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Apr 2015

North Yorkshire Coat of Arms

It's a rollercoaster ride on the  B6265 and visibility is down to a minimum in today's torrential rain. That makes for two kinds of wrong gear[1] restricting the visit to some aptly named cake and a little pondering on the pros and cons of National Parks.

[1] These parts hosted the first two stages of the 2014 Tour de France and they've gone cycling daft ever since. You'll have to hang back behind the bunch, screaming in second, until the barking-mad bikers breach the brow of that hill.

There's an old Yorkshire word for a badger, 'Pate', as in 'You gassed yon pate t'day?' It's not thought to play a part in the first part of the place name but the second part couldn't be clearer, it's a bridge.

There's a small charge to park either side of it and it's over and west into the Yorkshire Dales National Park or behind to Harrogate and beyond.

To the left, a path along the River Nidd but, even with the rain easing, that planned ramble has been abandoned. The Nidd's now nudging the muddy path so it's to Wildings Tea Room for some drizzle cake to match the view.

  Coldstones Cut (B6265)

West of Pateley and on the road up and out to Grassington is what might qualify as the UK's highest and\or largest public artwork.

It's essentially a walled sculpture that you can walk around with views down to the still operating quarry. Wonder while you wander about its significance to the local limestone, if you like, and it's quite a piece of work, they say.

Pateley doesn't quite make it into the Dales even though it looks the part even on this particular bad air day. It has to settle instead for lying in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and, as should be known by now, they don't hand them awards out willy-nilly.

There was a proposed extension to the western side of the Yorkshire Dales made in 2009. Five local authority objections, a public enquiry and an 'atrociously' delayed decision by the Environment Secretary meant it rumbled on until August 2016 when it was finally approved.

If they ever get round to the eastern side, Pateley will likely be included but you'll all be visiting on hoverboards by the time they've tackled the objections. Objections?

  Stump Cross Caverns (B6265 Greenhow Hill)

Stalagmites and stalactites abound in this underground attraction. Remember, tights come down, snigger, snigger but don't they also go up? Oh no! That means the difference between them still isn't known.

As naïve townies, it was first thought who could possibly object? You're in a National Park now and that brings people and people bring business and business means money, right?

As sophisticated urbanites, it was then thought imagine you didn't run a café but had a farm and on that farm you had a barn. Some of them roof tiles need replacing so just head for the big B&Q™ near Harrogate where they've a job lot of cheap, Chinese ones.

Except you can't, you're in a National Park now and restrictions apply. You'll have to submit a planning application before waiting for approval before sourcing them locally before employing local craftsmen before peeling them all off again because they're the slightly wrong shade of grey.

It's the same with those rotten, wooden window frames, don't even think about UPVC. They won't exactly have to be sympathetically hand carved by wood nymphs but you get the idea.

Solidarity with Pateley is now being shown on the AONB designation. The parking's less of a problem, for a start, even though they're not shifting quite as much  parkin as they would like, probably.