Michele de Vaal ...has one of the longest commutes in the world….from her home in East Witton to Ethiopia, where she is programme director for the charity Vision Aid Overseas. She helps improve the eyesight of a population totalling 86 million. Fortunately for Michele it is not a journey she has to make daily.
What do you feel makes mid-Wensleydale such a special space?
Because of the travelling I do I want a tranquil, peaceful place to unwind and this place gives that. I can see vast wildernesses in the Ethiopian mountains or be among a million people on just a few acres but Wensleydale is traditional British countryside which always re-charges my batteries.
Where is your favourite place around here?
Just walking through the fields and along the footpaths around the village, particularly down to the River Cover and over the stepping stones towards Middleham with my Border collie, Sam.
What is the best event to take place in the Leyburn area?
The Festival of Food and Drink each May. We produce so much good tasty produce all year round. We are very fortunate.
What single piece of information should people have when they visit here?
Check out when local market days are. You can have a great time at a different one almost every day and they offer real local food.
What’s the best kept secret in the area?
The fact that a week’s holiday can offer so much enjoyment and so many things to do…whether it is the children exploring the local castles, to kayaking and canoeing or rock climbing or in quieter moments enjoying the spiritual places like Jervaulx Abbey and Aysgarth Church.