Sunday, 18 September 2011

Another day out from Richmond

The view from High Moor over the Applegarths,  Swaledale
After chickening out of two routes from Reeth, I thought I’d walk from Richmond and find a path that I've always missed before.  (Because I’d never had a map and didn’t know it was there!)  I included a couple of slopes and 8½ miles walking in my route, (map at end), and I looked forward to getting out.

This time I learnt::  
                          1. Keep your camera battery charged.
                          2.  "Light Showers” means torrential downpours.
                          3.  My boots aren’t waterproof
                          4.  Always take a wetproof, even when you're sure you won’t need one.
                          5.  Follow your map, not your nose.
Willance's Leap memorial stones
Starting at Richmond, I headed up to Willance’s Leap with stunning views over Swaledale.  An added bonus is you get to look down on the Coast to Coasters.   I didn’t take any pictures because my camera battery failed, (Lesson No1) but I’ve included photographs taken on earlier walks.
From there, I walked along the top of Whitcliffe Scar to Deepdale Tree. Here I got my first “shower”.  (Lesson No 2)  Don’t ask about the tree, I didn’t see it.  I couldn’t see through my glasses or the rain. It stopped fairly quickly, but not until I was dripping wet. (Lessons 3 & 4)
Musk thistle on 24 July. Still there on 18 September, and still lovely

There’s a road down the centre of the steepsided Deepdale that you follow to Low Applegarth Farm.  Here I suffered my usual inability to find the path.  Ringing  water out of my sleeves, I “remembered” the route when I saw someone else go that way.  The farmer has realised that I can't navigate his fields.  He’s put up hulking great poles covered in yellow plastic tied with black masking tape stripes.  You really can’t miss them.  I like this part of the walk. The sun came out. 

Dripping on, I got to Swale and followed the path alongside to Whitcliffe Wood where there is a memorial from dogs to their dead owner.  Curious.  

Hudswell Woods

After Whitecliffe Wood, it’s past Lownethwaite Farm, down a track with loads of Himalayan Balsam in the verges, over Reeth road and the Swale and into Hudswell Woods.
I turned right and followed a very muddy, slippy path close to the river. At the end are a set of steps, (376 of ‘em, I counted!....... (But that could be 326?)). The steps climb 200ft up Hudswell Bank.  As I got to the top, the rain came down.  Luckily, fate provided me with a couple of dense trees over a stile perfect to sit on.  I stayed damp this time.  (I didn’t get any wetter.)
The Swale from Hudswell Woods
I headed east next, following the path through woods and fields. I’d always gone downhill before and this time wanted to stay at the top of the bank. Just above Round Howe, between the trees, you get lovely views of Richmond across the river.  I continued my route across the fields.  At the point I was looking slightly confused and trying to spot my next stile, a nice old lady told me that I should follow my nose and go right to the far corner of the field.  Actually, she should have said “Not that corner!  The other corner!” (Lesson No 5). Wrong again, but I was close to home.  And I had very nicely just about dried out.

Then, as sure as eggs is eggs and toast always falls butter side down, the heavens opened.  Just enough to make sure I was properly soaking wet by the time I got back to the house.

I walked 9 miles and only found half the path I was looking for.  (Sounds like a song title?). But  I really enjoyed the walk, even the wet bits.  You can see from the photo's how nice it is.

Another lovely day.

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