Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dales High Way again

On a lighter note.......

In a frantic effort to use my last few days leave (use it or lose it!), 2 weeks ago  I spent another 3 days in the Yorkshire Dales basing my routes again on the Dales High Way and the excellent associated handbook

Learning from my last visit, I went straight to Skipton and parked at the train station. I wanted to get as close to Ingleborough as possible giving me the possibility of getting as far as, and over, the Howgills the next day. I therefore followed the High Way as previously towards Malham.

I had thought of going from Malham to Horton-in-Ribblesdale via Pen-y-Ghent but decided to stay on the High Way and continued on to Settle. With the longer day, I was able to press on to Stainforth and then decided to go to Horton via the Ribble Way. 

I arrived at the Crown Inn just before it started getting dark where I had a most enjoyable meal and good night's sleep. A pleasing 27.5 miles in lovely conditions - sun, and fresh snow.

In the morning, early breakfast was available, so I was able to leave just after 7:00. It was a frosty, crisp and clear morning, and I made good time on to the summit of Ingleborough. The last section was very icy and I was pleased to have my Kahtoohla microspikes with me.  

Due to severe ice, I took the safer route along the ridge over Park Fell then down through Chapel-le-Dale, and onto Whernside

I reached Dent just after 13:00, and had a very pleasant bowl of home made soup followed by some cake at Stoneclose tearooms.

Looking at my maps, accommodation options and available daylight , I decided I could get to Sedbergh, over the Howgills and on to Ravenstonedale. Once out of Dent, I rang Jenny who researched accomodation and booked a room at The Black Swan.

Having had lovely sunny skies all day, it began to cloud over as I reached Sedbergh. The main purpose of getting to the Howgills today was to actually see the view so I began to feel it just wasn't to be. I began to feel very tired as I climbed up out of Sedbergh but soon felt better after some emergency chocolate! As I reached the summit at The Calf, the skies cleared and I was treated to the most wonderful late afternoon sun and then a glorious sunset as I descended towards Newbiggin-on-Lune and onto Ravenstonedale.

After a superb day and just over 37 miles, I arrived at The Black Swan in the last few rays of sunlight. And what a lovely choice of accommodation it was - welcoming host, a superb dinner and a really comfortable room. They also provided me with a breakfast tray for the morning which consisted of cereal, juice, croissant, Danish pastry and juice for my early getaway. Highly recommended.

The next day, I again set off just after 07:00. My plan was to follow the low-level detour of the Dales High Way back to Sedbergh and Dent, then pick up the Dalesway to reach Buckden or Kettlewell. In was a lovely cold but sunny morning again. The forecast was for increasing cloud and possible snow showers in the late afternoon.

The route to Sedbergh was very pleasant and I stopped at Stone close tearooms again for some mid-morning cake and coffee. Or was it 2 pieces of cake!

The Dalesway from Dent then followed several miles of tarmac which was very disappointing. It was also beginning to cloud over rapidly, and as I reached Denthead viaduct it began to snow heavily.

Over Blea Moor I was met by blizzard conditions and it started to get decidedly unpleasant. I was also feeling tired and I quickly made the sensible decision to bail out to Ribblehead and get a train back to Skipton. This was my last major training before the MdS so I didn't want to completely butcher myself! 

When I reached Ribblehead, I had covered 26+ miles, so I was really pleased with 3 consecutive marathon distance days.

I am really enjoying discovering the Yorkshire Dales. My mini-adventures are all great fun but it's always nice to get home to my Jenny!


Chris Grogan said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Richard

I'm really loving following your adventures on the Dales High Way and I'm glad you found the Route Guide book useful.

You might like to have a look at the Six Peaks Trail. It's 48 miles over 6 peaks and I think it's your sort of terrain. You can see it at www.dalesrailtrails.co.uk

Chris Grogan

Richard Lendon said... [Reply to comment]

It's a great route in lovely surroundings and the guide book is definitely one of the best I've come across - so thanks to you, Chris!
I'll check out the Six Peaks Trail after I've been to Morocco for the MdS :)

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