Date: Friday 29 May 2015
Walked from: Hawes, North Yorkshire
Walked to: Tan Hill Inn, North Yorkshire
Distance: 16.5 miles
Stayed: Tan Hill Inn
I had a lovely time in Hawes, which was still decked out with some of the Tour de France themed paraphernalia that decorated the village when the race came through last year. I’ll be back to explore some more of that beautiful area of the Yorkshire Dales.
Still, even though it was raining when we left, I set off with a light heart and a whole gaggle of walking friends to natter and laugh with as we embarked on the beautiful six mile, 400 meter climb up to Great Shunner Fell – Annette and Eleanor, @PilgrimChris, Peter, Colin and their friend Terry, and postman Ken. As we got to the top, the sun briefly came out, and we could see the heat rising off the land all around us as the rain soaked land dried off in front of ours eyes – quite magical.
What goes up must go down, and we lost a good 500 meters on the way down the stony track into Thwaite, where I managed to avoid a heavy rain shower with an excellently timed bacon buttie and hot chocolate lunch at the welcome ‘hotel’ there. Small victories and all that…
Post-lunch we lost three of the morning’s walking group, with Peter, Colin and Terry finishing in Keld, where we finally (and literally) crossed paths with the Coast to Coast route that Annette and I walked together two years ago. It was good to be back in beautiful Swaledale.
Another four miles and 250 meters of ascent on across the bleak and windswept Stonesdale Moor took us to the stopping point for the day; Tan Hill Inn – the highest pub in Great Britain, and the scene of many a winter-time, multi-day, snow-based lock in. We didn’t get one of those, thank god, but it was a memorable evening, in the very best of ways, and a place I intend to go back to whenever the opportunity allows.
Photos: The land drying off after rain at Great Shunner Fell / approaching Keld / looking back towards Keld / Ken, Annette and Eleanor at Tan Hill Inn