Friday, 9 December 2011



After enjoying an excellent weekend of walking from Haworth hostel with Stockport Walking & Outdoor Group, on the Sunday evening, rather than heading home with the others, Pam and I headed North for the short drive to Aysgarth. After a very nice meal at the George & Dragon across the road, we spent the night at Yoredale guesthouse, which proved very friendly and comfortable. 

Day 1 Monday 24 October 2011 Aysgarth to Grinton 12 miles (history day)    
Leaving Aysgarth
 Despite a forecast of rain, today stayed dry but rather overcast, though we did get some brighter spells, and even some glimpses of blue sky. We left the car parked across the road from the B&B in a lay-by in the centre of the village, the B&B owners assuring us it would be fine there. From there we set off across fields to the visitors centre. A bull in one field strode determinedly towards us – we left the field just as it reached us so we didn’t find out if it was annoyed with us or just curious. 

A Friend

From there we passed the lower and middle waterfalls, both of which were well worth seeing, with plenty of water coming down. Then we made our way across fields to Castle Bolton, a medieval fortified manor house. 

Aysgarth Falls
Castle Bolton
After a quick snack, we headed north up onto the moors, climbing initially before dropping down to Dent’s House, which seemed to be an open bothy for people to use, and seemed popular  judging by the comments in the visitors book. Rather than climbing again and heading due north straight to Grinton, we took a good track heading west. This took us along a remote valley, Apedale, gradually gaining height until we reached the top to look over towards Swaledale on the other side. While there was a stream running in the bottom of the valley, we passed numerous dried up streambeds running down the side of the valley, which looked like they had been reasonable size streams at one point, but were now all dry. There had also been a lot of tree planting along this valley, with a lot of young saplings.

This whole area has been mined in the past, and there are a lot of disused mine workings and spoil heaps. This is now a very popular area for grouse shooting, with numerous rows of grouse butts. These proved very useful for navigation – our book directed us to look for grouse butt number 11, and turn left there and follow the line of butts down hill until a path was picked up. From there we picked up another good track, heading west along the side of the valley, taking us towards Grinton. A final climb for the day took us up High Harker Hill, after which a gradual descent brought us out at Grinton YHA.
Highe Harker Hill
I’d never stayed at this YHA before and found the staff very friendly and the food good. The dining room was full of families enjoying a half term break there, some in the camping pods in the grounds, so overall there was a very lively atmosphere. After our meal we headed out into the dark and wind to go to Bridge Inn where we enjoyed a friendly welcome, a real fire and some very nice beer. This proved difficult to leave and we ended up rushing back up the hill to be in by 11.

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