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.