Yorkshire (part one): Pickersgill Manor Farm

After visiting relatives in Cheshire for a couple of days, Owen and I began the main part of our holiday at Pickersgill Manor Farm near Silsden, on the outskirts of the Yorkshire Dales. Pickersgill is a working farm which is home to sheep, pigs, cattle, chickens and a duck. It has two large, comfortable B&B rooms, and we stayed in the one on the ground floor. The room was immaculate with a large en suite bathroom and beautiful views across the Yorkshire countryside (when the weather allowed it!) The photograph above was taken from the door to our room.

The breakfasts here are (literally) award winning and are cooked by Lisa, who runs the B&B while her husband Marcus runs the farm. Lisa and Marcus were friendly and welcoming, and breakfast is eaten at the family table in the kitchen. We were also invited in for tea and cake when we first arrived, which I thought was nice. A full English breakfast at Pickersgill includes, among other things, eggs from the farm’s chickens, sausages made with pork from its pigs and black pudding which is handmade locally (and which was some of the best black pudding I’ve ever tasted). On one of the days we were there we had porridge, which was lovely and creamy. I’m not sure if it was made with full fat milk or whether there was some cream in there but it was a good start to the day, especially with some local honey dolloped into it. We also sampled one of Lisa’s tray suppers on the first night we stayed there (as we didn’t really feel like venturing out). This was brought to our room and was a hearty roast lamb dinner followed by apple pie and custard (proper custard, made from scratch) and a jug of elderflower drink.

We ate at a few local restaurants after asking Lisa for recommendations- these included The Fleece in Addingham, which was lovely and cosy with friendly service and good, reasonably priced food. We’d incidentally eaten lunch earlier that day at another pub called The Fleece which was in Skipton. The name was the only similarity between the two places- our experience in The Fleece in Skipton involved walking into a pub which was eerily quiet (apart from one country music song which suddenly played over the speakers before everything went quiet again) and ordering something which was apparently a cheese toastie, but which was almost unrecognisably flattened and cooked to a greasy crisp. This was served with an enormous portion of chips in an apparent attempt to satisfy your appetite once you’d given up on the salty inedible sandwich.

On our last night at the farm, we ate at the Purple Garlic Indian restaurant in nearby Silsden. Again, the service here was friendly and welcoming and the food was excellent and very reasonably priced. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do justice to the generous portions (including onion bhajis the size of your fist), mainly because feeling under the weather had taken away my appetite and I couldn’t really taste anything properly. It was a real shame as I love curry and I hate wasting food- I’d have asked for a doggy bag if circumstances had allowed!

During this first bit of our holiday, we also visited Betty’s Tea Rooms in Ilkley. We had tea and cake (well, Owen had coffee and cake as he doesn’t drink tea because he’s odd) and it was all very civilised. This was another of Lisa’s recommendations- she’d mentioned at breakfast (while icing a cake, as you do) that she’d trained with Betty’s previously and said that it was a nice place to go on a wet day (which it was).

Apologies for the lack of pictures of food- I’m not really one for taking pictures of my food when I’m out and about but have a look at the websites if you’re interested or are looking for somewhere to stay or eat in Yorkshire!

To make up for the lack of food pictures, below are some photographs we took while walking the Ingleton Waterfall Trail. We walked the trail when I was feeling particularly snuffly and full of a cold, and had therefore only managed a bowl of Rice Krispies for breakfast. I really should have forced myself to have a bowl of porridge because the 8km walk nearly finished me off! It was very enjoyable though and the scenery was beautiful. It was also the only day the weather was good enough to do it while we were in that part of Yorkshire so I’m glad I sucked it up and just got on with it.

Tree trunk covered with coins.

Thornton Force- the most well-known waterfall on the Ingleton trail, which apparently provided inspiration for the artist William Turner.

The hump to the right of the picture is Ingleborough- one of the Yorkshire Dales Three Peaks.

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