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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...

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