of been tsk.. have been fifteen miles, according to my “Get your arse in gear for the TGO Chally” plan, but even the extra distance caused by parking some way away from the pay and display machine at Castle Bolton which wanted SEVEN whole quids of my own personal beer money for leaving the knipemobile there for a few hours, I somehow failed to reach the magic number (15) and only managed 14.3. Welllll Dhuhhhhh….
Never mind. After dumping the car on a verge outside Ripon, we progressed easily in a roughly westerly direction from the Castle. The Castle had been slighted by Oliver Cromwell’s men , but not very well, and the car park had been slighted, nay, rejected by me. I must try to stop banging on about this or it will seem that I have some kind of obsession. But I mean, SEVEN quid…!
Anyway, there’s a very nice bridleway which goes from castle Bolton (with the outrageous parking charges) towards Askrigg, where they don’t charge at all – and guess which village has more visitors, eh? Go on, answer me that one!
And after about five miles of this pleasantry, we turned, brutally, uphill into the snows of Woodhall Greets (where' we’d been before on Boxing day and during this episode, which is recorded on this very blog, we were pleased to note that Askrigg just has an honesty box for parking charges into which I deposited a whole pound. Maybe a bit mean, in view of the market rate around here.)
The snow was hard and a bit bumpy and eventually, as I followed the bridleway, it gave way to a mix of snow, heather, tussock, juncus partially frozen sphagnum bog and ice – which was quite hard going. After a short walk on the “road” (in inverted commas ’cos its not really a road at the moment, its more of a series of frozen snowdrifts – don’t try to go this way in a BMW cos you won’t get anywhere; park it in Askrigg. Don’t park it at Castle Bolton.) we began a long trespass over Whitfield Moor which, in places was pretty rough going and we slowed down quite a lot. Bruno is starting to feel his age, I think, unlike me, obviously. On this bit, each time I stopped for a breather, he curled up into a ball and went to sleep – and groaned when we set off again.
We passed Aberdune Tarn – a frozen puddle with it’s own glacier and followed a mile or so of dead straight fencing, eventually, and with some relief, turning up at the bridleway into Apedale.
Much better going got me to Dent’s Houses in about half an hour. I went inside, noted the stove and the flushing toilet and signed the visitors book whilst allowing Bruno the honour of watching me finish off my coffee and a rather nice chocolate chip bun.
Not too long after this and we were back at C…. B…. with the Stupidly H….P…Ch….s
The car was some distance away…
Dammit. A mile short. Where did I go wrong?
Here’s a map.