Bruno had been hinting that a longish walk would be just the thing by staring at me accusingly for half an hour or so at a time and loading my lap with doggy toys..
And so, after putting it off for a while due to inclemency in the weather department, Wednesday was to be bright and sunny, so we set off to a very small car park near the summit of The Stang – a road from Barnard Castle to Reeth.
We didn’t particularly enjoy the clear-felled forest (save our forests!), but we did enjoy the wide open spaces and bounding bridleways of Barningham Moor – one of which, of course, is the Badger way (nowt to do with black and white badgers – but more to do with itinerant tradesmen wearing a badge to avoid arrest as a vagrant and subsequent deportation to the home parish) Thus, the badgers , or tinkers, had routes across the moors to service the needs of the lead-mining population of Arkengarthdale and Swaledale and/or to transport minerals to railheads.
This makes for fab, wide-open, joyous and fairly quick rambling with a purpose. Not the kind of place to have an attack of agorophobia, and just the kind of place that RAF pilots like to hurtle over just before they receive their redundancy notices.
There was a skylark singing up high in the sunshine. And a lapwing was jinking about and calling. And a plover, bored as ever. It felt like spring. Despite the bright white of fresh snow on the high Pennines of Mickle fell, it felt like spring. We know it isn’t , though, eh?
Basically, we just followed bridleway in a big 14 mile circle. It was sunny and it was warm and this is exactly the kind of walking that walkers wish for.
There seems to be a surfeit of baby rabbits by the way. They’re all over the place. Bruno hunted unsuccessfully due, mainly to being on a lead.
14 Miles and 1800 feet of up.