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Sunday, 7 August 2011

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!

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