Work took me to the Yorkshire Dales on a sweltering hot day and in desperate need of water I made an emergency pit-stop in West Burton – one of the prettiest villages in Britain.
If you haven’t visited, I urge you to go. It’s in Bishopdale about six miles from Leyburn and its appeal lies in its architecture and the natural beauty that surrounds it. If you have ever dreamed of having a cottage in the country, then you’ll have serious house envy when you see the chocolate box cottages overlooking the enormous village green. This is all set off against a magnificent backdrop of high fells.
Unlike a lot of small villages, West Burton is amenity rich and boasts a shop/tearoom, a butcher’s shop, a village hall and a pub. The Fox and Hounds, which also offers accommodation, is relaxed, friendly and sells good, hearty food and real ale. It is a proper country pub.
There’s also The Cat Pottery, which does exactly what it says on the tin. The owners make ceramic, metallic and granite cats in every variety you can think of.
I saved the best till last on my whistle-stop walk up to the top of village and back down. At the bottom, tucked away behind the cottages is Cauldron Falls, a beautiful waterfall with a plunge pool at the bottom.
JMW Turner sketched it when he was on a tour of the Dales. I had it all to myself, which is unusual, as West Burton is a busy little place when the weather is sunny.
The walk and the running water left me feeling mentally and physically refreshed with thoughts of what might have been. My partner and I saw our perfect home in West Burton – a do’er upper that, of course, we mentally did up and discussed until it was sold. We weren’t in a position to move then but we are getting closer.