Let me tell you a little secret…

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I’ve dabbled with tick and bucket lists, investigated must visit places and looked at the socio-economic fabric of the Yorkshire Dales in my books so far.

Each has brought me into close contact with the National Park I hold most dear; the landscapes that connect my sense of being and nourish my soul, whilst its effervescent, down to earth folk seem more real, more concrete, more grounded.

I’ve always felt I could do more though. Not only to get further under the surface of that vibrant mixture of cultures that make the Dales but to champion local business and innovation.

My first book – Yorkshire’s Three Peaks: The Inside Story of the Dales – attempted to disassemble a small area of the National Park and understand how its individual pieces are working with – and quite often against – each other to ensure its future. 

I’ve since written about Derbyshire, Cheshire and sport but I’ve returned to the Dales, completing the circle somewhat, to discover more of its secrets – and to emphasise its heritage, entrepreneurs and future.

Secret Dales will be released in November (damn you Covid for the late date) and I was thinking it would all but complete my Yorkshire Dales odyssey.

Thankfully, the ideas are still flowing and I have no doubt there will be more! You can stop booing at the back.

Secret Dales’ blurb suggests that it’s predominantly a history book:

An enlightening and entertaining journey through the Park’s past, delving beneath the surface – and sometimes well below – to uncover its secrets. 

You’ll discover a network of passages that have shaped the landscape above it and why the clack of needles was to be feared and hear folk tales from years past. You’ll also find out about hidden kilns and mines, why a village had to drive spike through a heart of a dead man and tread along long forgotten routes and pathways.

Then there’s secret Inns, meeting places, notable folk and more that make this area special.

On reflection, it’s more than that. It’s about diversification and adapting to change whilst maintaining that link with the past … and the Dent Vampire which I must talk about in every book I write by the looks of it.

There’s no bucket lists here, no must visits – just a delve into the past and how it’s shaping the future.

I look forward to showing you more…

Will you tip me a brew to keep this site running?