A small but select contingent of Clan Knipe (me, the nephew and the nephew’s wife) gathered in Bainbridge where it was chucking it down, despite soothing noises from the Met Office about blue skies and it being a “breezy old day” There was no mention of the multiple rainbows. We set off, damply. The River Bain was on the point of going a bit mad. The little hydro-electric screw thingy was turning at a fair rate and, presumably, producing electricity.
The sun came out and the clouds went wherever clouds go when they die – heaven, probably. Where else would the angels sit?
We walked along a limestone shelf in a strip of ash and blackthorn and then on the road to Thornton Rust where there was more traffic than there should have been. Then we sploshed the draughty bridleway that sneaks around the back of Addlebrough in a nithering headwind.
Addlebrough, I should explain, for those not in the know and who just can’t be bothered with Google just now, is a flat-topped, neat little hill of carboniferous limestone and a bit of gritstone overlooking Wensleydale. It is blessed with some ancient cairns and some cup and ring marked rocks (none of which we saw) and some “settlements” which could be iron age. The outlines of these are fairly obvious from above and remains of walls and enclosures can be picked out. There’s also several legends concerning giants, buried gold, fairies and advice on not swearing or using any bad language should a fairy indicate the location of a chest of gold.
So, it’s a rich landscape.
We lunched in the only bit of shelter behind a wall. Bruno noticed my egg butty. I have a picture of him trying to hypnotise it…. A couple of lads appeared and explained how they’d been blown off Addlebrough by severe and dangerous hurricanes of such ferocity that in trying to light his pipe, the sparks from the over-oxygenated tobacco blew back and ignited the lad’s woolly hat - And that the ladder stile at the top was a windy nightmare with a wind chill that would make a polar bear shiver and that the g-forces involved in fighting against this maelstrom had ripped the very eyebrows off a fellow rambler and that they were off to the Black Bull to calm down and warm up a bit….. This smacked of exaggeration to me.
A permissive path leads across the moor and then steeply up to Addlebrough’s flat top. It was windy. I took a picture, but the vibrations of the breeze on the arms holding the camera have blurred the image.
We approached the notorious ladder stile with some trepidation. It wasn’t all that windy, really and we got over safely and with a full complement of eyebrows (I counted, discreetly at the next gate)
By this time,we were starting to lose the light a bit, so we abandoned tentative plans for a hike around the local green lanes and a ramble by Semer Water for a quick and easy plod down the road back to Bainbridge.
8 miles is what we did.
Nice to see the rellies again…..