Total Pageviews

Sunday, 7 August 2011

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!

No comments:

Post a Comment