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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

BBC Radio 2 in Dent village

I can’t remember the first time I went to Dent but I do recall having a similar reaction to Jeremy Vine when he broadcast his BBC Radio 2 show from here yesterday. ‘It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen,’ he told some tourists as he did a dash round the village. Once in Yorkshire, now in Cumbria (but still in the Yorkshire Dales), Dent is not just memorable for its setting, five miles from Sedbergh, but also for a sense that time seems scarcely to have touched its small stone cottages and cobbled streets.

You certainly feel that history at the Dent Village Heritage Centre which is cram full of artefacts relating to the life and work of centuries of Dentdale folk. One of those people was the geologist Adam Sedgwick, born here in 1785. He’s commemorated in a large piece of Shap granite, rather than Dent marble, the locally quarried, fossiliferous limestone. There’s another memorial to him in St Andrew’s Church where the lovely kneeling cushions were made by members of the congregation.

Four miles away is Dent station, the highest mainline station in England and a remote stop on one of Britain’s most scenic railway routes, the Settle to Carlisle line. You can get on and off here but the actual buildings are privately owned and used for holiday accommodation. Slightly closer to the village is Dent Brewery whose hillside location knocked me for six when I paid a visit here in the early days.

Savour its beers at the George and Dragon, the brewery’s tap house in Dent, or simply head for the Dentdale Music and Beer Festival on June 24-26. ‘It’s absolutely beautiful here, beautiful.’ I stopped counting the number of times Jeremy Vine used the word.

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