Walks and days in the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District (mostly) Ė 2014

Great Gable by Barrie

And you will see that at last I've got started on the Dales Way. I won't be finishing it this year though! As it gets further away it will be harder for me to plan, but I'm in no hurry. At least I'm on the way.
Grimwith Reservoir circuit – Friday 5 December

Left:  The ruins of Grimwith House. What a lovely situation though, right by the water

Right:  Grimwith High Laithe, the cruck barn probably dating from the 17th century

We needed a walk before Christmas but I didnít want to travel too far. Iíve known of Grimwith Reservoir (situated between Grassington and Pateley Bridge) since I was little and my late husband had worked there when they were increasing the size of it in the 70s. But Iíd never visited it. The circuit is about 4.5 miles and all flat and easy walking, so again just right for us. The weather was lovely, warm in the sun but chilly in the shade. Luckily most of the walk is in the sun.

There are some interesting building around the edge including Grimwith High Laithe, an excellent example of a thatched cruck barn. Also the ruins of Grimwith House, where I believe the inhabitants were rehomed away from the reservoir when the work was done on it in the 70s.

There werenít many birds about apart from mallards, but it was a very pleasant walk to end the year and rounded off with a lovely meal at the Anchor at Gargrave.

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Lingmoor Fell – Friday 12 September

Left:  Lone tree above Elterwater quarries

Right: Looking to Pike O' Blisco from Lingmoor Fell summit

It had been a while since we'd made it to a summit so decided on something not too strenuous but just wanting a pleasant walk with good views and a summit. Lingmoor has always been a favourite of mine. We parked at Elterwater and walked up through the woods and above the quarries, taking our time as usual and stopping many times – as usual – to take photos and have a breather. Unfortunately, it was rather hazy so the views weren't as good as we'd hoped. But it was mild and the walking was easy. We had thought of a different return route but decided we weren't fit enough and decided to return the same way. The walk was about 5 miles so not long but just right for us.

We did our usual trip to Hayes – bought some bird stuff and a couple of plants, of course, then home via the pub for the usual chips for Barrie and beer for me. A great day and great to be back on a summit!

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Red Tarn and Blea Tarn – Monday 7 July

Left:  Crinkle Crags and Bowfell from the path by Red Tarn. One of my favourite spots in Lakeland.

Right: The beautiful yellow of the prolific bog asphodel with the Langdale Pikes beyond.

I thought I was feeling fit enough for a fell and as one of my favourite parking places is Three Shires Stone and Pike OíBlisco is one of my favourite fells, that was the plan. We set off up the path but by the time we got to Red Tarn I decided Iíd done enough uphill and we made our way back to the car. No rush though as it was still early and we intended having another walk.

We drove round to Blea Tarn and had a lovely leisurely walk round the tarn. The sunshine had now arrived and the blue skies and the yellow of the bog asphodel made a lovely view, especially with the impressive Langdale Pikes in the background.

Need I say that then followed the usual trip to Hayes then chips for Barrie and Tetleys for me at Gargrave on the way back. So two short walks in fabulous places and while not a fell walk as such, we were up in the fells and I enjoyed it more than I probably would have done if Iíd struggled to reach the summit of Pike OíBlisco. A fabulous day. Photos will follow shortly.

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I've had a few short local walks but been too busy with work and gardening to get out for any longer walks so nothing really to report. I'd love to make a separate page for wildlife seen but seeing as it takes me all my time to keep these pages up to date I don't think it'll happen anytime soon.

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Farnhill Moor – Friday 16 May

Left:  Peaceful scene as a heron takes off across the canal

Right: My favourite tree on the way up the moor

A couple of years ago I did a very enjoyable circuit of Farnhill Moor from home and this day felt just like the right day to do it again, although I cut out the first through the houses bit by parking the car at Kildwick Grange. The weather was just right, and pleasantly warm with blue skies as I strolled along the canal bank watching a heron and admiring the blossom.

I walked up Parsons Walk in Kildwick then onto the moor turning right to avoid going to the Pinnacle. There are some steep stone stiles on this walk and as I left the wood and started across green fields I came to one which obviously didnít like me. Iím still having a few mobility problems and bending my left leg is sometimes tricky. I managed to get onto the top of the stile but as I tried to get my left leg onto the down side I overbalanced backwards and fell off. Luckily my rucksack cushioned my fall otherwise it could have been nasty. I was in the middle of nowhere and there was no one around. Again, luckily after some minutes some nice ladies came along and stayed with me till I was OK to set off back.

I was nearly 2 miles from the car and what a slow walk back it was. My bad leg was hurting more than my back. Again luckily, I was only about a mile from home as changing gear was painful. I was annoyed in more ways than one because itís made me nervous of walking that way again, especially on my own. Perhaps next time Iíll climb the stile in a very unladylike but safer manner!

I still managed to get some good photos though. Iíd have been even more upset if I hadnít!

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A circular walk to Hayeswater and back – Wednesday 23 April

Left:  Looking up Pasture Bottom to Threshthwaite Mouth

Right: Looking across to Hartsop above How from Hayeswater Gill

The weather wasnít brilliant and I wasnít feeling very fit but needed to feel like I was up in the mountains. Iíve always liked parking at Hartsop as itís a lovely village and you are straight out of the car and into the walk among the fells. We walked up the right side of the gill to Hayeswater, being blown along quite a bit of the way. After some quick photos of the water we followed the path back down the left side of the gill, stopping for lunch in a pleasant sheltered spot by the beck just before the filter house.

It wasnít a long walk at all but at least there was some uphill, some fells to see and a lake (even if it is a reservoir). The usual trip followed: Hayes Garden Centre in Ambleside then chips for Barrie and Tetleys for me on the way home. I really must get fit again!

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A walk from Rylstone with friends – Saturday 5 April

Left:  Traditional stone barn near Cracoe

Right: Pretty rural scene in Cracoe

Iíve made a lot of good friends on Facebook and it was great to meet up with some of them today. Sadly, I couldnít do the whole walk with them – they were doing a much longer walk over the moors – as my leg isn't good enough at the moment for too much uphill and downhill or rough terrain. However, I met them by the duckpond at Rylstone – a very picturesque spot – and set off up the lane past the church to Cracoe. In all the years Iíve lived here Iíve never walked along the lovely lane that runs from Rylstone (famous for the WI calendar) to Cracoe away from the busy road . Then we came to open country and started the uphill stretch. I knew I was going to struggle as the terrain is rough with only vague paths and I decided before we got too far that Iíd cut my losses and go back. Several of the party were already way ahead so I bid farewell to those who were walking at my pace and returned to my car.

I walked about 4 miles and it was pleasant walking so I didnít feel like a complete failure. And Iíd been somewhere which I knew very well but had never walked. So in my book it was a success.

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The Dales Way, part two – Bolton Priory to Barden Bridge – Thursday 15 March

Left:  Beautiful Barden Bridge – my favourite bridge in the whole world

Right: On the west bank of the Wharfe looking toward Barden Bridge

Iím only doing the Dales Way when the weatherís good and Iím in the mood. Iím in no hurry. I know that once I get further up the Dales it will become harder to manage – Ďthere and backí stretches or stay the night somewhere will be options. But this day I only wanted a short stretch and the very familiar Cavendish Pavilion to Barden Bridge was my walk. Iíve done it so many times I could it with my eyes shut, but I could never tire of the scenery and wildlife seen on this stretch of the beautiful Wharfe. And itís a circular walk – I did the Dales Way properly up the west side of the river then crossing over the aqueduct to follow the right side up to my favourite bridge of all, Barden Bridge. I decided to return by the west even though it meant missing Harrison Ford shelter and possibly good sightings. Instead I visited the quieter shelter, but the birds must have been away for the day and so after a quick drink I carried on back to the car. All in all, just under 5 miles but itís a stretch not to hurry round and another stage is done..

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The Dales Way, part one – Ilkley to Bolton Priory – Wednesday 5 March

Left:  Fairfield Meeting House – the quaker meeting house between Addingham and Bolton Bridge

Right: St Peter's Church, Addingham

At last I got started on the Dales Way and walked the first 7 miles from Ilkley to Bolton Priory. I've been planning to get started on this walk for a couple of years now but for one reason or another have kept putting it off. I think part of it has been that, much as the first stage is very pleasant and very easy walking, I wasn't looking forward to the first mile from Ilkley. I didn't want the town bit. I love the town but I didn't want to be walking there. Anyway, I did it and am now on my way.

I parked at the Cavendish Pavilion then walked up into the village and got the Dalesbus to Ilkley – the best way for me as I knew I then had plenty of time for the walk back so no need to hurry. A lot of the first stretch follows the banks of the beautiful River Wharfe and it was a joy to follow. The weather was dry, not too warm and not too cold. I kept going, apart from stopping to take photographs, till I was past Addingham (one day I will go and have a proper look round the church and village. I pass through the village often on my way to Bolton Abbey but have never had a proper look and there are some very interesting things to see).

I had my lunch by the river just after Addingham – a very peaceful setting and I could have stopped longer but the weather was turning a bit cooler and I didn't want to get caught in the rain – although luckily, it didn't rain at all. I had a short stop in the enclosed garden of Fairfield Meeting House – where a very friendly robin kept me company – then the path followed the road (although over the wall) for a while before crossing over and down to Bolton Bridge. From there it's more lovely walking by the river, past the priory, where I crossed over the river at the wooden bridge and made my way back to the Cavendish Pavilion.

Seven miles of the Dales Way done but including my morning walk into the village, about 8.5 in total. And I'm so glad to be on my way at last.

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Troutbeck Tongue – Friday 7 February

Left:  Looking up Troutbeck valley to Troutbeck Tongue

Right: Cottages in the village of Troutbeck

A good start to the year, although later than hoped for a first walk. Last time we were on Troutbeck Tongue (February 2001) we'd gone through every possible weather apart from sunshine. We were hoping for better weather this time and although it was cool it was certainly much better than last time. We parked by Trout Beck at Church Bridge then it's a pleasant walk in via Town Head, Ing Lane and Troutbeck Park with Troutbeck Tongue being a prominent viewpoint in front all the way. Last time we'd had problems finding the proper route once we'd reached the bottom of the fell and this time we went round the east slopes and found what we thought was a good path to the summit. It was wet and slippery and having got part way up and finding the weather turning much colder and windier we decided that again, these days, we're not desperate to reach summits. The main thing is enjoying our walk. We retraced our steps down, crossed the beck and found a reasonably sheltered spot to eat lunch before setting off back. Rain sooned joined us but there was a lovely rainbow too. Then the sun came out. Quite a mix of weather but not too bad.

Not perfect weather but much much better than last time. Our usual trip to Hayes followed where I bought a couple of plants then the usual beer for me and chips for Barrie at Gargrave rounded off another lovely day in the Lakes.

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