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…