On returning to Thirsk over the Hambleton range of hills, we crossed thousands of acres of moor-land covered with heather in full bloom, looking like a purple sea. It was a splendid sight. My friend, who was an artist, stopped for a while to sketch one or two views of the scene. As we proceeded, we saw several green and golden fields impinging upon this florid waste, serving to illustrate what might be done with the vast tracts of land in England and Scotland now bristling with this thick and prickly vegetation. The heatherland over which we were passing was utilised in a rather singular manner. It yielded pasturage to two sets of industrials—sheep and bees. As the heather blossom is thought to impart a peculiarly pleasant flavor to honey, I was told many bee-stock-raisers of Lincolnshire brought their hives to this section to pasture them for a season on this purple prairie.
The westward view from the precipitous heights of the Hambleton ridge is one of the most beautiful and extensive you will find in England, well worth a special journey to see it. The declining sun was flooding the great basin with the day’s last, best smile, filling it to the golden rim of the horizon with a soft light in which lay a landscape of thirty miles’ depth, embracing full fifty villages and hamlets, parks, plantations and groves, all looking “like emeralds chased in gold.” On the whole, I am inclined to think many tourists would regard this view as even superior to that of Belvoir Vale. It might be justly placed between that and Wharf Vale.