Raydale

In upper Wensleydale the stately Addleborough stands flat topped and serene with its high crags dominating the dale and its northern slopes reaching down in a series of diminishing escarpments to embrace the river Ure. On its western flank the lower slopes are steep and almost touch the mirrored steps of the mightier Wether Fell enclosing the valley of Raydale between them. The two slopes create a natural dam across the valley originally formed by glacial drift left by the melting ice and trapping stream waters to form lake Semerwater. Over time the outpouring lake cut through this natural barrier to form the river Bain, the shortest river in England and a minor tributary of the Ure.

A hidden valley, just over four miles long, with Semerwater held in a wide, flat basin fed by the flows of Raydale, Bardale and Cragdale beck. The hamlets of Marsett, on the valley floor, and Stalling Busk on a low escarpment sit either side of the valley at the head of the lake and Countersett rides high on the bluffs of Wether fell at the foot of the lake. The valley floor is fertile meadows with barns dotted here and there but the surrounding fells soon become moorland and are viewed as if in relief forming a natural work of art. A secret dale of tranquillity and natural beauty unchanged in generations, so near to the open scenery of Wensleydale but here is an aura of remoteness and a feeling of being at one with the landscape.