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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Dales Way Day 2: Burnstall to Hubberholme

We began the walk by the River Wharfe again. That's after we had returned to the pub to collect our packed lunches that we had all forgotten.

It was a very flat path to start the day's walk. No other walkers seemed to be out and about this morning which was a pleasant relief after the crowds of people around yesterday

Spotted this Great heron on the banks of the river before it took off.

This stump of a tree made a fine seat for Steve who has organised this beautiful walk for us this year and is desperate to fill our minds with facts from the guide book as we walk along. I would have to say he failed miserably!

We needed to cross the river at this point but I decided to try the stepping stones today rather than Hebden suspension bridge. The bridge replaced the stones in 1885 but has been renewed since then, but it is a very narrow, creaky, swinging bridge. The stones didn't look so bad until I was half way across and realised there was quite a span between some of them.

It wasn't long before we had a clear view of St Michael and All Angels church in Linton. There has been a church here since Saxon times and was replaced by a stone building in 1150. Since then it has been much restored.

It's lack of a tall spire or tower takes away the traditional church look.
There are stepping stones to take you across the river to the church but as I had crossed one set this morning I wasn't going to chance my luck on these.
One of the many stiles we had to cross today.

Oh here's another one.

We followed the path into the village of Grassington, the biggest village on the walk.

With its supermarket, public toilets, chemist and post office, we spent a little time buying any essentials we had forgotten and making the most of the facilities. It is also one of only two places on the walk we can access a cash machine. Very handy.

Leaving Grassington it is an upward climb away from the riverside and the lush countryside.

There are cows in this field and as some of you might know I am not happy about getting too close. Paul checked the map and found an alternative route much to my delight.

The scenery is now much bleaker but with the occasional point of interest.
This lime kiln dates back to the mid 19thC. These kilns were used to heat the limestone to produce quicklime which was used as a fertiliser or mortar in buildings.

A little further on is a tall communications mast. Phone reception is dire in these hilly areas and we would have to wait until we were higher up to receive or make calls. Wifi wasn't much better. It was either non-existent or very, very slow.

Yet another stile. This one even has a gate to negotiate when you get to the top of the wall. The spring on the gate was so strong I always needed someone to hold it open. Jim could always be relied upon to help open the numerous gates and stiles. Tim would always ensure the gates were securely fastened once we had passed through. Tina and I were more than happy to allow this distribution of responsibilities.
We kept on the high ground to Kettlewell descending via a wood. But just as we could see the village in the distance, which is where we planned to stop for lunch, the worst part of the day's walk awaited. There was a series of stiles, gates, gaps and ladders to negotiate our way across a number of fields before we could get to the village. We had almost walked 10 miles today and this short stretch was by far the worst.

In Kettlewell we found some benches to rest our weary legs and eat lunch. The fact they were in the middle of a roundabout just seemed to amuse the local cyclists and drivers who drove around us.

We hadn't realised how cold it was until we had sat there for a while. We were going to pop into a cafe for a hot drink but decided to keep going as we still had a few more miles to walk.

Once more the path led us back to the River Wharfe and onto National Trust land.

The land became quite boggy as we traversed across a flood plain.

This tiny bridge took people to and from the small village of Starbotton (there are some great place names in Yorkshire).
You can still see evidence of what was once a large estate

The next bridge we came across takes you into the small village of Buckden but our path led us away from the river towards out overnight stop at Hubberholme, just a couple of miles away.

The very welcome sight of The George Inn. But before I sat down there was one place I wanted to visit and that was the local church which I hoped was still open.

Strangely, the church has the same name as the one in Linton, St Michael and All Angels followed by the village name of Hubberholme.

J B Priestley, the author, described the church as 'one of the smallest and most pleasant places in the world'. But my curiosity had been aroused knowing that the pews and other parts of the church had been carved by the carpenter Robert Thompson. He is more popularly known as the famous mouseman of Kilburn. A Yorkshire man he produced hand crafted oak furniture and used a mouse as his signature. He became known as one of the finest craftsmen of the 20th C. So I was here to try to find his famous signature.

It took me a little while as it was quite dark in the church but then I spotted a couple of them on the pews. There are a number of other mice in the church but I was happy with my find!

It was time to join the others in The George Inn

The George began life as a vicarage in the 17thC and the pub has a tradition of a lit candle in the bar as a throwback to the vicar who would put a candle in the window to let people know he was home. This is Ed, the landlord, a very friendly and hospitable host who had an amazing talent for remembering all his guests' names without any hesitation.

We enjoyed a delicious meal in the pub which has won awards for its range of home made pies. We were so full only Paul and Steve could manage to share a dessert.

Today's walk of 16 miles was not as easy as yesterday's . A few inclines but the most difficult bit was the number of stiles we had to climb over. The difference in step height and the frequency of them certainly had our legs aching by the end.of the day. No late nights on this walk. Off to bed and hopefully wake up refreshed for tomorrow.


  1. Those mouses curved in the wood is so cute, great you remembered to have a look in the church.

  2. Oh I love this. Wish I were along! Good job on finding the mouse!

  3. Sixteen miles is a long distance for a walk, isn't it? Such beautiful country, very English. Thanks for the great report on a day well spent! :-)

  4. A lovely walk, I wish I could have joined you but at least you brought us along virtually. Sixteen miles?, I'm not sure I'm still up to that and I'm sure my hubby isn't.

  5. What wonderful sights you saw! Love all the old stone buildings. Thanks for taking us along on your latest adventure.

  6. Most blogs I don't read when I am holidaying, but you tramping about the countryside is irresistible. Hi from Porto. If you haven't been, you must.

  7. What a delightful outing you have shared with us today - thank you! I imagine that not having phone reception would have been a blessing!
    Loved the signature mouse. :-)

  8. What an amazing walk - it puts my mountain hikes to shame. There's a lot of beautiful countryside there, and I certainly feel drawn to it. I could have enjoyed a life in the English countryside and still occasionally dream about returning there, although I'm sure I'd miss the sunshine from where I now live.

  9. You have captured variety of scenes during your walk. Very nice.

  10. You must be very tired in the evenings ! But what fun !

  11. What a lovely area for hiking!

  12. I love the idea of having hiking when you have nothing to carry but your lunch. Those twin lambs--adorable! I'd have stuffed down the pie. 😀

  13. I'm amazed at how you find your way. Sometimes there doesn't seem to be a path.


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