Hubberholme Part Two 1 October 2020
Hubberholme Part Two
Having been away, on another of my nautical adventures, when the programmed version of this walk took place in September, I was pleased to see that it was to be repeated on the first day of October. As with the previous walk we were rewarded with a perfect day; bright sunshine and clear blue skies, to undertake this classic inter-dale walk which would see us take in parts of Langstrothdale, Wharfedale and Littondale. 13 miles of hard, sheer fell walking bliss - or so we hoped.
The six of us set off at a brisk, no nonsense pace (as should be expected on a walk led by Yvonne) in the direction of Buckden, soon branching off the country lane for the footpath that would take us up onto Old Cote Moor Top and the summit of Firth Fell. A long but steady climb came to a sudden stop half way up for me as I was reduced to a coughing, wheezing wreck. “Strange” I thought, before I realised that I had not replaced my ‘sea legs’ with my ‘walking legs’ before setting off. Having rectified this oversight we were soon up and over the top of the fell, leaving Wharfedale behind, and descending steeply, with ever improving views of beautiful Littondale.
The superb path, down Ackerley Moor, brought us quickly down to Litton and my favourite Dales pub; the Queens Arms. ‘Cyclists Welcome’ proclaimed the sign outside with no mention of walkers being welcome…. must have started pushing scones, cake and tea rather than pints of good ale and steak pies, in these strange days. Not having to be told twice that we were not welcome we pressed on down to the banks of the River Skirfare for our packed lunch.
After our (my) Queens Arms disappointment we were pleasantly surprised to find an enterprising young man, in a converted horse box, selling refreshments at Halton Gill. ‘Walkers and Cyclists Welcome’ proclaimed his more welcoming sign. It being considered rude not to, we rewarded him with hard earned cash (though most of us are retired) in exchange for fresh baked flapjack and cold drinks. Fortified we set off for our second and last, long and steep climb of the day up to Horse Head. ‘The boys’ in the party extending the walk to visit the trig point while ‘the girls’ took advantage to speed down the other side of the fell towards Langstrothdale. Regrouping before we reached the hamlet of Yockenthwaite we enjoyed the final couple of miles walking, in the evening sunshine, alongside the infant River Wharfe back to Hubberholme.
Thanks to Yvonne for delivering everything I hoped for from this walk and to Caroline, Peter, Graham and Mark for their company.