Lovely Little Lambs

Lovely Little Lambs



It’s been a busy time in the Crimsworth crèche over the last couple of months. These photos record some of the new arrivals in hilltop meadows in and around Pecket Well and Crimsworth Dean during April 2016.

Crimsworth Dean is a short walk from Elmet Farmhouse, so if you want to see lots of lovely lambs, come and visit us next April.


© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson



The bluebells have been spectacular this year in Hardcastle Crags and Crimsworth Dean. These two beautiful National Trust woodlands – just a short walk from Elmet Farmhouse – are amongst the best bluebell woods in England. Mid May is the best time to see the bluebells, although they start flowering in late April and last through until early June.

As well as Crimsworth Dean and Hardcastle Crags, there are bluebells in Pecket Well Clough, Colden Clough, Luddenden Dean, Cragg Vale and many of the other narrow steep-sided wooded valleys around Hebden Bridge. These woods are beautiful are stunningly beautiful throughout the year, but you want to immerse yourself in bluebell heaven, come and stay at Elmet Farmhouse next May….

For more information about the woods of the Calder Valley, click here

© Text and photos copyright Lesley Jackson


River of Mist

Magical River of Mist

If you’re lucky you might see the famous River of Mist during your stay at Elmet Farmhouse, a remarkable phenomenon unique to this area. Usually it forms early in the morning as the sun rises and fog starts to lift, but sometimes  it appears later in the day after heavy rain.

Moisture is trapped in the steep-sided wooded valleys. Swathes of mist swirl around clinging to the hills, with Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall church peeping through on the tops.

There is nothing quite like the magical River of Mist – and Elmet Farmhouse gives you a bird’s eye view.


© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

Delve into the Dales

Delve into the Dales



Elmet Farmhouse provides the perfect ‘base camp’ for exploring the Yorkshire Dales National Park, renowned for its spectacular geological features, its beautiful rivers and its lush rolling hills and dales.

Click here to watch a short film about the Yorkshire Dales


Malham Cove and Gordale Scar



The dramatic white limestone cliffs, screes, gorges and limestone pavements of Malham Cove and Gordale Scar are particularly compelling in winter when the rivers and waterfalls are in spate


Bolton Abbey and Wharfedale


The woodland paths along River Wharfe between the picturesque ruins of Bolton Abbey and Barden Tower are especially beautiful in the autumn. One of the highlights is the Strid, where the river is forced through a deep narrow gorge


Heather moorland with rocky outcrops at Simon’s Seat above Wharfedale, a great place for a hike in August when the heather is in bloom


Linton and Grassington


A summer hike along the Dales Way near Grassington. Typical Yorkshire Dales landscape with undulating hills, limestone outcrops, Swaledale sheep and small fields bounded by snaking drystone walls


Linton in Craven, a delightful Dales village hidden away near Grassington. The village green is dominated by the magnificent Grade II* Listed Fountaine’s Hospital: a group of alms houses with a chapel in the centre. Built in the 1720s, the architect is believed to be Sir John Vanbrugh (who designed Castle Howard) or his associate Nicholas Hawksmoor. The Fountaine Inn in the centre of Linton is a characterful pub  with open fires serving excellent food.


Three Peaks and Ribblesdale


The Three Peaks – Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent – are the best-known hills in the Yorkshire. Each has a different shape and character. The surrounding countryside is characterised by limestone outcrops and screes.



The monumental Ribblehead Viaduct with a steam train crossing Ribblesdale on the famous Settle – Carlisle railway line 




Although Swaledale is the northerly of the Yorkshire Dales, it is also the lushest and greenest. Renowned for its wild flower-rich hay meadows and for its numerous stone-built barns, it is an idyllic landscape capped by heather moors.

Dales on the Doorstep 



Calderdale – the southernmost of Yorkshire’s Dales – is a unique landscape with infinite variety in the Heart of the Pennines. Characterised by its steep wooded hillsides, hilltop hay meadows and rolling heather moors, the Upper Calder Valley has numerous spurs, known as cloughs and deans, each one a hidden gem. The area around Hebden Bridge is particularly dramatic with its bluebell woods, converging rivers, cascading waterfalls, gritstone outcrops and rocky gorges. 

Step out of the door at Elmet Farmhouse and discover the Dales on your Doorstep: Hebden Dale and Hardcastle Crags, Crimsworth Dean and Pecket Well Clough, Heptonstall and Colden CloughLuddenden Dean and MidgleyStoodley PikeCragg Vale and Jumble Hole Clough….



Left: Hebden Water in Hardcastle Crags  Right: Bluebells in Hardcastle Crags

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Left: Blake Dean from Walshaw Moor  Right: Reservoir above Luddenden Dean

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Left: Crimsworth Dean and Old Town.   Right: Hardcastle Crags


Left: Stoodley Pike from Crimsworth Dean  Right: Crimsworth Dean



© Photos copyright Ian Fishwick and Lesley Jackson


It’s Cold in Colden!

It’s Cold in Colden… but cosy in May’s Farm Shop


The Colden Loop – An early morning walk along a stretch of the Pennine Way on a sparkling winter’s day on 25 February 2016, starting and finishing at the delightful May’s Aladdin’s Cave, a fabulously well-stocked farm shop tucked away on Edge Lane above the village of Colden, near Heptonstall

Overnight the temperature had dipped several degrees below freezing so there was an extremely hard frost at the start of the walk at 7.45 am. The fields below Stoodley Pike were so white that it looked as if it had snowed. Up on the Pennine Way crossing Heptonstall Moor above Hardcastle Crags, the heather and grasses were laden with glistening ice crystals. The low winter sunshine reflecting off the frosty Pennine hills created wonderful hues ranging from pale orange to pinkish purple.

On the crest of the hill heading back over Colden, the distant cries of curlews and golden plovers and the first lapwings of the season, dipping and diving erratically in their inimitable way. Next to the lane along to Colden, a large of flock of fieldfares grazing on the meadows.

Back at May’s Farm Shop, a cheery smile from the tireless proprietor and a huge sticky slab of delicious Yorkshire Parkin. The perfect end to the walk and the perfect start to the day.


© Text and photos copyright Lesley Jackson

Parcevall Hall Gardens

Parcevall Hall Gardens

A renowned plantsman’s garden located at the heart of Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Located at the head of a small valley, there are 24 acres of formal and woodland gardens which rise up the hillside for 200 feet giving wonderful views in every direction. The gardens were laid out by the late Sir William Milner from 1927 onwards, and are planted with specimens from around the world, many collected from Western China and the Himalayas. The gardens have many different facets, including woodland walks, formal south facing terraces, a bedrock limestone rock garden and a beautiful rose garden, all set against the stunning back-drop of the Yorkshire Dales.

Parcevall Hall Gardens, Skyreholme, Skipton BD23 6DE

Tel. 01756 720311

Open daily from April – October, 10am – 6pm

© Photos copyright Ian Fishwick

Striding up Stoodley Pike

Stoodley Pike and the Mysterious Mists of Mankinholes



Stoodley Pike is such a prominent landmark in the Upper Calder Valley that it deserves special attention. Perched on the hilltop at 1300ft (400 metres) half way between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, it is visible throughout the area and can be clearly seen on the horizon from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well. A huge stone obelisk measuring 121 ft, it sits on a ridge  at Langfield Common on the route of the Pennine Way.

Built to commemorate the end of the Napoleonic Wars,  Stoodley Pike was initially erected in 1815 following Wellington’s triumph over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. The original monument collapsed in 1854 after being struck by lightning, but it was rebuilt two years later by public subscription to designs by a local architect called James Green. A lightning conductor was added in 1889.

By strange coincidence, the day the original monument collapsed in 1854 coincided with the outbreak of the Crimean War and it was after peace was restored in 1856 that Stoodley Pike was rebuilt. Its significance as a symbol of peace was later highlighted by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, who painted a large CND logo on the monument during the 1970s. Although subsequently removed, vestiges of this symbol can still be seen close up.

The above sequence of photos records an early morning walk from Mankinholes to Stoodley Pike on 18 February 2016. At 8 am it was cold and sunny with a heavy frost. An hour later, swathes of mist appeared on the hills above Todmorden, clinging to Langfield Common near the neighbouring village of Lumbutts.


© Text and photographs copyright Lesley Jackson


Autumn in Luddenden Dean

Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness


Autumn is particularly beautiful in the countryside around Elmet Farmhouse because of the profusion of steep wooded valleys, known as cloughs or deans, branching off into the hills from the main Upper Calder Valley. As the leaves begin to turn in October, the woods take on rich gold and chestnut hues. The beech trees are particularly vibrant, creating a canopy of burnished gold, while the silver birch and larch turn an arresting shade of bright yellow.

Whether you’re up on the hillside looking down onto the woods in the valley below, or standing under the trees looking up to the sky through the golden canopy, it’s a glorious sight. 

These photographs record a late autumn walk around the  idyllic Luddenden Dean valley on a wonderfully sunny afternoon on 1 November 2015,  starting at Jerusalem Farm and looping round via the impressive crenellated gatehouses of Castle Carr.


© Text and images copyright Lesley Jackson