The town of Sedbergh, located in the lovely county of Cumbria, is perfectly situated amongst some of the most beautiful geography on the face of the planet. The River Rawthey runs right alongside the town and offers a spectacular view throughout, especially when it meets up with the River Lune. Even more astonishing, Sedbergh falls right within the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Most people simply refer to the Yorkshire Dales Park as "The Dales". Whatever you call it, the Dales is easily among England's most impressive natural features, with the white cliffs of Dover representing perhaps the only real competition. The Vale of York, far away from Sedbergh, officially kicks off this lovely smattering of rivers, hills, and valleys and the park is simply too large and too phenomenal to experience just once. Not surprisingly, this makes Sedbergh a popular spot for tourists to stay at when trying to explore the Dales through its southern point.
One can see the Dales from nearly any point in town but the main thoroughfare of Sedbergh easily ranks among the most scenic of any town. Throughout the shop-lined street one can peer at the horizon and watch it disappear into a rolling wave of hills. The boom of the railway industry in the later years of the 1800s created access to these hills with relative ease but, in the old days, it was nigh on impossible to traverse your way through the imposing hills. Explorers did so anyway, though, and before the railways came there was always that sense in town of the hills representing that unknown force or indescribable "something" that mankind has always tried to rise above. Naturally, the railways made getting through the area ridiculously simple and the town lost a bit of myth and wonder but in exchange it got convenience. Who is to say which is better? It may be a moot point anyways; the railway has since been shut down and now Sedbergh is once again endowed with that air of mystery and wonder.
In recent years Sedbergh has boomed into something of a "book town". To be sure, the largest source of Sedbergh's income is based on schools and books and the entire surrounding area of the Dales is filled to the brim with independent booksellers and specialty stores dedicated to furthering the beauty of the written word. By all accounts Sedbergh is a town that relishes education and intellectual pursuits and thus it was a bit jarring to find that the town had appeared on a reality show in 2005 as a competitor for "The Town that Wants a Twin". Most English towns are "twinned" with other towns in a rather meaningless way and several English towns without twins competed to become the twin city of Sedbergh. Zrece, a Slovenian city, ended up with the top honors but one wonders if there truly were any winners in the greater sense of the term. At any rate, this bit of trivia should in no way affect one's opinion of Sedbergh because the town truly is one of a kind and worthy of nothing but the highest acclaim. Still, though; Zrece?
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