Posted by Richard Wright on 2019-02-08


A good turn-out of 18 at Gunnerside village hall on an unpromising day with a forecast of rain and high winds for the morning at least.

My route got most of the up-hill out of the way from the start with an hour’s direct climb out of the village North up onto Melbecks Moor.  Here a welcome coffee break was taken at convenient grouse butts seemingly purpose built with a vertical timber wind-break above a boarded platform.  This platform normally provides a sheltered seat, but a layer of fresh snow made this a less than comfortable option.  In any case, the wind was not much more than a breeze, and the rain only intermittent light drizzle.

Next an opportunity to stride out over the moor on a good grouse shooters’ vehicle track.  (Nice to see that plenty of grouse seem to have avoided the guns).  And so on down to derelict Moor House where a right turn soon took us to Level House and on down Hard Level Gill to Surrender Bridge.  By now the sun had come out and we had a pleasant lunch stop in a sheltered sunny spot in the lee of the road bridge wall. 

As soon as we finished the lunch, the rain returned, but only a sharp shower.  Not enough to dampen our spirits as the sun soon returned as we headed back along the Marathon route over Feetham Pasture and down the Corpse Way.  Good to see the Kings Head open when we got back to Gunnerside.  I think it’s important to support a local business which makes the effort to stay open for the benefit of locals, and walkers alike on a winter afternoon.  So 14 of us did just that in traditional SOC fashion to end a day which turned out much better than expected.

Richard Wright.

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