Travel Diary: Europe, 2018

Join Stephen and Rona Yarrow, and Steve and Debbie Hall, as they trek around England, Wales and Scotland during September 2018. In the first week of October they take the ferry to Amsterdam, then travel by train through Germany, Austria and Switzerland on their way to northern Italy. There's a lot to see in a very short time, but somebody has to do it!

Penny Lane will be "in our ears and in our eyes", though being "there beneath the blue suburban skies" is a bit of wishful thinking, knowing what the weather is like in Liverpool in September!

Previous posts

4.9.2018: Sydney to London
5.9.2018: London

6.9.2018: Canterbury, UK
7-9.2018: London City

8.9.2018: Greenwich, UK
8.9.2018: Goodwood Revival
9.9.2018: London

10.9.2018: Trip to Edinburgh
11.9.2018: Edinburgh

11.9.2018: Edinburgh
12.9.2018: Glasgow, Scotland
Stirling, Scotland
13.9.2018: Inverness, Scotland
Loch Ness, Scotland
14.9.2018: Train To Leeds, UK
15.9.2018: York, UK
16.9.2018: Leeds, Scarborough, UK
17.9.2018: Liverpool, UK

18th September 2018

Today saw a change in our mode of transport; with just one day left on our rail pass, which has been reserved for a day of train travel next week, we put our passes away and collected a hire car, but not before a final farewall to our beloved eating place - The Palace. Alas, this was not to be. The night before The Palace had stayed open until late to cater for football fans who came to watch a game on TV and play a round of trivia. Consquently, it wasn't open for breakfast until 10am, which was too late for us, so it was back to our hotel for cereals and toast.


A delayed walk to pick up our hire car saw us not leaving Leeds until midday - about two hours later than we had planned. Our first stop was the Leeds suburb of Kirkstall and a chance to see the house Stephen lived during his early childhood. Next was the market town of Otley, where he lived from the time his family moved from Kirkstall, until May 1960 when they migrated to Australia. Before visiting the house where he lived, we had lunch in town, then had a look around the lovely little town - the river, the quaint shops and streets, all with their original medieval names, and the labyrinth of back alleys. Everything around the town centre was built in stone.

Upper Wharfedale

Around 3pm, we left on a very scenic, winding journey up the Wharfedale valley through quaint, almost magical little villages like Ilkley, Addington and Skipton, then north through vast rolling hills with fields separated by dry stone walls which made the countryside resemble a patchwork quilt. The scenery gave our intrepid photographers some spectacularly scenic photo opportunities that could almost rival the alpine scenery of France and Switzerland.


Picture a bustling cobbled market square, fringed by shops offering local foods, speciality gifts and arts and crafts. Add other attractions such as friendly cafes, restaurants and cosy hotels, all set against a backdrop of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. That's Grassington, the small market town that feels like a village, that we encountered on our journey through Upper Wharfedale.

The view from Park Rash Pass

Beyond the pretty villages of Grassington and Kettlewell we stopped to take in the panoramic vistas from the top of Park Rash Pass, where the heads of the Wharfedale, Swaledale and Wensleydale meet. Our photos do not do it justice.


Not far after the pass was negotiated we came to the tiny villages of Gayle, Hawes (the home of Wensleydale Cheese), Hardraw and Garsdale Head, when we had our first encounter with the Carlisle to Settle railway, said to be one of the UK's most scenic railways.

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