Thursday 23 April 2015. It was misty on the drive to Farndale today and, as we were in no hurry, we stopped off for morning coffee/tea & bacon sandwiches/toasted teacakes in Hutton-le-Hole. After a look around the village craft shops it was almost 11:45 and the weather had improved considerably with blue skies and sunshine as we set off for a 7.4 mile walk with 1,400ft of ascent.
Farndale is famous for its wild daffodils but we were a week or two too late to see them at their best. The River Dove runs through the middle of the dale and it should, perhaps, have been called Dovedale instead of Farndale. The name has Brittonic Celtic origins and means dark river.
Our walk headed north from Lowna up the eastern and more wooded side of the valley. Our first rest stop was taken just before Ewecote Farm looking across to Harland Moor which we would cross later in the walk. A steady descent took us down to Low Mill in the valley bottom before a steep 600ft climb up onto the ridge of Harland Moor. This western side of the valley is in stark contrast to the eastern side being almost entirely covered by heather and providing a home for grouse. From here we could see across to the Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge where I stayed when doing my Coast-to-Coast walk almost 4 years ago.
A mile and a half of moorland walking took us to the road up the western side of the valley which we crossed to make our way down to Dale End Bridge and then to retrace our steps back to the car.