Friday 6 March 2015. I used the bus again today but in the opposite direction to take me into Grassington for the start of this 10.8 mile walk with almost 1,700ft of ascent. Add in the walk down to the bus stop and this made it a total of 11 miles today; the longest walk that I’ve done for some time and my energy reserves were running low by the time that I reached Linton with 2 miles still to go.
The first 3 mile leg of the walk from Grassington to Burnsall was easy as it was on the level following the course of the River Wharfe. At about the 2 mile mark the route crossed over the river on a very bouncy and swaying suspension bridge. I was looking forward to a cup of tea and something to eat in the cafe at Burnsall but it hasn’t opened yet for the summer season. Luckily the kiosk in the car park was open and I was able to get a mug of coffee and a bacon sandwich. This was needed as the next section of the walk involved a climb of over 1,000ft up to Burnsall & Thorpe Fell. I could have taken an easier low level route to Thorpe but it I would have encountered numerous stiles and gates to cross the many small fields on this side of the valley.
I wasn’t in a hurry and decided to set myself the challenge of navigating across the fell. This wasn’t particularly difficult as I’d been up here before but on my previous visit I had come from the opposite direction and had some problems finding the feint path through the heather. This time, I took a slightly different route following a wall up the fell and then a line of grouse butts to bring me on to a more well defined track providing access for shooting parties. They can’t have been very good shots as there were Grouse springing up all around me. The path off the fell and down into Thorpe wasn’t very easy to find and I was glad that I had GPS to show me the way.
Thorpe is a very small village hidden away in the folds of the hills and I had to climb one of these on my way across to Linton. By now, I’d walked 9 miles and couldn’t resist the lure of the Fountaine Inn for a pint and a bag of crisps to give me the energy for the last 2 miles back to the caravan. It had been breezy on the tops but in the valleys it felt more like spring today.
It was good to finish the holiday on a high although my legs are aching now. I managed 6 walks over 7 days with a total of 45 miles and over 7,000ft of ascent. The standout walks must be those from Hebden and Kettlewell in the snow.