Stones and orchids

France & Vincent

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After self-indulgently breaking the two hundred mile journey to Sheffield with a walk over the hills on Thursday, followed by another long drive to Ilkley to walk over more hills, climbing rocks and waterfalls on Friday, the sensible thing, we thought, would be to rest a bit on Saturday. So what did we do? Climb hills.

It was an accident, sort of. We’d only been going to have a better look at a rock formation in Cressbrook Dale and maybe a better photograph for Doomsday the new book in progress … but we got a little carried away and the brief excursion took most of the day. Well, to be fair, with that landscape, who could help it?

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It was a beautiful day, with the sun streaming into the sheltered valley. The dale is teeming with early purple orchids, wild violets, cowslips, speedwell, patches of bluebells and hawthorn blossom. On…

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