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June - July 2006


Checking the Beauty of Yorkshire Dale

by Bajrang Bahadur Mathur

The Yorkshire Dales is an area of unique natural, scenic beauty. Therefore a large part of it has been protected and designated as a National Park. Dale, actually means a low place between hills, i.e. a valley. Here, most of the dales are called after the name of the river which flows through them, such as Airedale and Wharfedale. The Dales are either ‘U’ or ‘V’ shaped valleys – a result of erosion by nature over the years. Much of the landscape in this region is limestone country- lush green Dales are crested with limestone cliffs, locally known as ‘Scars’. Throughout the Dales, fields and pastures are bounded by distinctive white dry-stone walls (built by sheep and cattle farmers in days gone by), which criss-cross the hillsides in attractive patterns.

The area is a nice blend of spectacular and inspired landscape with peaceful environment. It has been described as wild, expansive, tranquil, awesome and even sometimes bleak.

Yorkshire Dales are near the famous Lake District and likewise attract a large number of tourists, who come to this destination to explore and see the beauty of heather clad rugged moor land, dramatic cliffs, tumbling rocky rivers, waterfalls and lush green rolling pastures. In addition there is a feast of cultural heritage in quaint villages, small market towns, monastic ruins and historic country houses.

The Pennine Way, the famous long distance footpath, passes through the Yorkshire Dales and so does the Settle - Carlisle railway line. This area provides a fantastic, vast arena for recreation and relaxation. We recently visited a few of its important and attractive places mentioned below:

Malham: The village is situated right in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The geology here has given rise to some spectacular and unusual natural features, such as the towering white cliffs and limestone gorges of Malham Cove, the source of the River Aire, and Gordale Scar. Both are within walking distance of the village. Picturesque Malham Tarn (lake) is to the north of the village.

Settle: is a small market town with pleasant bubs, cafes, shops in charming old buildings. Some of these have interesting names, e.g. ‘Olde Naked Man Café’. The railway station of Settle is beautifully preserved, and therefore, worthy of a visit in its own right. The railway journey from this station to Carlisle is considered to be inspiring and magnificent.

Skipton: is a country town with an impressive 900-year-old well maintained historic castle, a museum, a variety of shops and market stalls. The medieval castle is the most complete castle in England and tells tales of the ancient past. A short boat trip along the Leeds-Liverpool canal shows the natural scenic beauty of the Pennines.

Bolton Abbey: The ruins of the 12th century Abbey are set in a romantic landscape and are full of history and legends. It is situated on the banks of River Wharfe.

Cow and Calf: Near the town of Ilkley is this outcrop of rock, which is very famous. A separate large rock sits next to a large continuous rocky ridge and hence the name. There are good views of Ilkley from the top of the rock.

Ribblehead: is surrounded by the Three Peaks area of the Yorkshire Dales. The famous 24 arched viaduct of Ripplehead spans over ‘Batty Moss’ and is very impressive.

We had only limited time and so could not linndly area of Yorkshire Dales but have promised to return to delve deeper into the history and heritage of Yorkshire.



Yorkshire welcomes Bollywood

The Indian city of Mumbai, the heart and soul of Bollywood, and home to the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) is the final destination for the Yorkshire Tourist Board's (YTB) official bid for Yorkshire to host the 'Bollywood Oscars' 2007. The bid to bring the multi million pound four day celebration of Indian cinema to Yorkshire is spearheaded by David Andrews, chief executive of YTB and fellow board member and bid director Zulfi Karim (picture attahced) and if successful will generate and estimated £10million.

Bid director Zulfi Karim, who first conceived the idea that Yorkshire should host the event said: "This is a huge opportunity for Yorkshire. The IIFA Weekend attracts between 15,000 and 20,000 thousand visitors. Typically a minimum 8,000 of them stay over an average three night period and thousands more come for the individual events or to simply be a part of IIFA Weekend. Media coverage will be extensive and global, it's exactly the kind of event we need to be grabbing for Yorkshire."

The four day long celebration traditionally takes place in June and kicks off with a star studded red carpet event where the biggest names in Indian cinema turn out for the world's media and the world premiere of the year's biggest Bollywood epic. Day two takes the form of a charity cricket match, stars versus professional sportsmen. Day three sees the tops stars, guests and VIPs gathering for the IIFA Awards (the 'Bollywod Oscars'), a day long ceremony with an audience of over 12,000 fans.

 TV and film tourism has long benefited Yorkshire. With an audience of over 1 billion within India and over 20 million across 58 other countries worldwide, Indian cinema can open up a whole new market among committed fans ready to visit locations where their favourite films were shot. So the final day is devoted to location visits throughout the region for those involved in film production, a showcase for what Yorkshire can offer film crews.

IIFA's choice of location for the IIFA Weekend 2007 will be announced at a media conference to be held in June at the 2006 event. Yorkshire Tourist Board, key partners and the business communities of the five cities central to the bid (Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield, York and Hull) will await the announcement with baited breath.

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