough-looking individuals there on Sunday!

But here's a pretty lady! Missummer Madness?

Here’s a pretty lady! Midsummer Madness? That was the theme.

A little nonchalant fishing was going on elsewhere in the village.

A little nonchalant fishing was going on elsewhere in the village.

And a good time was being had by all.

But a good time was being had by all.

There was even pizza for the hungry.

There was even pizza for the hungry.

And Laurel and Hardy seemed to approve.

And Laurel and Hardy seemed to approve.

And everybody loved the caterpillar!

But everyone was agreed- they all loved the caterpillar!

To see the full parade of scarecrows, click on It’s Show Time!  Wishing you a fun week too!

Meantime I should say thanks to Cate at Show My Face for hosting all my Six word Saturdays.  Don’t forget to pay her a visit, and if you’ve any spare time you can look back at my 70 by clicking on the button below.

See you next week for number 71!


It’s show time!

Ingenious! The eyes flash as you approach it.

Ingenious! The eyes flash as you approach it.

It must be Summer because it’s annual scarecrow festival time again in two of our local villages.  Last year Elwick truly excelled themselves with a Royal Jubilee theme.  Can a year have passed so quickly?  This year we’re indulging Midsummer Madness.

I timed it very nicely on Sunday morning because within seconds of returning home it was bouncing with rain.  Summer, Wimbledon fortnight (sorry Rafa), rain on your strawberries- it’s all one!

And that’s just half the story, because the two villages compete.  In the interests of fairness I went to Castle Eden on Monday.  It was a grey, surly day and some of the scarecrows had had a good soaking from the downpour.  But the village spirit was still in evidence.

A good effort by both, I think you’ll agree?  Next year we’ll plan the weather better.  If you click on the galleries you’ll get my guided commentary.  All part of the service! (with a smile)  And if you still haven’t had enough of scarecrows, you can click the Royal Jubilee link for a look back at last year’s sumptuousness.

Six word Saturday

I had a right Royal week

Did you?

It was all a bit of an anti climax when life went back to normal on Wednesday, but wasn’t it great while it lasted?  The water pageant fully lived up to expectations, despite the dreariest of weather.  I was smitten by the sight of Charles and Camilla dining al fresco with the crowds in Piccadilly.  Grace Jones had me mesmerised by her hoola-hooping ability.  Madness on the Palace roof?  It only needed Jubilee scarecrows to make my weekend complete.

Elwick is such a pretty village, and was enhanced by its patriotic finery.

 Though I couldn’t quite fathom why the lion was sleeping on the front lawn?

I was proud of the village for their efforts this year.  There are lots more photos in

I had hoped to visit Castle Eden Village to check out the royal theme going on in their scarecrow festival too, but a combination of atrocious weather and French Open tennis kept me away.  Probably just as well.  You can have too much of a good thing?

Time to ask for a rousing cheer, in good old English fashion, for Cate of Show My Face.  It’s thanks to her I get a chance to sum up my week in six words, whether she’s happy or sad.  Follow the link to see what it’s all about, and join in.  Why not?

The button below will take you to my previous 6WS’s.

Jubilation in Elwick

I fully intended to go to the lighting of the beacon and firework display in my local village last night, but like many I was transfixed by the spectacle unfolding on TV.  To make amends this morning, I popped up to Elwick village to frolick with a few very tasteful scarecrows.  This is a yearly event, but was made special this year by a Diamond Jubilee theme.

The McOrville Inn on the village green.

No worries, he’s “off duty”.

Bit of a picnic before it rains again?

The prize winner- croquet on the green with the Queen of Hearts and the White Rabbit.

Queen Victoria sits rather sternly on a bench.

I love a Beefeater!

Hope Parky’s not about anywhere?

Cut and thrust at Balmoral?

A step back in time?

King Edward, keeping an eye on his potato patch.

Her Madge inspecting the garden

The Maid of Hearts- tart, anyone?

Gracious and graceful

Bit of a headache?  Too much celebrating, I expect.

We camped out for the Queen!

Sssh, the Pearly Queen’s having a snooze!

Off with her head!  Surely not, on this occasion.

Patriotic lupins standing to attention

Fresh herbs for your picnic, anyone?

Can’t have a royal occasion without a corgi.

One last look from the ostrich.

I’m still glued to the TV, waiting for the final royal wave from the balcony and the fly past.  I have to say that I’ve enjoyed every last minute of it.  Hope you have, too.