Thursday 18th August - Ilkley to Skipton
Distance|: 11 miles
Weather: overcast to start then warm sunshine
We caught an earlier train from Guiseley today as we had further to walk. Holly, the Labrador, seemed to be pleased to be heading out again for another walk. We arrived in Ilkley at 9 o'clock and we were soon on the trail heading up Spicey Gill on the edge of Rombalds Moor.
There were lots of dogs and their owners out today and Holly was pleased to see them. We passed the swastika stone carving and the Noon Stone and soon we arrived at Addingham Moorside. We were following the alternative route to avoid the quagmire of the Millenium Trail through the village and passed a memorial to a Mosquito aircrew who crashed into the hillside in 1943. Then we headed downhill along an old pack horse route to Slade Farm past some chilled horses and onto fairly quiet lanes which skirted the village. On route we admired a lovely cottage with beautiful flowers which spilled out on to the grass verge.
We crossed the busy bypass and soon we were heading up Moor Lane towards Draughton Heights and walking in the footsteps of the Romans. A steady uphill climb and suddenly the sun came out and the rest of the day was spent in glorious, hot sunshine. We met a couple walking in the opposite direction : he was eager to get to the pub and she was happily taking photos of the wonderful views. They had travelled up from Sheffield the day before and were enjoying a short walking holiday. We then met the lady from the previous day who was the back up team for her husband so we stopped and had a chat.
The day was getting increasingly hot and we were looking for somewhere sheltered to stop for lunch but we could not find anywhere. All we wanted was a couple of rocks, some shade and a stream for Holly to cool down in - we made do with perching by the edge of the path while Holly tried to find some shade under my legs (I think she likes me).
We were soon off again with 3 miles to go. The path was rocky and rutted as we headed down hill. Eventually the path led into a cool, sun dappled woodland which gave us a break from the sun and before we knew it we were on the outskirts of Skipton. We walked slowly into town and enjoyed a refreshing drink at the first pub we came to and it was good. We found the train station and headed for home.