Happy valley: a family gathering in the Yorkshire dales

With families spread far and wide, it’s good to get the gang together. Ruaridh Nicoll sticks a pin in the map, and ends up eating, drinking and walking around Malham

Bill Bryson once said of Malhamdale: “I won’t know for sure if it is the finest place there is until I have died and seen heaven (assuming they let me at least have a glance), but until that day comes, it will certainly do.” The much-loved travel writer was a local resident. He also talked of the “Malham wave”, where drivers would raise a finger in recognition when passing on the local roads.

As my brother and I pulled in one Friday in September after a long drive from London, we got the wave, only it wasn’t a friendly greeting a van driver gave us, but rather the finger.

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