Wednesday 18 July 2018. I decided to do a walk above Malham Tarn today. The road to Malham from Gargrave is narrow in parts but is used by hundreds of visitors each day and is negotiable with care. The road out of the village, up the side of Malham Cove is something else and is nothing short of terrifying. It is single track, very steep, enclosed by stone walls, has blind bends and is not for the feint-hearted. I was committed as there is no escape route and was relieved that I didn’t meet anything coming the other way.
I parked to the north-west of Malham Tarn and, after a short road walk, I picked up the route of the Pennine Way. I’d walked this section before when climbing Fountains Fell. I broke away from the Pennine Way to follow a quiet road which eventually leads to Arncliffe. There were a few cars using this road, I assume on a scenic drive. I followed it for a little over a mile, as far as Darnbrook where I then headed off into the countryside. Crossing Cowside Beck, I now had a 500ft climb up to the top of Middle House Hill. It was noon when I got to the top so I re-gathered my equilibrium whilst having lunch.
It was more or less all downhill from here as I skirted Back Pasture Hill and followed Monk’s Road to the shore of Malham Tarn. I had been walking for about 3 hours without seeing anyone else. The rest of the walk was on metalled roads through the grounds of the Malham Field Centre back to the car. Just as I was taking off my boots, a local farmer came along the road on his quad-bike followed by a flock of freshly shorn sheep. Quite a sight. My walk was 7 miles with 1,000ft of ascent.
Above Malham Tarn – walk route
Tuesday 17 July 2018. The drought well and truly ended in the Yorkshire Dales last night, if only for a couple of hours. The rain was torrential with cloud cover so thick that it blocked out the satellite signal meaning that I couldn’t watch TV for a short while. The weather forecast for the remainder of my holiday is for it to be dry although sunshine was in short supply today.
I decided to revisit a walk that I’ve done a few times before. It was one of the first walks that I did after getting hooked on walking and only now have I realised that I hadn’t actually been up Trollers Gill. The path that I had been using was a little further to the west of Middle Hill. I only became aware of this mistake after watching this video by Plodders Lost and today’s walk follows his route.
Getting to the start at Appletreewick was “interesting” as I had to negotiate some very narrow country lanes. Needless to say, I came back a different way. The route quickly took me down to the River Wharfe for a lovely riverside walk. I then headed uphill to Howgill before descending again to Middle Skyreholme, near Parcevall Hall, where I stopped for coffee.
Skirting around the grounds of Parcevall Hall I headed towards the foot of Trollers Gill, a limestone gorge similar to Trow Gill near Ingleton and Gordale Scar. In wetter times there is a stream running down the gorge but it was dry today although it did make an appearance towards the top. The remainder of the walk was straightforward although there was a steep descent of about 300ft at the end. The walk was a little over 6 miles with a total ascent of 900ft.
Trollers Gill – walk route
Sunday 15 July 2018. Just Frances and me for today’s walk. I had planned 8 miles around Ufford but, given the extreme heat and the fact that there were just 2 of us, I changed this to a shorter and more manageable 4.5 miles around Castor Hanglands. I hadn’t done this route before but had sketched it out as a shorter hot weather alternative.
We set off along a farm track stopping at the church just outside Upton for coffee. After a tour of the village we then headed towards Castor Hanglands in search of shade. Taking advantage of a cooler breezy spot we stopped, briefly, in the woods for lunch. Castor Hanglands is a boggy place to avoid in the winter months but today the footpaths were baked hard. We were soon back at the cars, just a little after mid-day which meant that I would be home in plenty of time for the football world cup final.
Castor Hanglands – walk route
Sunday 8 July 2018. There were 8 Fenland Ramblers plus Lisa from Thetford on this 8-mile walk led by Karen. Starting from the Lynford Stag car park, on the edge of Thetford Forest, we made our way along woodland tracks to pass close to Lynford Hall.
Our lunch stop was in the shade of trees on the outskirts of Munford, just outside West Hall. The path from here to near the sewage works was rough and meandering; in stark contrast to the wide open and seemingly never-ending forest rides that we followed a little later on to get back to the car. It had been a very warm day but, oddly, I was the only one to take advantage of buying an ice-cream from the van parked close to our cars.
Lynford – walk route
Sunday 1 July 2018. I’m heading home tomorrow after 3 weeks in Keswick. As I haven’t done much for the last few days, I thought that I should take advantage of the great weather without taking on a really challenging walk. My objective for the day was the minor summit of Castlehead Wood which I last visited in August 2012 with Karen, Bea & Terry.
In order to avoid the mid-day heat, I left my caravan at 9:15am heading for the Derwentwater cruise boat landing stages and then through Cockshot Wood for the short sharp climb to the viewpoint at the top of Castlehead Wood. This provides most rewarding views across the lake to Cat Bells and the fells as far as Red Pike on the other side of Buttermere. I sat there for quite a while, drinking in the views, before descending back to the Borrowdale Road.
My return was along the shore of the lake to pick up my outward route once again at the boat landing stages. It was only a 4 mile walk with 430ft of ascent but it gave me great memories to take away with me tomorrow.
Castlehead Wood – walk route
Thursday 28 June 2018. This heat wave is becoming ridiculous, making walking a near impossibility. The temperature in Keswick hit 29c, vindicating my decision to take a day off. I decided to make an early start today and hit the trail from Stonethwaite at 8:30am. It was still incredibly hot, even at that early hour, but I’d planned a short walk.
I was retracing some of my steps on the Coast-to-Coast route as I headed alongside Stonethwaite Beck, stopping at Smithymire Island after only 1.25 miles for coffee and to take a few pictures. From here I headed a short way into Langstrath with the intention of turning round about a mile later. I soon came to a footbridge over Langstrath Beck and the decision was made to cut this short walk even shorter.
I was soon back at the car having walked just 2.5 miles with 300ft of ascent. I returned to the caravan to seek what shade I could find to get out of the burning sun. Any shade that there was to be had soon disappeared as the sun rose higher in the sky and I had to retreat inside the caravan. This resembled a sauna with the temperature hitting 37c by mid-afternoon. I’m rapidly melting into a sweaty blob and long for cooler weather. There is none forecast until next week so I doubt that I’ll be doing much more walking.
Stonethwaite – walk route