Isabella’s Good Walk : the Yorkshire Dales

‘We’re going on a good walk today’, said Alan. To which Stefan piped up, ‘How far is good?’

Start time: 10.30 a.m.  End time: 6 p.m.

Approximate distance: 15 miles.

Level of difficulty: moderate in terms of challenge posed by terrain (unless otherwise stated at certain stages mentioned below), high in terms of distance

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new road surfaces (thanks to the Tour)

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Becks and brooks
We started off following Alan downhill for a short way, then followed the road which went round and up to the right. The road surface was in excellent condition (the Tour de France effect is much in evidence in Yorkshire). We passed babbling brooks and moorland, cyclists and sheep as the path wound up and round.

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moorland
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the grouse moors full of grouse – you can hear them all over
We then went off the road, following a gravel footpath which took us up a gentle hill to the right. We passed hides and started to hear grouse calling. A very distinctive sound.

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one of many hides
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walking upwards
At the top we could see mounds of stone no doubt excavated from mines. We went to the pinnacle before turning to the left and making the gentle walk downhill, past derelict mines and grey dry stone walls. To the right there was a beck with bridges along the way, and to the left were mineshafts and the ruins of former smelting works.

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entrance to a mine
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entrances now blocked
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attractive stone bridge
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interesting that a log is used between the stones
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starting the walk down
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past the mine
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and former smelting area
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a grouse!
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its call is distinctive
Grouse flew, called and darted about and were visible all over the moors.

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we cross over a newly surfaced road
We came across the road again, crossed it, and walked along high ridges from which we had this wonderful view.

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the view from the footpath
The ridge dipped sharply and some of us found this challenging. However not so challenging as the stepping stones we had to use to get across the brook at the bottom. One large stone was completely under water and covered in moss, making it a very slippery prospect. We managed to get across but not without a lot of ‘I can’t do it’s’ (from me).

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into woodland
However, once over it was relatively easy, passing through soundproofed woodland, calm, mossy and comforting.

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moss covered trees
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moss covered walls
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moss covered stones
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just one of many narrow stone stiles
A feature of the walk were its various but invariably narrow stiles, a challenge in themselves. When we emerged through this one the ground looked soft, springy and curvaceous. A hidden dell.

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the undulating hills on the other side of the wall
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strangely autumnal for spring
We proceeded on our way until we came out onto a gravel pathway which took us  alongside Tiernswood Hall, which was magnificently hedged to keep it from prying eyes.

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along the path
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the rooftop of the well-hidden hall
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the road past the hall
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view from the path
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daffodils in front of the wall
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the entrance to the hall
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a field on the other side of the road
When we reached the end of what must have been the driveway, we turned left to the roadsigns, then left again, towards Reeth.

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heading Reeth-wards
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past yet more lambs
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through a village
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down to the river
We eventually made it down to the river and followed the riverside footpath into Reeth which was pleasant and easy, over grass, and relatively flat. There were a lot more walkers along here.

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past fields
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and lambs
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until we get to Reeth
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Reeth with its open grassy spaces and attractive pubs
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where we stopped for tea and almond and plum cake
When in Reeth it was as if we had come up for air as our heads bobbed up into the open space that was the centre of Reeth. We had a tea and cake stop. We were fairly silent. Exhausted. But after 20 minutes it was onwards and upwards. Up through Reeth to the left, along the road, then crossing down to the right side. We then walked through more fields of sheep. We also passed a fair few dead rabbits but we weren’t sure why.

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stepping stones
More stepping stones and a walk along the beck, across a bridge then past farm animals, which included an attractive pack of sheep.

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along the beck and over the bridge
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hens
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fancy hens
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there he is
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feeding time
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pretty sheep variety
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a fine stone bridge in Langthwaite
Lamgthwaite was in the distance and the Red Lion Inn looked like it might be a good place to have another well-earned rest before the last push home.

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the Red Lion Inn, Langthwaite
But strangely it was closing. Just for one hour.

So we forged ahead. At this stage we all seemed to possess a new burst of energy as we fairly sprung on through the next set of hillside fields.

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attractive Langthwaite
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yomping home through more fields
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nearly there…but it’s on the other side of the beck
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so close
Then we saw it. The back of the Charles Bathurst Inn. Wondered if it was some sort of mirage as we’d kept telling each other ‘There! There it is!’ for the past hour.

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a fine country home
We passed a fine country home, made all the finer because it was the very one that we could see when looking out of the CB Inn.

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getting closer to the CB Inn
There it was.

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past tended gardens
Downhill now before the last uphill. With a walled garden to the left and sculpted hedges to the right, we carried on and over the bridge. Thank goodness there was a bridge – as we did wonder what we would do if there hadn’t been one. The water looked too deep to cross without one.

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a bridge!
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manicured hedges
Then we walked past more lambs before heading back uphill to the main road.

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past more lambs
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safely back in the field
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following
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looking back
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homeward bound
We reached the main road the turned left and walked back to the pub.

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the end is in sight
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and we’re back at the beginning
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a floral welcome
We got back just in time to down two pints before heading back to our rooms. Two pints of lime and soda that is.

Lime and soda. Now that’s a fantastic drink. And as for the walk, Alan, I wouldn’t call it a good walk. I’d call it an amazing one.

 

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