Monthly Archives: April 2013

Kirkby Lonsdale Review

Sunday 21 April. This is my last post from what has been a most enjoyable holiday based in Kirkby Lonsdale. There has been some rain and at times strong winds but I’ve still managed to walk on twelve consecutive days totalling almost 89 miles with over 15,000ft of ascent. Each walk had its merits but for me, the day in the Howgills was perhaps the best as it gave a sense of adventure and was certainly a challenge.

I think that the “4 Ladies” enjoyed their walk and well done Josephine for walking on each day of her holiday. There were so many new born lambs in the fields and there was only one picture in mind to add to this post.

The following table is a statistical summary of each walk.

09-Apr Ings to Kentmere 10.00 1430
10-Apr Howgills 6.20 2540
11-Apr Hutton Roof Crags 5.75 1000
12-Apr Kirkby Lonsdale/Ingleton Falls 6.50 1200
13-Apr Sedbergh & Garsdale 7.75 960
14-Apr Norber Erratics 7.50 1400
15-Apr River Lune 8.75 650
16-Apr Stainforth & Feozor 7.10 1170
17-Apr Casterton 6.20 650
18-Apr Settle 8.00 1700
19-Apr Leck 7.50 1360
20-Apr 3 Way Wander 7.40 1050
88.65 15110

A 3 Way Wander

Saturday 20 April. The “4 ladies” have gone home so I was able to make a 08:45 start to this 7.4 mile walk with 1,050ft of ascent. I parked near the Gearstones outdoor activities centre on the B6255 between Ingleton and Hawes. From here I could see the Ribblehead viaduct and all of the “Yorkshire 3 Peaks” which were to remain visible for much of the walk.

My first “Way” was the Ribble Way which I followed for a few squelchy miles across and expanse of open boggy moorland to near High Birkwith. It was here that I picked up my second “Way”, The Pennine Way where I also briefly encountered the hoards of “Yorkshire 3 Peakers”. It was like driving the wrong way down a motorway. They had been over Pen-y-ghent, with Whernside and Ingleborough lying in wait for them as well as another 15 miles or so of walking. Those that I chatted to had set off from Horton-in-Ribblesdale at 06:30 and had already been walking for around 4 hours.

As the 3 Peakers headed off west, The Pennine Way took me north and towards some welcome solitude. This was a remarkably well engineered track with a rocky base – a welcome change to the bogs that I’d encountered earlier.

A few more miles and the Pennine Way took me to the 3rd and final “Way” of my walk, The Dales Way, which I followed back to the B6255 and my car. The weather was perhaps the best of the holiday but I managed to get out for 12 days consecutive walking and only encountered a couple of showers along the way.

Leck

Friday 19 April. Just me plus two for today’s 7.5 mile walk with 1,360ft of ascent starting from Leck. The wind had dropped to a light breeze making this walk all the more enjoyable. We followed the course of Leck Beck to Ease Kirk Gill where, miraculously, the stream ran dry and must have gone underground as often happens in this limestone country.

From here we made the turn for home by beating our way through heather on open moorland without any definitive path. Eventually we came to a broken wall near Big Meanie Pot where we had lunch in the sunshine. We then visited a number of other pot holes as well as Rumbling Hole. Each of them seemed to have a tree growing out of their caverns. From our viewpoint at lunch we could see Heysham powerstation (18 miles away), Morecambe Bay and further north, the Coniston fells.

The last leg of the walk was 2½ miles down the road back to Leck.

Settle

Thursday 18 April. Wow, what a night! The forecast was for gusts of 65mph and for once they weren’t wrong. At 9:30pm on Wednesday night there was a very real danger of the wind ripping my caravan awning to bits. The ground pegs holding it in place had pulled out and it was flapping about like a sail. There was no other option but to get out there and take it down before any serious damage was done. I took it down as quickly as I could and stuffed it on the back seat of the car overnight until the storm had subsided and I could see what I was doing in the clear light of day. The winds howled all night and needless to say, I got very little sleep.

Back to the walking. Today’s walk was 8 miles with 1,700ft of ascent starting from Settle. There was an incredibly steep climb out of the town before we dropped down to the pretty village of Langcliffe. A narrow country lane then led us to the side of Stainforth Scar where another steep climb was to follow.

A short diversion to Catrigg Force provided a fantastic spot for lunch. The heavy overnight rain meant that there was a good flow of water making a spectacular sight and, being in a steep sided cutting, it also provided a welcome respite from the still strong winds.

Much of the remainder of our route was in a southerly direction and straight into the teeth of a gale. Added to more climbs, this made the walking all the more difficult but nevertheless, still enjoyable in superb limestone country.

Casterton

Wednesday 17 April. The overnight weather forecast for today wasn’t very promising so we hadn’t planned a walk. Heavy early morning rain gave way to clearing skies and the Met Office didn’t predict rain again until about 3pm. So I gave the ladies a call to see if anyone wanted to come out to play. Amanda took the day off but the 3 remaining ladies joined me for a 6.2 mile walk with 650ft of ascent starting directly from my caravan.

The fields are full of lambs right now and we came across quite a few that had been fitted with plastic weatherproof jackets. Our route took us up onto the nearby fellside before dropping down towards Casterton. Walking down a narrow country lane we came across a small lamb which had somehow escaped from its field and had become trapped between a wire fence and the roadside hedgerow. We couldn’t see a way to help it from the roadside and there wasn’t a nearby farm marked on the map to report the problem. We just hoped that the farmer would spot it when he/she came out to check their flock.

Stainforth & Feizor

Tuesday 16 April. A later start today as the plan was to have lunch at Elaine’s café in Feizor which was just a couple of miles into the walk. Setting off from Stainforth on the 7.1 mile walk with 1,170ft of ascent we dropped down to cross the River Ribble before climbing steeply to just below Smearsett Scar. We abandoned any thoughts of climbing to the Trig Point as the wind was near gale force and Josephine was having trouble staying on her feet even at our relatively lower level.

Elaine’s proved a welcome shelter from the wind as we enjoyed a leisurely lunch. From here we made a steady climb to walk along Giggleswick Scar. There were great views to be had of the surrounding countryside and we could see as far as Pendle Hill, 15 miles away.

We then made our way down towards the west bank of the River Ribble which we followed upstream to Stainforth Force and back to the car.

River Lune

Monday 15 April. It was bright but very breezy today as I was joined by the full compliment of “4 ladies” for and 8¾ mile walk with 650ft of ascent. Most of this was in a single climb to a trig point (400ft) on Sellet Bank that we could have avoided had I been paying more attention to the map and route finding.

Setting off from my caravan site we toured Kirkby Lonsdale before heading off across the fields and a stream bed which brought us to the village of Whittington. Another mile or so brought us to the banks of the River Lune which we then followed upstream for 2½ miles back to the Devil’s Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale and my caravan a ¼ mile or so further on.