Last week my walking buddy and I had our last practise walk, ready for our big challenge which starts tomorrow, walking the Cleveland Way as far as Whitby. We’ve been walking sections of the Lady Anne Way as practises, not necessarily in order, and this time we walked from Grassington to Kettlewell.
There’s several routes between these two villages, a couple of years ago we followed the Dales Way route which goes along the edge of the tops with amazing panoramic views up and down Wharfedale. This route is slightly higher it doesn’t have quite the same amazing views but it’s a great walk with no road walking except in the actual villages, always a bonus!
We drove to Kettlewell, parked the car and took the bus back to Grassington. It’s only about a two hourly bus service, so this way once we finished the walk we could jump straight into the car and set off home. As we parked, three gypsy caravans parked up too, it was Appleby Horse Fair last weekend so in the weeks running up to it there are always lots of horse drawn carriages on the road as they make their way up to Appleby. They’re lovely to look at but there’s always trouble at the horse fair!
Back in Grassington we made our way up through the village and quite quickly made good height onto the moors. We were pleased as we’re obviously a lot fitter than we were at the beginning of the year! The paths were good which does make progress a lot easier.
On the whole these long distance paths that we walk are well sign-posted. The little yellow roundel has the symbol for the Lady Anne’s Way on it, we like these stickers!
The lambs up here are still fairly young, they lamb later to give them a better chance against bad weather. These are a hardy moorland breed called herdwicks (I think!)
Although we didn’t have the views up and down Wharfedale that the lower path has, we had some amazing long distance views, this is classic limestone country…
Most of the paths and tracks up here have been here for centuries, this drovers road is called Bycliffe Road
As we started to descend along a grassy path the undulations of the fields in front fascinated me, accentuated by the patchwork of stone walls. We had a great talk at my WI last night from a lady dry stone waller, she was a wonderful lady, full of enthusiasm for dry stone walls, she had been all over the world building walls, each area has their own style. She explained that walls are twice as thick at the bottom as they are at the top to give them some stability, they are basically two walls joined every yard with a long stone across. There’s dry stone walling courses in Otley – I’m tempted!
I think the grassy path above is Coniston Turf Road. The next photo brings back lots of memories. The farmhouse you can just see below the horizon is called Hag Dyke. It’s owned by the Scout Association. When I was 13 years old I stayed there for a week with school. It is a one mile walk up the hill from Kettlewell to get there, there’s no proper road, in those days it was lit with gas mantles and it’s reputedly haunted by three monks. We were sleeping on bunk beds in dorms and on the first night we were so scared we pushed two together and slept five on the top and five on the bottom! I went back with a Rotaract group in my twenties but by then there was a generator fitted for power, it had definitely lost some of it’s atmosphere and quirkiness!
The path down into Kettlewell followed the contours gently down, which made for a very winding track…
The blossom here is quite a bit behind everywhere else as it’s that much colder
This is the final descent into Kettlewell by Parkrash. Parkrash is the start of an amazing road which goes over the tops from Kettlewell to Horshouse and Melmerby in Coverdale, if you like driving on winding country lanes I can highly recommend it!
Kettlewell is a very pretty village, much bigger than it looks if you stick to the main road and just drive over the bridge between the two pubs. We had a lovely walk, it was nice to do another route out of Grassington – I think we counted four or five routes we’ve walked in and out of Grassington, three of them up and over the moors. I think altogether we walked about 9 miles and still had a bit of energy at the end, so it’s looking good for our 10-12 mile days next week.