In the Yorkshire Dales, fabulous Sunday walks have long been made possible by this local service. Now under threat, a campaign is underway to keep it running
It may make compelling “slow television”, but slow travel this is not. As the bus whizzes along the A684, I’m willing the driver to slow down so I can better enjoy the view. The single-decker’s spotless picture windows and elevated seats deliver a fast-forwarding pano-shot of Wensleydale, its emerald curves broken up by solitary barns and drystone walls that snake up towards tree-softened valley slopes.
I’m taking a ride on the Wensleydale Flyer, sister service to the Northern Dalesman, whose meanderings through Swaledale and Ribblesdale, recorded for the recent fly-on-the-dashboard BBC4 documentary All Aboard! The Country Bus, captured the hearts (and perhaps lowered the blood pressure) of nearly a million viewers. One of some 14 interlinking routes that make up the DalesBus network and open up the Yorkshire Dales to car-free travellers, the Flyer begins its weekly Sunday service at Hawes, the pretty, cobbled home of Wensleydale cheese, and travels 40 miles along the valley to Northallerton, North Yorkshire’s county town.