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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.

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