An insider's view: Sue Knowles, Harling House B&B
Can you tell us a little about your job and how you came to be doing it?
I'm Sue Knowles and I run Harling House. We decided a few years ago that we (my husband & I) wanted to move away from the town & city life, and having stayed in more than 100 B&Bs over the years on our travels, we thought 'are we going to talk about running a place like this or are we going to make it happen?' As we had enjoyed coming to the Yorkshire Dales for days out, we visited lots of villages to get a feel for different places before choosing to settle here.
What aspect of your job makes you feel happiest?
As we've only lived here just over 14 months, and been open to guests for nearly 12 months, it really cheers us when guests say how much they like our home and how we have decorated it, and have 'thought of everything'. I like the garden, the short walk into the village and how the villages in the Dales are separated by fields, not an urban sprawl. I like the fact that when you look out of the window, you see fields and sky. The evening views of sky, clouds and sunsets just lift the spirits. The commute of 10 seconds' walk down the stairs is a bonus too!
What makes your business different?
Our B&B is small (3 bedrooms, with plans for a 4th next year), so we can offer a very personal service. We help our guests to make the most of their stay by letting them know what's on, places to visit, by getting an idea of what they're interested in. We still see places as outsiders and don't take anywhere for granted. Guests seem to appreciate our home-baking whilst they settle in and make plans for their stay.
If some one is feeling a little down and perhaps in need of a boost, where in the Yorkshire Dales do you suggest they should visit?
If you need to 'blow away the cobwebs', I'd suggest walking near Ribblehead Viaduct. The large structure makes you feel very small and I'm always impressed by the workmanship that has gone in to building it. If you can go there when a steam train travels over it, all the better. When the train 'toot toots' and you see the steam coming, it gives me goosebumps.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I really enjoy the garden, and just pottering, watching what is coming into flower, doing some pruning. It's very satisfying. I don't think I could be without a garden. My husband is a very keen photographer, so we go out together too, when we can, with our cameras. The Yorkshire Dales is an ideal location for this, there's always something to see and the light is stunning - especially in the evening.
If a visitor was coming here for two days what would you recommend they should try to do? Any particular places to eat or drink you'd like to recommend?
See a steam train coming over Ribblehead Viaduct (if there is one running), walk the Waterfalls Trail if able, or if they prefer something more gentle, walk up to the base of Malham Cove and around to Janet's Foss. If you prefer a drive out, go over the tops to Hawes and then on to Aysgarth or West Burton. You can tell that we like waterfalls! If the weather is a bit wet or grey, visit one of the caves - White Scar or Ingleborough. You should be impressed with either of these.
After you've built up your appetite, have a meal at The Game Cock in Austwick, or stroll into the village for a food platter and some Real Ale at The Old Post Office in Ingleton.
Is there anywhere in the Yorkshire Dales that you feel sudden swooping joy?
Well, with not having lived here long, we're so thrilled with most views, just 10 yards from our back door, we have a super view of Ingleborough. When I go back to visit family, and drive up through Burton-in-Lonsdale, you get a fabulous view of Ingleborough, especially if it's evening, and this just lifts my spirits.
Is there a happy detail in everyday life that you enjoy but think many of us miss?
From the bedroom, or lounge, I love hearing the sheep bleating. Having lived in a more residential area before, we find the sounds of the sheep so happy. The tapestry of the fields with their meadow flowers, farm & barns and the stonewalls looks so timeless.
Where's your favourite place to just sit and look? o ignored
To sit and look, to be honest, I'm happy with any waterfall. To 'listen' too.
Is a local person who you think embodies the Yorkshire Dales spirit?
We have been made so welcome by many people since moving here - shop owners, volunteers and other small business owners but a special mention goes to Debby Kulhman who runs a local business with her husband, has a family of young children, and organises a successful Dales event - Overground Underground. I don't know how she has the energy to do it all and we find her positivity inspirational. We've found that meeting people like Debby has been very encouraging when establishing our own new business.
Anything else you'd like to tell us that we probably don't know!
We've been pleasantly pleased at how much Ingleton area has to offer. There's so much to do and some new dining places have opened since we moved here too, so it's all really positive. If you haven't already guessed, we're very pleased that we made the move here. If you don't already know, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has links with the area too, as his Mother lived at the nearby hamlet of Masongill so he would have visited Ingleton many times, arriving by train - Ingleton even had 2 train stations at one time. Now there are no stations, but we still have the viaduct.
More Yorkshire Dales insider views