Having lived in Skipton for several years and haunted the Southern part of the Yorkshire Dales for even more years, I was shocked and amazed to find that Malham Moor contained two Tumps wot I’d never been up before.
In both cases, I’d been within a hundred metres or so of the summits and, in the words of LTD, sent in a kind of telepathis way after I’d opened the channels using the time-worn methid of supping some of my sloe gin “Thart a great daft bugger. Thad best go an’ gettem before t’winter ends an’ they put t’bloody cattle out. I mek nowt o’t cows, thannoes”
For an Irish dog, Lucky has developed a remarkable ability with the Yorkshire dialect.
So, armed with a special steak pie from Durham indoor market, a huge fruit slice and some choccy bars, off we went early (ish) on Saturdasy morning. (Assuming that it will take me more than the remaining half an hour of Saturday to finish writing this tosh and push the “Publish” button.
We found a handy parking spot at the almost completely unknown hamlet of Skirethorns and plodded off up the Malham Moor road towards… Malham Moor. Our first top was called “Malham Moor” for the reason that this is the name closest to it on the map. Malham Moor, though, is much, much bigger than just this top, so the name must be wrong. Ipso fatso, and Queens Erotic Demontstration, as we used to say at the end of maths lessons.
Nevertheless, it’s a lovely top containing some lovely carboniferous limestone outctops and pavements, a lonesome
pine hawthorn, some rabbits for the dog and , probably, a lovely view, although this was mainly absent due to mistyness.
We wandered lonely as a manandadog to Bordley (Population 23) where we were barked at by the dogs and howled at by the hounds. Lucky barked and howled and then howled and barked. Then just looked a bit confused. Mastiles lane took us through the site of a Roman Camp Marching place… apols… Roman Marching Camp (?ly) established 1944 years ago to curb the rebellious efforts of the local Brigantes, it is thought.
Mastiles Lane also took us to Street Gate and the loovely but small Tump Abbot Hills. Readers should know that the area was once a sheep ranch owned and operated by Fountains Abbey and, it is thought that Mastiles Lane is a drove road heading in a direction appropriate to travelling to their grange at Kilnsey. But it might be a lot older than that. It does make for easy walking, though, which was just as well because we’d have to use it to get back to Skirethorns.
Abbot Hills, despite the use of the plural, is just one hill. Its a very nice hill, though, and easy to climb, and has a nice view which, by now, had appeared.
We plodded all the way back in sunshine with a bitter headwind, passing a herd of about 40 Galloways on the way back. Lucky ignored them and they ignored Lucky. They had put the cattle out. Or, rather, they hadn’t taken them in. I expect they’re preventing the place turning into a scrubby wilderness.
Today’s sign of spring was a curlew. Probably lost.