Welcome to LEJoG Day 47 (Gromit)

Day 47 pre-amble

The third instalment in my little food analogy. After the feast you might expect a dessert, but some people (notably my uncle) go for a cheeseboard, right? Especially if they’re heading for the capital of Wensleydale…

LEJoG Day 47 (Sunday 26 May 2019)

Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Hawes (14 miles)

Cumulative: 654 miles

Facts: Time on walk: 4 hours 15 minutes. Average speed: 3.29 mph. Weather: Rain (subsiding by early afternoon), strong wind on higher ground, cool, overcast, warming up on arrival into Hawes.

Practicalities: After I’d watched the rain hammer down over breakfast, Edd drove me back to Pen-y-ghent Café. Miles was already on his Three Peaks walk, as promised. Before parting, Edd and I discussed some of the articles I’d read yesterday concerning Horton residents protesting about Three Peaks tourism. He came down very much on the side of Horton needing the money and thought unhappy residents should be careful what they wish for.

The walk

Start: Pen-y-ghent Café, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, 10:10am. End: St. Margaret’s Church, Hawes, 3:05pm.

My grand day out began with precipitation, albeit not as heavy as overnight or breakfast time. The walled lane out of Horton isn’t as steep as feared, and the rain had subsided by the time I reached more level ground. Overtook a group of three older men carrying bigger packs (all with fluorescent rain covers). The Three Peaks route joins near Jackdaw Hole – Trailblazer tell you to “expect hundreds of fellow walkers for next quarter mile, especially at weekends”. This was a weekend – a bank holiday weekend to boot – but precisely no walkers joined here. I guess the weather had put everyone (except the indefatigable Miles) off today.

Gradually ascended Jackdaw Hill and turned sharp left (west) towards Old Ing. After a couple of brief showers on this section, the rain went away for the rest of the day, although the skies were grey until a couple of miles before Hawes. This part of the walk lived up to the ‘cheeseboard’ title anyway: nothing too delectable, indulgent or rich, just solid, satisfying walking (you can tell I choose sweet desserts, can’t you). The first true photo opportunity was the packhorse bridge at Ling Gill Beck:

Ling Gill Bridge, LEJoG Day 47

Ling Gill Bridge

After crossing the bridge there is a steady climb (steeper at the end) to Cam End, where the Pennine Way meets the Dales Way (mile 6). Looking west along the Dales Way you can see the Ribblehead Viaduct. Though it’s not on the route, this was always going to provide the header image for Day 47. I think you will see why I chose an external source over my own photo:

Ribblehead Viaduct, LEJoG Day 47

Looking down the Dales Way towards the Ribblehead Viaduct, under an evil grey sky

The Dales Way soon heads down into the valley on your right, and you proceed along Cam High Road: a wide, hard track which makes for easy walking on a gentle upward gradient. Round about here I decided I was wearing the wrong trousers and removed my waterproof ones. Stopped for lunch by Cold Keld Gate (mile 8) at 12:50. Middle Studfold had provided a packed lunch, so I took a good half hour.

At Kidhow Gate, shortly after the restart, I joined West Cam Road, passing Dodd Fell on the right and Snaizeholme Valley on the left. Snaizeholme is one of the best valley views on the Pennine Way, due to the relative height of the path and the vast expanse of land below. However I don’t think my photo does it justice, as so much of the view is in shadow:

Snaizeholme Valley, LEJoG Day 47

The wind was extremely strong by now and I definitely wobbled a couple of times. Can’t really say I was in danger of anything more dramatic than falling over on the grass. No sheer drops or vertiginous, rocky scrambles here. No drama. Nothing that could be described as a close shave. I’d say this was probably the best section of the walk though.

The Pennine Way leaves the West Cam Road near Rottenstone Hill, and after a short climb it’s pretty much downhill all the way to Gayle and then Hawes. As so often seems to be the case when you’re approaching a village, it seems closer at first sight than it turns out to be on the ground, and this can be irritating when you’re following fields, walls, stiles and residential streets. Actually Hawes is ridiculously close to Gayle (a few hundred yards on a path which emerges on to the Market Place from behind St Margaret’s Church), and it’s the approach to Gayle that seems to drag.

After the walk

Check-in at Herriot’s in Hawes was not until 4pm, so after using the public convenience I had a pint outside the Board Inn. The room was ok, although the bathroom/shower was one of the tightest I’ve experienced outside a YHA. No time (at least until tomorrow) to visit the Wensleydale Creamery, and I was warned that it might be difficult to find a table in one of Hawes’s restaurants during the Bank Holiday weekend. Considered a takeaway pizza, but ended up having a basic, cheap, quick sit-down at the Wensleydale Pantry. Rest of the evening reading my Kilimanjaro guidebook and checking in on European election results.

The following morning I paid a brief visit to the Wensleydale Creamery, just to sample and buy a few cheeses. Took home three truckles of Wensleydale: with cranberries, ginger and apricots, plus some Wensleydale chutney. They’ll make a Wallace out of me yet, I hear you say. Well perhaps not, but this lot made for a delicious cheeseboard anyway.

After that, caught the Little White Bus to Garsdale station. My shuttle bus was the 10:22 from the market place, and you will see from the timetable there is no train connection for Leeds given. I knew beforehand there would be a wait of more than two hours at the station, and had plenty of reading material with me. If you don’t want to spend this kind of time in an unmanned station with no facilities other than a waiting room and toilet , and you’ve already had your fill of cheese so don’t need to visit the Creamery, I recommend an early breakfast and the 8:52.

While there I read the tragic and affecting story of Ruswarp the dog: see storyboard and statue below:

Ruswarp 1

The sad tale of Ruswarp and his owner

Ruswarp 2

Statue of Ruswarp at Garsdale station

Count your many blessings again, walkers.

Postscript – My Listening Pleasure

Second listen to Chart Music #39 (previously covered on Day 41).

Picture from yorkshiredales.org.uk shows Ribblehead Viaduct, with what I think is Ingleborough (rather than Whernside) as a backdrop. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, because I like to be accurate. Part of the Settle-Carlisle Railway.

Next: Day 48 (20 July 2019)… in which my fit(ness) isn’t the best, and I wonder if I’ll ever rest.

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