Saturday, 30 June 2018

An ordinary day in Northumberland  June 29th
 An area of high pressure has sat over the British Isles for at least a week, giving the media lots to write or broadcast about, causing moorland fires, particularly on Saddleworth near Manchester. The only part of the country to miss out on twelve hours a day of sunshine is the north east coast, again. The breeze off the north sea lands a misty cloud (Called a haar locally) which spreads inland for about half a mile. So we four ordinary chaps are off into the countryside for a walk.
The walk is one we have done before, starting in the village of Edlingham in Northumberland. To find it head north on the A1, take the A697 at Morpeth and at a cross roads where the Alnwick road goes from that town to Rothbury, turn right and after a mile turn left into the tiny village. 
Edlingham is a very small string of a village but it has a lovely little 11th century church, a ruined castle and a disused but still handsome railway viaduct. 
A map is advisable, OS Explorer 332, Alnwick and Amble covers the walk and there is room for a few cars to park, Yorkshire style, near the church which is at NZ175970
Today's team is made up of Dave, John H., Harry and me.
                              This week's car park Number 249 in my collection of northern car parks.
Once booted up, and it was so warm we only needed t shirts but as gadgies we no longer favour shorts, it's the fear of tics, we walked a short distance up the lane that passes as the main village road before turning right and crossing two fields to Birsley Wood. The footpath stays outside the wood which has a notice forbidding entry to ordinary people anyway. After a few more fields we came to the farm at Birsley Woodside and just beyond it took the footpath on the left. Part of the path follows The Devil's Causeway, the course of a Roman road.
Legionnaires Nagelus and Emmetticus walking the Roman road. There is no paving left but the course is easy to pick out as it crosses fields.
Unfortunately the footpath seems to have vanished along with the Romans here and we meandered across fields before coming to a more modern track which crosses a disused railway line.
            A new house, not marked on the OS map, but follow the track away from it to...…...

    this house which was once a railwayman's cottage. That is the old railway bed through the fence.
 We walked along the track to the junction with Garmintedge Bank where we turned right and walked up the bank for about a half mile. For a country lane it was quite busy and we don't like walking on roads so we turned right at the first opportunity and walked the road to Hill Heads farm. The footpath turns left here, between the farm buildings and is not easy to spot. We crossed a couple of fields and a rather fine bridge that once spanned the railway.
                          A fine bridge that once spanned the railway. The old track below is now thick woodland.
After crossing a field we turned left on a track that brought us to Lemmington Mill. The stream was well over boot depth but fortunately we spotted the footbridge. Passing the mill we walked up the bank and turned left to Lemmington Hall where we called a Herbie and sat in the sun for lunch.

The back of Lemmington Hall. We sat on a wall on the left and shared pork pies, chocolate cookies from the co-op and almond roca from
We also discussed the word ordinary at great length, a word I said I objected to when used to compare celebrities with "ordinary" people. I don't like the use of the word "icon" either to describe footballers and film stars.  I had some support. Gadgie chat eh, the alternative can be politics.
Lunch consumed we continued on the road to the next junction, turned right and walked uphill to Broome Wood where we turned right.
We crossed several fields, one containing a herd of excitable young cows, and passed under the building marked as Lemmington Branch on the map.

Lemmington Branch, described in Pevsner as a "late 18th century eyecatcher". It's also a farm.
The fields took us close to the front of Lemmington Hall, a mid 18th century house built by William Newton for some local gent. Restored in the early 20th century it became a nunnery in 1947 but is now a retirement home.
                                Front of Lemmington Hall.
 The field in front of the house has a large monumental column and several grave stones which have initials and a year but nothing else.
The column in the field at Lemmington Hall. Built and erected in Surrey in 1786 as a memorial to the parents of James Evelyn (distant relative of diarist John) it was brought to Lemmington in 1928, as an ornament. The base has a carving of a serpent devouring its own tail, a symbol of eternity apparently.

                                    One of the grave stones.
Close to the hall we went through a gate like good boys and found ourselves at the junction above Lemmington Mill. A signpost said Edlingham was a mile and a half away so we followed it across fields, coming first to the viaduct;
                          Castle and viaduct, overexposed
The castle at Edlingham is classed as a fortified manor house but it is impressive and dates from the days of cross border scraps between the English and their northern neighbours. It is thought to have been built between 1295 and 1300.

                                   Edlingham Castle
And beyond the castle is the church of St. John the Baptist, started at about the time of the conquest, added to in the 14th and 17th centuries.

St. John the Baptist, Edlingham.
On the way home we visited the Anlers Arms at Weldon Bridge because it was a hot day. The pub had its usual three beers on hand pump: Rigg and Furrow, Black Sheep and Ghost Ship. Very refreshing.

Contain OS data, copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2018

And a Matrix MMXVIII  VI6

                                                                               steps                          miles
NAK                                                                    24242                          9.19
iPhone                                                                  20473                          9
Dave's 3D                                                             19854                         8.42
"""" USB                                                              18627                          8.52
"" NAK                                                                 18631                         8.52
Sm                                                                        19144                         8.46
etrex 20                                                                                                   9.05
OUTDOOR                                                                                             9.0


Saturday, 16 June 2018

The Dales Diary from Ilkley to Bowness.                June 2108
This year's long distance walk is the Dales Way, from Ilkley in Yorkshire to Bowness on Windermere in Cumbria.
There are five of us taking part, Brian and Margaret, Dave, John H. and me. And, with luggage; we all squeezed into Brian's car to take us to the start in Ilkley. As on previous walks of this nature our luggage is carried on for us, as arranged with super friendly Mickledore Company in Keswick,  and we spend a day in the country armed with food and waterproof clothing, just in case.
Mickledore not only organise accommodation and between hotel transport, they also provide copies of a guide book and a waterproof map of the walk. The map is Harvey's Dalesway map, preferable to carrying several OS maps. The guide book is very useful too, it even includes points where there is an ice cream van. The book is Dales Way, by Henry Stedman. This blog is not a guide, it's a record of our trip, buy a map.
We arrived in Ilkley mid afternoon and walked round town, buying some last minute essentials such as bread buns, cheese and apples. We had tea on the pavement outside a café and watched the world go by, noticing that Ilkley must be a little up market, didn't hear too many "Eeh by gums" or "Sithees".
I remembered coming here as a child when we lived in Silsden, just over the hill, and asked a lady if she knew where the paddling pool of memory was. From what she said it was just where I remembered it!
After dinner in the Riverside Hotel and a good night's sleep we were ready for the off on Friday June 8th.
              Riverside Hotel and car park, Ilkley. The car was left all week, free.
Day 1, Friday June 8th
The start of the Dales Way walk is behind the hotel, close to a bridge that crosses the River Wharfe.

                           The Wharfe at the start in Ilkley
                               You need a bigger map.

Dave, Margaret, me, Brian and John as we set off.

For much of the first day the path was alongside the river, easy walking. We passed through the houses at Low Mill, made apparently from the stones of the old mill itself.
                                   Low Mill cottages. The mill was the site of a Luddite uprising. 
Charlotte Bronte wrote about Luddites in her novel "Shirley" not with much sympathy.
Beyond Low Mill we came to Addingham church yard, a place of some interest for me as my ancestors hailed from the village. I looked in the church yard and found some graves with my surname but differently spelt. Who knows?

                                  St Peter's Addingham
                                  My paternal ancestors hailed from Addingham,  ,  possibly one of them ? Who knows?                        
Further on we came to Fairfield Friends Meeting house, almost in its original state although it has not been used for years.

                               No caption required.
The first Herbie of the week was at Bolton Abbey, really Bolton Priory, a ruined monastery. Apart from sandwiches, we shared fruit cake from and savoury muffins fro Mrs A.

Bolton Priory, and Margaret and Dave take the stepping stones. Chicken me took the bridge.
After lunch we continued on the path, clinging mostly to the river but also crossing meadows bright with buttercups.
Beyond the priory we came to the Strid, a point at which the river narrows and the water is forced through a cleft in the limestone. Notices warned us it was dangerous but:
 My mother said,
I never should,
Jump the Strid,
As if I would.
She did too, say that, not jump it.

                                                  The Strid

                                                                                                                                                             And it was a warm day, what a great start. After a cup of tea at Burnsall tearooms we eventually reached Burnsall and checked in at the Red Lion Hotel. Accommodation was behind the pub in the Mansion House, a comfortable room. For dinner we returned to the pub. My fish and chips were delayed, they gave me an extra fish as compensation.
                               Friendly blackbird at the Red Lion
And here he is again (Brimar photo)

                          Manor house, resting place for the night.
Contains OS data. Copyright. Crown copyright and data base right 2018

Day one mileage 14.2.                                        Running total 14.2

Day two Saturday June 9th. Burnsall to Hubberholme.
  After a full English breakfast, needed to power us on the walk, we left the Mansion House/Red Lion in Burnsall and headed back to the Dales Way.
The first section stayed on the bank of the Wharfe. More yellow meadows and sycamores for some shade on another warm day.
Leaving the river we walked uphill to the village of Grassington, a bustling little town with plenty of tourists and plenty of tea shops, so we stopped for a drink.
Grassington has a long history, going back to the stone age. The name is a corruption of "gars", or enclosures. In later times it was a centre for lead mining and textiles but these industries shrank in the 19th century and now the town depends largely on tourism, although there is a large milk processing plant.

Leaving Grassington we climbed into rougher country, land which supports sheep in fields bordered by dry stone walls. At the delightfully named outcrop Conistone Pie we called a Herbie. The site overlooked Kilnsey Crag, a favourite place for climbers.
                                                 Lime Kiln near Grassington
                            Herbie time on Conistone Pie
                               Looking back at Conistone Pie and a pair of knees.
Sandwiches, fruit cake and ginger cake devoured we continued on our merry way to the next village, Kettlewell. Another ancient settlement, possibly named for an Irish- Norse chieftain named Ketel the village was also a centre for lead mining but is now a tourist spot. We had another drink, it was a hot day.

                          Kettlewell church and village
Back on the road, and on the riverside, we passed the village and ended the day at Hubberholme, a hamlet with a pub, The George, our place for the night.

                       The George at Hubberholme, front and back.
We had been in the inn for about twenty minutes when it rained, good timing.
The pub was run by Ed, friendly and with a very dry sense of humour. He was fully booked for eating, we were told it would be our turn at eight and like good children we were on time. Dinner over we helped the locals with a crossword puzzle from the Yorkshire Post. I think it is possible Ed sent us off to bed.

Contains OS data. Crown copyright and data base right 2018

Distance walked 15.2 miles                            Running total  29.4 miles

Day 3, June 10th, The Longest Day
After the usual full English, cooked and served, by dour Ed, we returned to the path, heading for Cowdub, our next resting place.
The first section of the walk was along the Wharfe, walking close to the river in Langstrothdale. At Oughtershaw we left the river and climbed slowly, some time on a road but mostly on paths through sheep fields until we came to Nethergill.  The owners of this isolated farm ran an art gallery and serve yourself snack bar. Tea and coffee and hot water were provided, biscuits too, and an honesty box. They kept shorthorn cattle too, and they had a bird hide but we didn't go in it.
                                Tea break at Nethergill

                               Oh, I think this is Pen y Ghent, Ingleborough is behind it.
                So which is Ingleborough?   (Brimar photo)
From Nethergill we walked west to Cam Houses, a farm that appeared to be redeveloped as country homes, like a lot more in the area.
                             Cam Houses

                    And close to Cam Houses we joined the Pennine Way or the Pennine Bridleway or the Ribble Way. One, if not all of them.
After a Herbie, still eating fruit cake and ginger cake for afters, we headed north on what the map calls Black Rake Road. Meeting a road we turned right and then almost immediately turned left to take the "Kear cut off" across Wold fell, which fortunately had a flat top. A group of Mountain bikers passed us, one had a bell, an improvement! Once across the fell we contoured round Great Knoutberry Hill until we came to the Coal Road, turned left and headed downhill past Dent station to Cowgill. Turning left we walked the best part of a mile to our accommodation, The Sportsman Inn, "A family chain of One".
               A distant view of Artengill Viaduct, one of several on the famous Settle to Carlisle Railway
                  The Sportsman Inn, run by Ron and Sandra. Ron was quiet, Sandra wasn't. On the day they only had one hand pulled beer, but it was a good one. No mobile phone service either (Like The George) and no wifi, but a promise for the future. Did we care, not really. No TV in the bedroom either and poor radio reception. I could live like this, sometime.
Sandra was an excellent cook who made us well earned dinner and regaled us with tales of other walkers. Some Americans had expected a hamburger stall at Cam Houses! Australians were the worst complainers, and they call us whinging poms! Ball tamperers.
Contains OS data, copyright. Crown copyright and data base right 2018

Distance for the day 18 miles       Running distance 47.4 miles

We think this is the second longest gadgie walk. The longest was the Llarig Ghru some years ago in Scotland.

Day 4 Cowgil to Howgill or the day Dave got lost.

After a fine full English cooked by Sandra we walked from the pub at Cowdub and rejoined the Dales Way at Cowgill. We had not gone far when we reached a farm, an elderly farmer asked if we were out to buy a tractor! He had a fine collection of Fergusons, Massey, Fordson and so on, including a Fordson from the 1930's. He told us he sold spares for older tractors and was waiting for a customer who wanted a gear lever.
Not having a great use for a tractor we walked on through fields close to the River Dee which is in Dentdale.
Some miles on we came to Dent, another pretty Yorkshire village with a shop, pubs, BnBs and a heritage museum which not only had tractors but also sold refreshments. Four of us settled for tea or coffee as Dave explored the village, birthplace of Adam Sedgwick, Victorian geologist. Dave has been studying the Quaternary period almost since it started.
                                       Dent Church, St. Andrew's with 12th Century origins

                            Tractors at the heritage centre.
As I bought a drink in the centre I talked to a young lady who had a very small baby in a sling on her front.
Drinks over and no Dave we decided to push on and headed away from Dent's cobbled streets and whitewashed cottages back to the Way. The path continued close to the river, crossing fields waiting to be cut for hay. We met a couple finishing their picnic. Dave had walked past them some twenty minutes earlier, asking them if they had seen four wanderers. Further on we found him, lunching by the river bank. It looked rather like the scene in the Magnificent Seven where Chico finally gets invited to join the troop. Except we didn't have horses.
             A fuzzy photo of one of the many, many field barns that are scattered round the dales. Some are ancient, some are falling in to disrepair.
After a Herbie (fruit cake, ginger cake too) we walked on to Millthrop, a suburb of the small town of Sedbergh, famous for its school, founded in 1525.The town is also mentioned in the Domesday Book, one of the few northern settlements to get recorded, after all William was not over fond of the area.
One of the houses in the village of Millthrop had a spectacular garden, winner of several prizes.
                    Millthrop cottage garden, winner of Cumbria in Bloom prizes. Sedbergh was in Yorkshire until 1974 when the government moved it to Cumbria. (And eradicated Westmorland).
As we admired it the young lady I had spoken to in Dent walked by, baby fast asleep in the sling. She told me she had walked from Dent and the tiny girl had enjoyed the walk. Good start to a life of  tramping the countryside.
(Photo by kind permission of BriMar collections)
From Millthrop the walk follows the River Rathey round the town of Sedbergh, passing some of the school's playing fields.
We walked under a spectacular iron bridge and just missed finding Briggflatts, home of one of the earliest Friends' Meeting Houses, site of a sermon by preacher George Fox and later the subject of a poem by  Basil Bunting.
                         Spectacular iron bridge on a disused railway line.

Not too far further on at Lincolns InnBridge across the Lune we left the way and took footpaths to our resting place for the night, Ash hining where we met Big Jim.
The farm had been turned into a BnB and several holiday cottages. Big Jim greeted us by saying "I'm just starting me tea, would you like a cup and a piece of cake?" What a friendly welcome. We accepted. As part of the whole holiday deal, once we were showered and changed, Big Jim and his friend took us into Sedbergh nwhere we dined at the Dalesman pub and drank a few. Later Big Jim picked us up and took us back to his place.

                Big Jim's. At breakfast he asked if we would mind if he stripped the beds as he and his companion were setting off to walk the West Highland Way that afternoon and wanted the washing done. We were able to point out the joys of the WHW as we did it two years ago.

Contains OS data, copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2018
Distance    15.18 miles                              Running distance   62,58 miles

Day 5 Ash hining to Burneside
After another full English' prepared by Big Jim, we returned to Lincolns Inn Bridge where we met Paul and his wife Maureen who had decided to join us for the last two days of the walk. The fantastic five were now the super seven.
The footpath on this section follows the River Lune which eventually enters Morecambe Bay south of Lancaster where I lived for fifteen years.
Now out of the Dales and into Eastern Lakeland there is a change. Fewer meadows, rougher ground with more rocky outcrops and even more sheep.
We passed the Lune Viaduct, another disused but spectacular bridge.

                                         Lune viaduct
And further on we came to the Crook of Lune. There is another with the same name at Caton, north of Lancaster. Close by we crossed the Crook of Lune Bridge:
                                    Crook of Lune Bridge
                    And we walked under Low Gill Viaduct, disused. I have seen this bridge for about fifty years as I have driven up and down the M6, but this is the first time I've been near it.
Further on we crossed the M6 motorway, busy as usual and then we crossed the West Coast Railway Line. The path wound its way through hamlets and across fields, through farmyards until we reached Burneside.
After a refreshing glass or two at The Jolly Anglers we were picked up, as arranged, by a taxi, mini bus really and taken into Kendal where we were booked in to the Premier Hotel.

                Premier Inn Kendal and the Wheatsheaf Arms next door.
   The other six went off to eat in a restaurant but I had arranged to meet a friend from school. I don't think we had met for fifty four years, there was  lot to talk about.
Before meeting I ate alone in the Wheatsheaf. Service was very slow and after I had waited for my burger and chips (Didn't have my glasses, couldn't read the menu) I told the waitress I was now in a hurry. She apologised on her behalf, the chef's behalf and the company's behalf, tore up the bill and offered me a free. drink. They also serve who only sit and wait. I waited outside for my old school friend too. After a while the waitress came outside and asked if I was looking for a lady! She told me there was a lady inside looking for a man she hadn't seen for years. All's well that ends well, and we did have a lot to talk about.

               Contains OS data, copyright. Crown copyright and database right.
Distance for the day   12.85 miles                       Running total    75.43

Day Six   Burneside to Bowness.
 The taxi took us back to Burneside (After a full English of course) and we set off on the last leg of the walk.
This final section follows the River Kent which flows into Morecambe Bay near Arnside.
Typical south Lakeland country, low rocky fells and farms. About half way between the start and the end we came to the village of Stavely.
A small village, inhabited since about 4000 BC, colonised by the Romans. It became the centre of the bobbin making industry but that declined in the 19th century. The village now makes paper and has a brewery and a very large cycle shop for such a small place.
After tea/coffee at a small café next to the brewery we returned to the walk

The Stavely Clematis