The name and location of the hill isn't the important part of this annual expedition. It's the idea that every year without fail we follow the same track as a little family group and mark the moment when we moved back to Yorkshire, now many years ago.
I don't quite remember how we came by this particular hill, just that my daughter's legs weren't then quite long or strong enough to reach the top so we made a pact to return a year later and try to get a little further. When we did so, we reflected on the enormous changes that had taken place in our life over the previous year, some very sad, some happy. We celebrated the fact that we'd made the move and talked about the year ahead. And so a tradition was born.
Once we've climbed to the top of the hill and scrambled over the last few rocks we sit and look at the stunning view stretching North, East and West. symbolically turning our backs on the South we left behind all those years ago. We stop and get our breath back, and bicker a little about how far we dare step out on to the rocks to take our annual family picture. The picture changes a little, as we all get older. My daughter's long legs now mean she towers above us. The number of dogs in the picture is a good indication of the passing years: 1, 2, then 1 again, then 2, then 3, and I wonder whether next year the oldest might need to rest at home.
The view is just as breathtaking every year. I sit and gaze across the dale and mentally pick out settlements and landmarks, my eye being drawn to the outline of dry-stone walled fields meeting the windswept moorland. At the top of the hill the springy heather is mixed with bare bilberry bushes, and this year our picnic tastes all the better because our daughter made it.
Coming down the hill, back to the village feels like we've broken away from daily life for a few hours and now we're re-joining civilisation, ready for the back-to-school feeling of September. This marking of time could be a sad moment, realising so much time has gone by, but the euphoria of a good walk, fresh air and so much beauty makes us upbeat . We're ready for the next stage of our life, ready to hope and believe in good times ahead, and always so glad we came back again.