22 people met up at the car park near to the railway viaduct at 9.00am , some paid the modest car park fee of £3.80 all day while others decided to opt for the freeby parking outside the church. (I think they were from the Yorkshire branch somebody whispered).
The walk was led by Norman Thomas so anything was to be expected. Unfortunately no group photo was taken. Shame.
Setting off to Upper Settle we were soon into our first “up" of the day past Constitution Hill, with it’s Georgian cottages.
Through some lovely meadows with grand views on a warm sunny morning it was a joy to be out. It’s going to rain this afternoon someone shouted as we stripped off the layers.
A very sorry young crow was found and investigated and then returned, hopefully it survived.
A poorly crowIn a short time the path leads down hill, yes, after the “UP” we went kicking and screaming down hill to Langcliffe.
Here we had a very interesting few minutes at the old Craven Lime works which you can read about HERE
The kilns were built in 1873. Quite a lot of the oven is still there and as Norman said you can definitely come and spend an hour or so looking round the place as they are the best preserved in the UK.
The Hoffmann Lime Kilns at Langcliffe
Norman pointing out some vitrified lime.
From Langcliffe the path we took followed the Settle to Carlisle railway line and leads us to Stainforth Village and pasted the Craven Heifer Pub which was shut. A bit of bad timing.
This was also the start of our next “UP”, all the way up to Dale Head, crossing the Ribble Way at Moor Head Lane and giving us good views ahead of Pen-y-ghent at 694 metres.
Across Overdale with Pen-y-ghent in the background.
At this point we found a shovel, strange finding a shovel. Peter decided that just in case the weather turns wintery he would sacrifice the added weight and carry it with him for the next 14 miles or so just incase a snow hole was needed. Now that’s dedication or is it something else?
Norman spilt the beans by telling some that this pimple in front was the 1st real up and the next one would be Ingleborough. Strangulation of our guide seemed apt here.
As we joined the Pennine Way path it was decided to have a 10 minute pit stop to give some energy for the route ahead and then it was onward and upward.
Just as we got to the height of 530 metres a path is joined on the left which leads to Horton in Ribblesdale. Norman went through the gate and smiling said he was only kidding about going up Pen-y-ghent.
This got a mixed reception. Some were obviously very pleased whilst myself, Sheila and 5 other fellows decided that the idea of another Norman descent was out of the question and the lofty height had to be overcome. That also included Peter with his shovel.
Pen-y-ghent was extremely windy and not a place to hang around. We achieved the trig point, took the ubiquitous photo’s, checked the map and retraced our steps.
Pen-y-ghent trig point 694 Metres.
Trying to keep my hat on.
And the well travelled spade.
We now had to catch the rest of the party as we could only guess where lunch was going to be. The weather was also changing rapidly and the dark clouds brooding aloft.
Neil and Les shot off down the track at a fair rate of knots, like 20 year olds, while the rest made good progress at about 5 miles an hour.
We met up with the team at the Pen-y-ghent cafe in Horton (now there’s a surprise) where due to the fact that we were half an hour behind them we only had 10 minutes for lunch.
Norman took a pound out of his pocket, yes, that’s the one he always carries. The only one he carries.
He gathered the congregation and asked if we could name a 5 day challenge walk starting and finishing at this cafe he would sacrifice his pound.
Well as you might know, nobody did and he kept his pound.
As it happens the walk is called the Yorkshire Dales Centurion walk which he proudly showed us the badge.
Rain started to fall although not heavy at this stage, as we set off again in the direction of Ingleborough, crossing the railway line and another “UP”.
Ingleborough was looking closer and closer until after almost 2 miles a cross roads sign appeared. We turned left to the joy of the group. Ingleborough was not on todays jaunt.
We stopped and waterproofs and over trousers were being put on. The weather was quickly closing in, the wind had picked up and the rain was getting heavy. Some braved the weather by staying in shorts.
Brave or stupid the verdict is still out.
Norman said that the route he had planned across the limestone escarpment was going to be changed due to the adverse weather. He didn’t want any accidents on his shift.
We think he had lost his way and going for the easy option. Nothing is easy with Norm though!
The route we took skirted Long Scar and Crummock Dale and eventually came out at Austwick village. There was a few tired legs now, me being one of them and the rain and wind had increased.
It was enough for me, my pants were soaked and i donned the overtrousers because i was feeling cold. The showerproof Montane jacket was swapped for my full waterproof.
The fact that lunch had been taken so swiftly, (our fault for going up Pen-y-ghent) was also having an effect. I was in need of sustenance.
Somebody was looking out for us because Norman led us to a coffee shop where he had arranged with the owners for a large group to visit.
The actual shop was full, so we entered the barn adjacent, which happened to be full of farm equipment and was treated to Tea, Coffee, Hot chocolate, scones, cream and jam. When i say treated, that doesn’t mean that Norman bought them. As previously mentioned he only had a pound!
Norman said it was just like being in his front room, funnily others agreed.
(Sorry the photo is blurred, i think the cold was taking its toll)
It wasn’t too long before we were back out into the elements and for the next hour we basically stared at the grass. Keeping our heads down due to the wind and rain which was lashing into our faces.
The going was thankfully relatively easy, but tiredness was starting to take it’s toll. The group got spread out and a couple of times we thought we had lost the tail enders.
I didn’t take any photo’s in the last hour because it just wasn’t fit to get the camera out.
Eventually we got to the River Ribble at the weir just below Stackhouse. The rain was starting to ease a little and within 15 minutes we were back at the car park in Settle, it was 5.30pm.
More photo’s can be found here
The route was 20.7 miles. (Including Pen-y-ghent summit).
The amount of “UPs” were 4,498ft. and for those that didn’t do the summit 3,960ft.
Average walking speed (not counting stops) = 3.2 miles per hour.
Thanks to Norman Thomas for the walk and the talk. Thanks to everyone for the company. Most enjoyable day.
Satmap Active 10 plus.
Be aware that this GPS is not waterproof, not even in its pouch. I now have water underneath the screen.
Outdoor designs eVent mitts.
Not waterproof, both mitts had puddles inside.
Very disappointing because both items are not cheap.
Inov-8 Mistlite 130’s, very pleased with these on their first outing. Comfortable, lightweight, breathable and inexpensive.