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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Dales Way - Last few miles to Bowness-on-Windermere

Tuesday 16th August 2016

NB - title says "last few miles", but I still have one unwalked section left - from the start at Ilkley following the river Wharfe to Bolton Bridge, just over five miles.


My eyes detect something huge and red in my peripheral vision as I approach Levens again (you may remember it was at Levens a couple of days ago when I decided to return home to retrieve my forgotten camera).  Levens is starting to haunt me.

I react and look left. There is a massive Virgin, red, hot-air ballon perched on the rim of a bright green field a few hundred yards off the road. I do an unpremeditated u-turn and park in a lay-by opposite and get a quick photo, and then a zoom to the basket of people. After a few moments the balloon falls over on its side, still fully inflated, and lies horizontally on the field horizon, and a surprisingly large number of occupants start clambering out. All quite a bonus start, along with the bright sunny weather for this penultimate Dales Way fill-in campaign.

A muddy pull-off on the B5284 overshadowed by large trees and all gloomy provided parking fifty yards from the minor road heading off south to start my walk. After ten minutes down that road I remembered I had packed my boots, day walking rucksack with valuable contents, my Tom Tom satnav and various other items in preparation for my departure to Scotland on Thursday. Normally I don't leave valuables in the car, but today I couldn't help worrying, and envisaging the return to a scenario of broken glass and arguments and frustration with my insurance company. As the walk progressed with the ever changing scenery, old lanes, close cropped footpaths, ancient stiles,and little tarns and streams in this delightful, hummocky, fringe of the Lake District those thoughts were dissipated.

My own devised route took me on a sweep to the south of the B5284 heading east, to rejoin that road at The Howe. From there the climb  through fields and several farms to get back to the point on the Dales Way where I left it last time was fairly hard going, and although there were footpath signs careful navigation was required entailing many stops to look at the map (on my iPhone), and to climb  stiles. At the house of Boxtree I took a wide berth of half a dozen young bullocks resulting in me missing an insignificant gate in a hedge accessing a narrow footpath round the perimeter of Boxtree's garden, and I spent a lot of time finding this essential link to cross a mini wooded ravine next to the house - that footpath was the only way trough barring barbed wire fences and shredded clothing.

The Dales Way continued, always living up to my previous praises, and the distant Lake District hills came into view.

I met a group of six Duke of Edinburgh Gold expeditioners sheltering under the shade of trees. They were full of good cheer with much better organised rucksacks and smarter appearance than the Bronze debutantes one often meets. It is always good to see these youngsters (almost young men in this case) getting this experience whatever stage they are at.

Further on I met a couple with an English Setter dog and we had quite a long conversation. They found my blog on their mobile, but I hope they will look at it in its proper version later on a laptop or pc - mobile phones produce their own format for blogs and other websites which horribly downgrades the appearance.

I haven't a guide for this walk but the path marked on the map ends where the Taramc into Bowness begins so I descended a steep rocky path for a couple of hundred yards to the Tarmac, took a photo, then re-ascended to pick up my return route to the car. As I approached the B5284 I could hear non-stop traffic whizzing by, and this  B road was unreasonably and puzzlingly heavy with traffic even allowing for its function as a secondary route into the Lake Distrrict. The car was thankfully intact.

Please click on first photo to see enlarged slideshow

I saw no bull.
 I'm a bit concerned about that grey patch above the gate, but it doesn't seem to occur on other photos

Old water tanks, rusted right through - for my Relics folder

On the climb from the B5284 back up to the Dales Way
 Scruffy farm contrasted with the pleasant scenery

I know people from abroad view this blog so this and next two give a feel for scenery that fellow UK viewers will be familiar with

Distant Lake District fells

First glimpse of Lake windermere - big zoom

Windermere, above Bowness, looking north



Specially for Alan R after his comment:

Alan - does this help?


Alan Rayner said...

Some lovely shots there and you almost hid that Ford 7000 in the scruffy farm yard. (I think thats what it is anyway).

Sir Hugh said...

Alan R - new photo added to help your identification

Fool on the hills said...

I don't often comment on blogs unlike your other reader (Alan) but as we are also half way through the Dales Way (4 sections this year so far) I am following with interest. We did the first half as one long walk staying in B & Bs but will be using a mix of Trains,buses and cars for the last sections as day walks either from home in Yorkshire or from Ambleside in spring.The first section is interesting from Ilkley and there is some free car parking available near the Old Bridge at the start.

We are also getting closer to the completion of the Outlying Fells .We went up the horror that is Staveley Fell last weekend and have the scratches to prove it from all the forestry trash.

Sir Hugh said...

Foll on the hills - Thanks for your comment - the more the merrier. Yes, Staveley Fell was one of the tougher ones in the Outlying, but the whole exercise was very rewarding.

Good luck with these two projects. By the way I also come from W. Yorkshire (Bradford) originally but left there about 1980 and have no ties there any more. -living in Arnside now.

You are always welcome to comment and I almost always reply. I'm off to Torridon tomorrow with the caravan, so blogging may be difficult with sparse wifi connections etc, but I will manage to post as often as possible I hope.

Ruth Livingstone said...

Ah, the curse of hidden gates/stiles. I walked all around an enormous (and boring) field yesterday looking for the way out!
Re the Virgin balloon: our children bought us a ride a couple of years ago, for Xmas present. Frustratingly the weather has to be perfect and our booked flights have been always cancelled 😣 But we have another attempt coming up in a few weeks. Fingers crossed.

afootinthehills said...

I can identify with you worrying about valuables left in a parked vehicle Conrad. With a motorcaravan there is no option but to leave lots of valuables and when we initially changed from caravans, I worried throughout the day on the hill. Now after twenty years I'm desensitised.

Enjoy Torridon and those magnificent peaks.