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Welcome to Paul and Tracy's main blog. Here you can keep track of what we've been up to, and join us on our adventures.

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Monday, June 29, 2009


Returning to the scene of the crime...

Two years ago today, Tracy and I went to Blackpool and got married, in the company of 2 old friends. And without telling another living soul (apart from the registrar and her assistant). It was a perfectly executed plan, that avoided all the hassle of trying to organise a wedding and the associated complicated seating plan, whilst achieving the main objective of sealing our commitment to one another. The plan was first hatched back in the February of that year, when Tracy and I were away in the Yorkshire Dales. So to celebrate our 2nd anniversary, we went back, and stayed at the same pub we'd stayed at that fateful weekend, the Tennant Arms at Kilnsey.

The Tennant Arms, Kilnsey

However, it was a case of "you can never go back", as the pub had changed significantly in the 2 years since our last visit. The bar had been opened up, the rooms completely refurbished, the staff changed, etc. Only the location was the same, and the beer, of course. Black sheep on draught, always a good sign. Unfortunately the food had failed to maintain the high standards from our last visit, although it did remain edible...

On Saturday we went out to re-walk the walk we'd taken back in February 2007, only to discover we'd both forgotten which of the walks in our guidebook it was. We remembered a walk that started in Grassington and thought it was the right one, only to realise as we headed into the woods about the village that it wasn't. Still, it was a lovely day, and if it hadn't been for the midges, it would have been a lovely walk. It seems that the Yorkshire Dales are starting to suffer from the same plague that affects Scotland so badly, with the little bastards feasting on both of us with a vengeance. Disappointed that the walk wasn't the one we were seeking, we looked again at the book and found the original walk - it wasn't difficult as there was a picture of the church in the book that we both remembered from the walk. The church is in Arncliffe, just north of Kilnsey. So when we'd finished our walk we headed up to Arncliffe and went in search of a special place... the "kissing gate" where I'd asked Tracy to marry me... and there it was, so naturally we went through it again for old time's sake...

At the kissing gate where I'd proposed 2 years previously

With the trip down memory lane over, we drove around the Dales for a while before heading back to the pub for a well earned beer, and to study the books again to choose a walk for the Sunday...

Black Sheep Best Bitter, Yorkshire Dales

Sunday dawned slightly overcast, cool and perfect for walking. We drove up to Kettlewell and set off on the walk to "Cam Head". Initially this also felt like a walk we'd done before, but soon we realised it was different, as we recalled the walk we did from Kettlewell in February 2007, which took in the hills opposite before dropping down to the church in... Arncliffe!

This new walk started with a fairly steep ascent with spectacular views back to Kettlewell, before topping out and then winding down into the village of Starbotton (and no, that's not a spelling mistake!). Here we popped into the local pub for a quick pint before continuing up the valley and back to the car. It had been a much harder walk than the previous day, but much more rewarding, and with far fewer midges. And the sun had come out at the right moment too, just as we arrived at the pub. Perfect.

Looking back to Kettlewell

After a much better evening meal (the steak Tracy had on Saturday had more salt on it than the dead sea), we went for a quick stroll before turning in. Monday morning we had breakfast before checking out and heading over to the Black Sheep Brewery's depot to collect the cask of best bitter we've bought for the party at the weekend. before heading home. It had been a great weekend, and so nice to spend some time together before I set off in just over 2 weeks...

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