"A Walk on the Moors" - John's Pennine Way Ramble, Day 7 - July 7th 2000, Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Hawes
|Day||Date||Start||Finish||Approx. Miles||Hours Taken||Accommodation|
|7||Fri. 7th July||Horton-in-Ribblesdale||Hawes||13.75||5.5||B&B - Carol Ellis, South View Guest House, Gayle Lane, Hawes, DL8 3RW, Tel. 01969 667447|
Click on any picture to go to a larger version. to go to the full set of Pennine Way photographs for this day.
The Crown Hotel at Horton-in-Ribblesdale is actually on the Way so when I left there at 09:10 on the seventh day of the walk I was immediately "putting the miles in". The weather was glorious and sunny, but no too hot - just about perfect conditions for walking and I gave the sheep the benefit of my well shaped, but rather white, legs for the second time!
It was great to be able to see and photograph the views that I had missed due to poor visibility on the previous day. Pen-y-Ghent rose majestically to the east with the other two of the Three Peaks ahead and to the west. There was a short climb along a track to some potholes, (Sell Gill Holes) where I stopped and had a peer into the dank murkiness. How people can enjoy cavorting around in those things I'll never understand. It was an amazing sight, however, to see a stream babbling merrily along and then just disappearing down a hole, presumably never to be seen again (except by some crazy potholer).
The countryside around here is littered with limestone boulders of all sizes but the going was easy and, after crossing onto softer ground, I met Harry and Elaine at a track near Old Ing Farm. They'd taken a different route up to there so don't qualify for their official Pennine Way finishers badges! Peter had dumped his tent and other gear with our, by now communal, sherpa service (Noelene) but had then gone back to the Pen-y-Ghent café for breakfast and, laden down with all that food, we didn't see him until Hawes later that afternoon.
We continued along a rather stony track and came to the so-called hidden valley of Ling Gill, a very unusual nature reserve with restricted access and in which dinosaurs still roam. Shortly after, the Way crosses Ling Gill Bridge , a very sturdy stone structure with a faded inscription to say the it had been repaired in 1765 "at the charge of the whole of West Ryeding". But across the stream was a rather more recent memorial stone to a walker who had died in 1990 and, I guess, whose ashes had been scattered at that beautiful and rather unusual place. It was all rather poignant and, not for the first time on this walk, it actually brought a tear to the eye of this hard hearted fella!
We continued to climb and met the Dales Way at Cam End, on the edge of Cam Fell. According to Tony Hopkins' book (and who am I to disbelieve him?) the track here was once used by wool traders who named it Cam High Road. Unfortunately, parts of it look as if it's still used by vehicles, but mammoth b****y 4 x 4s rather than by horses and carts. In places the path was being seriously eroded and in others just about completely worn away with deep wheel tracks. What on earth are the Countryside Agency doing, allowing this to happen! Later, as if to emphasise the problem, two motorbikes passed us (complete with riders!).
The Dales Way departed to the east and we continued along an old packhorse route called West Cam Road. Here we saw people paragliding or parasailing, you know, jumping off hills with parachutes and then finding the thermals to stay seemingly motionless for what seems to be an age. Very skillful and peaceful it looked too and the fliers ability to elegantly and precisely control their parachutes made me think just how crude our merely plodding one foot in front of the other was.
Earlier we'd been buzzed by an old single seater, piston engined aircraft. I reckoned it was a WWII Hurricane and it continued to fly around all afternoon. At one stage Harry believed it to be an American plane but we eventually agreed that Yanks wouldn't have been allowed to enter Yorkshire airspace so ex-RAF it was!
We continued to skirt the edge of Dodd Fell with an absolutely beautiful valley to the east, leading to Wensleydale. We took the downhill path onto a small road and then over several grassy meadows marked "hay fields, single file please" into the village of Gayle with some very pretty (and expensive looking) stone houses before passing through a very up-market council estate (there's nowt like that in Bolton!) to the South View Guest house, our abode for the night and right on the Way. I arrived there at 14:30. That left plenty of time for Noelene and I to have tea and scones (how very English!) at one of the small cafés on the main street, to have a good look around the town and to visit the well stocked outdoor shop.
South View is a wonderful guest house run by Carol Ellis and family. We had an excellent room with a four poster bed and enormous breakfast the next day. What more could a man ask for? I'll tell you what - a decent curry! And would you believe that, the week before our arrival, and probably in anticipation of our coming, the India Garden Tandoori, with authentic Bradford cuisine, had opened up on the main street. What with a very warming (for two days after!) Madras and a couple of pints of Black Sheep Boot Loosener from one of the nearby pubs, I went to bed a very happy and contented walker.
Day seven was great for a number of reasons. First it was the beginning of my second week of walking and the half way point was now not far away. Then, the weather was great, the going not too hard, the scenery wonderful , the accommodation amongst the best so far and the food, beer and companionship finished off a just about perfect day. Hawes is a smashing little place to visit, even if you're not walking, and that we arrived there on market day made it even better.
Black Sheep Boot Loosener (bitter)
to go to Day 8, to go back to the itinerary or to return to the starting page.