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Meadow Muker, Swaledale

Follow in the footsteps of the King

Tuesday 18 April, 2023, by Comms Team

To celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III we’re inviting you to follow in the footsteps of the King!

His Majesty’s passion and advocacy for nature, the environment, and rural communities is well known, and over the years His Majesty has made many trips into and around the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  

He has visited the Moorcock Show where he was shown how National Park Rangers build stiles and bridges, he has travelled the Settle to Carlisle railway en route to Kirkby Stephen, and attended events as the patron of the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust. He also visited and met with school children and staff at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes in 1998 – read the press release from this visit below.

So we invite you to follow in the footsteps of the King over the Coronation weekend, that’s Saturday 6 May, Sunday 7 May and Bank Holiday Monday 8 May, and visit some of the locations that have previously been visited by His Majesty, and which make for an interesting and fun day out.  

We also invite you to come and discover some of the special qualities of the Yorkshire Dales. For example, you could take a walk through flower-rich upland hay meadows flanked by ancient drystone walls and barns, heading to one of our magnificent waterfalls, experiencing our dark skies, or some the country’s best examples of limestone scenery, such as that at Malham Cove.    

Spending a day in nature is also proven to improve physical and mental health and wellbeing, so it’ll also be good for your health!

Former National Park Authority Ranger, Joe Avison meeting the then Prince Charles.
His Majesty meeting former National Park Authority Deputy CEO, Jon Avison

Muker ‘Coronation’ Hay Meadows

The Muker hay meadows are an official Coronation meadow. Back in 2012, in response to a report highlighting the loss of wild flowers from counties across Great Britain since the Coronation in 1952, His Majesty called for the creation of new wild flower meadows, at least one in every county, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Coronation.

Over a quarter of England’s flower-rich upland hay meadows and pastures are here in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, outstanding examples of which can be found in Muker and across Swaledale and Langstrothdale. And when you visit, keep an eye out for nationally important populations of birds like curlew, lapwing, and black grouse.

Muker - Haymeadow in June
The iconic Muker hay meadows

Follow in the footsteps of the King

Some of the locations His Majesty has visited include.

  • The Craven Court – a boutique shopping court in Skipton town centre. Originally a 16th century theatre, its original stone walls are partly listed and provide a traditional backdrop to a unique shopping experience boasting 28 boutique stores. His Majesty visited in visited Skipton in 1988. Arriving by train, he also visited High Corn Mill and Skipton Castle.
  • Courtyard Dairy – Based just outside Settle, The Courtyard Dairy stocks and supplies a carefully chosen range of some of the finest cheeses in the world. They were recently voted, by the Financial Times, as one of the fifty greatest food stores in the world. His Majesty visited in March 2017.
  • Wensleydale Creamery – Producers of the world renowned Wensleydale Cheese, Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes are the custodians of a 1000-year history of cheesemaking in the Dale and are home to an award-winning flagship cheese experience and visitor centre. His Majesty visited in September 2015.
Cheese piled high at the Courtyard Dairy, one of the businesses participating in the Cheese Festival 2021. Credit – Tom Martin.
Stacks of cheese at the Courtyard Dairy
  • Broadrake Farm – Broadrake is a former farm situated at the foot of Whernside. As well as a Bunkbarn they run occasional craft workshops such as blacksmithing, willow weaving, spoon carving and painting. His Majesty visited Broadrake Farm in March 2017 where he met participants on the Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme.
  • Swaledale Woollens – Founded in Muker over 30 years ago by villagers reviving the old cottage industry of knitting. His Majesty visited Swaledale Woollens in December 2004 where has was presented with his own locally made Swaledale Woollens jumper.
Wool ready for knitting

Spend a day in nature

Some of the locations and activities that best showcase the special qualities of the Yorkshire Dales National Park include.

  • Hardraw Force – England’s largest single drop waterfall. JW Turner, Britain`s greatest watercolour artist, completed two sketches of Hardraw Force and it features in the classic 90’s movie ‘Robin Hood Prince of Thieves’.
  • Malham Cove – The 70 metre (230ft) high, gently curving cliff of white limestone has attracted and inspired visitors for centuries. Some of the best examples of classic limestone scenery can be found in the Yorkshire Dales, including the limestone pavement on top of the cove, which you might recognise from the movie, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 1’.
  • Aysgarth Falls – The three stepped waterfalls at Aysgarth have been a tourist attraction for over 200 years. Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy visited while they waited for their coach horses to be changed and Turner sketched them on a tour of the north. More recently they provided a dramatic setting for a scene in the classic 90’s movie ‘Robin Hood Prince of Thieves’.
Group of people looking at a large waterfall in full spate.
Aysgarth Falls
  • Walking – A walk in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is good for both your physical and mental wellbeing. There are walks here for all abilities, and a great place to start is to download our free GPS enabled walking app, which has 35 excellent walks that you can do.
  • Cycling – Yorkshire is the home of cycling thanks to the 2014 Tour de France ‘Grand Depart’ and Le Tour de Yorkshire. The Yorkshire Dales offers some of the best cycling in the country – from gentle routes in the valleys to challenging climbs over the moorland that separates them.
young cyclists using the family friendly Swale trail
Children heading out onto the Swale Trail in Swaledale
  • All Creatures Great and Small – Livestock farming is an important part of Dales life, with distinct sheep breeds like Wensleydale and Swaledale and a strong tradition of upland cattle rearing. The hit TV series ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ is filmed in the Dales, and the town of Grassington in Wharfedale is a proving popular with visitors wanting to visit one of the locations that features regularly in the new series running on Channel 5.
  • Caves & Caving – The most extensive caving area in the UK is in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Some of the ‘show caves’ in the national Park that are usually open and available to visit include Ingleborough Cave, Stump Cross Caverns, and White Scar Cave.
  • The Yorkshire Dales National Park Dark Sky Reserve – The stunning dark sky of the Yorkshire Dales National Park is one of its very special qualities, and each year we support a special festival to celebrate it. The Dark Sky Festival is all about discovering, learning and enjoying the galaxies and stars you don’t normally get to see.
See the stars in the dark skies over Ribblehead viaduct
The dark sky above Ribblehead Viaduct

And some of the locations where you can get hands-on with farming, nature and conservation include.

  • Hazel Brow Farm – Hazel Brow Farm in Swaledale is a forward facing traditional working farm. At their Visitor Centre they offer the chance to learn about farming, nature and conservation in a hands-on, interactive way.
  • Dales Countryside Museum – from the 29th of April, in a special exhibition titled ‘Within these walls – Haytime in the Yorkshire Dales’, artist Hester Cox will be sharing her passion for the hay meadows of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the diversity of meadow plants and wildlife found living and feeding in this special habitat. The exhibition will feature linocuts and a variety of collagraph work by Hester, including her stunning “Within these walls” installation. Together with hay time artefacts from the Museum collections, this exhibition is a wonderful exploration of the history and contemporary importance of hay meadows.  
  • Wensleydale Experience farm experiences – Based in Swinithwaite, just outside West Witton, the Wensleydale Experience offer 1-hour farm tours and an opportunity to meet and feed the animals on the farm. Each farm tour is unique, and varies depending on what kind of seasonal things are happening on the farm.
Boy meets piglet at the Wensleydale Experience in Swinithwaite
Wensleydale Experience farm experiences

Click for details on how to ‘get here’ and other ‘plan your visit’ information.

Visit to the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes in 1998

This is the press release – memories of staff at the museum – from May 1998 following a visit by the then Prince of Wales to the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes, Wensleydale.

The visit on Friday 15th May in 1998, of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, was an exciting time for everyone in Hawes, but especially for those of us working at the Dales Countryside Museum. 

The Prince came to contribute to the 20/20 VISION schools project which has encouraged children to consider ‘tommorows archaeology today’, by producing ‘evidence’ of the present-day Dales and imagining what the Dales of 2020 may be like.  Their work was on show for the Prince to see and he also met children from Gunnerside and Hawes schools.  All of the work will be sealed into a time capsule in the floor of the Museum extension and will remain there to tell people in the year 2020 about the Dales today.  Many schools have and are continuing to contribute to the project and we hope that more schools may now come forward when they realise that their work will be sealed in with this message from the Prince. 

‘I am delighted to contribute to the Time Capsule being buried by the children of the Yorkshire Dales at the Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes in 1998.’

I hope that the children who receive this message in 2020 will share your enthusiasm for the culture and traditions of your vibrant community in North Yorkshire.  Above all, I pray that as you grow up you will all continue to cherish and protect the precious environment of the Yorkshire Dales for the benefit of future generations of children. “

King Charles with school children at the Dales Countryside Museum in 1998
King Charles meeting people outside the Dales Countryside Museum in 1998

Prince Charles appeared to have enjoyed viewing the existing displays with Alec Dinsdale, Marie Hartley and Joan Ingilby.  We were thrilled that as the founders of the Museum collection, Marie and Joan were able to give the Prince a personal insight into the origins of the Museum.  As he left the Goods Warehouse to walk into the new extension, the Prince commented that an excellent job had been made of presenting the fascinating subject matter and that he had very nearly shaken hands with our model of a hand knitter!

The Prince was interested in the railway origins of the Museum buildings.  After chatting about the use of the different buildings, and having been asked by the Prince if she could remember the closure of the line or Beeching’s later closure of other lines, the Curator, Fiona Rosher caused a chuckle by saying that unfortunately, she was just that bit too young to remember!

Fiona then went on to explain the future use of the extension.  The Prince seemed very interested to hear that the museum will be far more dynamic, with events, exhibitions, demonstrations of crafts, interactive exhibits, a video and an interactive CD ROM programme.  He also seemed to think it an excellent idea to use evidence from the past to encourage visitors of all ages to consider the issues relating to man’s present and future impact upon the landscape of the Yorkshire Dales

King Charles meeting with Joan Ingleby and Marie Hartley at the Dales Countryside Museum in 1998
King Charles meeting Joan Ingleby and Marie Hartley at the Dales Countryside Museum.

Having walked through the new building and chatted with the builders working outside, Prince Charles then climbed a ladder to fix a slate onto the roof of the exhibition hall.  It was marvellous to hear the cheers and applause as the Prince climbed out onto the platform!  On climbing back down the ladder, he commented that it was far more difficult fixing a slate than you might imagine and that He had feared that He might break it!

There was a real party atmosphere and it was marvellous to see the Prince chatting with the visitors and local people who had waited patiently outside to see him.

All in all, it was a very special day and one which we will remember for many years.

Picture of Comms Team

Comms Team

Our Communications Team love to enthuse about all things Yorkshire Dales

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