Sunday 20 May 2018. Amanda & Josephine have joined me for the week and given a choice of walks, they opted for Middleham. I was pleased that they did as this small town is the northern racehorse training equivalent of Newmarket and might provide an opportunity to see some racehorses being exercised. To be fair, as we didn’t start until 11am, this was a little bit too late as they are normally on the gallops soon after dawn. There were a few horses being slowly ridden through town and 5 more up on the gallops.
Our walk took us steadily but inexorably uphill to the top of the Low Moor gallops where we stopped at the trig point (775ft) for coffee. We had great views across Wensleydale to Leyburn and beyond. Skylarks were springing up all around us and there were Lapwings and Curlews. From here we made our way down through the stables at Tupgill Park. The Forbidden Corner was busy with tourists and we soon passed by to follow the road to Coverham. There was more uphill as we made our way to Pinker’s Pond. It has an attractive name but wasn’t much more than a small lake with minimal scenic value.
We moved on to Hullo Bridge, over the River Cover, where we stopped at a conveniently placed bench for a late lunch. Looking at the map, I thought that we would be able to walk beside the river for a short stretch but the path soon left the river behind heralding another uphill climb. This didn’t last too long and as we crested William’s Hill we were greeted with the welcome sight of Middleham Castle. There seemed to be more up than down on this 6.35 mile walk but as we started and finished from the same point, this couldn’t be true. The total ascent was 760ft – it seemed more.