I think it was at the traffic lights in Richmond when I thought I heard Bruno mutter something from the back of the car about “Did you remember the camera?”
I hadn’t. There’d be no pictures of today’s walk.
I met Martin (Phreerunner) Banfield in Booth’s supermarket car park in Settle. He had a camera, obviously. He’d let me use a few of his pictures.
We repaired to a teashop where we coincidentally coincided with the Towers twins and a Lady From Tarfside having their regular morning tea and toast. The Towers twins having somewhere in the region of 30+ TGO Challenges between them – a certain amount of TGO Challenge talk ensued.
But, daylight being at a bit of a premium at this time of year, we pressed on with the walk and marched off up the Pennine Bridleway for a bit and then over the hill to the splendid limestone scars of Attermire. This is a fab area when its not so foggy and mizzly as today, and OK when it is a bit foggy and mizzly. The lumps of damaged iron plate on a stony mound are the remains of a WW2 anti-tank and light arms target range. The scree behind the target is full of little bits of lead. Must be great fun firing something that makes big holes like that…
Remains of firing range target
We abandoned the plan to bag Rye Loaf Hill because of the dense hillfog up there (there wouldn’t have been a view, which would have been the point, really) – and after a short but healthy snack at the trackside, we carried on through the gloom past Pikedaw Calamine Caverns which has a metal lid covering a 23 metre shaft and 3200 feet of explorable caverns and, a little way above Malham, we had a brief poke around in Miners’ Hole, a 240 feet long partially mined level cave. We didn’t get all the way in because the roof got too low for unhelmeted caving and it was damp and muddy. Bruno wasn’t very impressed, really.
Heathy snack, dog dribble on trousers
Outside Miners Cave
And so we repaired to the Buck Inn for a couple of glasses of Copper Kettle before breaking the rules at Malham Cove by having a picnic.
Picnics are banned at Malham Cove, folks. What mean-kneed apparatchik thought up that rule, I wonder. The countryside is far too full of notices which begin with the word “No”. There ought to be one that says “No Notices starting with “No” By order.” Don’t do this, don’t do that…..rant….. No dogs no picnics no camping no parking no shouting no ball games no turning no climbing no fishing no fires no access no bouncing up and down going “wooodlie woodlie woodlie”….wearing a green hat with a stuffed parrot pinned to the top…..”
Bruno makes easy work of slippery stile
After butties, we climbed up beside the Cove and followed Watlowes dry valley up to the Tarn Road and then , in increasingly gloomy conditions, followed the easy track ( an unsurfaced County Council road) back to near Langcliffe, and this to Settle, where the lights were on and tea was in the pan. The best bit about this bit is the great view of Penyghent’s mighty prow. The worst bit about this bit is doing it in the gloom when you can’t see Penyghent’s mighty prow. But the track gets you back to Booth’s car park in short order and, if it hasn’t already gone dark, you can have a little bit of minor speleology in Jubilee cave, which, according to my guide book is a 300 foot Grade 1 cave, so you can take your kids in there.
Thats my car with the lights still on….
We did about 14 miles and 2700 feet of uphill.
All the photos and the map in this posting are by the kind permission of Martin Banfield. The pie isn’t a real one, obviously…just a cardboard prop. I never eat stuff like that, I only eat fresh lettuce and mung beans
I have no doubt that martin’s account will appear in due course on http://phreerunner.blogspot.com