Day 6 Malham to Horton in Ribblesdale

Yesterday was a walk which started well in the sunshine – but ended in a damp scramble into Malham. All the wet weather gear went on. 

Some lovely views but very wet feet by the end. Our room in Malham youth hostel was like this.

Only one person could stand at a time. But friendly staff and some witty signs. 

Hostels have changed for the better – there’s a far more relaxed regime which combines well with a traditional drying room. And they provided a decent breakfast which meant we were on our way early to see this

Malham Cove – impressive. After a wicked climb out of Malham there was a lot to admire and we had the weather to do it. 

Lovely walking. Some ‘stiff sustained climbs’ but a very satisfying day. 

Lunch=dry ham sandwich and a falling apart gluten free cookie. I ate it anyway. 

Down Fountains Fell and up Pen y Gent with Sue’s brother and his dog who joined us for this bit, and dinner. For those of you who long to join us on these ridiculous rambles, but who fear we are Amazonian – which is all tosh btw – a day or two’s walking with us is a good way in. You’ll see that we stumble and trip and I stay at the back, most of the time because I’m not a whippet, let alone an Amazon. 

Climbing Pen y Gent looked worse that it was, my fitness is improving, but still involved a little scramble and a few dicey moments when the wind caught my rucksack. No retaining wall to catch the flyaway rambler. But we all made it and after a stomp down a three mile stony track we found ourselves in Horton where the Three Peaks events start from. 

Horton is a pretty village but full of bossy signs like this :

But the staff in the cafe were superb and attentive and we got tomorrow’s tuck in there which I won’t show you because you ll only be jealous.

Then showers, washing, pub, (a roast lamb dinner since you’re asking) bed. 

A good day, and aren’t we glowing and gorgeous? 


This is what the last week looks like but harder than that, because you can’t see the ups and downs.

Mankinholes to Ickornshaw 

Another 16/7 miler starting with a beastly climb out of Callis Bridge and more up and down for a long time. 

Pictures say more than words. 

And another climb up to May’s shop which is a PW legend and you really can buy anything there. 

And the Parkins not bad either.

More moors and reservoirs. 

And after a lunch of apple and cheese and cookies, this:

The more reservoirs and moorland and then Top Withins which is supposed to have inspired Wuthering Heights which was pretty inhospitable any way you look at it. I thought we were nearly there but no, only a few more moors and slabs and a sharp shower to go. It was unexpectedly hard. We arrived at 6pm to another wonderful host duo who gave us cake and tea and took our washing away. 

Then a Caminoesque meal out with friends we’ve made on the way which was full of laughter and understanding and some beer. 

Excellent – maybe I can carry on. Tomorrow, Malham. 

Diggle to Mankinholes

Our first sunshine and no rain. 

This was a much easier walk and once we were up on the ridge it was fairly straightforward. (I’m saying that but I make no contribution at all to the navigation as I have realised how woefully inadequate my skills are. I make the landscape fit the map. Thank heaven for Becky and Sue).

We made good progress and were at the White House pub for a drink as it opened. We’ve learned to have a hot drink and a cold drink. One to comfort one to hydrate. 

Very nice too and a tiny macaroon. Could have eaten four. 

Then more reservoir walking including a boggy detour and past Stoodley Point,down a very pretty wood to Hebden Bridge – “the fourth funkiest town on the planet.” ??

It was pretty funky, and I’d like to go back but we were funky too in a different way, so availed ourselves of the Co op fresh produce and got a taxi to Mankinholes Youth Hostel. 

Hostels are great but often you can’t get in till five as they’re run by volunteers these days, so that’s why we did our shopping in HB. Which was wise as the promised shop at the hostel sold beans and ancient postcards. Not tasty. But our food was. And as we did 37000+ steps yesterday – I’ve got a new app- we needed it. 

Mankinholes Youth Hostel is run by a sterling guy called Bob. A more relaxed host you could not hope to find. And indeed all the people we’ve met so far have been delightful in their way.  Ian, a taxi driver, who didn’t want to take our money told us how they’d just had their dog put down, and how his adult son went fishing for three days to process it. He said his happiest memory of Ronnie, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, was when they brought him home on Christmas Eve twelve years ago and surprised their kids! This is a man who does triathlons he looked fit and tough and yet there he was on a 10 minute journey sharing some fairly deep emotions: something’s changed – it wasn’t like this years ago and we are all the better for it I’d say. It was a real human connection.  All the publicity about mental health is working at some level and hoorah for that. 

So far we’ve met a deal of  older guys: chatty Warren, from Wales,  Steve another older man lean as a pick, walking in step with us and a chap called Heffin? Heffan? Jolly nice anyway and keen on model railways, in fact trains in general, and very well travelled. 

And another Bob, who we call Lost Bob, who left Edale when we did and fell down on Bleaklow and they got the mountain rescue out for him. He now sports a plaster on his nose but persists in walking long stages despite his advanced years (he looks old) and injury. He arrived at 9.30 pm last night tired and dehydrated. But he’s going home today much to our relief. Bless him. 

Anyhow we’re off to breakfast with Lost Bob, and sterling Not Lost Bob. I’ll try and take a photo. 

Crowden to Diggle

Yes that is a place. Not that I’ve seen much of it as we slithered down the bridle path into town and into our hotel at 4.30 and have not left since. Had a pie and a pint – and am now horizontal. 

Today was better, shorter, 14 miles, and visibility was good. Lots more trudging and traipsing up and down hills and slabs and bogginess and fording. This means crossing water in full spate. 

Now we were never going to be swept away  downstream but lose your footing and you could take a tumble and be wet through to your pants. As if you weren’t wet enough already. 

Said one lovely lady, when her husband said we might have to wade, I hate that word – wade. We didn’t wade but there was a hop skip and countdown to a jump. It mostly worked. 

Some great views and good company. And tomorrow we are at Mankinholes – yes that’s a place too. And the forecast is better. 

Edale to Crowden 17 miles

Hard. As promised. We walked out in our waterproofs from the off but spirits were high. 

After a while I didn’t know whether it was rain or sweat but I felt an all pervading dampness, it was as Becky aptly put it like being boil in the bag rice. 

All our kit and knees held out but it was a tough one and I’m glad it’s over. No more pics because I didn’t lift my head for long enough. We’ve met some lovely people fellow walkers and truly hospitable kind hosts. 

As ever I’m in bed already, full of fish pie and relief and hoping my body does that clever repair job before I ask it to continue the walk tomorrow.

And we’re off

Despite a lost passport, the vagaries of public transport and being told at Manchester station it was going to rain for a week, we all showed up and today our PW adventure begins. 

We are under occupying a bunk house for 18, so have had a gentle start. We’ve compared the weight of our packs, and maps and swapped emergency phone numbers and reassured ourselves that we’ll be sensible and not rush because that’s When Accidents Happen. 

The scenery – even from my bunk – looks stunning, if damp. So we’re off, after a fortifying breakfast.

Thanks for all your good wishes and see you in Crowden. 

The Big One

This time next week four of us intrepid walkers will be on day three of The Big One. For those not in the know that means The Pennine Way.

When I mention to people that it’s our next walk I can predict that there will be a sharp intake of breath and then some tooth sucking and something like “I hope you’ve got good waterproofs” – encouraging mmm?

Now on previous walks I’ve generally rocked up with my kit in stuff sacks and some new socks and hoped for the best but this time I’ve done some research, not training mind, research. And frankly the tooth suckers could well be right. There’s plenty to be anxious about.

The PW was instituted just over 50 years ago in (pale) imitation of the Appalachian Way the idea being that walkers could find wilderness in this small and in places overcrowded country. It runs for 268 from Edale in the Peak District to Kirk Yethom north of the border. And it’s hard. And bleak. And challenging. Peat bog and lonely moors and desolate landscapes, unfriendly natives and bears. No not the last two. Because it’s not the Appalachian Way, and in my experience most people are kinder than I deserve. Especially to a damp walker.

So not without some reservations I’m sharpening my blogging finger and packing my rucksack tonight- and yes I’ve got good waterproofs.


Dogs aplenty

Meet Princess Lexi who’s staying with us for a few days. The three dogs have reached some sort of equilibrium – our two do a lot of rough and tumble which she disdains. She has her eye on her food bowl and lead ever hopeful that we might go out. Even though it’s 6.00am and pitch black.

The dogs have just had a breakfast of scrambled egg and stale bread – it’s for Doug really as he’s still growing (oh my is he still growing) – but they’ve all waited while I stir and it cools and then they wolfed down a worthy breakfast. 

They get on well.Feeding began as a fox, chicken, seed situation – you know when there’s a river to cross and all three need to travel, but only two can use the boat at once. Fox and chicken together? No. Chicken and seed? No. Fox and seed and then more crossings back and forth to achieve the goal. Well it’s been like that with food bowls here. Separate areas at first then two together and today we managed a civilised breakfast – by which I mean no growling or snapping or naughtiness at all. Not bad for three quite up for it dogs. So what have I learned?

Not just to put the bowls down and shout, just see what happens. ( I never did that! )

Have a plan but be flexible.

To tolerate the mess and toing and froing, and some canine bristling.

To be calm and authoritative. 😜

And to go with the filthy flow a little: don’t tidy up too soon as you’ll have to do it again. 

Happy hounds.