Swaledale flower meadows

Friend and erstwhile market stallholder Richard and his better half Polly have moved up to better things and opened a very nice gallery shop in Muker, at the west end of Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales. We went to visit over the weekend, to see how the other half lives. Nowadays, when I’m at the market in wind and driving rain, I think of Richard all warm, dry and safe inside his gallery and I curse him.

The shop – The Old School – is lovely, full of old character (apart from Richard) and the selection of artworks is top notch. Richard and Polly have a really good eye for design and branding.

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I had forgotten how much I love the Yorkshire Dales and Swaledale must be one of the most beautiful and spectacular. Add to that the area’s famous show of flower meadows, which was at its absolute best when we visited. I’ve never visited Swaledale much, and Muker even less, so everything felt entirely new to me. Muker is a charming hamlet, with a pub, tea room, and tiny shop (and top-notch gallery!)

This being England in June, the weather was pretty bad. Rain and strong winds. This can make the colours of the flowers more vivid but I’d rather have fluffy white clouds at sunset.

The dry stone walls and typical dales barns are laid out just so, as though done deliberately for photographers and artists._IGP0786

Some of the shots here, the ones taken from a very low view point, were inspired by a lovely shot of Richard’s that you can see here. He had much better light for his version.

The scenery over the weekend was so inspiring that I went back again for the day on the monday. This meant I could take my time and use my tripod. Richard and I are clearly not the only ones inspired by this landscape. Big cameras and tripods were out all over when Joy and I were out on sunday.

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