In April 2019 I walked a variation of the Dales Way with good friend Al from Gloucester. It was about 87 miles and took 7 days. To add a bit of extra interest we diverted over the 3 Peaks between Kettlewell and Dent.
My wife Jan drove us up to the start in Ilkley and stayed the night at the Cow and Calf Inn. She will return for the last night in Bowness before whisking us back to Derbyshire. During the trek our bags were moved between accommodation each day by Brigantes.
Today we walked 14 miles along Wharfedale from Ilkley to the Red Lion in Burnsall. Quite a pleasant walk but busy in places. It was a nice day and lots of families were making the most of it.
We diverted to the Craven Arms in Appletreewick for a break and a pint of Night Jar Dark Ale.
Then it was on to our lodgings for the night in the Red Lion in Burnsall and Timothy Taylor Boltmaker.
After a good nights sleep and a good breakfast at the Red Lion in Burnsall we continued on the Dales Way to Kettlewell along the River Wharfe.
The water level was quite low, surprising since the Yorkshire Dales area had serious flooding just 3 weeks ago. We were in Grassington a bit early for a pint so carried on through. It was a bit chilly but bright.
I was looking forward to taking photos of the limestone pavement near Grassington and above Conistone Dib. Both places I knew through running courses in the area. Unfortunately, there was little sunshine, so no photos better than I already have.
From here we diverted up to Cappelstone Gate trig point, to stay high rather than follow the Dales Way down into the valley. Unfortunately the clouds came down so no views but it was easy walking.
Kettlewell is a very pleasant small village with the bonus of having 3 pubs. We had our first pint at the Bluebell Inn but I was disappointed with mine so we strolled across the road to the Racehorses for our second. Excellent Timothy Taylor real ales. I had a pint of Landlord. Then we walked to the King’s Head to check in for the night and change out of our walking clothes for the evening.
We decided to eat at the Racehorses but returned to the King’s Head later.
We thought to make the Dales Way a bit more interesting we’d divert between Kettlewell and Dent over the 3 Peaks. Today we walked from Kettlewell to Horton in Ribblesdale via Pen-y-Ghent.
It stayed dry all day but cold, especially in the strong wind higher up.
We managed to get away from the King’s Head in Kettlewell by 9.15am. After crossing the river bridge the path went pretty much straight up the steep slope. It was a bit rocky at the top but we were soon striding out over the hilltop before dropping down to Arncliffe in Littondale below.
Next stop was Litton village. Unfortunately the pub was closed until 6pm. We couldn’t wait that long so we carried on!
It was a pretty grey day so few photos on my Mamiya 7 camera. I took some phone photos though.
From the narrow road near Halton Gill it was a steady climb up to the unremarkable summit of Plover Hill, marked by a tiny cairn.
It was an easy walk from here to the top of Pen-y-Ghent. Quite cold now so we didn’t stop for long. It was 5 hours and 11 miles From the King’s Head in Kettlewell to the top of Pen-y-Ghent.
The steeper side was our way down. So much improvement on the path since my last visit.
Some good views of the mountain as we walked down to Horton in Ribblesdale.
We’re staying at the Crown Hotel in the village. Only one real ale being served, Black Sheep Bitter. Good food but too many signs in the pub telling customers what they can and can’t do!
We left the Crown Hotel in Horton in Ribblesdale after a good breakfast in bright sunshine, but it was cold and breezy.
We only saw 3 other people on the track from Horton, all fell runners. Just over 2 hours to the top of Ingleborough and still mostly blue sky. Probably the best views I’ve had from the top as it was so clear. Especially good views of Whernside.
On the way down I diverted to take Ingleborough from the limestone pavement.
Then it was down to the Old Hill Inn for a pint. It’s also our hostelry for the night.
After an enormous breakfast at the Old Hill Inn we headed off up Whernside. I can’t remember ever previously being asked if I needed more cooked breakfast, more toast yes but not more bacon and sausage!
Another chilly but bright start on a good track. The paths up Whernside, being one of the 3 Peaks, are good and well used so very straightforward all the way to the top. Not many people either.
We soon left people behind as we headed over to Dent village from just beyond the summit. Extensive views all round and clear as a bell.
Really nice walk down to Dent village, took a few photos then went in the George and Dragon pub for a break, oh and a pint.
From Dent we walked along the dale for a mile or two before heading up over the fells to Sedbergh. We were in our hotel, the Black Bull, at the bar by 4pm.
Two more days to go…….
Today was our penultimate day on the Dales Way and we walked from Sedbergh to Burneside (north of Kendal).
We started by walking uphill and cutting around the foot of the Howgills, not the official route but more logical.
Very nice section along the River Lune, brought back memories for Al when he was a whippersnapper fishing with his father. Lots of sheep farming and young lambs.
My bad back was painful from about 9 miles so I had to stop a few times to give it a rest. Diazepam helped!
We crossed the M6 which meant we were close to the Lake District and the end.
Burneside is a small place. Not a lot here except a very large factory making coloured paper products such as Remembrance Day poppies. The bridge was being replaced so we had a small detour to another one. We stayed at the Jolly Anglers Inn. Unfortunately it was closed when we arrived but we were soon sorted when we rang the bell.
Our room is a touch on the cold side. I may have to sleep in my long johns tonight! Heater seems to be broken.
Short day tomorrow, just 9 miles or so. That makes it about 87 miles and 7 days for the entire trek.
Jan drives up tomorrow to meet us after we finish. Looking forward to that. We have a table booked at the Thai Restaurant. It will be good to have a meal without chips!
The last day of our 87 mile 7 day 3 Peaks Dales Way trek.
We left the Jolly Anglers after a very hearty breakfast at the crack of 9.30am!
There was a chill in the air, different to previous days which had been warm most of the time.
It was pretty straightforward walking to reach Bowness at 1.25pm. We headed down to Windermere lakeside and paddled in the water, a tradition we have adopted whenever finishing treks that end in water. This strange behaviour started when we walked the Wainwright Coast to Coast, which we completed several years ago.
Our route was 87 miles spread over 7 days, including the diversion off the Dales Way between Kettlewell and Dent to go over the Yorkshire 3 Peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside. We also managed about 22mpg in beer consumption over the trip, medicinal in my case you understand as treatment for my bad back.
I used a new rucsack for the trip, a LoweAlpine Aeon 35 which weighs less than a kilo and was very comfortable to carry. My load was about 4kg for the rucsack with a full 1 litre water bottle and just under 3kg for the camera gear making a total of 7kg. Carrying the weight split front and back seems better for my bad back than carrying one or the other. My hill food each day was one of Jan’s homemade Eccles Cakes, who needs more? With a full English breakfast every day and an evening meal that was plenty.
By the end of the 6th day my back was particularly painful so I did take a couple of Diazepam tablets to ease the pain and try and prevent muscle spasms. It was still painful but not stiff the next day and fortunately it was a short last day at just 10 miles.
I carried a Mamiya 7 II medium format film camera with a 65mm lens. I used yellow and orange filters and carried a red filter but didn’t use it.
In total I took 37 images on Ilford 400 Delta. Despite the dry weather for the entire trip there wasn’t much sunshine to ‘lift’ the landscapes for my photos so I used less than 4 rolls of film (10 shots to each roll of 120 film).
The camera was carried every day on a shoulder harness on my front in a LowePro Toploader 70 AW case.
All of my blog photos were taken on my Motorola One phone. It takes good pictures as long as I don’t zoom too much. They were all edited and automatically resized for the web in Snapseed just using the Crop, Convert to B&W and Curves tools.