A long walk from Bull Pot Farm.

Day 1.   Bull Pot Farm to Cam Houses - 16miles. Leave 9:15a.m. Arrived 7p.m.

With a few days to spare I decided on a backpacking trip across the Dales. I set off from the farm in steady drizzle which soon turned to rain as I made my way clown the green lane to Barbondale. I stuck my head down and got on with it. I was buzzed continually along the road by numerous cyclists, going from Lands End to John O’Groats. I soon got fed up saying ‘Good Morning’ to them all & just grunted back. As I reached Dentdale the rain subsided, but the cyclists kept coming. I took refuge in a shop a had a pasty.

By now l had joined the “Dalesway” footpath which follows the river Dee for most of’ the way up Dentdale. The sun came out & this proved a pleasant afternoon. Just beyond the Sportman Inn, the path joins the road & continues up to Dentdale Head. Under the viaduct I met some other Dalesway walkers coming in the opposite direction. It appeared that the next section across Stoops Moss, was very boggy - so much for keeping my feet dry. After a mile or so of bog trotting, I stopped for a rest by a large resurgence cave, which I have since found is not recorded in ‘Northern Caves”. From hereI headed south towards Ribblehead to join the Ingleton - Hawes road at Far Gearstones Farm. From here, the Dalesway heads east to join the Pennine Way on Cam Well. From the road up to Cam Well is a long uphill, 2 mile slog and I was beginning to flag. At the top I turned off the Pennine Hay down eastwards to Cam Houses, at the head of Oughtershaw Beck. This is a group of buildings, including holiday cottages and a bunkhouse available for hire. This was full of scouts so I camped below the buildings by a noisy stream. I had a large plate of Chow Meim for tea. Went to bed pleasantly knackered.

Day 2. Cam Houses to Austwick Beck Head via Horton - 13 miles. Leave 9a.m. Arrived 5p.m.

A pleasant day, cool wind, overcast but bright. After breaking camp I continued east on the Dalesway to the hamlet of Oughtershaw on the Buckden - Hawes road. This is a pleasant, picturesque Dales hamlet and looked appealing in the morning sunlight. Here the Dalesway follows the road south over the hill into Langstrothdale, the head of Wharfedale. At Beckermonds, I turned away from the river Wharfe & the Dalesway up Langstrothdale. The upper end of this valley is a peaceful place. Three miles further on the road ends & is very little used. My route led up through limestone scars and a plantation to join the Pennine Way on Birkwith Moor, north of Horton.

After a break for dinner at this spot, I trekked down Past Sell Gill Holes to Horton. I limped the last mile to the Post Office. Here I revived after a Danish pastry & a can of pop. I was tempted to stop in Horton with its pub, cafe, etc. but it was far too early - only 3 p.m. so I set off up the lower slopes of Ingleborough, past Horton Station up towards Sulber Nick, turning south to follow a wall across the limestone pavements of Moughton. From here the path drops down into Crummock Dale, through the lush, green meadows near Austwick Beck Head, where I pitched my tent. Not long afterwards the clag came down, and the rain soon followed - I was glad to have the tent up,

Day 3. Austwick Beck Head to Bull Pot Farm. - l2miles, Leave 9:30a.m. Ingleton 12:40p.m. & Bull Pot Farm 5:10p.m.                      .                

Sunny morning. A rather lethargic start. Washed my sore feet in the stream & set off via Clapham Bottoms for Gaping Gill. Arriving on the Allotment, I found a party lost looking for G.G., after putting them right I made my way to Stream Passage Pot. The entrance is looking unstable again. From here I carried on westward towards Long Kin West Pot, but somehow I wandered down too low & ended up on the pavement above Grey Scars then I slipped on some wet clints and twisted my knee & ankle. After a rest & much cursing, I continued on my way down to Crina Bottom & staggered down the lane into Ingleton, to be revived in Bernies Cafe. (Pie & Chips & two mugs of tea). Here I left my sac with Steve Round for collection later, (Is this cheating?) The route from Ingleton continues along a pleasant footpath to the Turbary Road near Marble Steps & via Thornton Hall & Cowgill Farm. Passing Ireby Hall Cavern & Notts Pot.

I rested briefly at Lost Johns and then on down Leck Fell via Rumbling Hole. Another rest in Easegill Beck with the sky looking threatening, however the rain held off until I reached the farm.

A long walk with some grand situations.

Andy Hall.


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