Well, today's entry has a bit more meat to it, perhaps because it marked the start of a new diary, Volume 42, (we are now up to Volume 100) so here goes with a bit more 'history' that hopefully may provide a minor distraction for a few readers... (if only to admire how young everyone looks).
Sue and I got an early start after work on Friday night, but we failed in our bid to get an exhibition preview at the Wolf House Gallery in Silverdale. A traffic jam on the M61 prevented this. We endured it for 30 to 40 minutes, then took the M65 to Colne, succumbed to a quick McDonalds, then slowly headed on to Skipton.
It was a cross country route via Grassington, Kettlewell and over the tops to Leyburn, mostly in torrential rain. We soon found the One* Golden Lion Hotel, and by 10pm we were installed with drinks and a hearty congratulatory cheer (some didn't know that Sue and I had recently married).
Managed bed not too late, then after a good breakfast (£25 B&B for this hotel - decent sized rooms) we caught the 9.32 bus to Askrigg. Me, Sue, Nigel, Robin, Mark, David and Mike, that is. Others were either too lazy or too hung over. [There were about 28 adults and 14 children on the weekend.]
By the time we had faffed about with boots and gaiters etc (left hotel in a rush) it was nearly 10.30 when we set off on our stroll back to Leyburn.
Storms were forecast (and hit the south) but we enjoyed a perfect sunny day, with a nice breeze behind us. We strolled uneventfully above Wensleydale to the north, under good limestone crags.
One stream crossing, above Hazel Bank, would have been quite exciting had there not been a good crossing place higher up.
Soon afterwards we enjoyed a caramel shortbread and tea stop, then we slowly descended towards Aysgarth. There were happy faces in the sunshine.
As we neared our objective, Nigel panicked - he had left his walking stick at the tea stop. He tried to 'phone a friend' but nobody was inclined to retrace steps with him.
So whilst Nigel rushed back on what proved to be an abortive mission, the rest of us ambled on to enjoy a noisy lunch in full view of the raging torrent rushing over the Aysgarth Falls.
After having a good look at all the falls, we headed along paths towards Castle Bolton.
Before High Thoresby we diverted to Thoresby Lane, so we arrived at Castle Bolton in the wrong place. A phone call to Nigel obviated the need to go to Castle Bolton, and we met him at the Bolton Arms in Redmire - a mid afternoon break - we all enjoyed a pot of tea on the picnic table outside. Any entry was a boots off job, so by staying outside we kept the fastidious landlord happy!
Then, beyond lovely autumn colours in Redmire, a pleasant final stroll back to Leyburn, with storm clouds gathering to the west - down Well Lane, West Wood, and through Wensley Park to Wensley, then by field paths to Leyburn in gathering gloom.
Approx 14.5 miles, 10.30 to 5.30.
The Golden Lion was an excellent venue, and we had a most pleasurable evening.
Morning: Middleham > Caldbergh > West Scrafton > Carlton (5.5 miles)
Afternoon: Carlton > Melmerby > gallops > Middleham Low Moor > Middleham (6 miles)
Quite a few people started this walk, in indifferent weather that improved during the day. Here we are, starting off from Middleham.
We missed the destructive gales that affected the country further south. Various people - Phil, Sue, Julie, and others left us at Caldbergh as they had drunk too much the night before and, feeling queasy, decided to return home early.
Mark, David, Sue and I continued. The weather brightened, and we had an excellent a la carte lunch at the Foresters Arms in Carlton.
After this, it was a nice downhill stroll down the Gallops, to finish beyond the castle in Middleham at around 4pm, after passing some curious cows.
An excellent weekend. (My contemporaneous diary entry concludes.)