Sunday, 20 January 2013

A Wintry Weekend Away



Just after Christmas we booked a weekend away in a little cottage in the Yorkshire Dales - a chance for us to have some of that lazy, cosy family time that everyone else seems to have between Christmas and New Year. Typically, heavy snow was forecast for that very same weekend. We dithered all week about whether we should go away or not. We checked the weather constantly. Each of John's weather apps on his phone gave a different forecast. We knew snow would come on Friday but when? Midday? Four pm? Would the roads be ok? Were we completely stupid to attempt to drive into the Dales (high up, hilly and cold) and what if we got stuck?* We are not an adventurous family.

But when the snow held off we decided to go. We received permission from Bella's school to collect her early and left in plenty of time to arrive before it got dark. Laden with bags, blankets, boots, a sledge, a shovel and a sack of grit for a journey which should only take one and a half hours, we set off. 

Of course, it was all fine. Better than fine. There had been snow earlier in the week but the roads were clear. The village was picture-postcard idyllic. The local lady who let us in to the cottage reassured us that the roads are usually cleared quickly in bad weather (I bet she was thinking - these city types, honestly, a bit of snow and they panic...). John lit the open fire - eventually - and I sat in front of it with a jigsaw and a glass of red wine and went into a state of bliss. 

We ventured out to a nearby town, had a pub lunch, we explored the village, made footprints in fresh snow. We returned home to the cottage and read the paper, worked on the jigsaw, stoked the fire, ate, drank hot chocolate, drank red wine...we rested. We came home today to find that, while the Dales had remained snow free over the weekend, Leeds had not. We continued our holiday state of mind and, after a lunch of soup, went into the garden to build a snowman and have a snowball fight. It was joyful, it really was.

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*While main roads are usually gritted during snowy and icy weather in the UK, side roads are not. It's not common practice (or law) for people to drive with snow tires in the winter so 4 inches of snow usually results in general traffic chaos. It's really quite embarrassing how badly we cope with snow in the UK!

31 comments:

  1. Hi Gillian, from Down Under...what a contrast! You are playing in snow, we had a 45 degree day here in Sydney, and bush fires raging! Looks like a lovely holiday! Cheers, from Liz near Wollongong NSW

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  2. Looks like a good time was had by all!!

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  3. It looks like a postcard...just beautiful! How wonderful to get a weekend away to relax. The children made an awesome snowman! Oh, and the fire along with the cold beer looks so beyond relaxing and cozy...I think I'll just stare at that lovely photo for a while!!

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  4. Those photos are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. Gave me a nice cozy wintery feeling. <3

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  5. What a beautiful winter wonderland! Glad to hear the weather was fine, sounds like you had an amazing time.

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  6. So glad you decided to go. You a deserve a family break after such a short family Chritmas. I'm a total wimp and haven't driven since Thursday - can feel my legs toning up though with all the walking xo

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  7. Great photos Gillian, looks like a wonderful weekend and you really have me longing to do a jigsaw! Have a good week x

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  8. Great snow photo's Gillian, it looks as though you all had a smashing time!
    Love the look of that hot chocolate with the cream and flake...
    Essie x

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  9. sounds lovely and like you were pretty sensible really. We brits are always prepared for anything I reckon! have a good week, Heather x

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  10. What a lovely place to spend the weekend! Looks beautiful! :) x

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  11. Stunning pictures Gillian. The hot chocolate especially with a flake and wine sound very nice indeed.
    irene
    xxxx

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  12. Dear Gillian
    Glad to hear you managed to get some time away and recharged those batteries. Lovely photos of a lovely weekend.
    I second Irene (above) - the hot chocolate with the flake looks amazing!
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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  13. Love your photos. Looks absolutely divine. Glad you had a good and restful weekend. Perfect.

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  14. It looks the perfect weekend away! I love your photos especially of the hot chocolate with the flake, yum! We have had no snow here yet, but my wee girl is still hopeful!
    M xx

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  15. It looks so beautiful! I'm glad you had some great family time together. That pic of your hot chocolate has just encouraged me to put the kettle on... stay warm! x

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  16. Your photos are fabulous! Sounds like the perfect weekend getaway. Glad you had a great time :-) x

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  17. what a lovely day. wish it would snow here in atlanta!! if it snows a couple of inches the whole city shuts down

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  18. Oh how lovely Gillian ... your photos look gorgeous ... no snow with us ... just on the hills nearby ... it is bitterly cold and sleeting all the time ... I wish we had some proper snow so we could build a snowman ... enjoy the rest of your week and keep cosy ... Bee xx

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  19. It looks like you all had a wonderful time in my most favourite place, how I love the Yorkshire Dales. Just what you needed to recharge the batteries.

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  20. Lovely photos, it looks a very nice trip away.
    Just the merest sprinkling of snow here today, feel like we're missing out on the party somehow!

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  21. Looks like you had a fab time and make the right decision.

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  22. Looks idyllic to me! Such atmospheric photographs. Happy you had a fun weekend away. Love the old Morris Minor, great colour also. A beer and a fire... :)
    Ivan x

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  23. What a lovely weekend! I'd never think to book a winter weekend away but you've got me sorely tempted: fire, hot chocolate and a jigsaw - perfect. x

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  24. Gillian, it sounds like your weekend away was just what the Dr ordered!! It sounds idyllic. Leanne x

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  25. What a beautiful weekend and that hot chocolate looks amazing, I am glad you managed to have some lovely family downtime AND fun in the snow on your return - bonus fun! x

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  26. What a lovely weekend Gillian, and great photos. Just what you need to recharge your batteries. Luckily, we've escaped the snow so far here, but yes, I agree, we don't seem able to cope with it at all, do we?
    You've put me in the mood for hot choc now :)

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  27. It's just magical over there! Beautiful photos. I love cold climates. Our family (on my Dad' side) originates from the Yorkshire Dales and I used to love watching All Creatures Great & Small, but I have not been there. Blazing fire, red wine and happy kids is my idea of bliss too :-) Mel x

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  28. Oh my gosh, this looks like such a wonderful getaway. The beverages and the fire especially caught my eye! :)

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  29. It sounds like a wonderful weekend away! I'm so glad you had the chance to do it. You're making such happy memories for your kids.

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  30. Ooo where did you go? It looks so familiar yet I can't quite put my finger on it!!
    When my kiddies were really little we went away for a few days after Christmas to Staithes (Yorkshire coast above Whitby), I have such sweet memories from that holiday, even though it was sooooo cold!
    xxxxxxxxx

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    1. We stayed in Kettlewell - not all that far from you! It was just lovely. Never been to Staithes but some good friends of ours have been returning to the same little cottage there year after year - they love the place. x

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