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Monday, 8 August 2011

Saturday 30th July 2011 Newbiggin-on-Lune to Appleby-in-Westmorland

Weather:  Sunny and warm
Distance:  12.7 miles

Our second to last cooked breakfast of the trip at Tranna Hill and it was a good 'un despite the cooker breaking down half way through cooking it  (Well done Brenda).  We met Pal and Joy from Hull this morning who were also staying at the B&B.  We had a good chat with them and then we were off by 9:30 on the last day of our splendid journey.  We walked out of the village in the glorious sunshine which was to stay with us all day and headed for Ravenstonedale Moor.  This brought memories back for me and Mrs C as we have both walked the Coast to Coast walk.  We met some Coast to Coasters striding manfully along the trail.  I wanted to stop them and tell them how good The Dales Highway was and they must do it next but I managed to restrain myself.  Both feet were now in a world of pain from the heel down but I was still ignoring the agony and soldiering on, well, hobbling on.  We skirted Great Kinmond and crossed the limestone pavement to the cairn to check out the panoramic views  and they were excellent - Orton Fells, Lakeland Fells and the Pennines all in glorious technicolour.  Then it was down the fields to Great Asby.  On the way we spotted a hare racing across the field ahead of us and  we also met some cows....but survived the encounters.  Getting good at this now.  Great Asby was very quiet but we saw the local grass cutters (goats) and the pub called The Three Greyhounds was open so we called in for lunch and it was just what we needed to see us through the rest of the day.   After lunch we followed Hoff Beck along the river banks through meadows filled with more cows.  We had a brief rest at Rutter Mill which had a ford through which two cars drove whilst we were resting.  Luckily they drove through slowly so we didn't get a soaking.  Before long we could see Appleby Castle in the distance and we knew the walk was almost over.  We sat under a tree and had a drink before setting off on the final mile of the journey.  Whilst we sat and mulled over the trip we said there should be a brass band waiting for us in town and bunting hanging from the lampposts.  Well, when we arrived in town the bunting was out and musicians and entertainers were preparing for a festival due to take place that evening - result!  We found the B&B Bongate House, had a shower and went off into town to see the fun and find some dinner.  The show was great - roaming entertainers, jugglers, magicians, puppets, stilt walkers, musicians.  There must have been 700 people in town to see the spectacle which was organised by Lakes Alive.  We watched a pair of comedians for a while and then went in search of food.  We found a Tapas Bar and enjoyed a platter of tasty morsels washed down with champagne.  A stylish and memorable way to mark the end of our epic trip.

 Sunday 31st July 2011
It was time to go home and we were travelling on the Settle to Carlisle Railway. We arrived at Appleby station in plenty of time so we chatted to the gardener who turned out to be the chairman of the committee which runs the station.  We also talked to the chap with the buffet trolly and he shared some of his stories about the railway line.  The train arrived on time and we were off - homeward bound.  The weather had closed in so the views were not so good but we could still see all the places we had been.  We met our fellow guests from  Tranna Hill B&B - Paul and Joy - and we had a good old chat with them about our walk and their plans for the rest of their holiday.  Too soon we were pulling in to Leeds station and catching our connections.

This has been a most splendid experience.   The Dales High Way is a fantastic walk.  93 miles of magnificent dales, becks, rivers, fells, towns, villages, animals, birds, flowers, butterflies and geology.  Most of all the people we have met with their hospitality and friendliness- B&B owners, pub landlords, shopkeepers, other walkers and the locals  have all made this a special walk.    Of course, I must mention the tea - every brew we had was a refreshing and delightful treat.  All hale the tea!
A sign hung on the wall of The Three Greyhounds Pub in Great Asby.

A final mention to Mrs C, my walking companion - it was a pleasure to share this trip with her.  I'd still be stuck up on Ingleborough or a quivering wreck in the corner of a field near Hoff surrounded by cows without her...

Friday 29th July 2011 Sedbergh to Newbiggin-on-Lune

Weather:  Sunny and warm with some cloud
Distance:  10.9 miles

Excellent night's sleep and a tasty breakfast with homemade marmalade and jam, local honey and freshly squeezed orange juice - delicious.  We needed stuff for lunch so we called into a cafe I visited last time on The Dales Way.  The cafe had only just opened and the lady was slightly frazzled but she made us lovely cobs to take away and also flapjacks.  We were on our way by 9:20am.  It was an immediate steep climb out of Sedbergh and on to the fells.  A tough but pretty walk by a deep gill with the sound of water tumbling over rocks.  We spotted a fellrunner on his way up the same route - keen and fit.  The guidebook had commented we needed to be careful with our navigation up on the Howgills so we kept a close eye on the map and instructions.  The fellrunner proved to be the last person we saw until we arrive in Newbiggin. 10.9 miles of glorious peace and solitude with no stiles, gates, electricity pylons or daytrippers.  Just us and the wonderful magical fells (I'd been looking forward to this all week).  Once we left the gill  and started heading north for the ridge walk the path was broad and grassy.  It was an up and down path and steep in places.  The views opened up and we could see Pen-y-ghent, Ingloborough and Whernside behind us.  They remind me of Yorkshire ladies of a certain age - big and matronly who are scary to approach but, under a fierce exterior, they are beautiful to behold and full of hidden charms and delights. 

The Howgill Fells are incredible - the most intense, awe-inspiring walking I have done.  This is not because they are scary or extremely hard but because they are so beautiful and remote.  I've spent years admiring them from the M6 wishing I could walk amongst them and now here I was and, for the first section, I could see the M6 looking like  an n-gauge model below us.  We rounded a bend and there was the range of fells opening out head of us.  Folds of land, like folds of velvet Mrs C commented, nestling into the landscape and decorated with tiny spots of white.  The sheep on the fells are very intrepid.  The steep sides of the fells are lined with sheep paths and the sheep were scattered about, sure-footed and grazing on the juicy grass.  The highest fell we climbed was The Calf (676m).  From there we could see the Pennines ahead of us with the three peaks still very much in view behind us.  We could see our path ahead snaking over the fells.  To the left was Langdale Beck and to the right was Bowderdale Beck with grains and gills running into them.  The becks flowed down the ravines in a serpentine fashion with the sunshine glinting on the water and the fell sides folded down into the bottom of the gills.  We reached the top of Hazelgill Knot and stopped for lunch in the next dip looking back the way we had come.  We lunched in isolated splendour and after we'd eaten we lay back with heads resting on rucksacks and viewed the fells which now surrounded us.  We basked like two seals in the warm sunshine and gentle breeze.  An hour later we continued the walk but reluctant to leave such an inspiring, magnificent place.

I was on the look out for fell ponies but we didn't see any.  The next fell we were heading for was West Fell (542m).  Here we had even better views of the Pennines in the distance and the wide valley below us.  We started heading down to Bowderdale.  The guide book had promised us a good spot for a break by the beck and a bridge and it was an excellent spot.  We sat under a shady tree, dangled our feet in the cold, refreshing water and had a snack before the final mile to Newbiggin and our B&B.  We passed through the hamlet of Wath and were greeted by a pack of hounds barking at us (safely behind a gate) and the largest, most gorgeous chickens.  Five of them were pecking around the lane and followed us for a short while and then called after us.  The lane was quiet and soon we were reaching the bright lights and civilisation of Newbiggin.  The first house we came to had the most beautiful garden with a mini Howgill Fells in it!  The owners were out gardening and we chatted for a while - one of the fells even had a trig point.  They made their Howgills from the soil and builders rubble dug out for the house improvements.  We arrived at our B&B Tranna Hill at 5:00pm - tired. hot but very, very content after an excellent days walking.  Our kind host, Brenda, drove us to a pub in Ravenstonedale as there isn't a pub in Newbiggin.  Fish and chips went down very well.  A day to remember.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Thursday 28th July 2011 Chapel-le-Dale to Sedbergh

Weather:  Sunny and warm to start then overcast with a very slight drizzle in the evening on the walk home from the pub
Distance:  14.7 miles

This was going to be our longest and toughest day so we had a heartier breakfast than usual at the excellent Old Hill Inn..  We were out the door by 9:10am after chatting to our host over breakfast.  We set off in glorious sunshine along the road to St Leonard's church where the navvies and their families who died during the building of the railway were buried.  It is a beautiful tiny church.  Then it was up a steep lane past a pot hole where the sculpture by Charles L'anson was hurled by some disgruntled soul  and then we saw the actual sculpture back in it's rightful position after it was rescued and restored.   At Bruntscar we had the chance to consider once more if we really wanted to ascend Whernside.  We decided to do it - the weather was perfect and it was so close - it would be crazy not to....

It took  1 1/2 hours to reach the highest peak in Yorkshire (736m) and it was a hard slog as the sun was very warm and let's just say we were glowing by the time we got there.  It was worth the effort as we had fantastic views of Ingleborough, Ribblehead viaduct and all the surrounding fells.  We sat for a while by the trig point until midges drove us on.  Then it was a long, gradual descent down easy paths into Dentdale via the Craven Way which was an old drovers route.  This was followed by a walk along the River Dee which kept disappearing underground (This was part of the Dales Way route).  We stopped for lunch in a field which seemed to be cow free until we came to pack up and a herd of cows appeared at the other end of the field!  We made a sharp exit.  Not long after we arrived in beautiful Dent and had tea and cake - very nice. 

We were soon off again and out the village with some more walking by the river until we left it and headed uphill.  It was a very steep lane which went through a scruffy farm yard with broken down gates followed by a green lane between stone walls.  There was barbed wire and rubbish strewn across the path.  To top it all just as we reached the gate and stile that seemed to mark the boundary of the farm there was a rotting dead sheep - nice touch.

We walked by a gill and were now heading down hill towards Sedbergh.  We were getting tired by this stage and my feet were hurting.  We walked past a house with two peacocks on the roof - you don't see that type of thing everyday!  We finally arrived in Sedbergh at 6:00pm.  Wheelwright Cottage B&B was just the same as when I did the Dales Way in 2006.  Suzy still runs the place and she does a cracking breakfast.  We had dinner at The Dalesman and we were tucked up in bed by 9:30pm.  V tired but v pleased to have conquered two big hills in two days.  Good night Vienna.

Wednesday 27th July 2011 Stainforth to Chapel-le-Dale

Weather:  Overcast, warm with no wind (very still)
Distance:  11.6 miles

Great night's sleep in very comfortable beds.  Breakfast was fine - black pudding, poached eggs and mushrooms - mmmm.  We were off by 9:00am.  We walked back over Stainforth Bridge and didn't see anyone enjoying the beauty spot this early in the morning.  The route led us through a small dry valley by Smearset Scar which had lots of lovely limestone all around and it was very quiet.  We didn't see a soul all morning.  The main guide book mentioned a tea room at the hamlet of Feizor and it was open when we got there at 10:00am.  Of course we had to indulge ourselves at this super refreshment opportunity so tea and tea cake for me and hot chocolate for Mrs C (even though it was less than 2 hours since breakfast).(Elaine's Tea Rooms)  Feizor was full of marvellous stone cottages and barns.

Back on the trail and it was a green lane to Wharf - another perfect little hamlet.  We skirted round the hamlet via a path between two stone walls lined with wild raspberries.  At one point the path went through someone's front garden.  The owners were gardening and we said "Hello" as we trotted by.  Now there was a great opportunity for serving refreshments to passing walkers we thought.  We continued along the stone lined path and suddenly the sound of strimmers up ahead attracted our attention on this quiet day. Round the next bend we came across two National Park Rangers wrestling with the bracken which was very overgrown - we thanked them for their hard work.

The trail reached Wash Dub Field with a stone bridge and a beautiful beck - a perfect spot for a break and a chance to dangle the feet in the refreshing water - ahhhh! We continued our journey passing the farm at Crummock and we were climbing steadily. We could see Ingleborough looming before us and it was getting closer and larger and more daunting.  We passed through limestone pavements and pot holes.  By the time we reached Simon Fell we were on the final stage of the assent.  There were more people around now - the most we had seen for the whole walk so far.  The climb was getting steeper but the legs were doing fine.  We were buzzed by the rescue helicopter which did a couple of circuits of the Fell then we were on the rocky staircase to the summit.  It was very steep and hard work.  We gained the summit  (724m) and we were amazed - no wind, a huge flat top, lots of people and the most fantastic views.  We did a circuit and could see Morecombe Bay, Ribblehead Viaduct and Whernside.  We took photos and had a sit down and enjoyed our triumphant climb.  Then it was time for the descent.  Oh - it was tough.  Very steep and very rocky.  It was like stepping off the edge of the world.  Just when I thought we were over the worst of it we reached a point where it was almost a vertical drop with rough, very rough, steps set into the hillside.  I thought I was going to freeze.  Only Mrs C's reassurance and the promise of champagne got me down.  With relief we reached the bottom and it was a trudge along paving stones and boards over the very boggy, extremely eroded path down to Chapel-le-Dale.  Interestingly, on the way down we passed a couple on their way up.  He was dressed, as a walkers do, in boots, etc. but she looked like she was off shopping down Ilkley high street - big sunglasses, brilliant white tee-shirt, harem pants and sparkling clean, new trainers.  I felt very scruffy, dishevelled and sweaty as I trudged past them and caught a whiff of perfume and cleanliness radiating off them.  I'm sure she would be feeling the same once she was coming down again...

We arrived at the The Old Hill Inn  at 5:30pm but when we got to the door it said 'closed until 6:30pm'.  Luckily a party of gentlemen were just letting themselves in for pre dinner drinks and they let us in - even pouring us a drink whilst they got their own - how civilised.  Room was great - super view and beds very comfortable.  Delicious dinner and then bed - knackered!

After the outstanding success of our conquest of Ingleborough - we decided we would do Whernside during the next stage. Huzzah!

Tuesday 26th July 2011 Malham to Stainforth

Weather:  Overcast to start, sunny and warm for rest of day
Distance:  10.3 miles

We didn't get much sleep last night due to noisy fellow roommates.  One, in particular, spent the night tossing and turning in her rickety, squeaky bunk bed...I shall now draw a veil over our youth hostel experience...
We were up early, breakfasted and on our way by 8:25am.  A good start to the day as we walked up to Malham Cove which Mrs C hadn't seen before and again she was very impressed.  As we were early we had the place to ourselves and it was magical - the flowing beck tumbling over the rocks, a kingfisher flashing by, rabbits hopping about and the sound of the peregrine falcons.  We also saw some ducklings, swifts, meadow pipits, a robin, a green woodpecker and a dipper.  We climbed the stone steps to the left of the cove which was hard work but the views were splendid.  At the top we swung right by the limestone pavement and joined the trail again.  We now followed the path through Watlowes which is a dry limestone valley.  This was amazing.  We were surrounded by limestone rising up on both sides and growing everywhere were the most beautiful plants such as Maidenhair Fern, Dogs Mercury, Harebells, Wild Thyme and Cranesbill.  We also saw birds including Wheatears and Meadow Pipits.  At first glance the valley looks barren but once you tune in and look more closely it is teaming with wonderful nature. Marvellous.

Next we were heading for Kirkby Fell via Langscar and Nappa Cross.  The path here is part of the Pennine Bridleway which is a national trail so it is well signposted and maintained.  We had to walk past some Highland Cattle.  I was nervous but Mrs C led the way again.  It was steady climbing to Kirkby Fell and then the path dropped down until we reached the Attimire Caves and Attimire Scar which are geological delights.  There were huge limestone cliffs and crags with caves.  Oh - and there were more Highland Cows and they seemed quite sweet although to be on the safe side I was the other side of the gate when I took a photo.  We found mushrooms!  It was then a steady but steep descent into Settle which we could see nestling below us as we ate lunch by a wall basking in the sunshine.

It was market day in Settle and we had a cup of tea at the Naked Man Cafe then shopped for postcards, stamps and tomorrow's lunch from the Co-op.We chatted to a couple outside the tearooms and they told us about their trip on the Settle to Carlisle Railway the next day - much cheaper to go on an ordinary train rather than the steam train.  Soon we were off again on the last stage of today's route along the River Ribble.  Calming walk along the river bank through meadows  and we met a man and his dog.  The dog was friendly and he has a job - he goes to hospitals and care homes and helps with the therapy and rehabilitation of the residents and patients.(Pets as therapy.)  We soon arrived at Stainforth Force which was busy with daytrippers - families paddling and picnicking and teenagers hanging out and barbecuing sausages.  Stainforth village was a short walk up a steep lane past a field with a sign which made me smile.  No sign of the bull.  We were staying at the Craven Heifer Hotel.  We had drinks on the terrace, quick showers and then dinner in the pub followed by a walk round the village.

Monday 25th July 2011 Skipton to Malham

Weather :  Cloudy with some sunshine and warm
Distance:  13 miles

Another good night's sleep in a super B&B - Howard and his wife were lovely and we had a good chat after breakfast.  And it was a good breakfast including scrambled egg and bacon.  We set off at 9:25am after buying a sandwich and bananas from Skipton Market.  It was a short, step climb out of Skipton and we were into the moors and fells again.  We soon had fantastic views back down the hill to Skipton but we were heading for Sharp Haw (357m).  A bit of a slog but again with great views.  A slog is always worth it when the views are so good.  We reached the brow of the hill and surveyed the landscape  and it was good!  Next stop was Flasby which was a beautiful hamlet with stone built cottages.  We then had an idyllic walk along the bank of Hetton beck until I spotted... a bull..on its the field we were about to enter.  Now he looked quite placid but, after some discussion, we decided discretion was the better part of valour and we made a detour onto a  nearby lane and into the village of Hetton.  Mrs C was very understanding about my fear of all things bovine...

We arrived in Hetton and had our lunch sat on a convenient bench in the sunshine.  After lunch I announced that we should call in The Angel and have a drink - which we did.  Half of Hetton Pale Ale for me and a ginger beer for Mrs C and we sat in the sunshine- cheers!  The trail was calling us and we were soon on our way again.  We headed along Moor Lane and aimed for Weets Top (414m).  Another steady uphill walk - moorland, travel track, heather.  We even met cows.  Mrs C was her usual brave self and led the way using her best farmer's voice to keep them away from us as one or two were looking at us with a threatening air (well, in my opinion and you now know how I feel about cows...).  When we had passed them and had a wall and gate between us I looked back to see half a dozen cows on the paths we had just walked along..!  We reached Weets Top and were rewarded with a fantastic view of the hills all around with Ingleborough in the distance beckoning us.

Now it was time for our rewards - Gordale Scar and Janet's Foss.  I've seen them before but Mrs C hadn't so I think it was a real treat for her.  Gordale Scar is awe-inspiring - a visual feast and Jane was suitably impressed.  Janet's Foss was also a delight with dappled greenness and a sparkling waterfall.  The wonderful smell of wild garlic (it was furious),sight of sweet wild flowers such as cranesbill, meadowsweet, vetches and red campion and the sound of the birds were all together a delight for the senses.  Joy of joys - the tea van was still open near Gordale Scar so a refreshing cup of tea each and a chance to 'people watch' for a while.

It was then a mile walk to the Malham and the Youth Hostel.  We had dinner at the Buck Inn and then back to the hostel to chat in the lounge with fellow hostelers and write up the diary.

Sunday 24th July Ilkley to Skipton

Weather:  Sunny with a warm breeze
Distance:  11.4 miles

A good night's sleep and an excellent breakfast to start the day.  We were on our way by 9:20am.  Ilkley was very quiet (it was Sunday morning after all).  A steep climb out of Ilkley and back on to the trail at Spicey Gill.  We followed a straight track gradually heading uphill past Woodhouse Crag, Pipers Crag and Addingham Crags.  It was very peaceful except when a runner came up behind us and made us both jump (we never heard him coming).  We saw the Swastika Stone but we couldn't find the cup and ring markings on the rocks further along the trail,  There were beautiful clear blue skies and the most amazing views behind, to the side and ahead of us.  A glorious day for a walk.  We stopped for a break by a convenient stone wall (out of the wind) and took off our boots whilst we had a drink.  A lovely couple stopped for a chat and told us about a new walk called  The Six Dales Way which is a three day walk.  It sounds interesting and we will investigate further.

Onwards and upwards.  We left the ridge and descended to Addingham Moorside via a disused quarry - it was a steep and rocky path.  We walked through the hamlet and on to skirt round Addingham Village (it was part of the Dales Way Walk).  It was lovely walking with meadows, gentle little hills, becks and shady nooks.  Then it was a scurry across the busy A65 and up a fairly steep  lane to Draughton Height.  We stopped for lunch in the sunshine and I spotted a Spitfire and a Dekota flying  through the sky.  A great sight to see on such a beautiful day.

There was an old waymarker stone along the trail but it was so old it was hard to read and then we were on the Rombold's Way - allegedly an old Roman road.  It was quite a slog - mainly uphill and a deeply rutted path.  We had to watch our feet all the time although there were great views towards the Yorkshire Dales.  Eventually we descended the path into Skipton along an old track that turned into a road through a council estate.  We saw a garden with lots of gnomes which is always a good thing to see.   We wandered into Skipton town centre and found most of the shops still open so we were able to buy plasters, hayfever tablets, etc..  Then we found a restaurant called Brodies which did an early bird special on pizza and pasta so we booked dinner for later.  There was a tea room next door so we sat in the sunshine and had a brew of Yorkshire tea and watched the world go by whilst writing postcards.  I thought I recognised the owner of the cafe next door and then I realised who he was - a contestant from Come Dine with Me!  Who'd have thought it?

Skipton has a fine main street with interesting stone buildings, cobbled lanes, hanging baskets and a solid look about it.  We walked to the  Cravendale B&B and received a warm welcome from our hosts.  Bags were waiting for us and the room was comfortable and full of everything the weary walker might need.  There was a mini fridge with juice and water in it and a selection of chocolates and sweets for us to nibble.  Dinner was fine at Brodies and we were back at the B&B by 8:15pm ready to prepare for the next day.  Hayfever was bad today and I'd developed a blister.  Not impressed!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Saturday 23rd July 2011 Saltaire to Ilkley

Weather:  Sunny intervals and warm, windy on the moors
Distance:  7.5 miles

We were up at 7:00am and had a lovely breakfast of boiled eggs, homemade bread and jam and lashings of tea.  A good start to the day.  We were given a lift to Saltaire by a kind husband, waved our goodbyes and we were off - for all of two minutes.  A refreshment opportunity had presented itself and as Mrs C and I never like to miss a chance for a cup of tea we decided to stop at the ideally situated  barge on the canal.  A cup of tea and a flapjack later and a brief encounter with the only other people (two ladies from Cheshire) we met doing the walk this week we were on our way.

We soon found that the guide books needed close attention to prevent us straying in the wrong direction.  I'm going to call it first day nerves.  The small guide book had brief notes on the route with detailed maps and the companion guide book had more wordy directions with interesting snippets about points of interest  (history, geology, wildlife, plants, etc).  We needed both books to get the full picture as we took a wrong turn as soon as we left the towpath - soon back on track.

After leaving the canal we began the gradual ascent up to the wild, Yorkshire Moors.  Trench Wood was idyllic - dappled sunlight, moss, bracken and birds.  We emerged at Glovershaw and looked back to see the Yorkshire countryside opening up behind us (there was lots of looking back at the view as it was a chance to catch breath and gird loins for the next bit).  It was a splendid scene to behold - clear, blue skies and green hills stretching as far as the eye could see with Saltaire nestling in the foreground.  We walked a section of path where the guide book warned us to watch out for galloping horses.  After an initial thought of "Why are they galloping and will they attack me?" I realised it was racing horse stables and the horse exercise track was part of our route.  We passed a golf course and waved to the golfers - a friendly bunch but still think golf is a good walk spoiled.

Weechor Reservoir was empty and we missed the alternative path which would have saved us walking 250 metres down the extremely busy Otley Road.  It was hair-raising (Yorkshire drivers take no prisoners) but we made it safely to the stile and clambered elegantly over and finally we were on the moors proper - Bingly Moor, Burley Moor and Ilkley Moor.  Purple heather, peaty paths and bilberries everywhere.  We heard and then spotted a curlew (gorgeous).  The wind was blowing strongly but the sun was shining so it wasn't cold.  I can imagine a rainy day up here is very unpleasant.  As we climbed, the views got better and more fabulous.  We must have been able to see 30 miles in all directions - marvellous.  We stopped for lunch by a wall which sheltered us from the wind and guess who turned up?  The two ladies we met at the start (Carol and Olive).  We thought they were way ahead of us.  They stopped for lunch and produced china cups for their tea..!  We left them to their tea and strolled manfully on after our tuna sarnies and bananas washed down with corporation pop.  We were still getting used to the guide books and discovered we weren't as far on as we thought.  We passed waymarkers that looked like they had been there for centuries - Hornlcliffe Well and Langshaw Lad.  The bronze age stone circle - The Twelves Apostles - was awesome.  We travelled from Saltaire and it's nineteenth century monuments to industry to this 3000 year old relic.  A very boggy path after this.  So boggy a board walk has been laid but this is being replaced with stone flags.It looks like they have been flown in by helicopter and are waiting to be positioned.  We saw lots of walkers today - day trippers and the like.  It seems to be a popular route.

We reached Ilkley Crags and viewed the town of Ilkley with White Wells Cottage in the foreground.  The flags were flying which meant tea was being served so we headed down with a spring in our step until I saw how steep the descent was...very steep.  We had a lovely mug of tea, viewed the baths (which have been there since the eighteenth century) and chatted to a family on a day out from York.  Dad was Austrian, mum was Ukranian and their two children speak 4 languages.  After a loo stop we walked into Ilkley.  We bought Sunday's lunch at M&S, called into the tourist information office for weather forecast (Sunshine and temperatures of 19 degrees) and then we strolled along the main street to .Martinez Wine Merchants  They now have a wine bar and Mrs C said, "Shall we?" and I said, "Yes!" and so we sat down, slightly dishevelled in our boots and still carrying our rucksacks, and had a cheeky glass of chilled rose in the sunshine to toast the first day.  We found the B&B which is lovely (Archway Cottage), showered and then wandered back into town for dinner.  Everywhere was very busy as it was Saturday night but we found a new Thai restaurant close to the B&B and had a lovely meal and served by friendly staff.  Tucked up in bed by 10:00pm.