One of the projects I decided to do this summer is to walk from Settle to Carlisle in day walks using the Settle to Carlisle railway.
And so it was that I arrived for the 10:56 train from Horton to Settle in time for the 09:56 train, due to some kind of slippage in the time-space continuum. It just so happens that there isn’t a train at 09:56 and neither was there one at 10:56 – it arrived a quarter of an hour late due to “signals”.
Luckily, Bruno was entertained by a young lad of about five or six or something who’d been wild camping with his Grandad. They also turned up an hour early due to the same gravity/time/space/British Summer Time Misunderstanding Accident. Anyway the lad donated some of the scoff from his rucksack to Bruno’s “Save the Dawg from creeping malnutrition fund” and found some sticks for Bruno to chase and turn into tiny little sticks.
Eventually, we set off from Settle. I pretty much made up the route as I went along and it turned out to be fairly interesting.
First of all, we visited Attermire Scars – which looks like the Holy Land of your childhood but without the donkeys, roman soldiers and the people in their pyjamas with tea-towels on their heads. Very nice and whitish and craggy.
Next, we visited Victoria Cave, with it’s long history of pre-ice age hyenas, post-ice age bears, romano-british workers in a workshop and modern foxes and badgers. And the ramblers scoffing their lunch just outside. I had a brief poke around inside. It was dark.
Then, a little further along, there was Jubilee Cave(s). This is a good place to insert children because they will pop up somewhere else from various hidden exits. There’s nothing much inside that would cause damage, apart from the roof which could take off an unguarded scalp. I had another look inside and it was dark in there too, but with bits of daylight from various hidden exits.
After this, we had a look at Catrigg Force – a rather beautiful double waterfall in a deep gorge. I once had a swim there in a summer thunderstorm; an odd experience. No swimming today as the water temperature was probably not much more than half a dozen centigrades, which is a contra-indication to enjoyment and , it has to be said, survival.
We went to Stainforth and then followed the Ribble Way towards Penyghent, which beckoned unconvincingly (as it looked quite big….)
So, rejecting the advances of Penyghent , we cut down to Dub Cote and Horton.
Note that the car park at Horton charges and gets very full very early, specially on summer Sundays. The station car park on the other hand, is small but free for travellers and was empty today, apart from the knipemobile. You have to brave the “no entry, no parking, just bugger off” signs from the residents of local houses, but I had no problem, apart from a “funny look”
Stage two coming soon.
Today was 10 miles and 2300 feet of ascent. It would be possible (I almost said “easy”, to include Penyghent.) My knees had had enough, though.