Reeth Figure of Eight 27 June 2019

Posted by Geraint Howell on 2019-06-30

Reeth Figure of 8

On a beautiful and warm summer’s day on 27th June, a group of 20 [18 members + 2 guests] set out from a Reeth that was positively heaving with walkers and some cyclists. Fortunately, the groups dispersed in different directions, so that we didn’t have to share our route – though we did have to increase our pace over the last half-mile or so in the afternoon, in order to beat an even larger group we had spotted returning to the town into the pub.

Our way initially took us along the line of Arkle Beck and Fremington Edge, the clear blue sky revealing the dale in all its majesty. After crossing the beck we struck out across the moorland below Calver Hill to the plaintiff call of curlews, though we only spotted one. A brief hiatus followed when our intrepid leader led us into an inescapable field at the back of Riddings Farm! Back on track – “following the route of the marathon” as a number of members observed, though not until after the mistake had been made – we took the narrow path with its profusion of wild flowers down past the school and so back to Reeth for lunch.

The figure of 8 configuration of the walk proved convenient for a number of the group who had other engagements in the afternoon, and 7 left us after lunch; but it did not attract any others who might simply have wanted a short walk. Despite the manifest attraction of whiling away a warm afternoon sitting on a bench overlooking the green and eating ice cream, the remaining 13 – henceforth to be known as “the survivors” – showed great self-discipline and set off on the afternoon loop.

A number of members had taken the opportunity of leaving daysacks in cars and, as we followed the route out of the town and across the swing bridge, were heard to observe that they felt naked without them. Happily, this remained a figure of speech only and we were able to stroll through the meadows on the south side of the Swale without attracting undue attention! At Scabba Wath Bridge we turned back for the slightly rougher path on the north bank, the excitement of crossing Barney Beck by the stepping stones, and the promise of a cold drink in one of Reeth’s many hostelries.

All in all a good walk: the weather was glorious; the views were captivating; and the company, as ever, matched both.

Geraint Howell

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