Yet another walk in the series of Yorkshire dales 2000 foot tops. This top being the one at the top of Randygill. And let’s be honest, there’s not much thats all that randy about Randygill Top. We should just clear that up before we start.
Before we start on Randygill Top, as it happens, there’s the little matter of Green Bell, a not very green and not much like a bell either kind of little grassy hill not really towering above the not very big place called Ravenstonedale.
But first, we park the knipemobile on the patch of grass just next to the little back lane to the farming hamlet of Bowderdale.
The morning was crispy and blue. The ground was as hard as something really hard and had crispy vegetation. I noticed that there wasn’t all that much snow left on the Howgill fells.
I also noticed a red squirrel peering at me from up a tree at Weasdale. I took it’s photo.
We progressed up the path to Green Bell where there were patches of ice for Bruno to eat. The summit was occupied by two chaps eating bananas, so we headed South for a bit to a sun trap I just happened to know about. I was dead cosy, like.
Onwards and southwards we went to the grassy slopes of Randygill Top which was occupied by a rather sulky and almost hostile group of four and a couple with a dog called Jack who wasn’t allowed to socialise with Bruno. Bruno got the message and had a little growl. We left for the quieter and shapelier top of Kensgriff, just down there, across there and up there a bit.
We descended steep grass with remnants of snow thawing in the sun and followed the bridleway which runs from Bowderdale Head to Bowderdale. This is a fine path.
Randygill Top is an easy climb from the North and a bit of a slog from the Cautley. Its a grassy lump. It should pose no problems at all for those with healthy knees and cardiac parts.
Its vaguely possible that you might get lost trying to find it on a misty day if your navigation is a bit ropey and the slope off Yarlside down to Kensgriff is like walking off the edge of the world if you’re coming that way.
The Bowderdale bridleway is inhabited, or , at least occupied, by small groups of Fell ponies. These are harmless, gentle and disinterested. They may be semi-wild, although they don’t act like semi-wild animals.
The sun was warm today. This is a breakthrough in the advancement of the season. There was also just the one lonely skylark singing its little beak off on the slopes of Green Bell. This is another good sign. The ground is still frozen hard and the in-lamb sheep near Bowderdale looked, frankly, exhausted and couldn’t be arsed getting up to put any distance between themselves and Bruno. This is probably not a good sign.
Afterwards, we repaired to the Ventriloquists Arms in Kirkby Stephen for a kint of gitter. Unfortunately, the drayman hadn’t called so we just had a gottle of geer. Incidentally, its traditional in this pub that whilst drinking your pint, you sing "Sonny Boy" or similar. Not easy at first....
10 Miles and 2000 feet of up.
For anybody interested in yet more Howgill walks, there’s loads and loads of them here http://www.doodlecat.com/howgills/index.html