Between Leeds and Bradford, there is a strip of rural Yorkshire going largely undetected. It’s surprising it’s not bigger, as the locals would have you believe that the two biggest West Yorkshire cities are far apart, and they almost never venture from one to the other. In reality, the boroughs press uncomfortably together and their centres are less than 9 miles apart. Down by Pudsey Beck, it’s unclear if we’re in Bradford or Leeds, or thirty miles away in the countryside.
While walking through this no man’s land of becks, farms and woods, the landscape changes from rolling hills to buttercup meadows and charming cottages. There’s not a burning car nor uPVC conservatory in sight (although there is clearly some sort of 2-stroke recreational vehicle within earshot for the first hour of the voyage). You are more likely to see a horse trailer than a BMW.
Occasionally, you are reminded that “civilisation” isn’t too far away, but, for the most part, the views are green and pleasant. Even the horses come over to chat. At one stage, we passed through the Fulneck Moravian Settlement, which is a collection of listed 18th century buildings, including the locally-famous school. I’d have shown you a photo, except the heavens opened as we got there, and I was more interested in keeping my camera dry.
On the return leg, we stopped to investigate a persistent bird call, which turned out to be a young woodpecker demanding to be fed. Fortunately, a parent was there to oblige, and put on a show for the dry camera.