Gargrave to Elslack Moor

Gargrave by Ruth_W

10th April 2012 – 15.2 miles

We had a day off from walking on Bank Holiday Monday, and went to Fountains Abbey instead. It wasn’t quite as bad as forecast, but then, we weren’t in the hills.
Tuesday – the forecast wasn’t too good – wintry showers – so we headed south to the lower country rather than to the hills. We headed south out of Gargrave and over the fields, up to the Leeds Liverpool canal at East Marton. Quite a few boats moored there, some that we recognised from Gargrave locks on Saturday. On the opposite bank was an old church, surrounded by trees. Interesting lumps and bumps in the fields, marked on the map as the site of an old hall. There was also a double decker bridge – the old canal bridge had been raised when the new road was built.
We headed uphill, over fields full of sheep and lambs. In one field, the sheep scattered as we walked past, but then we stood still, and they flocked round, and followed us down the hill!
We stopped for lunch at Thornton in Craven, sitting on a wall in the sunshine. It didn’t last long and we moved to shelter under a disused railway bridge, – we repeated this a couple of times as the sun reappeared, then the rain came again! It was like this all day, the compensation being that once the rain started, you could see it was going to stop again in minutes.
After lunch we headed uphill, had a chat to a farmer out with his sheep and up onto the beginnings of the open moorland again, with lapwings swooping and calling nearby.
We returned mostly the way we had come, with the weather clearing up by mid afternoon. Nearer Gargrave, though, we walked back along the canal towpath, just cutting off a loop, all the way back to Gargrave.

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