Semer Water

Monday 21 May 2018. Karen joined us today for a walk before going on to holiday with her daughter and granddaughter. She chose what seemed to be an easy but local walk at Semer Water. We started out along the southern shore of the lake at a leisurely pace stopping after less than a mile for our coffee break. The climb up to Stalling Busk would have added unnecessary ascent to what was to become a challenging walk. Cutting this out proved to be a wise decision.

Our route along the valley floor came to an abrupt end at Marsett as we started to climb steeply up Marsett Cow Pasture towards Cam High Road. Thankfully, our route stopped just short of the top of the hill as we had already climbed over 700ft in just under a mile. Very much in need of a rest we stopped at the highest point of the walk for lunch. From the shore of Semer Water we had seen some hang-gliders taking of from the hill-top and now they were flying just above our heads.

The walk down was superb reward for the effort expended in getting to the top and we had great views over Semer Water towards Addlebrough hill. Although the walk was only 4.75 miles, it had a total ascent of 992ft.

Semer Water – walk route




Sunday 20 May 2018. Amanda & Josephine have joined me for the week and given a choice of walks, they opted for Middleham. I was pleased that they did as this small town is the northern racehorse training equivalent of Newmarket and might provide an opportunity to see some racehorses being exercised. To be fair, as we didn’t start until 11am, this was a little bit too late as they are normally on the gallops soon after dawn. There were a few horses being slowly ridden through town and 5 more up on the gallops.

Our walk took us steadily but inexorably uphill to the top of the Low Moor gallops where we stopped at the trig point (775ft) for coffee. We had great views across Wensleydale to Leyburn and beyond. Skylarks were springing up all around us and there were Lapwings and Curlews. From here we made our way down through the stables at Tupgill Park. The Forbidden Corner was busy with tourists and we soon passed by to follow the road to Coverham. There was more uphill as we made our way to Pinker’s Pond. It has an attractive name but wasn’t much more than a small lake with minimal scenic value.

We moved on to Hullo Bridge, over the River Cover, where we stopped at a conveniently placed bench for a late lunch. Looking at the map, I thought that we would be able to walk beside the river for a short stretch but the path soon left the river behind heralding another uphill climb. This didn’t last too long and as we crested William’s Hill we were greeted with the welcome sight of Middleham Castle. There seemed to be more up than down on this 6.35 mile walk but as we started and finished from the same point, this couldn’t be true. The total ascent was 760ft – it seemed more.

Middleham – walk route


Sedbusk & Hardraw

Saturday 19 May 2018. I wanted to be back in time for the royal wedding (not!) so it was just a quick walk from the caravan today. I crossed the fields on the way to Sedbusk and followed with a quiet road walk to Hardaw where I sat beside the river for a coffee stop.

The return leg was equally familiar as I made my way downhill back to Hawes and my caravan. The walk was only 3.25 miles with a total ascent of 280ft.

Sedbusk & Hardraw – walk route


River Eden

Friday 18 May 2018. Today I returned to the start/finish point of my walk on Wild Boar Fell. I already had today’s walk in mind but I wanted to see what the field path was like compared to my finishing “road walk” on Tuesday. I have to say that the road was much the easier and given my relative state of exhaustion/dehydration on Tuesday. It was probably a wise choice. The field path ran from south to north along the Mallerstang valley which carries the infant River Eden. The source is on Black Fell Moss and feeds into Hell Gill Beck. This cascades over Hellgill Force which is shown below. This is wonderfully picturesque and even had its own rainbow at the bottom of the falls.

Leaving the falls behind, my field path rose to a height of about 1,200ft before dropping to cross the River Eden at The Thrang. My return leg, running from north to south, followed the route of the Pennine Bridleway with a steady climb of about 500ft up to the “Water Cut” sculpture. This is the first of 10 benchmark sculptures along the course of the River Eden. Towards the end of the walk I followed Hell Gill Beck back down to the road and my car.

The walk was 7.6 miles with a total ascent of 960ft.

River Eden – walk route


Helwith Bridge

Thursday 17 May 2018. The weather yesterday morning wasn’t great as a cold front moved through so I decided to have a rest from walking. Instead, I visited the Wensleydale Creamery for a spot of cheese tasting. There was a real variety of Wensleydale cheeses but I opted for a very tasty mature cheddar with Black Sheep Riggwelter Ale. There isn’t much left!

For today’s walk I decided to revisit an area that I walked in last March. This time I started from Helwith Bridge and walked up the side of Dry Rigg Quarry. This accounted for the majority of the day’s climbing with the section up to the top of Moughton Nab being particularly steep. Once on top, it levelled out as I made my way across pathless terrain of rough grassland and limestone pavement. I stopped for lunch at the top of Moughton Scars which was the turning point for my walk last March. I had only walked 3.25 miles but it had taken me nearly 3 hours as the terrain was so tough.

The rest of the walk was easy in comparison as I was soon following the 3 Peaks route down into Horton in Ribblesdale. I called in to the cafe for 2nd lunch (bacon sandwich and a pint mug of tea). The last two miles back to Helwith Bridge followed the course of the Ribble Way. The walk was 7.6 miles with a total ascent of 950ft.

Helwith Bridge – walk route


Wild Boar Fell

Tuesday 15 May 2018. What a cracking walk to start my holiday in Hawes. I drove just across the county border into Cumbria for today’s walk up Wild Boar Fell. Starting from a small parking area at Cotegill Bridge, a short section of road walking brought me to the foot of Swarth Fell. A steady climb of over 1,000ft took me to the top with a few stops along the way. It was worth the effort as I could see Pen-y-ghent and Ingleborough to the south. To the north I could see as far as Cross Fell; the highest point on the Pennines. To the west were the Howgills and a hazy view into the Lake District. To the east was Great Shunner Fell, a hill that I did on the Herriot Way. A few ups and downs took me to the section along The Band for lunch at HighWhite Scar cairns.

Wild Boar Fell trig point was just a quarter of a mile or so away and a diversion from the fell edge path had to be made to tick off one more of the 30 Yorkshire Dales hills over 2,000ft. Returning to the fell edge path I stopped briefly at The Nab. This marked the start of the descent on the Pennine Bridleway to the valley floor some 1,400ft below. I had now consumed my 2 litres of water and was feeling a little hot and bothered. My plan to walk back to the car through the fields was abandoned in favour of almost 2 miles of road walking. This wasn’t very enjoyable but was the easiest and quickest option to quench my thirst on water stored in the boot of my car. The walk was 8.75 miles with 1,767ft of ascent.

I think that I’ll do something a little easier tomorrow.

Wild Boar Fell – walk route



Twelve of us met at Beachamwell for Josephine’s 6 mile walk.
It was overcast, but not raining, and stayed dry throughout the walk.
It was a lovely walk, on quiet lanes, bridleways and field paths.
Lunch was taken at the remote and unusual St. Botolph’s Church in Shingham, although it is no longer in use.
We walked around looking for the main door, but all we could find was a small door on the side.
From there it was a pretty woodland walk back to the cars.
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