Our first wet evening at a campsite, fortunately once dinner was safely cooked, (supervised by Steve tonight), we made use of ‘The Camp Shed’ for the evening. It even had a kettle so we could brew up in the dry.
A cloudy start to the day but the sun soon came out.
We started out along the River Ure which takes us up Wensleydale to the picturesque village of Askrigg and breakfast at ‘The Bake Well’, to make up for the one we didn’t get at the George and Dragon. We sat outside in the sunshine enjoying Yorkshire tea, a sausage roll and a Mars Bar Brownie sat opposite Skeldale house, a location used in ‘All Creatures Great and Small’, now upmarket luxury accommodation.
Leaving Askrigg we have a choice of two routes, a low level walk along the river, with a river crossing via stepping stones or a higher level route. We opt for the higher route, you never know what stepping stones will be like! A good choice, as some more amazing views and a very cute cow, not often we say that but it was the other side of a wall.
A short walk, so we arrive in Hawes by 1230 and find it very busy with tourists and around 100 motorcyclists all outside a cafe we wanted to use, a favourite from our last visit to Hawes when we walked ‘JOGLE’ in 2016. We opted for a pub lunch instead.
We had a very warm welcome at our B&B Ebor House. In addition to the usual tea tray, and a great view from our room, was a Terry’s Chocolate Orange – straight to number 1 in the B&B charts!
We had a lovely meal at Olley’s Italian restaurant in Pateley bridge last night.
A dry but overcast start to the day, with a bit of rain for our last hour of walking.
A long day faced us as the campsite we were planning to use doesn’t open until 1 August, so we found alternative accommodation a further 10 kilometres along our route.
We set off following the Nidderdale Way, along the Rivet Nidd , initially a low level walk before a steep climb up the side of the valley.
A ridge walk and climb take us on good paths to Masham Moor, at which point our onward path disappeared. We tried using GPS to find the path to no avail. In the end we had no option other than to pick our way across the gorse in the right general direction. Easier said than done if you have small feet and stumpy legs like Lynn, who had two mishaps, one leg disappeared down a hole up to her knee in water and later a tumble saw her flat on her back like a marooned whale. Eventually we found a track which took us in the right general direction and we dropped down to West Scrafton for a lunch break.
Another uneventful up and over took us to The George and Dragon B & B at Aysgarth.
We arrived at 1650hrs and the pub was shut, on checking our booking confirmation our check in was between 1700-1800 hour, so we sit outside and wait. Eventually at 1710 the landlady wanders out from the house next door and says ‘you can’t stay tonight’. We establish she has no insurance, so cannot open. We point out we have have nowhere else to go and even if we did, we had no car to get there, she said she would sort something out and disappeared. In the meantime other guests arrive for dinner and accommodation and we have to explain what has happened. Not confident she will actually do anything, we try other B & B’s within walking distance to no avail.
Luckily we managed to find a small campsite just down the road and they had room for us. A lovely site with good facilities and very warm welcome. Steve was able to buy dinner at a petrol station shop in the village.
Dinner with a view by the tent last night – at least half a dinner, after the other half ended up on the grass. The pan slid off the gas stove, whilst under Lynn’s supervision. Oops!
A dry night, we wake up to a bright morning. A mixture of cloud and sun throughout the day and a bit warmer.
We followed the Dales Way out of Addingham, along the bank of the River Wharfe. The river passes through the grounds of Bolton Abbey, which is owned by the same trust as Chatsworth House and the grounds were immaculately maintained.
We stopped for tea and cake at Bolton Abbey. Whilst there a teacher from a Bradford school was preparing to send some year 12 pupils off on a D of E expedition. He said there would be tears by the end of the day as some really hadn’t grasped what would be required or what they were taking on. He said the year 10s last week had been no problem. As the pupils arrived by minibus he checked their kit and briefed them. Quite a motley crew. Some wore trainers or were using sports bags. One or two had enormous sleeping bags. The odd one seemed to look the part with boots and a rucksack.
We see a lot of D of E groups on our walks and are great fans of the awards scheme. Like the Ten Tors event on Dartmoor it gets young people out walking and learning some outdoor skills. For every youngster it puts off walking for life we always hope it gives others a lifelong love of walking and being outdoors in the countryside.
Further along the river we come across a group of twitchers, who point out a pair of Mandarin Ducks, there are only 2300 breeding pairs in the UK so they were excited to tell us and even let us take a look through their binoculars, they are beautiful birds, particularly the male.
After an easy morning by the river, we have a long climb up onto the fells before dropping down to our campsite, the descent takes us along a heritage trail through some disused mines, an area which now appears to be used for clay pigeon shooting.
Our accommodation tonight is Riverside Caravan Park at Pateley Bridge, we have lots of neighbours for a change, but we are the only tent.
We are now just over half way in terms of the number of days we plan to take, 35 out of 69.
A dry evening at the campsite, followed by a night of rain. Luckily, it stopped when the alarm went off, but we had low cloud all morning, with a few sprinkles of rain. By afternoon the wind picked up and the sun came out, but a bit on the chilly side.
Our first stop was at Bingley, where we to top up on food. Fortuitously, our route took us past The Myrtle Grove, Wetherspoons, where Lynn was able to get her hot chocolate fix and Steve could charge his phone.
We initially left Bingley along the Liverpool to Leeds Canal, before attacking the long climb up to Ilkley Moor, fortunately the cloud had lifted enough to give us panoramic views.
Steve was singing ‘On Ilkley Moor bah’tat’ but his version of the lyrics was not what Lynn recalled.
After the summit we dropped down and picked up the Millennium Way which took us to Ghyll House Farm campsite, where we had pick of the pitches as we are the only ones there. A sloping site on a hillside with fabulous views. Chatting to the owner we discovered he does B & B for cows as a sideline over the winter season, not come across that before.
Another night of luxury with a bath, dinner and comfy bed at the White Lion. Our new number one for B & B stays.
After breakfast we had to take a short excursion on the train to Halifax. Steve’s new boots had let him down after 18 days of use. Fortunately, Millets in Halifax had a pair in his size which they put aside for him a few days ago. As usual the Millets staff proved to be excellent and did an exchange despite him not having a receipt. Hopefully, this pair will last a little longer.
Halifax was worth a visit, the highlight being the beautiful Piece Hall and its sculptures, previously a cloth hall for hand loom weavers now a place to eat, drink and shop. Halifax is also the home of Quality Street and After Eight chocolates.
We returned to Hebden Bridge, retrieved our rucksacks, and were ready to walk by midday. By chance we only had a short walk to fit in.
A steep climb took us out of Hebden Bridge followed by a further long climb to ‘Walshaw and Lancashire Moor’, surprisingly in West Yorkshire, following the ‘Calder Aire Link’ bridle path.
We drop down to the village of Oxenhope before the final climb to our campsite Upwood Holiday Park. Up to this point the paths had been well marked and accessible, this came to an abrupt halt, about 500 meters from the campsite, when the footpath from the village ended in the middle of a field. We spotted a man watching us from a nearby yard and approached him and he ‘kindly’ let us use his gate and access road which were marked as a footpath on the map! Apparently, there is a footpath but hardly anyone uses it, probably due to the barbed wire and missing signs.
We had planned to do some laundry at the campsite but the communal washing machine was out of order, the lady on reception took pity on us and let us use the wardens washing machine.
As we didn’t fancy walking back across the missing footpath so it’s an alfresco meal at the tent tonight.
We had a lovely roast dinner and pudding at The New Inn last night and a good breakfast, the staff were all very pleasant. The bedroom was clean but a little dated.
At breakfast we swapped experiences with a couple, Pete and Chris who are seasoned walkers and had met in the Himalayas. They are walking from St Agnes, the most southerly point in the Isles of Scilly to the northern most point in the Scottish Isles.
A cloudy day but it remained dry and mild for us.
The route again took us past reservoirs, over moors and we went under the M62.
On reaching Cragg Vale we followed the river down to Mytholmroyd and then the cycle route to Hebden Bridge. This part of the route was full of industrial heritage, principally cotton mills.
Hebden Bridge is a market town specialising in independent shops, with lots of cafes, bars and restaurants. It was busy when we arrived with lots of talented buskers and people enjoying the Bank Holiday. The town has often been used as a filming location, most recently ‘Happy Valley’. It is also the former home of Ed Sheeran.
Tonight we are staying at the White Lion, which has been open since 1657 and is one of the oldest buildings in the town.
The pub in Langsett where we were hoping to have dinner last night stopped serving food at 1700 hours, despite it being Saturday night on a bank holiday weekend, they didn’t have a chef for the evening shift. Lack of staff seems to be a common theme in catering establishments in each county we have visited and is a real shame for the businesses. Luckily we had an emergency meal so didn’t go hungry.
There was some development of the site facilities overnight which had some walls fitted, which confused one of the campers who thought he was going mad.
We had heavy rain overnight, which fortunately stopped just as we were getting up and we had a dry but cloudy day.
We initially followed bridle paths which took us to the Trans Pennine Trail, the trail has a diversion, as 1.5 kilometres of overhead power lines are being buried. This will remove seven pylons and improve the skyline. As we found with HS2 the project has been well managed to avoid disruption to existing footpaths and although a massive piece of work is underway it did not add much to our distance.
For the remainder of the day we followed the Kirklees Way, which took in the village of Holme which had a lovely takeaway serving pies and pasties, it would have been rude not to try their goodies. Lynn reluctantly shared her lunch.
After lunch a long climb took us to Wessenden Moor, where the Kirklees Way joins the route of the Pennine Way for a while and we find a spot we remembered from our southbound trip in 2016. We sorted a few deer both wild and farmed.
The route then follows a line of reservoir down before leaving the Pennine Way for the final stretch into Marsden for our nights accommodation at the New Inn. Chicken tonight.
Although our campsite at Bamford lacked any facilities, other than a single toilet and sink, after returning from dinner at the local community run pub, the site was full. As we are early risers it didn’t cause us any holdups. We left before the fighting started.
A sunny but frosty start to the day, with a bit of cloud by midday.
Once again we had to change our route, this time because the campsite we had planned to use had no facilities, but at least they let us know when we tried to book rather than finding out when we arrived.
The first part of the walk used a cycle path alongside three reservoirs, Ladybower, Upper Derwent and Howden. The building of Ladybower reservoir resulted in the submergence of two villages Ashopton and Derwent. As recently as 2018 the remains of the former Derwent village were visible during a dry summer. The dam was also used for training by the dam-busters. The scenery was stunning and the path was busy with walkers, runners and cyclists.
At the end of Howden reservoir a steep climb took us to open moorland and into county number nine, Yorkshire. The path became suitable only for the more skilful (or mad) cyclists. The views were amazing and we could see for miles in every direction.
After dropping down from the summit we found a sheltered spot for lunch and Lynn had a short doze. Shortly after lunch we could see our campsite deceptively close across another reservoir, which had to be circumnavigated.
The campsite is in the tiny village of Langsett and boasted a newly opened toilet block, we arrived to find an improvement on last night, two toilets and three sinks, but no showers yet! Good job we are in a B & B tomorrow.
We were hosted by 84 year old Mrs Frost at the campsite, who made an excellent recommendation for dinner at the George Hotel, which served up hungry walkers portions, amongst other vegetables we had a whole cauliflower to share and that was just a side dish to the beef bourguignon and mash.
A cloudy start again, but it turned into a beautiful warm sunny day.
We made a slight tweak to our mornings walk as we both fancied visiting Bakewell, home of the famous Bakewell Pudding, first made in the 1860’s, the Bakewell Tart came later in the 1900’s.
It was well worth a visit and we found a lovely cafe ‘Graze’ for tea and naturally ….cheese scones. The cafe was beautifully done out and chatting to the owner we discovered it had been designed by his late wife, who saw her ideas come into fruition but sadly passed away before it r-opened.
A steep climb took us out of Bakewell before joining a green lane which would take us down into the village of Endsor. We were passed by a couple of mountain bikers enjoying the very bumpy track and then had to pull over to let a car pass, slowly weaving away to avoid grounding his vehicle . We both assumed he was local and knew where he was going, apparently not. A few minutes later he stopped and got out of his car and explained he was visiting some holiday cottages in Endsor and had been recommended a short cut. The road ahead had by now become impassable for anything other than farm vehicles. We left him pondering how he was going to get out. There was no room to turn and we suspect reversing half a kilometre back up the hill would have been pretty impossible. There were two signs advising not suitable for motor vehicles in Endsor but not at the top of the track!
After Endsor, we enter the grounds of Chatsworth House, currently hosting an exhibition of 12 sculptures ‘The Art of Burning Man’, which is normally hosted in the Nevada Desert. We saw several of them on our way through.
For the remainder of the day , we had intended to follow the Derwent Valley Heritage Way, a scenic walk along the river Derwent, so scenic we were concentrating on the views and missed a signpost. Steve realised after about a kilometre and revised our onward route, which involved crossing the river on some widely spaced slippery stepping stones. Lynn chose to take off her boots and socks and walk across.
Shortly after we arrived at Heatherhill Farm, which had very basic facilities, no shower tonight then.