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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Dalesway in parts (2)

Tuesday 31st May 2016

I am filling in the gaps of the Dalesway, an LDP running 87 miles from Ilkley to Windermere. I have encountered various sections of this route over the years which has convinced me that it must be one of the best LDPs in the country, and I have decided to fill in the gaps with circular day walks.  My last post introduced this campaign.

Reasons for my rating are several. Most of the route is on ancient established footpaths and tracks, rarely crossing cultivated fields, and having a welcome goal from the outset of following the River Wharfe to its pseudo source. Wharfedale is predominately limestone country and the Dalesway passes through many of the best parts, often crossing wild and remote areas largely unaltered. Many of the small villages fire the imagination with the old farm houses and buildings going back to the 1600s. Although a lot of the walk is through wild country, for someone wishing to backpack, camping and accommodation is plentiful all the way. Scenery changes all the time and there are endless points of interest along the way. Today's walk supported all this, and I make no apologies  for including a larger number of photos than usual.


There was no water running into this refreshment trough and the chained plastic mug was not encouraging 

Oughtershaw Chapel
Unusual architecture for the Yorkshire Dales. Below info from the Internet:

This building was originally a school and chapel. It was built in 1856 probably by John Ruskin for Charles Woodd, in memory of his wife Lydia Wilson Woodd. The building post-dates the publication of Ruskin's "The Stones of Venice" (1851 and 53). Ruskin made frequent visits to the north of England in the later 1850s and was acquainted with the Woodd family of Oughtershaw Hall. The family archives include letters from Ruskin regarding the school. 

On the way to Nethergill

Oughtershaw Beck. This joins Greenfield Back at Beckermonds where I started this walk and the ongoing river becomes the Wharfe, so the latter does not have a source by definition.

Nethergill. At this point I was desperate for the loo. It was only about 8:45am. There was a sign at the end of this farm advertising drinks etc. but I didn't think it would be open, but I entered and found a modern room lavishly equipped as a field centre with toilets and DIY  refreshment facilities. This is a privately developed facility in conjunction with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust CLICK FOR DETAILS

What chance of finding a loo in the middle of nowhere when you need one eh?

Swarthghyll farm on the distant hillside. They have bunkhouse accommodation

Swarthghyll farmhouse

Looking back down the Dalesway. Beckermonds where I started is back round the corner of the hill coming in from the right

Meeting of The Pennine Way, The Pennine Bridleway and the Dalesway.
Shortly after this I left the Dalesway to complete my circular route.

Ling Gill Bridge
"Carries the Pennine Way over Ling Gill, just upstream from a deep ravine created by the aforesaid watercourse. The inscription on the north wall refers to its repair in 1765 at the charge of the West Riding.
Built of gritstone from the bed of Cam Beck - this marks the transition from limestone country to peat moorland for those following the National Trail."     Geograph SD 8078

Calf Holes. A well known pot-hole - nb the water disappearing down a vertical shaft

Looking down the shaft

Identifications please. The yellow looks more like a cultivated plant than wild?

Start finish - Beckermonds right centre - anti-clockwise - 13 miles. Ignore broad pink route


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful walk. And The Dalesway is another LDP to add to a list of walks to do after I've finished my coastal trek.

Sir Hugh said...

coastalwalker - Yes, one of the best walks I've done for a while - much less frequented than the joining section back down to Buckden that I did a few days ago.

The ideal arrangement for your project would be a compatible companion following you with a mortorhome.

Anonymous said...

Lovely walking Conrad, the weather looked superb. Coincidentally I was out with my cousin with whom I had backpacked the Dales Way in the 80's. We set off from Ilkley as a threesome but by the first night at Grassington the third man [not Orson Wells] had retired injured. I think we had gone too far with heavy loads. Whilst out at Skipton we came across the Dales High Way path which looks equally interesting.

Globe Flower - Trollius europaeus.
Birds Eye Primrose - Primula farinosa.
Both are fairly rare except for our Northern regions.

gimmer said...

Those moors and dales do indeed bring back youthful memories - not quite such a favourite area for me as of you but that upper upper stretch of Wharfedale was a delight and made me feel almost back in the Westmorland valleys of my childhood - it was the 'next best thing' . Must try the Dalesway myself - when, I wonder
I like the longer text you favour these days - the uber-concise versions of earlier days lost that magic of the fine detail that brings a walk and area to life. And make no apologies for the many images - a walk like that deserves the maximum !

Sir Hugh said...

BC - Have re[lied re Dales High Way on your blog. I did it in 2010. Excellent route - highly recommended.
Gimmer - There is obviously something intangible and subjective attached to each person's appreciation of particular landscapes over and above the landscape's own obvious beauty or drama. I have tried to convey my own intangibles in these last two posts and you obviously have your own relating to your Westmorland territory.