Thursday, 28 June 2012

Yorks' walk

In what has been a fairly awful summer, Sue & I were blessed with the perfect day this week. On a whim, we decided to go up to Yorkshire and tackle one of the three peaks, Ingleborough. We set off and tried to type ‘Clapham’ into the sat’ nav’, but it didn’t recognise the small Yorkshire village. It wanted us to go to London, but we declined! We parked up and got booted up. It was a beautiful morning, and as we set off, we saw this lovely display on one of the cottage windowsills.

The imposing church of Clapham. 

 Just below the church are Clapham falls. There was a flat area with seating that would make a nice picnic spot. I always LOVE the sound of tumbling water.

 This is what I call the 65p path. To walk through this short section, you had to purchase a ticket (65 pence each). It was a pleasant walk, but I couldn’t see why you should have to pay to pass through?

Now – if THIS had been the 65p walk, I would have paid GLADLY! As you can now see, we had the the perfect sky. There was also a whisper of a breeze to keep us cool.

We next passed through Trow Gill, a limestone ‘cut’ in the rocks.

Looking back from Trow Gill.

At the top, it narrows off considerably to this ‘pass’ to leave the Gill.

It opened up to this perfect day. We just stood and took this in in silence. WHAT a fabulous view and sky!

Little Ingleborough, the ‘nursery slopes’ to Ingleborough proper. We crossed the stile, and the path steepened. Ingleborough is around 2,500 feet high.

Sue steps forward to begin the climb. We’d both not done any hard walking for a while, so wondered how we’d cope with today. We needn’t have worried, we both felt fit and strong.

On the path up, Sue suddenly remembered that the pothole known as Gaping Gill (or Ghyll, depending on where you look for the spelling) should be nearby. There were no signs to it off the path, which was surprising, but we soon found it. This is the entrance to it. Twice a year, caving clubs erect a ‘chair’, and members of the public can opt to be lowered into the bowels of the cave. It’s something we’d LOVE to do, and probably will one day, but as it occurs on bank holidays, it will be another item for the retirement diary. You can read up on Gaping Gill here; and here;

Yes, that’s me on the edge – trying to get a good shot into the cave (it didn’t turn out, as expected – too dark).

A short rest by the stream which tumbles into Gaping Gill.

We were being watched!

Looking back across the vast panorama of the dales, which, today, were crystal clear.

The unmistakeable shape of Pen-y-Ghent, another of the three peaks. One part of the three peaks challenge (which Sue and I have done several times). You can read about it here;

WOW.......just WOW! The view from Little Ingleborough.

A short walk away is the summit of Ingleborough. This is one of the best summit shelters I’ve ever seen.

Happy on the top.

When we get to a summit, we rarely want to leave (apart from maybe this time; - but even then, it was GREAT fun). Sue just sat and drank in the ‘perfectness’ of the day.

We could see the flats of Morecombe bay quite clearly. (Click on the picture for a larger version).

And the exciting peaks on the edge of Lakeland.

Could an artist PAINT better clouds, or even ones as good, as these?

 Now, I’ve heard of basking SHARKS, but basking SHEEP???

Looking over to the third peak, Whernside.

The path became very indistinct, and we got a bit....erm....misplaced (yes, yes, alright, LOST). Anyway, Sue was convinced these cairns were a guidance.

We soon realised that they weren’t, and rather than be naughty and climb walls, we resorted to using the ‘sheep creep’ in the wall.

Tell you what though, I can think of a LOT worse places to get lost in!

This was a bit worrying though, just WHAT ‘hidden dangers’ lurked behind this sign for the poor, unwary walker – the tension was tangible as we made our way along the path back towards Clapham.

Safe from the ‘hidden dangers’, we arrived back in Clapham – I’d like to say ‘in time for tea’, but we were JUST too late. They closed at six, and it was quarter past. Oh well, at least we had a laugh at this old sign.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Flower Power

 It’s that super time of the year again where everything is new, alive and BURSTING to get out there! We know where the best spots for wild flowers are, and never tire of visiting them when they are at their best. The walk started from Wardlow Mires, where our favourite pub, the Three Stags is. Jeff, the landlord, kindly gave us permission to park there for the day. Here’s the unusual sign. No ordinary painted board for the Stags!

It’s a quirky place, and their sense of humour is nicely summed up by this sign in the small car park.

Within ten minutes, we were in Cressbrook dale, and amongst the orchids – COUNTLESS numbers of them! 

Also, just as many cowslips, resplendent in their new yellow.

 A close study of the early purple orchid. 

 I took quite a few pictures of the flowers. To see the whole set of pictures, please visit this blog entry dedicated solely to the flowers
For now, we rose out of Tansley dale to make our way towards the sleepy village of Litton. We thought that tree by the barn looked fantastic, set in the stone walls surrounding it.
 Patterns, lovely limestone patterns. Not everything man does is ugly!

 Mind you, that solar panelled roof isn’t that nice to look at.
 The heart of Litton village, the Red Lion pub, complete with a set of stocks (out of shot) on the green in front of it.

 I really have NO explanation for this – a tree loaded with shoes and boots????

 Now HERE’S a beautiful animal – and he’s spotted us.

“Rght, you two, who’s got the carrots???” 

I think he thought Sue’s arm was a carrot!
Look at me – aren’t I just beautiful? (Yes, you ARE).

Then again, so is this lovely cherry blossom by the side of the lane. 

We walked along a quiet lane towards the next village called ‘Windmill’. We really don’t mind road walking for a while when the roads are as lovely as this.

 We decided to have lunch on a handy bench at the side of some old mine ruins. Of course, there were several bunches of cowslips there too.

 I love these info’ plaques, to me, it’s money well spent.

 You can see our lunch bench top left – what a great view to have while eating, eh?

Remains of the mine. 

 Just outside the village of Great Hucklow, we took a left towards Bradwell. We saw this (cultivated but lovely) bunch of tulips in a copse by the road.

And a MAGNIFICENT patch of marsh marigold.

Three lovely coloured horses in a field.

 A wildflower meadow on the outskirts of Bradwell. 

 We saw this very well preserved Ford Corsair.

The calm before the storm! Most of the climbing on this walk was about to hit us full on! This nice track turns left and heads straight up to the top of the edge – and the sun was now quite strong.

So steep is this edge that it’s very popular with para-gliders. You can also see one of the gliders from the Great Hucklow field above him. 

 A dandelion and a stone stile.

Yes Sue, mnow we’ve climbed right up here, we have to drop right down into that valley – and climb up to that ridge in front. You can see the path to the right of that wall. On the left are what we suspect might be old mine workings.

After all the up-and-downing, we entered the village of Foolow, one of the best looking villages in Derbyshire. The village ducks were not on the pond today, preferring to laze in the garden where they live.

Two beautiful butterflies on a mossy wall. 

Then it was a short walk back to Wardlow Mires and the car. We could see Peter Stone ahead of us in the evening light. A good days walk, and a great days living.