For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Friday, 2 November 2018

Elaine's Tearooms and Smearsett Scar

Wednesday, 31st. October 2018 - Feizor, Nr. Settle.

On 17th October 2007 (pre blog) I was mopping up the last few of the trig points on OS Sheet 98. One of these was Smearsett Scar (SD 802 677.) I've just looked back at my journal. I must first of all register my current antipathy to blood-sports. Here is an extract from that day.

"I set off from the farm at the end of the road in Little Stainforth and had a chat with the farmer who let me park there. Conversation lead to me mentioning that my father had been secretary of the Airedale Beagles for twenty five years. The farmer told me they used to come onto his land, and they said they were there to "exercise the hares."

Smearsett Scar turned out to be a jewel of a mini mountain on that glorious October day similar to today's ascent. Despite  preferring to seek new places to visit rather than repeating previous trips there are a few that I have a special feeling for meriting  re-visits.  Smearsett is a qualifier. My next visit was serendipitous, that is, it not being the main aim, but fortuitously turning out to be within ten minutes from the route of the Dales High Way which I backpacked in April 2010, and enjoyably made that small diversion, again in fine weather. From the Scar trig the Dales HW passes through the pretty village of Feizor, and since my original visit a café had opened there and gained a reputation for good food with people fully booking tables at weekends, but unfortunately it was closed. I have always had it in mind  to go back and walk a circuit including the Scar with a visit to the café halfway round, and so it was today.

The café was open with a friendly welcome, a bacon butty and a pot of tea, and it lives up to its reputation.

Smearsett Scar was ascended with pleasure on the return leg, this time from the  north.

Limestone country, the old lanes, leading to green cropped turf - my favourite country - the Yorkshire Dales - scene of so many esrly adventures in my fomative years - all nostalgia.
Next photo looking back down the same lane. 

I seem to be getting paranoid about gates.
There may be more to come in the next couple of posts.
I think this one is competing for the Turner Prize.


The now quite famous Elaine's Tearooms at Feizor


On Smearsett Scar ridge.
 The summit is behind the camera.
 Feizor nestles down below the hump at the end of the ridge

Smearsett Scar and Pen-y-Ghent ( a change from Ingleborough which seems to be photographed so often from locations near and far)


  1. I applaud your strict observance of walker's etiquette in the pic captioned Crossing Bethecar Moor. The red line, presumably indicating progress, comes to a halt some few metres before the camera as if at this point you'd ascended a beam of intense light to be with the angels and archangels. Then I realised the real reason was more mundane. The tiny detour - for photography - didn't count towards the decimal-place measurements you record from A to B. Walkers, hag-ridden by Crowhurst's notorious example, know they mustn't cheat; would be booed as they entered Elaine's Tearooms if they did.

  2. I must disappoint you - the red line is only approximate. If we had ascended, which you suggest as a remote possibility, the post would not have been written. When I have devised a walking route myself there are no rules about sticking to it - in my mind I have the freedom to modify wherever I want. The best long distance walks I have done have been those where I created the route myself. Going back to your comment, if I am walking THE PENNINE WAY or THE SEVERN WAY for example my conscience tells me I must stick to it if I am going to say I have walked it afterwards. My Land's End John 'o Groats walk was of my own making using bits and pieces of established LDPS in amongst my own plotting. Walking the GR10, an established French route traversing the Pyrenees was a bit different. I reckon I stuck to the route there, but I would have been satisfied just to get from Atlantic to Mediterranean following the spirit of the route - it often has to be modified anyway for landslips and floods.Measuring distance can be a matter of ego boosting snd boasting, but it is something you need to be able to assimilate into your planning around time available snd other constraints such as public transport timetables.

    I don't think any of the staff in Elaine's had any thoughts whatsoever of walking ethics - they were giddy young girls more concerned with mobile phones and a pair of eccentric tights one of them was westing.

    That Crowhurst story has hugely fascinated me, partly because of its enigmatic qualities, and partly because of its sheer scale and intricacy. I wonder if anybody else has ever done anything similar in other disciplines?

  3. The red line is not only approximate, it's fictitious. Give me credit. I'm thunderstruck that you imagine the ascent I mention might be a possibility if only remote, but what makes you so certain that angels and archangels don't have access to the internet?

    Not the staff at Elaine's, other walkers. Any more of that "giddy young girls" talk and I'll assume you've started reading The Daily Telegraph. Antagonised of Arnside, another fulmination.

  4. Smearseat Scar is high on my list of places to visit. Coincidentally, an old friend was extolling the virtues of Elaine's Cafe when I saw her recently.