Bluebell, Kettlewell

If you look at sheep grazing in the Yorkshire Dales it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between the sheep and lumps of whitish limestone outcrops, both dotted haphazardly across the landscape. Years of careful evolution to match sheep with rock.

However, the cattle are different and come in all colours. The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNP) set out to put things right. They’re not to be outdone by the likes of the National Trust, colour matching to within an inch of their lives, with dozens (hundreds…Ed) of slightly differing shades of grey, green, blue etc with which to (over) restore their properties. So, Farrow & Ball (or was it Little Greene…we forget) came up with a rather atmospheric palette of blue-grey shades for the cattle. In fact, the cattle are called Blue Grey and when they stand up against one of the grey limestone walls, they match perfectly.

You can see them on the walk from Kilnsey up Mastiles lane, blending in well. Also good for sheep/limestone rock viewing. Of course there are plenty of other old, traditional cattle breeds – the inevitable Highland cattle, but also the black and white stripey Belted Galloway – good to match your saddleback pigs – and essential extras for your Art Deco or Mackintosh inspired colour theme.

Back down from the slopes we pass the Bluebell, Kettlewell. There are three thriving pubs, with the Kings Head the acknowledged star. The Racehorses ploughs on – good food and beer, but with a town pub ambience. The Bluebell changed hands a couple of times, the most recent tenants running off leaving unpaid rent and the place a shambles (allegedly). Riding to the rescue is Mick from the Kings Head and the Bluebell is transformed into an excellent support pub to his flagship. Think of it as Café Murano, supporting the main Murano in Mayfair…

Good beer, good food (although the children’s fare isn’t cheap) and a location which basks in the warm, glowing afternoon sun.

Pub The Bluebell Kettlewell

Sheep or rocks?

Matching cattle and walls…


The beer…

Traditional pub grub…all very tasty

…and for the offspring

Someone, unbelievably, admitted they were wrong…

If you have 2 Range Rovers in the Dales, get the appropriate number plates…?


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