The Calendar Girls, Thelma and Louise, The Hairy Bikers... these were just a few of the similarities drawn on Saturday when I treated my lovely mum to a tour of the Yorkshire Dales on the back of a motorised Trike courtesy of Yorkshire Trike Tours.
We couldn’t contain ourselves as we laughed hysterically at probably the most fitting of all the resemblances – the late Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright, AKA Two Fat Ladies.
Once my mum and I were togged up in all our many winter layers, helmets on and seated comfortably in our shiny silver chariot we could have easily been mistaken for the much-loved, rather robust double act.
As we impersonated the pair with a few of their classic one-liners; mimicking their posh, aristocratic voices, Jason our chauffeur turned the key, revved the beast’s engine and the three of us pulled smoothly out of the Devonshire Arms Car Park (a regular pick-up point for the experience) and onto the open roads of the Yorkshire Dales.
Famous for its dry-stone walls crisscrossing the hilly landscape, hardy sheep grazing, rivers running along the valleys, stone-built farms and villages dotting the landscape, Yorkshire is picture-postcard stuff year-round but especially at this time of year.
Yes, it was bloody cold, I’m not going to lie. Even trussed up in a jumper, thermals, my own windproof coat and a thick waterproof Yorkshire Trike Tours jacket it was nippy. But when there’s a thick winter mist hovering over the distant forests and high ground and you are sat on the back of a machine that allows you a full 360 degree view of the magnificence and beauty of the Yorkshire Dales, all whilst feeling the cold air rushing into your helmet, across your face and back out of the other side, you feel alive, at peace, and instantly energised (even after a night of the lash in Harrogate the night before!).
Not only is the Yorkshire Trike Tours experience a remarkable hangover cure and an exhilarating adventure; it’s an opportunity to learn a little bit about God’s Own Country; specifically the Yorkshire Dales.
Jason, AKA ‘Trike Man of the Dales’ and co-owner of Yorkshire Trike Tours along with his lovely wife Judith, is chief chauffeur of his ‘Billy Connolly’ style motor trike. He’s one of those rare breeds of man; he is blessed with the rare ability to multi-task. Not only does chauffeur Jason make us feel completely at ease zooming along the winding narrow roads of the Yorkshire Dales at 50pmh completely open to the elements on a cold and windy December day, he also doubles up as live commentator.
On-board intercom, through ear pieces and microphones hidden in our helmets allows Jason to talk us through some of the History of the Dales. There’s not a lot my mum doesn’t know about English history. Still, Jason managed to impress her with few little facts about the local area and its history and legends.
The scenery was spectacular and the weather made it all the more dramatic and quite eerie in places. As we climbed we were engulfed in a thick sheet of icy mist. We cruised across a desolate Blubberhouse Moor at some 1500meters above sea level – we couldn’t see beyond our helmets for a short while. As we descended down towards Thruscross reservoir, we were lucky enough to come almost face to face with a Barn Owl perched on a gate. Slowly the fog lifted to reveal the most spectacular sunset across the valley and we took the homeward straight back to Bolton Abbey.
Our tour, called The Duke’s Tour circled from The Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey, up past Bardan Towers crossing the River Wharfe via ancient Pack Horse Bridge up to Skyredale and climbing the fell side past Trollers Gill and Trollerdate, before dropping down to Thruscross Reservoir, across Blubberhouse Moor and then back to the Dev – an hour-long tour. Ideal on a cold December day.
After disembarking our chariot, we thawed out in front of the open fire at the Dev with coffee and biscuits. Mum loved every minute. She’s already banging on about doing it all again, just this time in the sunshine. Maybe next year i’ll get to channel my inner Sandra Dee over my inner Charissa Dickson Right, in a lot less layers. Something leather.
Still, anytime of the year, this is an experience like no other and for that reason folks, it absolutely deserves its place in the Yorkshire Bucket List Collection.
Yorkshire Trike Tours offer a range of tours cross the Dales ranging from one hour to multi-day experiences.
If you would like to win a trip aboard a Yorkshire Trike click here and enter LIVE EVERY MINUTE’s competition to win a luxury weekend in Yorkshire, which includes a Yorkshire Trike Tour experience for you and 3 friends.
There’s still time to bag a Yorkshire Trike Tours Voucher – the ultimate Christmas Present. Click here.