Posted by Richard Wright on 2017-09-15


My second attempt at leading this walk was much more successful than the first, back in February, when I had to cut the walk short due to driving snow, see:

This time we had a glorious sunny day, with fine long distance views.  Owing to many regulars being away in Austria, we had a small group of 8 of which only Brian Harker was on the aborted February trip.

We set off from the Carlton Village Hall car park then South-West along lanes and farm track towards Fleensop before dropping down to Gammersgill where I paused to point out an excellent example of dry stone walling (built, among others, by myself on a training course a few years ago).  We then dropped down to a lovely path along the bank of the Cover where we had a coffee stop.

Instead of going through Horsehouse and so foregoing a pint at the Thwaite Arms as on my reccy, I opted to avoid the road and instead cross the river at Hindlethwaite Hall and follow field paths to Arkleside.  This proved to be more of a navigational challenge than I expected, but we got there OK. We then headed up the shooting track which follows the old drove road over to Nidderdale.  At this point on my reccy, a string of 4x4s passed me, and one of the drivers asked if I fancied a day’s beating (as in grouse shooting).  At least I think that’s what he meant.

Halfway up the valley side, a bridleway heads off left and here, in a dip, sheltered from a cool breeze, we took lunch, with the feet of returning member Susan immersed – sandals and all – in the little stream at the bottom.  From here the bridleway takes a 2-mile bee-line to Swineside along the flank of Hindlethwaite Moor.  This is a splendid elevated flat walk on a fine day like this, with great views all round.  Not so nice on a bad day – exposed and without shelter.  Eventually joining the, usually quiet, lane down to West Scrafton, we had to keep stepping aside to avoid large tractor and trailers bringing loads of hay from fields for silage.  Though it was interesting to stop and watch for a while the huge and complex machine used to turn and line-up the hay into rows for collection.

Through West Scrafton, then a drop to Caygill Bridge before the sting-in-the-tail for this walk: the steep final climb alongside Goodman’s Gill back up to Carlton.  This necessitated another energy boost for Susan in the form of another cooling foot spar in the stream at the bottom.

An excellent day, especially so in going against my usual habit of choosing miserable wet weather for my walks, capped off – of course – by an enjoyable drink in the Coverdale Community pub, the Forresters Arms.

Richard Wright.

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