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Pennine Way

Information Introduction Postscript
Days 1-2 3-5 6-9 14-18 19-22

Day 10. Horton to Hawes - 13.75 miles

We head out of Horton on a walled green road which is a pleasure to walk on. Limestone scars can be seen in the hills. We gain height gradually. green road out of Horton

There are several pot-holes in the vicinity of the path. We stop at Sell Gill Holes for a cuppa. Charl collects water from the gill. It is the colour of tea before we start but makes a very good brew. Sell gill disappears underground here. I try to look into the hole but canít see much without risking life and limb.

Sell Gill

    It isnít raining!

Sell Gill Holes

We swap one packhorse road for another and continue to Ling Gill Bridge where we have lunch in the sun!

Ling Gill Bridge

We cross Cam Fell on a path that is purportedly prehistoric but certainly used and maintained by the Romans. The path is used by vehicles including many trail bikes so it is badly rutted. The ruts are full of water from the previous rain and this makes for awkward walking but the fine views more than compensate. We climb to about 1,840ft and the route then levels off. We meet the West Cam Road, another old packhorse route.

Cam Fell into Wensleydale from the West Cam Road

We descend along the crest of Rottenstone Hill, through the village of Gayle and so into Hawes. We buy fish and chips in the town and eat them by the river in the sun. Our planned campsite turns out to be residential only but we eventually find another on the outskirts.

Day 11. Hawes to Keld - 12.75 miles

We leave Hawes early and arrive at Hardraw Force before it opens. (The entrance is through The Green Dragon Inn). The landlord begins to put the signs out. We hesitate for a moment and then decide we will visit it another time. waterfall

We begin the ascent of Great Shunner. It is a long one from brow to brow - cairn to cairn, but the going is easy and enjoyable. We reach the summit where there is a cross shelter and we have our lunch and chat to day trippers. We descend, once again, from cairn to cairn. Great Shunner is 2340ft. and is quite a fell, being really ďgreatĒ as it covers a distance of 20 sq.. miles!

flanks of Great Shunner

There is still some distance to go today. The path into Thwaite is deeply rutted and awkward.

toward Swaledale

We are pleased to arrive in Thwaite. We were hoping for a shop but at least there are decent tea-rooms where we have a great cup of coffee and then enjoy a solero on a bench by the bus shelter. We still have another 3 miles before Keld, our destination for the day. I look at the bus time-table but do not consider it seriously. Well, not very!

It is a long three miles. The path runs along a limestone shelf and climbs to the summit of Kisdon at 1636ft with a sharp drop to the right where we can see the River Swale beneath. The way is indistinct but always follows the shelf. The going is arduous but never boring. There is a sharp descent into Keld where we arrive tired and with no dinner. Rather than retrace our steps into Hawes centre this morning, we were hoping to get supplies in Thwaite.

We have visited Keld before on the Coast to Coast walk last year. The midges are just as bad if not worse! Charl begins to hint at returning home and finishing the PW another time. The weather, the going and the midges have all combined to make him depressed. I agree the rain, the mud and muck along with wet clothes and no chance of drying them, has made the walk much more arduous than it would have been in better conditions. Not one for giving up I believe we should go on. I still have to persuade Charlie.

Having no dinner tonight does not help the mood!

Day 12. Keld to Tan Hill - 4 miles

The sun is shining which helps to lift the low spirits of yesterday. Charl is still considering quitting so I suggest we only walk to Tan Hill today and have a rest to recharge our batteries. This will mean another day less in our itinerary which will make finishing the way less likely but at the moment I am more concerned about continuing it. Keld from Swallow HillWe cross the Swale and climb up to Swallow Hill. We take a wrong turn here and have rather an exciting encounter with some bulls. They pin us in a corner. One begins to scrape his foot as if in a bullring. Waving our hiking sticks, we make a hasty retreat! We walk along the shoulder of West Stonesdale and cross Stonesdale Moor.West Stonesdale

It is hard to describe just how squidgy the path is here. It is rather like a sponge and as my foot goes down the water seeps out all round but I prefer to look at the sky which is bright blue.

Stonesdale Moor

It is sunny all day. We do our washing, sit in the sun, snooze a little and generally take it easy. We have dinner in the pub and fully refreshed Charl decides not to hang up his boots after all.

camped at Tan Hill


Day 13. Tan Hill to Wythes Hill - 12 miles

It is the glorious 12th. I open the tent and there in front of me, would you believe it, is a grouse. I tell it to run and hide. Sleightholme Beck

We head off across Sleightholme Moor taking the alternative route. We are at last walking in dry socks and do not want to spoil this luxury. We cross the moor, pass Trough Heads and onto Godís Bridge. This is a natural limestone rock bridge over the River Greta. It is very windy and quite cold. The sunny periods are brief and interspersed with squally showers.

Sleightholme Moor God's Bridge River Greta

We cross the A66 via an underpass.

Cotherstone Moor Wythes Hill

We continue over Cotherstone Moor and go down into the valley of Lunedale. We cross the reservoir (haven't seen one of them for a while) by the Blackstone Bridge and up the other side to Wythes Hill. We intend to go on to Middleton for supplies but as we approach Wythes Hill a cold, blustery wind blows up together with quite a squall. We decide to pitch at Wythes Hill Farm. At Wythes Hill Farm We choose a place behind a wall of silage for maximum shelter. The only food they can offer at the farmhouse is three eggs and a tin of baked beans. As we are absolutely starving, these provisions along with some bread and butter make a marvellous meal.

               Of course the stormy conditions disappear as soon as we are pitched!