Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Thursday, 16 June 2011

A Dales High Way - Day 6 - Chapel-le-Dale to Sedbergh (Holmecroft B&B)

25km, 800 metres ascent, 7.5hrs incl stops.
Weather: emerging from an early heavy shower, a pleasant, cool day with sunny periods.
No of comments from guide book authors: 1 - great to hear from you, Chris, and I'm quite happy for you to post links to these pages. We have found both the Route Guide and the Companion to be helpful and informative, as is the website; the only significant omission we've noticed is the Craven Lime Works between Langcliffe and Stainforth.

We finally parted company with Gary, who (thanks for your message) set off home, Jacky - who was called away on urgent business, and Roger - who kindly gave us a lift back to the Hill Inn.

R+J are involved in a second hand book sale in Giggleswick on Saturday. Their garage is currently home to several boxes of books. On the top was what looked like a 1939 first edition Observers Book of Birds. Worth more than the expected 50p?

The downpour had just about ended by the time we set off from the Hill Inn, but waterproofs were donned and despite his earlier intentions Andrew announced that he would be walking around and not over Whernside. So we strolled slowly down to the village, up to Eller Beck past some 'art' (the 'Boggard' of Hurtle Pot), and on to Broadrake, where I took high road and Andrew followed the other three lads who were on the Dales High Way, along the low route that skirts around Whernside's eastern flanks.

[I'm a little puzzled that the authors of this 'High Way' decided to designate the route over Whernside as an 'alternative', preferring the 'skirting around' option for their principal choice.]

By now the sky had cleared and the summit ridge of Whernside was glinting in the sunshine. I plodded slowly up the steep staircase of recently laid paving slabs, with great views down to the Ribblehead viaduct and the neighbouring hills. Approaching the summit, a team of stone-wallers was busy putting the finishing touches to a repaired wall.

I'd not expected to find the summit alive with a mass of small children searching for geocaches! They were having great fun.

Heading off to the north, past Whernside Tarns, the high pitched chatter of small children was replaced by calls from wheeling peewits and the sweet songs of skylarks.

Boot of the Wold was deserted when I reached it, so I had just a young wheatear for company for a pleasant half hour in a sheltered spot whilst I waited for Andrew. He finally came into view for about ten minutes before reaching and passing me. Sitting right next to the track, I must have been well camouflaged!

Lunch was taken in a grassy glade shortly before reaching a stretch of tarmac past a Methodist Chapel, and Dent was reached via the Dales Way path beside the River Dee in Dentdale, the banks of which were filled with generous portions of wild flowers.

It was warm down there, so a pause for café rehydration was required before embarking on our onward journey through lovely meadows (pictured) to Barth Bridge, one parapet of which was being totally reconstructed.

A steep, hot pull up to Lunds Farm was punctuated by a long chat with a farmer who thought this whole walk was beyond the capability of any normal person, and he did also stress that he thought we may be normal. Andrew wandered off, feeling exhausted, whilst I tried to point out to the farmer the defects in his reasoning, citing Andrew as proof. The farmer looked less than convinced!

By and by we reached the 'school' town of Sedbergh, and walked slowly past the town on the shortest route I could come up with, eventually emerging on the main road opposite our comfortable and quiet B&B, where John and Sue are our friendly hosts.

The Red Lion provided adequate sustenance at a good price, and we adjourned to watch 'the teachers' thrash each other at cricket on one of Sedbergh School's excellent pitches, equipped with a fine club house and all the latest gizmos including a remote controlled electronic scoreboard.

PS - Chris, we'll try not to get lost!!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew and Martin,
Been thinking about you walking along the Howgills, what a lovely route. The rain that was forecast has not materialised, I think it's going to tip it down tomorrow in time for the garden party! Enjoyed your company and good to meet Gary and you,Martin. Hope we can do something similar in the future.We have been talking about the Offas Dyke walk and walking through Britain, John Hillaby's route.
Good luck for your last day and please keep in touch.
Roger & Jacky