On the Pennine Way

Published on 17 October 2007 in , ,

If you’ve noticed things being a little quite round here, it’s because Catherine and myself got back from walking four days on the Pennine Way last Thursday, and I just haven’t felt like blogging since then.

It was our second stint on the Pennine Way, having done a day and a half on it back at the end of March, doing Gargrave to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, whilst also doing some walking around Malham on day one, and a circular walk around Horton on day three.

Ling Gill Bridge

Ling Gill Bridge, not far from Hawes, Yorkshire

This time we were back on the Pennine Way proper, picking up where we left off and walking from Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Dufton, stopping for sleep and food along the way at Hawes, The Tan Hill Inn and Middleton-in-Teesdale. If I get round to it, there might be posts about pubs, B&Bs and stuff over the next few days, but if you want to get a good feel for the walking, the photos are on Flickr (or at least, at the time of writing, will be!) complete with commentary.

The distances we walked were pretty heavy going, especially given we were carrying all our stuff on our backs.

Horton to Hawes came in at 14 miles, Hawes to the Tan Hill Inn 16 miles, Tann Hill Inn to Middleton-in-Teesdale 16 miles and the final stretch to Dufton a whopping 20 miles – which was especially hard going.

Whilst much of the walking was lovely, with some great views, we did spend a day doing little more than walking in peat bog (Tan Hill to Middleton-in-Teesdale) in gloomy, damp weather which was frankly depressing, and the stretch to Dufton took us alongside a military firing range (and more peat bog), complete with scared landscape. That afternoon was another depressing point until we got to the mighty High Cup Nick which was amazing, and our dedication was also rewarded with some lovely evening sun as we made it to Dufton Youth Hostel just before the big yellow ball set for the day.

We crossed three counties and watched the accents change quite dramatically in a short time, starting with North Yorkshire, before popping in to a bit of North Eastern twang in Country Durham before getting all Cumbrian the next day.

Also interesting was the range of room numbers we stayed in.

We started at The Golden Lion in Horton, in room 1. By the time we’d got to Hawes Youth Hostel, we’d moved to room 14. Tan Hill Inn gave us room 4. As did the frankly wonderful Belvedere House Bed and Breakfast in Middleton-in-Teesdale (a highly recommended stop – the room was beautifully decorated, the owner extremely friendly and nice, and it came with some delicious hand made biscuits!). Oh and the room in Dufton Youth Hostel (the only place on our tour to offer black pudding for Breakfast – yum yum!)? Number 4.

In some respects it was a shame to come back – we stayed in some lovely villages and towns, – a far cry from the hectic bustle of London. In others it was great to be back, given my clothes were getting a bit musty smelling, my back very achy after carrying that rucksack over all those miles, and my feet having a strange black blister. Mind you, you have to suffer for such a pub crawl, and the Old Peculiar was well received. But more on that… later…