United Kingdom
Arkle Beck

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  • Day17

    Gales on the Dales

    June 14, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌬 16 °C

    There were 2 options for today’s route, the high road and the low road. The choice was made for us by the weather, very high winds after a storm came through last night. Our guide thought we might be blown off the top if we tried the moors.

    Even on the low route we were blown about by very strong winds. Lots of branches blown down overnight.

    We set off, well rugged up in our wet weather gear, first down to the very small village of Keld to check out the little Heritage Centre, it’s focus is farming heritage, particularly the old stone cow barns that were used for cattle during winter, then up past a waterfall and on to our route which followed the Swale River all day. Swaledale is the northern most and wildest of the Yorkshire Dales.

    We had a break for “elevenses” in the village of Gunnerside. Mary Shaw’s cafe was doing a great service.

    Most of the day we were walking through fields, and to go from field to field we squeezed through gaps in the dry stone walls that mostly had gates on strong springs. I’m sure the gaps were getting smaller as the day went on, and the steps higher and higher. Anyway we all managed to squeeze through despite English breakfasts and cream teas.

    My phone says about 20 kilometres for the day.

    We are now in Reeth, apparently the unofficial capital of Swaledale. It was a centre for lead mining in the past. We would have seen the remnants of the lead mining if we’d taken the high route. The number of pubs in the village is probably due to its mining heritage. Now it thrives on tourism so there’s also a few tea shops. It’s a cute little village with a green common in the centre appropriately called The Green. There’s also a Yorkshire Dales National Park office. Apparently some episodes of All Creatures Great and Small were filmed here.

    I just got an update on the weather over dinner. Some one saw on the news that today was the windiest June day ever in England. The low road was a wise choice.
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