"A Walk on the Moors" - John's Pennine Way Ramble, Day 5 - July 5th 2000, Lothersdale to Malham
|Day||Date||Start||Finish||Approx. Miles||Hours Taken||Accommodation|
|5||Wed. 5th July||Lothersdale||Malham||16||6||B&B - Beck Hall, Malham, BD23 4DJ, Tel. 01729 830332|
Click on any picture to go to a larger version. to go to the full set of Pennine Way photographs for this day.
Set off from Lothersdale at about 09:00 in the company of Harry, Elaine and, for the first time, Peter the Hungry (Rather than Dutch Peter - see later) who was carrying about the biggest pack I've seen. It turned out that his previous night's B&B in Lothersdale was an aberration and that he was camping (almost ) every night. When he showed us the midge bites from Globe Farm from a couple of nights previous I was glad that we wimped out and B&B'd ourselves.
The weather was fair but rather murky and this was another of the Way legs that I'd done on one of my practice walks so I was well prepared for quite an easy day. The Way goes uphill at first, leaving Lothersdale by the side of the Hare and Hounds pub where we'd had a good meal the night before.
From the first uphill we crossed onto Elslack Moor and up to Pinhaw Beacon (388 m). The moorland here is different from the oozing bogs of Black Hill and Bleaklow Hill with sandy paths and heather, altogether quite easy walking and no big climbs.
After crossing and following a road for a short while we crossed fields, went through a farm and along a tarmaced road to the outskirts of Thornton-in Craven. I'm sure this is a smashing place to visit but I've still to see anything but Cam Lane which is where the Way leaves it!
There was a short and gentle climb over more fields to Langber Hill and a descent to the banks of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The Way follows the canal for a short while, leaves it and then crosses it again at Gargrave. It was pleasant to saunter along the towpath, watching the ducks and holiday canal boats but I was surprised to see the otherwise clean looking water covered with a film of oil, presumably from the vessels' diesel engines.
One of the bridges we passed was a strange double decked affair, carrying the A59 across the canal. None of us could figure out why it had been built that way. After leaving the canal we walked through farmland again and the going continued to be very easy. We reached the village of Gargrave where I met Noelene and had a welcome chip butty and cup of tea in a café, outside which was a sign with the distances to Edale and Kirk Yetholm. It seemed such a depressingly long way to go that I didn't note them down.
After Gargrave the Way follows roads for a while and crosses the Leeds and Liverpool Canal again. I tried to figure out why the Way doesn't just follow the canal to this point but I suppose that the Countryside Agency have their reasons.
Harry and Elaine are never ones to stop while walking other than for an occasional mouthful of water and a nibble as they go. Peter just seemed to stop and eat at every opportunity. They went on while I stopped at Gargrave. So I eventually continued on my own, over pasture land and to the banks of the River Aire. The Way was to follow this beautiful little river northwards almost all the way into Malham.
Once on the banks of the Aire the going is completely flat and the grass closely cropped by sheep and cattle. This was the most photogenic part of the Way so far and I took quite a few pictures as I passed by first Aireton and then Hanlith. Here the Way turned away from the river for a while and there was a steep uphill climb which I had forgotten about from my practice walk.
Just past Hanlith the spectacular limestone scenery of Malham - the Cove and Gordale Scar, comes into view and that was a treat to appreciate better later. Just before Malham I caught up with the other three and we moseyed on into town together, arriving at about 15:30. I stopped to photograph the delightful little bridge in the middle of the village when a very friendly old guy let us into his front garden for a better view. What a lovely fellow.
I met Noelene at our abode for the night, Beck Hall B&B, where we'd been give a real "Olde Worlde" room complete with intricate wooden four poster bed! Later we visited Gordale Scar, which, no matter how many times I visit, never fails to impress. After that and the usual very welcome shower we headed for the bright lights of town, a pint of Black Sheep Bitter (very tasty) in the Buck Inn and good, but a little pricey, grub in the Listers Arms.
The walk from Lothersdale is a real treat, especially in good weather. The going is easy on the feet, legs and to the eyes. There are some beautiful views and the walks along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the River Aire are very special. The distance is moderate (~16 miles) and it doesn't take long to do, even with a lunchtime stop in Gargrave. If you leave Lothersdale in good time you'll have plenty of opportunity to see some of the delights of Malham such as Janet's Fosse and Gordale Scar. All in all an excellent day.
Black Sheep Bitter
Brontë Bitter (Goose Eye Brewery)
to go to Day 6, to go back to the itinerary or to return to the starting page.