I’ve become obsessed with orchids lately. In May we visited the orchid slope at Hartslock nature reserve to see rare monkey orchids. Last weekend we headed to Warburg nature reserve, one of BBOWT’s flagship reserves near Henley-on-Thames.
This isn’t a traditional list of tourist attractions. There are plenty of places to visit in the Yorkshire Dales but my favourite holiday memories are of walks, views and rural life. So what do I love about the Yorkshire Dales?
One of my early summer treats is an evening walk to view the orchids at Hartslock Nature Reserve. Covering 11 acres the reserve is relatively small but a favourite of mine. Partly because it’s one of the best picnic spots in Oxfordshire and partly because of the orchids which cloak its slopes.
As regular readers will know I believe a good walk always features cake. So it’s probably no surprise that our weekend walk included afternoon tea at a church. Most visitors were probably there for the main event, snowdrops in the churchyard, but not us. Instead I’d chosen a longer walk with a cake stop halfway round.
I’m pretty sure the best antidote to a dismal grey day is a walk in the countryside. Last weekend we ignored the clouds and drizzle and headed to Inkpen in Berkshire for a walk that combined a macabre gibbet and spring crocuses!
The Ridgeway, Britain’s oldest track, is our local long distance path. We often walk it at weekends and for a couple of years the other half and I entered the Ridgeway40 challenge, a 40 mile day walk. I still remember the agony of attempting to climb stairs the following day! This weekend it was the turn of my daughter who was taking part in an 18 mile Scouts winter hike. I quite fancied doing it too so walked alongside her group as a helper.