"Ever since I can remember I have wanted to live in a rural countryside village. I love being surrounded by nature and wildlife. The thought of being isolated, away from ‘modern life’ was appealing to me. My love of geography and photography would also thrive in a rural setting.
I couldn’t believe my luck when a tiny terraced house came up for sale. I was 23 at the time and was helped with a deposit but the price was no more than a flat in a town centre. And this house even had a garden! The decor was.....traditional but that didn’t bother me."
When asked what she likes best about her life in Malham, Alice is full of enthusiasm, "Where do I start?! Morning walks to Janet’s Foss, Gordale scar and Malham Cove - people come from all over the world to see these - yet I can visit whenever I like! Every day, season and weather conditions mean the walk is always different. It's so good to feel part of a special village and make more friends here than I ever did in 23 years of living in a town. There are two pubs on my doorstep, so whenever I want company (and great food) I just wonder over! I love the silent evenings. No light pollution - star gazing is a must!"
Alice is a keen photographer, and has managed to capture some incredible events such as the waterfall reappearing over Malham Cove for the first time in over 700 years, experiencing 3 days of snow drifts cutting Malham off from the rest of the world, and beautiful sunsets over Malham Tarn. Many of her photographs have been published.
So what makes Alice happiest? "Taking my dog out. After a long day I know I will always be able to come home, get out on the hills and be alone. It’s so relaxing. We also love taking picnics (in all weathers) on weekends."
The move from town to country has been easy to adapt to. Alice says, "My job is within a 30min commute and there's no ‘rush hour’ to contend with. The shops are only 15mins away. If you didn’t have a car it would be hard though, the public transport is sparse. It’s hard to heat my home. It’s old and the climate is colder here - but you soon learn to invest in good clothing. I would say the main negative side of living in Malham is the summer tourism. It’s great for businesses here and we like to share the place of course but parking has been a problem and grid lock on the narrow lanes is troublesome. You just learn where and when to avoid places."
Anything else that you think people would be interested in knowing? "In the winter the roads are always kept clear because it’s on a bus route. Local farmers with tractors do an amazing job. There is a real community spirit here - I don’t ever feel unsafe. My parents loved this place so much they moved here too! We have super fast broadband so don’t worry about being truly cut off - I have never felt that way. You can involve yourself in village live as much or as little as you like. I like to keep myself to myself most of the time but my parents have got involved with all sorts of activities such as Malham Safari in May and the show in August, there are plenty of clubs to join too."
Alice has a few top tips for anyone thinking of moving to the Yorkshire Dales:
- "Get a dog - you’ll meet everyone that way!
- Be organised - I shop once a week in Skipton. It’s a lovely place with a great range of shops.
- Just enjoy being here, I have found I don’t need the internet, TV or much entertainment, I’m too busy being outside - even after 7 years I still can’t believe I live here!"
Alice has recently started a dog grooming business, working from home so if you'd like your dog to look more dapper you know who to call!