I stayed in the Yorkshire Dales in Northern England for a few days some 14 years ago. Inspired by the James Herriot books that my grandmother gave me to read as a child. I went looking for the quaint country charm that I had read about.
I met up with a friend in London and we took the bus to Sheffield, near the town of Thirsk (the village that the fictional town of Darrowby was modelled after.)
Mega bus is a cheap option. The tickets for the 3.5 hour trip are as low as 5£ each way. (I didn’t take Megabus when I went, but have used it on several other trips and appreciated the low cost.) Once there, we took buses in between towns and hopped a around a bit.
We stayed in a camping or bunk barn, which was an old sheep barn with the interior renovated fit for a comfy sleep. We were in the middle of a field with stone fences, and cows and sheep kept us company, walking up to the open windows to socialize. There were walking trails though the Dales and a village a few steps away. (Unfortunately as this was in my pre-digital camera days, almost all of my photos are in a box stored away back in Canada.)
There have been times when reading about a place or seeing a film have put perceptions or feelings into my head that have been drastically changed once setting foot on the physical place. Happily, this was not the case for my visit to the Yorkshire Dales. Being there (and my memories of being there) provoked the same cozy, down to earth, humour-filled state that reading the country vet’s books did in my grandmother’s living room years ago.
The only downfall was that I couldn’t stay a little longer to see more of the area.
Have you ever been inspired to go to a place by a book that you read as a child? Did it live up to your expectations?