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The Sportsmans Inn, Cowgill, Dentdale


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Route No 71 - 31 March 2003 to 3 April 2003
A few days walking from the Sportsmans Inn,
Cowgill, Dentdale

Map: OS Explorer OL2 Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western areas at 1:25000

For each of the last five years my neighbour, Jim, and I have had a short walking holiday together.

In 1998 we walked the West Highland Way and have been to the Lake District twice. Last year we spent a week in Northumberland.

This year we decided to go to the Sportsmans Inn near Dent for a few days.  

| Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday |

Route No 71a - 31 March 2003
Aysgarth Falls Visitor Centre, River Ure, Nappa Hall,
Carperby, Aysgarth Lower Falls circuit - 16 km
Wensleydale . . .

Map: OS Explorer OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central areas at 1:25000

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service

On Monday 31 March we set off. It was quite a late start as Jim had ordered a new car at the week end and needed to sort out some details with the garage before we could leave. We drove up Wensleydale to Aysgarth and parked at the visitor centre (map Ref. SE 012888) It was already midday so we went to the upper falls called High Force andHigh Force, Aysgarth Falls had our lunch on one of the picnic tables with a nice view of the river and the falls. So it was about 12.30 when we finally got going along the path upstream passed a farm called Bear Park. A few fields beyond the farm is a sign provided by the National Park Service informing walkers that the OS have wrongly marked the path on some editions of the map (my map is quite elderly and was the one that was wrong) so we followed the signs and everything was OK. The path followed a disused railway for a few hundred metres before crossing to the riverbank. We walked along the river and the disused railway for about 4km to Nappa Mill (map ref. SD 961906).Nappa Hall Here we almost turned back on our route to follow the path up hill to Nappa Hall. We turned left onto the road at Nappa Hall and after 200m turned right on to a narrow lane climbing the hillside to map ref SD 963917. Here we joined a bridleway that contoured round the valley side above Woodhall towards Carperby. We came across an old pickup truck parked beside the wall and with a fire burning strongly under a large claypipe used as a chimney. There were three red hot branding irons sticking out of the fire and we were intigued to find out what was being branded - after all this is not the wild west! We looked over the wall to see three people and several dogs herding a huge flock of Swaledale sheep ready to brand their horns. A little farther on, the path goes through some old lead mine workings where the waste heap has congealed into a huge Mass of waste material from the old lead mine workingsformation pock-marked with small caves. The path here is called Oxclose Road on the map. We turned off this path to descend into Carperby. From the village we took the path across the fields (from Low Lane) back to the visitor centre. We left our rucsacks in the car and walked down stream to see the middle and lower falls. The sun was getting low in the sky and was shining directly down stream making any photography of the falls very difficult. The woods were carpeted with wood anenomies - lovely delicate little flowers. The whole route was about 16km and took us about four and a half hours including a couple of quite long stops in the sun. We drove up to the Sportsmans Inn at Cowgill near Dent and sampled the Black Sheep bitter until it was time to eat.

Anemonies carpet the woods above Aysgarth Falls

Aysgarth lower falls

Route No 71b - 1 April 2003
Morning: Ingleton Waterfalls Trail - 7km
Afternoon: Adam Sedgewick Trail - 1.5km
Adam Sedgwick of Dent
Ingleton(am), Dentdale(pm) . . .

Map: OS Explorer OL2 Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western areas at 1:25000

Dead tree studded with coins hammered in and bent over by  people for good luck!The next day, Tuesday 1 April, the weather was bad. I woke up to the sound of heavy rain, and from 7.00am to 8.30am the beck in front of the pub rose by over a foot and turned from a clear stream to a brownish torrent. Not a good sign. We decided to take advantage of this weather and drove to Ingleton and walked the 7km round the Ingleton Waterfalls Walk in the morning. The falls were quite spectacular with plenty of water coming over. We had a very civilised lunch - minestrone soup and a roll - in a cafe in Ingleton before driving over to Sedburgh to the tourist information office. It was closed until Easter. It was also the only place to provide leaflets about the Adam Sedgewick geological trail in Garsdale. Despite the lack of a leaflet we found the trail - there is an information board in the car park at map ref. SD 694912 - but without the leaflet we could not make much of the geology enroute. I walked the trail about 5 or 6 years ago and it was very interesting, but I had the leaflet then. The weather was starting to pick up as we returned to the pub for more black sheep bitter and a game of pool before tackling another tasty homemade bar meal.

Ingleton waterfalls walk

Route No 71c - 2 April 2003
Dentdale, Whernside Tarns, Whernside, Green Lane,
Flinter Gill, Dent, Dales High Way circuit - 19 km
Whernside, Dentdale . . .

Map: OS Explorer OL2 Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western areas at 1:25000

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service

Looking down Dentdale from the lower slopes of WhernsideThe next morning, Wednesday 2 April, was bright and cold with a stiff breeze. We planned to climb Whernside, 736m. and left the Sportsmans Inn at about 9.00am. We drove into Dent to get some sandwiches, then off to the old methodist chapel at map ref. SD723859 about 2km out of Dent. There is room to park maybe 4 cars on the grass verge beside the church and there is an honesty box for a small donation for parking there. We set off up the lane at the side of the chapel for about 250m to map ref. SD 724857 where we turned left onto a bridleway to begin the climb up Whernside. We followed the bridleway for The summit of Whernside seen from the tarnsabout 2km. to a wall corner at map ref. SD 746846. Here we turned right to follow the wall up the ridge of Whernside. There is no path shown on the map but there is a well walked path on the ground. The path goes by the Whernside tarns and is known as the "Tarns Route". It rejoins the public footpath at map ref. SD 741825. From there we continued along the ridge for just over 1km to the trig point at the summit. It was a lovely clear day with bright sunshine and fast moving clouds, quite warm in the sun but the fresh wind got very cold indeed by the time we reached the top and just after the tarns we put on out top layer of Ingleborough from the top of Whernsideclothing and wooly hat and gloves. The overnight ice on the pools had not yet melted. We were very glad of the comfortable stone windbreak with seats that has been erected just over the wall from the trig point. We sat there for about 15 minutes for a drink and a sandwich, looking out to a wonderful view of Ingleborough across the valley. The scenery all round and all the way up is breathtaking, with views into the Howgill Fells and across to the Lake District one way and out across the Yorkshire Dales the othe way. Finally we had to tear ourselves away from the summit Looking towards the Howgill Fells from the green road above Dentdale views and we headed off west on a path down to the road at map ref. SD 722818 about 2km from the trig point. At the road we turned right and followed the road for about 600m to map ref. SD 723823. Here we turned left onto an old green road. It climbs up for about 1.5km and then contours round the hill. Large sections of the green road have been badly erroded by vehicles making the walking quite difficult. We followed it for almost 6km from the road to a path at map ref. SD 698859 above Dent village. We followed this path down beside the rocky gorge of Flinter Gill into the village. We found a cafe and stopped for a coffee and a toasted teacake. Then we walked along the road out of the village to the Dales Way route at map ref. SD 707871. From here we followed the Dales Way up the valley to the road at map ref. SD 721861 and then walked the 250m up the road to our starting point at the old methodist chapel. The whole route was about17km and took us almost 6 hours including our stops.

The river Dee near Dent Scots pines on a low ridge near the chapel at our starting point


Route No 71d - 3 April 2003
Thornton Rust, National Trust land, Addlebrough,
Open Access land, Public Bridleway circuit - 7km
Wensleydale . . .

Map: OS Explorer OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central areas at 1:25000

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service

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Looking up Wensleydale from the slopes of Addlebrough
Looking up Wensleydale from the slopes of Addlebrough

There was a low black cloud hanging over the hill but the opposite side of Wensleydale was in bright sunshine. The final few hundred metres to the top were quite steep and Jim was sitting on a rock having a drink by the time I had puffed my way up. The view was impressive with the dark cloud overhead forming a black ceiling out to the bright sunshine beyond, quite eirie. We followed the permissive path down to the bridleway and returned along the bridleway to Thornton Rust. The walk had only been about 7km and had taken us 2 hours including a stop on the top. I'm planning to use the path over Addlebrough in a longer route soon. We arrived home in the early afternoon in plenty of time for Jim to collect his new car - it looks very smart in British racing green.

Thursday 3 April was our last day and Jim was very keen to get back early to collect his new car, after all it had been taxed from 1 April. We decided to have a short walk around Addlebrough. a prominent hill in the middle of Wensleydale, on the way back home. We parked in the village of Thornton Rust and set off along the road towards the hospital. At map ref SD 961894 there was a stile into the field with a map and a notice informing walkers of a permissive path through the National Trust land to the summit of Addlebrough and a permissive path through private land off the summit to a bridleway at map ref. SD 955875. We agreed to go over the hill instead of round it.

Jim at the top od Addlebrough
Jim at the top od Addlebrough