View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy
Showing posts with label Dales Way. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dales Way. Show all posts

Friday, 4 May 2018

Not Daundering, 23rd–25th April 2018

A naughty backpack from Clapham to Dent

This was all Mike’s idea, me Dawn, Lucky and Chrissie just went along for the ride. And the beer, there may have been beer involved.

Mike, for reasons that will become clear, is henceforth to be referred to as The Kilted Pieman. If I remember, which I probably won’t.

Anyroadup, me and Chrissie (who just happened to be on the same train as me) alighted at Clapham in t’Yorkshire Dales and wandered over to the pub – always a good move.

We were supposed to meet up with Lucky and his Dad plus Dawn at Lancaster station, but train delays and cancellations severely buggered-up their arrangements – hence the pub visit.

The New Inn is a fine establishment that serves, amongst other stuff, TT Landlord. A couple of beers after arriving the pub door flung open and LTD marched purposefully into the bar ahead of his Dad and Dawn and demanded beer with menaces.

It was raining and the latecomers were a tad soggy and damp.

It was still raining, but only a bit, as we left the pub and headed up to our camping spot at Gaping Gill.


Spooky house


A fine set of knees near Clapham Bottoms. Honest.

The area around Gaping Gill was quite murky and much of the ground was nicely adorned with sheep-poo – a clean(ish) pitch was hard to find.


 Murk at Gaping Gill

The weather didn’t encourage outside-of-tent socialising so I stayed in for the evening and read a book (The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe) and listened to the wireless-type radio to catch up on the usual depressing news.

More depression followed when my NeoAir decided it would be a wizard prank to deflate slowly but quite surely. Lovely. I couldn’t find the puncture so ended up kipping on the teensiest bit of 5mm thick (thin?) foam mat. It wasn’t a comfortable night.


Gaping Gill


One dog and his man

Next morning we headed Ribbleheadwards, towards Ribblehead, famous for the Ribblehead Viaduct and a pretty decent pub, more of which later.



A gentle bimble, at daunder pace (not that we were daundering – heaven forbid) to the foot of Ingleborough where it was a bit wet and the breeze was getting up. Dawn & Chrissie, being the sensible sorts they are, bravely volunteered to single-handedly guard The Kilted Pieman’s (see, I remembered) and my rucksacks whilst we ventured forth and upwards to conquer the peak’s lofty, er, peak.

This was a good ascent, we fought the elements and refused to falter – until eventually, exhausted and almost out of oxygen, we got to the top.

I’d like to say how fantastic the fantastic views were, how you could see the snow-covered Southern Uplands of Scotland, how clear Blackpool Tower was, and how we could easily see fellow walkers ascending neighbouring Pen-y-Ghent and Whernside. Except you couldn’t. You couldn’t see a damned thing, such was the thick cloud that enveloped us.

Ho hum.


On top of Ingleborough

We descended to find our rucksacks abandoned in the rain whilst our brave guards sheltered in a tent – hastily erected as a last-ditch defence against marauding Swaledales. Their cunning plan worked, both they and our rucksacks were unharmed.

These girls are clever.

Next stop was the Station Inn at Ribblehead, purveyors of very good beer and magnificent pork pies. We drank the pies and ate the beer, all was well with the world.


Approaching The Station at Ribblehead

After beer and pies we escaped the pub and, in between the rain showers, hurried to get the tents up.

Whinge warning:

Camping here is currently free but for how long I don’t know – there are some campers who don’t treat the area with respect. Broken glass, fires, rubbish left behind etc is all evidence of the irresponsibility of SOME visitors. They obviously don’t get the idea of ‘Leave no trace’. The farmer who owns the land isn’t going to put up with that sort of behaviour for long.

End of whinge.

Back to the pub for more food and even more beer….the food looked generally good although my pie could have been better. The good news was the landlord took my criticism on board and did something about it. I’m happy about that – I’ll certainly eat there again.

Another uncomfortable night followed. The wind and rain got windier and rainier and my NeoAir only held enough air for about 90 minutes of relative comfort before my bum and other bits came in contact with the cold ground. I had spare clothing which I was also lying on but it wasn’t enough.

I repaired the NeoAir when I got home….more later.


It must have been very windy overnight, one of my tentpegs had become dislodged.

The intended 9am start was rescheduled to 11am ‘cos the weather forecast was pretty awful. Poor Chrissie had an attack of the flashing lights and had elected to bale out early – Ribblehead railway station was a very short walk from our camp spot and trains ran fairly regularly to get he back home so it was an easy decision.





Leaving Chrissie behind we wandered alongside the Ribblehead viaduct to walk up to Blea Moor. The promised foul weather didn’t arrive, not in the Dales anyway – although I gather it was pretty grim dahn sarf.

A military-looking tracked vehicle had been spotted going up the hill earlier in the day. As we ascended it came back down to meet us.


Onward, upwards and over Blea Moor, we were planning on the hoof. We’d pretty well decided that we’d just make our way to Dent by the prettiest way possible – that included a lovely Mossy Bottom picnic spot by the railway line and a wander down a section of the Dales Way.



It would have been nice to stop for a beer….


…but the pub was shut

The weather remained fine as we trundled down the road to Dent, only to find that we’d just missed a train. Being as wot the sun was sort of shining we found a nice little spot on the banks of the River Dee (no, not THAT River Dee) where we just chilled. In fact we chilled so much that we needed to wrap up, the sun may have been shing but the breeze wasn’t so warm.

A lot of contour lines were crossed in rapid succession as we wandered up to Dent Station, where, incidently, it was bloody freezing.



A wall heater in the waiting room did the neccesary, as long as you didn’t sit on it. The heater that is, not the waiting room.

Then we all went home via Leeds.

It was good, very laid back and a lot of fun. I don’t know how far we walked but it wasn’t too far – it didn’t need to be.

Thanks to Lucky for inviting me along and to Mike, Chrissie and Dawn for putting up with me.

One last thing….for Alan, ‘cos he likes this sort of thing:


 So that was it. A great little trip that definitely wasn’t a Daunder.

What actually happened can be read:

Chrissie’s blog

The Kilted Pieman’s blog

Dawn’s blog

More pics

Oh, and another last thing: the punctured NeoAir.

It was pure coincidence that last week, my mate John B from Bramhall, who’s currently walking LeJoG, phoned me with a SitRep and to report a similarly punctured NeoAir and consequent cold bum.

He tried to repair it with the repair kit supplied by Thermarest but it just didn’t do the job. He ended up using E6000 glue. Two applications were used: the first one to actually seal the puncture, the second as a reinforcement.

That was over two weeks ago and the repair has held, certainly up to a couple of days ago.

I didn’t have any E6000 to hand but I nipped over to Go Outdoors and bought a tune of SeamGrip

This stuff is recommended for all sorts of repairs – including puncturedsleeping mats.


Two layers of the stuff on my NeoAir seems to have done the trick – although I’ll be carrying the tube of SeamGrip with me on the Challenge – just in case.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Monday 12th January 2015, more Dales Way

A bit late in posting: more Dales Way:

Bowness to Burneside

An early morning start from Timperley to drive up to Lancaster to meet Bella and Stuart who were to drive us up to Windermere for the start of the day’s walk.

Bella managed to find a suitable on-street (free!) parking spot for Stuart’s Tardis – and we were off. Uphill.

imageSome bloke in a Velez, stroking Bella. Rick in ecstatic mood.

Although the day was dry the ground was more than a little moist…it was ever so slightly totally waterlogged in many places. All the places actually – apart from most of the tarmac bits.

imageRick demonstrates his uncanny ‘keeping his feet dry’ ability image

Like I said, it was ever so slightly waterlogged.

The walk wasn’t at all strenuous, I think we only ascended around 1100’ over the entire day’s walk. There were some significant bits of tarmac on the route, this is something I’d normally avoid. Given the extreme sogginess of the ground I was quite happy to get some tarmac miles in, Especially as my waterproof Goretex boots were leaking like a sieve.

imageA tree…..I think 

At the end of the walk my feet weren’t exactly soaking wet, well not COMPLETELY soaking wet, but they were a tad damp. I was a bit pleased to see the sign for Burneside railway station, it was our ticket to get back to the Tardis parked up in Bowness. The train whisked us back to Bowness in double quick time.


As can be seen from the map below, the route wasn’t particularly challenging, Apart from that bit to the south of Staveley. But I won’t mention that again.

Where we went (West to East):


It should have been 10 miles but we ended up doing nearer 11. This was mainly because we decided to explore the barren fields and farmland to the south of Staveley. I’d love to be able to tell you how much we relished the diversion. But I won’t.

Having got ourselves back to Bowness we headed back to Lancaster to pick up Rick’s car. But we were once again diverted, this time to the Watermill at Ings. The Collie Wobbles was (were?) excellent. As always.

Another pleasant day out – in excellent company too. Not much not to like. I’d like some waterproof boots though.

Rick and I got back to Timperley at a fairly sensible hour, certainly early enough for me to get showered and fed before heading out to Morris practice. But I decided an evening in front of the TV and the woodburner was a more attractive proposition. And so it was.

Friday, 12 December 2014

2nd December, Even more Dales Way

Bolton Abbey to Otley Chevin

I drove over to Rick’s at the unearthly hour of stupid o’clock in the morning in a fairly successful attempt at beating the worst of the rush hour traffic. I transferred to Rick’s rather more luxurious motor for the journey to darkest Yorkshire – it was his turn to drive. Bella, Stuart and Peter met us at Otley Chevin and they all piled into Rick’s car for the drive to Bolton Abbey.

image Bolton Abbey, where we finished last time….and today’s start

It was a wee bit fresh, although not too cold to deter other walkers – obviously Tuesdays are walking days around these parts. We headed off south on the west bank of the River Wharfe – first stop Ilkley. We were moving at a fair pace, I needed to be back in Timperley for 6.30pm and we had a fair distance to cover.

Lunch was taken at the start / finish of the Dales Way, on the outskirts of Ilkley.



Scones, butties and hot drinks were demolished in double quick time. A rare one-legged heron waiting for lunch to arrive:


After lunch we turned away from the River Wharfe to walk through the centre of Ilkley to gain the heady heights of Ilkley Moor. We were now off the Dales Way proper and on one of the Dales Way link routes partially shared with the Ebor Way. This one goes as far as Leeds – but not today.


The Moody Cow:


I’ll say nowt, it’ll only be wrong.

image Up to Ilkley Moor – without our hats

Looking at the 1:25k OS map it’s clear that this moorland area has a lot of history, there are loads of ancient cairns, cup and ring marked stones shown. I’ll be back to explore the area when time is less pressing, if nothing else it will make an interesting navigational exercise.

We followed a footpath around the edge of the moor rather than across the moor itself, quinciquontly we had interesting views to the north east.

image A radar station, visible to the NE of Ilkley Moor


Cow & Calf rocks

Leaving the moor by Burley Woodhead, our next target was Menston. Light was failing and it was getting cold. We still had plenty of time to get back to Timperley for 6.30pm but we didn’t have time to waste. Paths and lanes were good and easy to follow which made for fast progress. I felt a bit mean pushing the party on, we weren’t even going to manage a pint after this leg of the route.

image Sunset from Beacon Hill, a couple of miles east of Menston

We arrived back at Bella’s Tardis of a Jeep in the dark. When sheep and traffic allowed, we sped back to Bolton Abbey and Rick’s car. We were still okay for time – provided there were no hold-ups on the journey home.

A long hold up around Skipton followed by a virtually closed M66 buggered up the plan big time. A mega multi-vehicle shunt meant that the traffic was going nowhere fast. Hours later we got back…and I got it in the neck.

Oh well, at least it didn’t rain.

Where we jolly-well went:


According to WalkLakes mapping my excellent Garmin Etrex20 GPS we did:

Length: 15.4 miles  24.8 km

Ascent: +539m  -464m

Start: 2014-12-02 10:21:02 GMT

End: 2014-12-02 16:45:10 GMT

A great day out….just a shame about the collateral damage,

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

17th November, A bit more Dales Way

Bridges and Bodgers from Grassington to Bolton Abbey

I collected Rick at the unearthly hour of 7.20am (the 7.20am in the morning) for the drive up to the Yorkshire Dales and the arranged meeting with Bella, Stuart and Peter. It’s a long drive to do such a short walk but it’s an attractive route, we don’t race along, and we enjoy each others company = a lovely day out.

Leaving Bella’s Jeep at Bolton Abbey, 5 walkers squoze into my much smaller car for the drive to Grassington and the start of the day’s walk. Observant readers will notice that we’re doing this route in easy stages (VERY easy stages!) and that we’re walking North to South rather than t’other way around….nor are we walking West to East.

image Off we jolly-well go

The first few miles was on the eastern side of the River Wharfe. The river was a bit full, rain had been raining quite heavily:

image The Wharfe, just outside Grassington




Crossing the suspension bridge over the Wharfe at Hebden


Lunch stop No1, Loup Scar


17th Century bridge at Burnsall


Barden Bridge

A mile or so south of Barden Bridge, the river suddenly narrows quite dramatically at The Strid. The broad and relatively slow flowing River Wharfe is forced through a narrow rocky ravine resulting in a maelstrom of churning, choppy waters. If you fall in it’s unlikely that you’d survive.

image The Strid

Right in the middle of Strid Wood we happened upon this bodger’s workshop:

imageNobody at home 


The bodger’s handiwork

The path climbed away from the river to give us a nice view of Bolton Abbey:



imageThe final river crossing of the day and we were given a choice – footbridge or stepping stones. Guess which way we crossed?

imageTwo sheep 

image A tree

A lovely day out in great company…..and scones and flapjacks. And a beer before heading for home.

This is what we did (sort of):


17.5km, with 286m of up and 364m of down.