Saturday, 14 July 2012 – 17.5 miles
We camped near Hawes, at Bainbridge Ings campsite – a quiet, simple campsite with wonderful views of the village and the valley. I had thought we might be a bit mad as we headed down the East Lancs Road in torrential rain on Friday night, but as headed north, the weather cleared and it was dry and bright in Hawes.
We walked from the campsite to the village of Gayle, which is attached to Hawes. Pleasant little place with old cottages, bridge and mill, joining the Pennine Way on the far side of the village.
We headed uphill, fairly wet underfoot, so had to weave around the path a little. Not surprising given the ‘summer’ we’ve had so far!
Once we got higher on Dodd Fell, the route levelled off, and became a well made track. It was very quiet. We passed one couple early on, and didn’t see them again, then a young man with a beard passed us. We saw him again, where the track reached the Roman road, and he turned round there (but we will be seeing him again!)
The Roman road was tarmaced and we were astonished to see a van and trailer come past – I think they were working in the forest in the valley.
After lunch, we had both cooled down, and it started to rain, albeit lightly. There was a breeze, making it pretty cold. We put on our waterproofs and continued to Cam End, where the Dales Way and the Pennine Way split. We decided on this as a good turn round point as it will make for a good circular walk from Horton-in-Ribblesdale in future.There is a distant view of the Ribblesdale viaduct from here.
As soon as we turned round, out of the wind, it became warmer, and the rain stopped. On the return route, we saw the forestry van again. It stopped and the driver had a chat – warning us to look out for spearmen behind the rocks who had been there since the days of Julius Caesar (I didn’t correct his Roman history!). I suspect he hadn’t had anyone to talk to all day!
The rain started as we reached Gayle again, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the forecast had led us to believe, and it was sunny again by the time we reached Hawes. We followed the Way into town, and then back to the campsite (passing the young man with the beard on the way!).
We surprisingly tired for a relatively short and easy walk, then found when I downloaded the GPS track that it had been 17 miles, further than we had expected!