As expected, Monday morning was grey and wet but I didn't mind as I was driving home. I paid one last visit to Kirkcudbright where I bought Shirley some heather soap from the Scottish tourism shop and paid a visit to The Harbour Gallery to see the fine art exhibition - an eclectic collection of pictures of Galloway. It was certainly worth the detour.
Then I was back on the A75 heading east towards Gretna then south upon the M6 into England. To my surprise the weather was clearing. At Penrith, I stopped to look at my road atlas. It gave enough detail to guide me to "The Tan Hill Inn" which sits on the moors north of Swaledale close to the ancient border between Yorkshire and Westmorland (now Cumbria).
|Above Barras looking west|
I left the A66 at Brough and very soon Clint took me along single track roads towards the moors. The last settlement I passed through was Barras - a strung out agricultural community. And then it was up onto the wild moorland. I had six miles to go to "The Tan Hill Inn", the highest pub on the island of Britain.
Two views of "The Tan Hill Inn"
It's wonderful that this remote pub soldiers on. It was built during the lead mining boom of the eighteenth century. The lad miners have been replaced by day visitors like me and passing hikers on The Pennine Way long distance footpath. It's somewhere I have wanted to visit for years.
Inside nearly all of the tables were occupied but there was a little copper table in the corner for Sad Sack. I had a cheese and tomato roll and a coffee and as I prised open the double glazed window for some fresh air I thought of Ted Moult and an old TV commercial for double glazing that was set in this pub - "Fit the best, fit Everest".
The drive down to Arkengarthdale and Swaledale was breathtaking. So many wonderful sights. I could have easily spent a week exploring the area but I was just passing through. In "The Tan Hill Inn" I had hatched a plan to visit The Weaver of Grass near Bellerby. Of course I didn't know if she would be in or not. I would simply chance it.
I went into the village stores in Reeth to purchase a tin of salmon. Some women like flowers or chocolates or perfume but I guessed that Pat would prefer salmon as she is addicted to it. I walked up the driveway to the back door where a message invited me to go inside to the inner door but unfortunately the back door was locked and I couldn't see her new car in the now deserted farmyard.
Peering in through the side windows, I could see several sealed cardboard boxes. She has often referred to them in her blog as she prepares to move down the road into the little market town of Leyburn. However, it was a surprise to see so many posters of Jim Reeves and Val Doonican plastered on the walls. I guess The Weaver is a big fan.
Then I commanded Clint to whisk me back to Sheffield. It had been a super weekend. A lovely adventure. So many glorious sights and well worth waiting for that good weather slot. Finally, here's a bull with two girlfriends seen above Ross Bay on the coast of Galloway:-