Day 25 – The Calm Before the Storm

Skipton to Malham

Kirk Yetholm is the end of the Pennine Way in case you thought it was almost over. It hasn’t properly started yet.

Last night’s B&B couldn’t be faulted. There were Quality Street chocolates in little bowls all over the house, a fridge full of beer and wine, a big comfortable bed and a proper shower. The lady of the house was out shopping when I arrived which grated a little bit but the decorator was expecting me and showed me to the conservatory. It gave me the chance to study her CD collection which dated back to the mid ’80s so I knew what to expect.

I gave up waiting and searched the upstairs bedrooms until I found one with my bag, which travels by road during the day. There was also a carafe of sherry with two crystal glasses. “I like a glass of sherry”, I said to her later. “So do I”, she said. She told me how one guest had drunk the whole carafe without realising what it was and ended up staying for three days. “Can I do your washing?”, she asked and I gratefully handed over my bag of dirty underwear.

I called Dominos and ordered a Hawaiian pizza and a few minutes later I was eating it, despite the rain lashing down outside.

This morning she sat me down for breakfast at 7.30, half an hour earlier than the advertised time and presented me with real bread, homemade jams, proper muesli, blueberries and raspberries from the garden and a pot of tea.

The walk to Malham was only 18Km and flat all the way. There was an old fashioned cafe and sweet shop half way. I had a cappuccino and a slice of rocky road and the assistant agreed to pose with her decorative face mask.

I stopped at the first pub in Malham and ate quite a lot of sheep for lunch. Afterwards I discovered I was staying in the other pub. The receptionist told me their food was the best in Yorkshire but I doubt I could eat another sheep today.

Malham is a tourist centre and there’s lots to do. For example, there’s a woodland walk along a stream. And there’s the Yorkshire Dales National Park office which has brochures explaining the underlying geomorphology of the area and the unusual drainage flows. But surely everyone knows that from their school geography lessons?

Tomorrow the hard work starts. No more cafes. Instead it will be packed lunches, crazy hills, big ascents and descents, wild stormy weather and lots of sheep out for revenge.

A puzzle for the children. Can you spot the Pennine Way?

…and what about here?

Below – a double arched bridge

below – trouble ahead…

…excuse me

10 comments on “Day 25 – The Calm Before the Storm

  1. Tassie Kaz

    Why is the bridge double-arched? Is it for extra support, multi-purpose or simply a ‘modern’ extension to meet road height?

    • I’m not sure. It’s curious. It carries a big road so I suppose it’s an extension. Nothing is straightforward in Yorkshire

      • and I thought they just had a couple of bridges left over.

  2. Vicky Williamson

    Kia ora, Tim I’ve enjoyed the photos of the moors and the quirky access structures but I’m really prefer wild and difficult terrain so I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 180 or so miles look like. I hope that the stormy weather and wild sheep don’t spoil your walk. Kia kaha, Vicky

  3. Philippa

    Hi Tim, today’s photos look a bit wet and muddy – no doubt due to the cattle gathering by the gates? I’m looking forward to seeing the land around Hawes! Like Tassie Kaz, I have Yorkshire ancestors, from nearby Askrigg. The Terrys were a big family; there’s a hair-raising story about some of them who (it’s said) murdered a man travelling home to Scotland after selling his cattle at market. Apparently he unwisely let it be known (after a drink or two in the local pub) that he’d made a good profit. He and the money disappeared. Anyway, my 4x great-grandfather, John Terry, was too young to be one of the baddies; he travelled to Australia 200 years ago, where he built the first flour mill at what’s now New Norfolk, Tasmania, became wealthy (through hard work, according to the stained glass window in the local church) & left many descendants. I’ve been there, but I still hope to visit Askrigg one day …

    • Always amazing stories of the early settlers. What brave, resourceful people. It’s Hawes on Saturday

  4. Sounds like you are putting on weight. Obviously for the gruelling time ahead. Somewhere.

    • If it doesn’t start getting gruelling soon I’m going to have to make it up. You don’t expect a cappuccino and rocky road every day on the Pennine Way

  5. What a fascinating bridge! Never seen one before like that. I love the quaint sweet shop, my kind of shopping trip.

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