Thursday 16 April 2015. The weather continues to be overcast and only 9c with a chilly wind. My walk today was 7.3 miles with 750ft of ascent. Starting from the Tatton Sykes Monument I walked in an almost straight line for the best part of 3 miles before turning north to the remains of the medieval village of Cottam. There were a few ups and downs to break what was a monotonous part of the route.

The main purpose of the walk was to take in one of the many “dales” that cut through this part of the Yorkshire Wolds.  Cottam Well Dale is a typically steep-sided flat-bottomed valley of glacial origin which supports an upside-down form of farming with sheep being grazed in the valleys and arable crops being grown on the tops of the hills.

I only saw 3 people during the whole of this walk. 2 ladies who were walking in the opposite direction to me through Cottam Well Dale and a fell runner almost at the end of the dale. I stopped to have a chat with him as he was running repeatedly up and down the same section of steep hillside. He told me that he was in training for the 61 mile Fellsman race and that he would be going up and down this section of hillside for about 90 minutes. He expected that the Fellsman would take him about 13 hours to complete. He told me that he would soon be classified as a “super-veteran” when he turns 60 in a couple of years. He was also the record holder for the 55 mile Hardmoors race. An interesting guy with more dedication than me to put in the training needed to finish such marathon distance races.

Cottam walk route


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