Malham to Gargrave

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7th April, 2012 – Easter Saturday

Malham to Gargrave – 12.9 miles approx (no GPS)

We stayed over the weekend at Beck Hall, Malham, a rather lovely 18th century guesthouse. You have to go over a clapper bridge to get to it (or ford the emerging River Aire, just a stream a mile from the source at Malham cove).

ImageIt was bright and dry, with a few patches of snow showing on the higher ground, but none where we were. Most of the route followed the Aire, with some detours over the hills to meet it later on.

We first passed Hanlith Hall, where they were setting up for a horse and pony show – horse boxes arriving, a few jumps set up. Lots of primroses blooming along the high banks.

Further down, at Airton there is a mill, now residential. According the book it was once owned by Bolton Abbey, but the building itself looked rather too modern for that to make much sense.

We carried on down to Gargrave, and had lunch by the canal, watching a few boats come through the lock, and feeding ducks with a few crisps. The lock had a strange handle which had to be raised before using the windlass to open the main lock paddles – not seen that before.Gargrave St Andrew

We decided not to go further today, but had a look round Gargrave, including St Andrews church,  where John, the eldest son of James Wilson and Ellen Pettyt, was baptised in 1803. The church was heavily restored in the mid 19th century, but parts of the village must look very similar.

We followed the same route back. On the way we were entertained by sheep and lambs running after a farmer on a quad bike, obviously with something good to eat! The lambs just continued running round the field in an excited group.It felt about the right distance to walk without being too shattered. MInd you, Robby had worked nights up to Good Friday morning, and I had run 8 miles.

We went to the Lister Arms to enquire about a table for this evening and sat outside with a well deserved drink!

Malham to Gargrave route

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