Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 3 September 2022

Saturday 3 September 2022 - The Dales High Way - Day 3 - Skipton to Malham

Little did we know, when planning this trip, that our accommodation would be just a ten minute walk, along a canal towpath with curious swans and hedges full of chattering sparrows, from a parkrun on a Saturday morning. 

It just had to be done. I may do a separate posting in due course. The 'four and a bit' lap course includes a hill. So it was a bit tiring.

Eventually we left the B&B at about 10am, and spent the next seven hours on a 22km stroll to Malham, arriving just as the youth hostel, our home for the night, opened at 5pm.

Meanwhile, from Skipton there was a long climb and some monstrous stiles, up to the 357 metre summit of Sharp Haw.

We lingered on the summit, with good views down to Skipton on the warm, overcast morning. 

Then we got caught up in the melee of a half marathon fell race with about 150 competitors. We were exceedingly courteous to them as they struggled up their final hill, and we struggled against their relentless flow along the narrow path.

The valley walk to a lunch bench in Hetton was a delight. Cows were bathing in the river. Harebells littered the meadow. Bog asphodel occupied a boggy section where a boardwalk had been supplied.

The grassy slopes by the river are currently home to eyebright, clovers, dandelions and daisies, buttercups and ribwort plantain, as well as plants mentioned previously. Not forgetting a flapping heron.

After lunch we saw very few people until we reached Janet's Foss. It was a long, lonely, but not unpleasant drag up to Weets Top, where we drank the rest of our water before descending past ragwort, knapweed, willowherbs and cranesbills, to the honey pot of Malham.

The bathers at Janet's Foss reminded me of Sue and certain of her crazy friends going skinny dipping there in the middle of February 2007.

We quickly showered and washed clothes, and Cary had booked a meal at the Lister Arms. A fine meal it was too.

Friday = Isabella Day (21)

It looks as if Izzie survived a day without grandad!


Friday 2 September 2022

Friday 2 September 2022 - The Dales High Way - Day 2 - Ilkley to Skipton

Last night's Korean style meal at Host Restaurant was delicious. Cauliflower bhajis to die for! 'Best of Doors' helped the ambience.

Today we returned to White Wells after a superb breakfast, on a newly laid path under a leaden sky.

Morning fell runners bounded past us.

Luscious blackberries lined the path, along with tormentil and rock roses, thistles and yarrow, and not forgetting a large expanse of mint.

Soon after reaching the Swastika Stone, pictured above, the sun rejoined us for the rest of the day, and more sun tan cream was duly applied.

A long stroll atop the escarpment brought us to a lovely elevenses stop just before the descent to Addingham. 

Delightful field paths took us down to and around the village of Addingham. 

Lunch was taken on a bench by some allotments, then we proceeded through the rest of the long village before ascending a long, straight lane up onto the moors above Skipton.

A pair of red kites were quartering the freshly cut fields, searching for victims. We found the remains (feathers) of what had possibly once been a grouse.

After another break to finish our remaining supplies of water on this humid day, we continued down to the rapidly expanding town of Skipton.

The descent was completed in pleasant woodland. Just a smattering of people were seen today. 

Rehydration took place at the Greenwood Café Bistro. Thanks, Helen, for the extra hot water, and as you can see, the cakes were delicious!

Then we adjourned to the comforts of Town House B&B, where the owner, Mick, is the spitting image of our friend and neighbour,  Rick!

Thursday 1 September 2022

Thursday 1 September 2022 - The Dales High Way - Day 1 - Saltaire to Ilkley

I did this walk with Andrew in 2011. My daily reports start
here. Should you wish to work your way through them, just click on 'Newer Post' at the bottom of each page.

I'd had the walk in mind for a while, but I wouldn't have set off without the encouragement from Cary, who has organised everything for the two of us to do the walk. Not bad going, as we only decided to go a week ago. Sadly Sue couldn't join us due to a long standing work commitment.

Leaving home at 7:30 this morning meant that I had to pay for the tram to Manchester Victoria. But having sorted out a Senior Railcard a couple of days ago, the journey to Saltaire, via Leeds, cost less than £12. My last Railcard was a card. Now I have to store it in an 'App' in my 'phone. I'm not a fan of this, but it worked today, and to be fair, in the past I've forgotten the card but remembered my phone!

The train to Leeds was cancelled, but another slower service still managed to get us to Saltaire by 10:40.

After a couple of hours in Salt Mill appreciating the galleries of wonderful Hockney images, we set off on the 12km stroll to Ilkley, taking rather less than four hours to reach the comfort of a well presented twin room at One Tivoli Place.

It was a lovely day for walking, with others enjoying being outdoors near the flesh pots of Saltaire and Ilkley, and deserted dessicated moorland in between.

Very little bird life - just a few Martins on view, with smaller birds no doubt busy in the heather, which is close to assuming a glorious purple colour.

Here's Cary on the moor near Horncliffe Well.

We passed the Twelve Apostles stone circle.

Being rather ahead of schedule, we lingered in the lovely weather at White Wells before ambling into Ilkley to reach our B&B by 4:30.

Tuesday 30 August 2022

27/28 August 2022 - A Lovely Weekend for Running

Wythenshawe parkrun number 488 on a wonderfully warm, cloudless, sunny morning, and some 310 runners and nearly 30 volunteers assembled for their Saturday morning exercise.

After a fair amount of socialising, Run Director Richard (Happy Birthday, Richard) gave the traditional briefing, assisted by the usual melee of barking dogs, before setting everyone off from the wide expanse of the starting field.

We enjoyed a lovely run. I couldn't get far enough ahead of Sue to picture her at the finish, but Cary is pictured below, a little later.

Others drifted in over a period of just over an hour.

Meanwhile, the Elite finishers gathered over coffees in the Courtyard or in the friendlier area by the pony field, and Cary and I progressed our plans for the Dales High Way walk in a few days' time.

Sunday morning was another one perfect for running, so whilst Sue rang a few church bells, I went down to Wythenshawe running track to take part in Sunday morning's 5km Community run. The children just enjoy a 2km version.

I was nobbled with a request to be the 30 minute pacer, and posed with other pacers before the start.

Afterwards I chewed the cud with Fechin, after checking on the health of a lady who I pushed over the line in 29:59!

Reports, videos, etc on these Community Runs can be found by rummaging around here.

Sunday 28 August 2022

Wednesday 24 August 2022 - Thieveley Pike

This was my first outing with the LDWA for some time. I joined a 'Plodder' walk, starting from Clowbridge Reservoir, near enough to Bacup for me to be able to visit my daughter afterwards.

Times have changed. All 17 of us were requested to sign in and provide our LDWA number and our email addresses. Pictured above, Mike Lee, today's leader, addresses the masses.

(Note that you can click on any image to get a better copy, and access to a slideshow.)

Soon after setting off, some Plodders became Laggards! A (very acceptable) feature of the day.

We stopped on Stoney Hill to admire the view back to Clowbridge Reservoir, which dates from 1866.

Around here are various piles of stones that are all that remains of a hamlet, Gambleside, that dated from 1242 and comprised a gathering of substantial stone buildings from the 16th century. It has gone now, but there are information boards with photos of the hamlet, which was occupied in living memory by a milkman.

Nearby, Compston's Cross, an ancient stone that was moved in about 1902 to its current position, following a campaign from Samuel Compston, a local Alderman.

It was t-shirt weather on a fine, warm day, the only rain being a short deluge in the car park for some of us who arrived early. The next two pictures were taken in the vicinity of Clough Bottom.

When Mike was at the front, we mainly didn't go the wrong way. When he left it to others, they frequently had to be called back to properly follow his intricate route.

Next to Burnley Road, near Bent Hill, we were allowed a drinks break. Sadly only the four quickest got a seat, and it looks as if the stone seat will soon be taken over by a tree. This is a 'garden' in memory of Linda Cropper, one of a renowned family of Rossendale sheepdog trialers.

The target of this walk was Thieveley Pike, the 449 metre summit (number 16506) of which offers the following view to the south.

Our march amble plod continued along the Burnley Way to join the northern end of the Irwell Sculpture Trail before crossing the A671 road at Weir. Rosebay Willowherb bloomed in the foreground.

A short stretch of easy moorland paths took us over to Water, where the 1950's relic pictured below looked as if it might just be in working order, despite needing some TLC.

The walk took us at a slow pace, as some of the esteemed Plodders, not being in the first flush of youth, struggled over some of the stiles. The one shown below, near the end of the walk, was deceptively easy - the wooden slats being quite close to each other.

Finally, after encountering a large family of Orthodox Jews in their traditional dress, we reached the gate that leads back to the spacious car park.

Here's our route - about 17 km, with rather less than 400 metres of ascent. The entire jaunt took about 5 hours, including breaks. (Click on the image for a better version.) An excellent outing.

Mike Lee's report and photos are here.