Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Flocking to Skipton


Now then, where were we, I seem to remember leaving off somewhere near the North Yorkshire market town of Skipton

A town that owes a lot to sheep ( this is the tiled doorstep of a shop in Sheep Street).

Sheep Street Skipton-1

Sheep  are everywhere at the moment; this one is part of a community art event, ‘Flock to Skipton’ it’s entitled ‘flowers for ewe’ and there are another 24 dotted around the town (but is you want to run with the flock, you’ll have to be quick, I think they are off to market on the 14th on November (oh look, it says here it has been extended ‘until 19th of December’

Flowers For You-1

Skipton  has a thriving market (and there aren’t many of those left around the country these days) You can buy proper, traditional stuff,

Hats, my dad would have stopped  at this stall ( or more likely, sent my mum).

Flat caps for sale-1

And for the ladies, a nightie for every night of the week.

Nighties for sale-1

Tom on the other hand headed for here, he liked the bikes, I liked the building.

Here be Tom-1

We mustn’t leave the canal out of the scene setting


(I mustn’t forget to tell you that I saw a Kingfisher, by the river in the centre of Skipton, it was flashed past far too fast for a photo opportunity though.)

Skipton is a town that still manages to retain some character, the only teenagers I found lurking in dark alleyways were my own

Teenagers lurking in dark alley!-1

Here are some more sheep.

This is my favourite, Baa bones

Skelley Sheep 2-1

(although, I thought its horns should also have been painted in white.)

Skelley Sheep-1

Joe liked this one, because it looked like something he grew in a petri dish at school.

Joe likes this one -1

and this was always going to be a hit with overseas visitors

Loving Skipton-1

In case you get lost, this is for you.

Ewe are here-1

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

18 thoughts on “Flocking to Skipton

  1. Lovely post – delightful pictures for the sheep-lovers among us who can hear real-life baa’s outside…

    And to have one titled “flowers for ewe” …!

    Skipton looks well worth a visit, even though I guess your Dad would not have liked the prices on the caps (unless Mum was buying!)

  2. Even without seeing the street itself, I would love to live on Sheep Street! All those caps are great – certainly a sight I never see here in Brooklyn.

  3. I had a lot of fun looking at links and following more links and . . . what, no Ram-ZZZs?

    The very narrow building may be my favorite part of the post, though. I’ve seen “flatiron” buildings before, but never one that was quite so sinuous!

  4. Well, yes, once someone has a good idea, why not flog it to death? First we had cows all over the city, then it was elephants, so why not sheep?

    I like the mosaic in the first photo. It is unusual because most of these displayed the name of the business, rather than the address. Quite often the name has been excised by subsequent owners, irrevocably spoiling the mosaic. Finding a complete one is always a pleasure. The bi-colour lettering is a nice touch too.

    With regard to the bicycle shop, you make a pair with Tigger who is also fascinated by end-of-terrace buildings. This one has a vaguely ship-like look to it.

    I wear a fedora myself but have to admit that a nice solid flat cap is much less likely to be blown off your head by the wind in open country…

    • You see Tiger, thing take time to filter out into the country, at least I can see a natural link between sheep and Skipton, less so the cows in Manchester (milking the concept?) and elephants in London! But in general we’re happy with a later, diluted version of a city model and thankful a small market town can muster 25 pieces of community art!
      So I live in hope of the Guardian doing a northern (if not rural) re-run of the Murdo Macleod photo exhibition that has just finished in London

      He beguiles his sitters to audacious effect

      , much as I wanted to (I am such a fan) I couldn’t get down to see his work, I’ve had to make do with the book.

      The mosaic was part of a stunning old shop front (I do hope it is listed) that is now an estate agents, I intended to return when the light was better to take a photo, but my ship sailed!

  5. Fantastic post. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Skipton with you. Those sheep were fantastic. I’d love to go and see them before they get taken to market.

    As usual, your post flows beautifully from one observation to the next. I think I may have to use this one (or indeed any of the others) when I am teaching pupils about ‘cohesion’ in writing. Which means, the way paragraphs are linked and the whole piece flows.

    • Thank you, in my head, when I write a post, I’m walking around, waving my arms, pointing at the things I’ve seen; a cyber guided tour! It can be quite exhausting, I have to find refreshment and take a sit down 😉

  6. Ah, all of the artistic themes. In Chicago there were cows, as well. In another city, it was horses, although I can’t remember which city, even though I saw them. In St. Paul, Minnesota, it was all of the comic strip characters from the “Peanuts” strip (the creator, Charles Schulz was born in St. Paul), and in another Minnesota town, Buffalo, there were decorated buffalos which were then auctioned off. This phenomenom seems to be worldwide.

    Love those sheep, though.

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  8. I’m with Tigger — love the bicycle shop — I hope it has some width, because it doesn’t have a lot of depth! The green Peter Maxx sheep must be “All ewe need is love.” And the map one must be “Ewe are here.” but the purple spotted one eludes me — unless its “Baaa-cteria.”

  9. A very enjoyable visit to Skipton ~ great way to stop in by way of the canal! How many villages were you able to stop at en route? The corner building is definitely eye catching ~ as are the sheep, clothing and caps. Isn’t it amazing when you get a view of your sons walking together, to realize how much they have grown! I remember a vision quite similar.

  10. A most enjoyable post and terrific photos!
    I don’t often wear a hat but when I do it’s a flat cap, and hereabouts I’m sure that I’d have to pay more than that for a new one! xx

  11. Great pics and a fantastic read .

  12. Pingback: Tincture of Finlay Mckinlay « Uphilldowndale

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