Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Dales Way. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dales Way. Show all posts

Friday, 23 October 2015

Wednesday 21 October 2015 – A Stroll around Windermere town


Wednesday brought a series of pleasurable episodes.

First, a visit to Jose and Hugh at Alpenstock in Stockport. “Fancy a coffee” were their first words as I entered the shop. No wonder that they have again been shortlisted in The Great Outdoors magazine’s retailer of the year category for their 2015 awards.

Anyway, after (not unexpectedly) coming away with rather more than the intended spare poles for our Hilleberg Nallo tent, I moved on to the next pleasurable activity.

German Martin’s EasyJet flight from Berlin was on time. I met Martin in the Pyrenees on my GR11 walk. He is one of a number of GR11 friends who will be congregating in Leyburn next weekend. Here he is in the Pyrenees.


Martin was on his way to the Lake District to attempt a circular walking tour devised by Jim Reid. There’s a Cicerone guide, and the route is shown below in blue, with some alternatives in green.


Conrad (aka Sir Hugh), who often comments on these pages, lives en route to Martin’s Windermere destination, so we called in for another most pleasurable hour, during which I gave Martin some maps and tried to brief him, with Conrad’s help, on the route. It was great to meet you again, Conrad, and thank you for the coffee and biscuits.

After that, a short drive to Windermere saw Martin grabbing some last minute provisions and heading off into the hills. Over a day later, his phone was discovered at Conrad’s house. Oops!

I couldn’t visit the Lake District without some sort of a walk, especially as the mizzle appeared to have stopped for a couple of hours. So off I set, aiming for a path that skirts the eastern side of the town and eventually meets the Dales Way path on which an easy descent to Bowness is made.

Don’t make my mistake of heading down Thwaites Lane if you do this walk; continue on the footpath beside the A591 to a footpath on your right.

Whichever way you go, you’ll cross Mill Beck, then gain views across bumpy farmland to School Knott.


Scout Beck is then crossed, after which I enjoyed a few minutes in the company of a chap who was out for a walk with Meg, a working sheepdog whose frustration at being ‘on holiday’ was starting to show. She wanted to work.


If the characters below are representative of Meg’s ‘clientele’, then that dog has an easy life!


Beyond High Cleabarrow the Dales Way route is reached. I turned right here, and headed down to Matson Ground, where mallards and moorhens paddled around in the midst of a family of swans whose crop of six or seven goslings were still appreciating the support of their parents.


As the path descends inexorably towards Bowness there are plenty of places for weary Dales Way walkers to rest their feet before finishing the 81 mile trek from Ilkley.


A few hundred metres dogleg to the left takes you to a good viewpoint over the lower reaches of the lake.


Soon after that, surrounded by a deep dark brown carpet of autumn leaves, is a final resting point before descending to the fleshpots.


Bowness was fairly quiet on this late afternoon in October, and with dusk approaching the bowling green was deserted. The town was however much busier than I’d found its Pyrenean counterparts to be back in July.


A stroll along traffic free Longlands Road saw me back in Windermere after 9.5km and about two hours. It was 6pm. There was a chippy. And an unexpected chat with the fryer about long distance walking routes.


An easy drive home concluded a lovely day out.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

June 1 to 6, 2009 - A Walk based on The Dales Way

0901titleI'm not doing a detailed index for this trip.  To view all the postings, scroll down the page from here, clicking on 'Older Posts' at the bottom right of each page, until you get to 'Windermere to Manchester - A Plan' - an entry posted on 30 May.  Work upwards from there, clicking on 'Newer Posts' at the bottom left of the page when you reach the top of the page (if you see what I mean).

I've uploaded some images from the trip here.  Click on the slideshow button to view the show, the parameters for which are easy adjusted by placing the cursor near the bottom of the screen.
I hope you enjoy them.

Here are the statistics for the trip:
Day 1 - Windermere to Potter Tarn - 19 km, 650 metres ascent - 6.2 hours including 0.8 hours breaks
Day 2 - Potter Tarn to Dent - 44 km, 1240 metres ascent - 12.6 hours including 2.3 hours breaks
Day 3 - Dent to Kettlewell - 46 km, 1300 metres ascent - 11.9 hours including 2.3 hours breaks
Day 4 - Kettlewell to White Wells - 40 km, 950 metres ascent - 11.9 hours including 2.4 hours breaks
Day 5 - White Wells to Jerusalem Farm - 36 km, 940 metres ascent - 11.5 hours including 2.0 hours breaks
Day 6 - Jerusalem Farm to Ripponden  - 10 km, 350 metres ascent - 2.6 hours including no breaks
TOTAL: 195 km (122 miles) with 5430 metres ascent

My detailed route plan, which I stuck to up to Ripponden with only very minor deviations, is here.

Gayle's excellent report on the Denholme to Ripponden section is here.

My kit list is similar to that for the TGO Challenge (here), plus the Callum Hord tent and a few other items - I was probably carrying an acceptable average of about 15 kilos.  I may comment on specific items in a separate posting.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Saturday 6 June 2009 - Fair Weather Walkers

This final 'mobile' image is of the disused railway viaduct at Hewenden - one of many fine man-made structures in the area. It was taken yesterday shortly before I met Mick and Gayle and the weather changed.

The weather certainly did change, with 'winter gear' being deployed. We decided not to seek refuge at Mick's mum's house, as Mick wanted to test his new mattress - a Thermarest Neo-Air thingy. (He liked it!)

Jerusalem Farm campsite has good drainage. It needed it last night.

This morning we woke to the sound of a gargling magpie, got an early start as planned, and enjoyed a stroll by the river to Luddenden Foot. A pleasant walk by the canal (in the wrong direction for 'Manchester - 30 miles') was followed by a steep ascent to Sowerby. From there we dropped back to the Ryburn valley, down a steep cobbled path. Having already seen Mick test the braking power of his rucksack on some earlier cobbles, we were understandably very careful here - using the deep wet grass either side of the cobbles as much as we could.

"Nice weather for ducks" chirped the postman, as he delivered to posh houses on the east bank of the river beyond Triangle. Here the pleasant woodland and a disused railway led us eventually to the metropolis of Ripponden.

We'd been walking in the rain for nearly three hours. We were perhaps a little damp generally, but our feet (subject to Sealskinz/goretex socks) could justifiably be described as 'soggy'. Mine were soaking wet.

The café in Ripponden served excellent tea and bacon/egg butties. We lingered there.

Then Sue arrived. She showed me the choice of trainers and boots she had brought for me to change in to due to a sore ankle. The trainers would be a vast improvement over my Crocs, which aren't the premium footwear for slippery cobbles. She had thoughtfully packed some waterproof socks as well.

The rain thickened.

"Rain all weekend, is the forecast" said Sue.

"Let's go home!"

"What! How could we!"

The rain lashed down as we chauffered M + G on the short drive to Mick's mum's house, and it continued unabated as we sloshed back home to Manchester.

A hot bath, some nice meals, and a lazy weekend sorting the photos from a sunny 120+ mile walk. Better than a 40+ mile walk in the rain with a sore ankle from Ripponden to Timperley, via Crowden?

I thought so. That section can wait until its scenery can be enjoyed in the sun - today some of it was in Cold Cloud.

Readers are of course welcome to their own opinion, but hopefully by Monday I'll have uploaded some images from the 'Windermere to Ripponden' route to an on-line album for all to peruse.
Now done.

I'll put a link, and some summary information for this most enjoyable trip, on the next posting.

Have a nice weekend, everyone.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Friday 5 June 2009 - M & G Come For A Walk

What happens? Mick and Gayle arrive, and it rains - it had started to 'spot' when the previous posting was sent.

We had enjoyed some excellent fish 'n chips at our rendezvous point in Denholme, where the only pub opens at 2pm, and had 'provisioned' at the Co-op, but by the time we passed Thornton Moor Reservoir it had cooled considerably and the rain became persistent.

Good navigation and chatting don't always go together, we noted, as we wandered vaguely along the thin blue line I'd plotted to Jerusalem Camp Site near Booth.

The tea shop at Ogden Water provided a welcome break and an entertaining dialogue between Mick and the deaf attendant.
Mick: "Three teas, please?"
Lady: "We sell polos."
Mick: "Three teas, please?"
Lady: "We sell chocolate."
Mick: "Three teas, please?"
Lady: "Would you like to buy an ice cream?"
Mick: "Aha" - realises he is standing next to the tea machine.

After that the rain eased as we strolled onwards to the campsite and got our tents up in lighter rain than the current deluge.

It's a small site, but we are showered and I've washed some clothes - who knows when they will dry! All is well and we are cosy and cooking in our respective tents.

There's no photo with this, as no signal at camp and only a weak one up this hill.

So that's it for today?

Well - before M & G joined me......

I woke to two deep long belches. An insomniac sheep?

The tent shook.

"Yer not allowed to camp on moorland."

'Moron' I thought.

"Don't worry, I'll be away early."

"Mek shore y'are" came the response.

A distant clock chimed midnight.

'Moron' I thought.

I slept well, and soon after the crack of dawn I was being led by a strolling curlew up to Ilkley Crags on a fine but cool morning.

Mist lay in the valleys and smoke rose lazily from a distant power station. The 12 apostles (an ancient stone circle) were soon passed, after which an easy amble past curlew and plovers took me beyond the cotton grass zone to Otley Road, where frantic commuters tore past 'Dick Hudsons' pub as they rushed to work.

My pace was slower. I was soon back in the 'bluebell zone', with narrow paths weaving between the posh estates of the horsey and famous of Yorkshire.

I passed 'Woodpecker Man', his cameras focused on a hole in a tree a few metres away, in lovely woodland where red campion fought for space with greater stitchwort and marsh marigolds lined the banks of a brook.

It was a lovely, varied route. I was proud of my hastily devised blue line on the map. I made lots of notes today on a number of points of interest, but they'll just have to wait for an editing session, as it's going dark here and sleep is needed.


Decided no further edit needed - just a link (here) to Mick and Gayle's report.

Mick + Gayle Arrive

It starts to rain!

Urban Arteries

I'm now sitting on a grassy bank under a main road at (wrong - this was a new road overhead, waypoint 53 still being some way off!) waypoint number 53, imaginatively named 'A650 road'. The roads, rivers, canals and railways hereabouts vie for space with each other, and with ancient ways like the walled one shown, that I'm following through lovely woods.

Back on the Dales Way

After pleasant South Pennine moorland from Ilkley, with curlews and plovers in plenty, the cotton grass has been replaced by the buttercup fields through which this 'Bradford to Ilkley Link' section of the Dales Way passes.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Thursday 4 June 2009 - The Dales Way

I've not walked the Dales Way before, though I've covered most of it in day walks. I didn't walk it all this time, but it's fair to say this trip has covered most of the route.

It is a fine excursion - low level but very scenic, passing through some of the best of English countryside.

You may think I rushed it. I didn't. I've just taken advantage of, and enjoyed, some of those long summer days that seem to pass all too quickly.

I commend the Dales Way, but you should plan it according to your own preferences. For example, the Racehorses Hotel in Kettlewell doesn't serve breakfast until 9am. Not much use for me, but perhaps ideal for some.

Today, roughly chronologically:

Dew - midges - sock washing - noisy crows and oyster catchers at camp - overcast - not a breath of wind - peewits, gulls - curlews huffing and chuffing - 150 year old lime kiln with resident ferret - breakfast number 2 - Shop on the Green at Burnsall (resisted temptation) - delicious looking mushrooms - peaty coloured river - chatty fly fisherman (he hooked one, it got away 'six today, all about 2 pounds, they all go back' he said) - dipper - ornamental bridges in the Bolton Estate - Strid Wood (SSSI - rare plants + fungi, and Sessile Oaks) - wild garlic - 'The Bodger's Workshop' - the Strid Restaurant (if only I'd known!) - Bolton Abbey - wearing Crocs, I brave the stepping stones (fun) - mallard families - weirs - converted mills - leave Dales Way - join Millennium Way - Swastika Stone (in the wrong place?) - Dog Walkers of Ilkley - White Wells - quiet - camp - noisy sheep - the Fit Workers of Ilkley - joggers - mountain bikers - nice meal - chuffing magpies - spots of rain - hot chocolate - all quiet....

White Wells

This place must have some history that I'll research when I get home. Here's a link.

It's deserted, apart from the Dog Walkers of Ilkley. About half a km short of Ilkley Crags, but equipped with a toilet and a flat patch of grass.

A 'no brainer'. I hope nobody turfs me off!

Wrong! This is The Swastika Stone!


The Swastika Stone (I think)...

All Good Things Come To An End

Wharfedale is an English Gem.

Here's a final snapshot of the river before I leave it in search of The Swastika Stone.

The Strid - a Gorge 30 feet deep, in Magnificent Wharfedale

Grassington - The Escape Route (Luge)

A Second Breakfast in Grassington

A trip to the local Spar shop has provisioned me for the (last fine - according to the Spar lady) day.

It's good strolling weather for this meander south, mainly along the scenic Dales Way today.

Thanks for all your comments. I should reach the Ilkley area tonight, Gayle, though I did suffer an overnight setback with my gammy leg. A bit of exploratory surgery revealed a foot problem, so I spent some time using my trusty Swiss army knife as a saw. This means I no longer have to carry the crutches, which have been pressed into Essential Service.

And I have a pie for lunch (hang on, we had no pies yesterday!?) so should make it to the afternoon.

Saxifrage - ah, of course, which variety?

Louise - my long gone English teacher has been grinning in his grave!

Alan - I think Mike's fleece was stuffed full of pies, but he didn't proffer one. It was all I could do to keep up with him. I've learnt from Peter and Barbara - carry lots of Mars Bars!

Now, how do I escape from Grassington?

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Home for Tonight - Fold Farm, Kettlewell

Wednesday 3 June 2009 - A Visit From The Pie Man

I'm here in the Racehorses Hotel in Kettlewell, waiting for food (lamb shank - very nice), enjoying a pint of Timothy Taylors, and considering my options. It seems there is no campsite here, so I may have to carry on a little.

Today started past deer and crowing cocks, by hedgerows laden with ramsons, and air full of early morning bird song. As Whernside was steadily mounted on the well graded path, plovers, skylarks and other mountain birds dominated the air.

I saw nobody until an American jogger appeared as I descended Whernside. It was cooler, and the crane-flies I encountered in droves yesterday were absent.

I waited for a train (photo to follow) at Ribblehead before a short road section where Mike Knipe and Bruno, his faithful 'Superdawg', tracked me down and provided excellent company for a few hours before having to turn to circle over a Marilyn and back to their car in order to avoid dropping off their map.

Mike is a 9 times TGO Challenger and an irreverent blogger ('Northern Pies'), who is also reaping the benefits of early retirement. Thanks again for making the effort, Mike.

We'd been talking about butterwort coming into flower. Immediately Mike and Bruno left me, what did I see in proliferation? Also a number of 'alpines' in the limestone pavements that now dominated the landscape.

The stroll beside the River Wharfe to Kettlewell was delightful, as always, with the sun now bright and warm after its slow start. A lovely afternoon.

New Friends!

Elizabeth, Nigel and Jenny, from near Leeds, outside The George.

Hello, a shame it was such a brief encounter - I could have chatted the afternoon away.

Have fun!

PS We met again! Hope you had a nice drive home.

A welcome beer at The George, Hubberholme

Lunch at Beckermonds

The Pie Man and Superdawg have to leave us here - to avoid walking off the edge of their map...