Walking Diary 2017



GRINTON WALK - Saturday 28th January

All the walkers, except Ed, were efficiently delivered to the lay-by by the side of the Grinton Bridge, where they waited in anticipation of an excellent walk, despite the impending weather conditions.

 Cliff's bacon, sausage & egg butties were gratefully appreciated in the damp conditions

Quickly the walkers crossed the bridge and set off at pace following the river towards Reeth.   Relieved to see the familiar suspension bridge they characteristically posed for group photos.

From here the route became more difficult as they headed upward in the deteriorating weather conditions.

More steep hills were encountered, but the brave and intrepid walkers did not falter.

Additional strength was gained as they bravely took on their remaining pork pie rations, near an unknown bridge.  Despite being utterly lost, they knew that there were stepping stones nearby, which would indicate to the world that they were indeed on the correct route.


Yes!!  dismissing lesser bridges, the walkers soon located the giant stepping stones hence saving the mission!!!   However, they knew that they must next find the road to Reeth, where rumours of good ale served at the Kings Arms Hotel were heard.


The cunning walkers soon found the road to Reeth and set off at high speed, quickly reaching civilisation.

High levels of excitement were witnessed as the walkers gathered outside the Kings Arms Hotel in Reeth.

The walkers celebrated their success with portions of chips of mediocre quality, in front of a roaring log fire.  In addition, however, the locals awarded them free biscuits and chocs, much to their delight, in recognition of their achievement of yet another successful walk.


Chip Score:     Generous bowls of mediocre chips.

Weather:     Damp and wet conditions

Walkers:     Paul (leader), Ed, Cliff, Colin, Alan and Simon.

SWINITHWAITE WALK - Saturday 4th March

Seven walkers assembled just outside Swinithwaite on a grey, damp Saturday morning, greeted with Cliff's sausage and bacon butties, which although delicious, contained no sign of any egg!!   Cliff later admitted that he had got up too late to prepare eggs for the butties.

Will the walkers be sustained for a long gruelling walk without the benefit of egg in their butties?    They set off in anticipation, knowing that also there would be no Mars Bar crispies, as Alan was abroad.  

The walkers were unable to gather the strength to carry out the customary polished boot inspection and with no device to measure the number of steps walked, no GPS device to determine distance travelled, the walkers became depressed.  This was a bad start !!!

Leaving Swinithwaite the walkers turned SW at a lonely sign post and headed upward into the swirling mist.

As the walkers headed upward a short distance of only some 120m, the mist miraculously cleared and the full panorama of Wensleydale lay before them.

Life once again became wonderful !!

Soon as the walkers approached Morpeth Scar, with Asgarth in the distance.  The lack of egg had kicked in and food supplies were required urgently.   Quickly the skilled walkers constructed a communications mast and sent messages for sustenance to be delivered by drone.

Within 10 minutes, a line of dead moles appeared, but the walkers were not tempted!!

.The walkers were becoming gravely concerned by the lack of bridges so far, but were relieved to locate Burton Bridge as they entered West Burton.

Although more bridges came in rapid succession, much confusion was seen on Eshington bridge, clearly caused by hunger !!

The walkers marvelled at the view of Bishopdale, with West Burton on the left.   Surely this rich landscape would bear some food for the hungry walkers.

Why were they worried about food with so much available on route.  These fine specimens were found near Middle Wood, by the River Ure.  The walkers considered catching and consuming them right there, but chose to continue.

Not just a bridge, but a waterfall as well as they entered Westholme caravan park, except there were no caravans.  Instead the park was adorned with up-market static homes.  They crept through the park furtively, looking for more food - bunny rabbits, pigeons, cats . . . anything really.

By now the walkers, were disillusioned, tired and hungry only had eyes for where their feet were going.

The walkers were now clearly suffering malnutrition.  Orders to gather at Hestholme bridge were ignored.  They were becoming disorientated.  Although Paul does his best to placate Tom, Tom is reminded he doesn't even have an "O-level" in geography and therefore lacks authority to challenge the leader.  Simon tries to arbitrate, fails and walks off in frustration.

Some wanted to know how far they had come?  How far to the pub?  No-one knew the answer.  Would Alan have known the answer some asked!!


Colin had kept his secret up to now.  As they rested at Slapstones Wath, Colin brought out two magnificent pork pies, much to the relief of the others.  Ed dipped his arm into the bowels of his rucksack and pulled out a snickers multi-bar pack,  but there were only a few takers.  It's "Mars Bar Crispies" or nothing, someone bellowed.

The moonscape terrain of Wanless Park, but hey, stop.  Tom tells Paul he ain't moving another step unless he can be assured Paul knows where he is going.  Dehydration is setting in . . . . . and surely they've already done nearly eight miles!!!  Only Alan with his advanced navigational equipment would have known.

As Simon storms ahead, he came across a horse that provided clear directions to the pub.  Several of the walkers decided to follow Simon . . . .  leaving Paul and Tom behind.

At last!!  Their lunch time destination came into view.

The Fox & Hounds in West Witton

Tom's looking very glum . . . . still smarting from his altercation with Paul and in no mood to raise a chip!!

Paul considered that extra radiation was required on his head

Just look at those chips.  No photo-shop air-brushing here.  These are the real thing!!

and with Cliff's superior negotiation skill's at just 1 per portion!!

"Lord Clifford of Thoralby", with his summer residence just over his right shoulder (Bolton Castle).

The journey back to the cars was uneventful, albeit without any food.  Maybe they should have ordered more chips from the Fox & Hounds.

Ed's Summary:  Well did they make it?  Only just.  The lack of eggs, Mars Bar crispies might have been supplemented with moles, free-range pigs or highland cattle.  It turned out to be a ten and a half mile walk, and it felt like it.  Ed's knees were absolutely knackered on the descent to Swinithwaite.  Alan would not have allowed that.  We had done eight and a half by the time we got to the pub.  I know Alan would have said "enough is enough" and radioed in a helicopter to transfer us from the pub to our cars.

Beer Score:    a fine selection of Theakstons and Yorkshire brewery ales

Chip Score:     every picture tells a story and those chips were as good as they looked and brilliant value.

Weather:     Grey and Damp at first, but turning into an excellent walking day.

Walkers:     Paul (leader), Ed, Tom, Andy, Cliff, Colin and Simon.

LEYBURN WALK - Saturday 1st April

Eight walkers arrived at the appointed car park opposite the Leyburn Auction Mart, anxious to find out whether Cliff's butties contained the statuary quantity of egg, which indeed they did.  All the walkers were both impressed and grateful.

Leaving through the town and heading towards 'The Shawl' the walkers turned downhill to locate the first bridge over a giant waterway, where they gathered for a group photo.

Unsure of the location of further bridges, the walkers enquired of a local shetland pony, but it refused to communicate with them, anxious not to allow them close to his range rover.

Even the new lambs and their mothers would not give up their secrets of the location of further bridges.

The walkers trudged onwards desperately looking for further bridges.

The walkers were keen to make others believe that they were posing on a bridge, but some were not sure!!


As the walkers trudged onwards, their progress was rudely halted by a closed road that surely would put an end to their adventure.


Quickly the walkers visited a local village and obtained building materials from a local construction site and used this to strengthen the roadway, thus making the roadway safe.

The walkers were proud of their performance in re-opening the road for use by the locals and quickly looked for a location to consume their Pork Pie rations.

Having consumed all the Pork Pie and Mars Bar Crispies, the walkers set off with renewed energy to find further bridges.

Ian tried to convince the other walkers of the location of more bridges, but they were sceptical


With Ian's help not only were 2 bridges discovered, but also a long lost waterfall

Cunningly the walkers made for a farmyard and consulted 2 calves in their little houses as to the location of a suitable lunchtime pub.

The calves directed the walkers down a roadway into the village of Bellerby

The walkers gather outside The Cross Keys awaiting for it to open, but the heavy rain started.

 The walkers feasted on large bowls of excellent home made, but expensive chips, together with Jennings Cumberland ale.

They remained very satisfied with their day's performance.

Chip Score:    excellent, but expensive individual bowls of chips

Weather:     Warm and sunny morning, but heavy rain arrived during the lunchtime stop, resulting in the abandonment of further walking!!

Walkers:     Paul (leader), Ed, Andy, Alan, Cliff, Colin, Ian and Simon.

BURNESTON WALK - Saturday 6th May

Five walkers arrived in the village, parking on the main road near the church on an overcast Saturday morning.  Cliff's sausage, bacon and egg butties were gratefully received and eagerly devoured.


Andy showed great aptitude by managing to climb the first stile, despite its dangerous broken state.


The second gate also proved impassable and had to be climbed

The walkers, knowing that bridges were needed to successfully complete the walk, located what they thought was a bridge, but Alan reminded them that it crossed no water!!!!


Simon quickly became impatient as the leader tried to locate further bridges.

Cliff efforts, however, soon paid dividends, much to the appreciation of the other walkers.

The walkers were gravely disappointed to find their routed blocked by numerous makeshift gates.   Frustrated by their lack of progress they set about replacing a gate, much to the appreciation of the locals. 

The sheep and lambs were pleased to see the walkers

The quality of joinery used on the construction of stiles, left much to be desired.

Cliff stands in awe at the carpet of bluebells in the woods.


Large quantities of cowslips were seen on their travels. 


Cliff's fame is known throughout the Yorkshire Dales and local cattle realising the VIP passing through their field rush to pay homage. 

The cattle patiently wait for an acknowledgement from Cliff, but he is too busy working on the next stage of the route.

Much to the relief of the other walkers, Cliff located a pub in the nearby village of Snape and the walkers head directly to the Castle Arms Inn stopping only briefly on the bridge in the village.

The walkers relaxed in the comfort of the Castle Arms Inn enjoying ale, with bowls of nourishing chips

Leaving Snape the walkers calculated a route back to Burneston after what they all agreed was an excellent walk.


Chip Score:    excellent, but expensive 3 individual bowls of home made chips

Weather:     An overcast day, but not excessively cold.   Very dry underfoot after an extremely dry April.

Walkers:     Cliff (leader), Andy, Alan, Tom, and Simon.

THORALBY WALK - Saturday 10th June

Six walkers gathered at Cliff's house, forming an orderly queue to collect their delicious bacon, sausage and egg butties.   As the rain was already falling, the walkers took the opportunity to put on full weatherproofing before setting off on another epic journey.

As predicted, shortly after setting off, the route turned sharp right to start the ascent of the first hill.

The walkers were in good spirits, despite the rain, and ensured that all stiles were crossed to avoid upsetting any of the locals.


Very quickly the walkers were approached by a group of locals, who were gravely worried by recent events that had occurred in the hills.  They explained that a giant meteor had landed causing a massive land slide and the resulting flooding risked their lives, their livelihoods and indeed perhaps the very existence of the Yorkshire Dales!!!   

The walkers felt obliged to find a solution to this massive problem!!


The walkers set off at top speed towards the hills, knowing that they would be able to utilise the sophisticated communications networks that they had constructed on previous missions.

The route became more difficult, but they did not slow in their efforts to find the source of the explosion and flooding


The walkers stood in amazement at what appeared to be a massive meteor crater.  They knew that they must waste little time in finding a solution to this problem.   Evidence of the flood water emanating from the crater could not be seen on this picture, but they knew it threatened the very existence of the Yorkshire Dales, as we know them.

Quickly the walkers constructed a new river bed, with bridges, where the water could safely be channelled to a safe place.

Giant pumps were installed to route the water to a disused mine shaft where the walkers knew that the water could be safely returned to the hills.

One last bridge was needed, which was rapidly completed by the weary walkers.





Andy showed great joy when the newly constructed river was finally directed into the disused mine shaft, where the flood water was safely returned to the hills.


After saving the Yorkshire Dales from certain destruction, the walkers hurried to the Wheatsheaf in Carperby where they enjoy several pints of Cumberland Ale and well deserved chips.


Chip Score:    4 'mini-buckets' of excellent, but expensive, chips.

Weather:     Rain for most of the day!!!

Walkers:     Cliff (leader), Andy, Ed, Alan, Simon and guest walker John

THWAITE WALK - Saturday 15th July

Six walkers arrived at the layby just outside Thwaite to enjoy John's delicious bacon and egg butties.   The walkers remembered fondly their last walk from the same layby back in May 2014, but knew that this time the walk would take them in the opposite direction over the infamous Buttertubs pass.

The tops of the hills surrounding the The Buttertubs pass were obscured in mist and the walkers were most anxious about the terrible conditions.


The walkers quickly spotted a local, relaxing in a field and hurried to speak with her.  She calmly confirmed that all was well and that no disasters had occurred in the area, but recommended that they maintain their strength by visiting as many bridges as possible.  The walkers were pleased to hear the news and vowed to follow her advise, quickly heading off in search of bridges.

The walkers were pleased with their first bridge find.

Not sure of their exact position, Ed & John decided that more height was needed in order to locate their planned lunchtime stop in the village of Muker.  But would they be able to locate it?

The cunning walkers, using their incredible navigational skills, spotted Muker hiding in the Swaledale.

Shortly afterwards, yet another bridge was located in swirling mists.

More hidden bridges were soon discovered

Finding a giant bridge, the walkers were satisfied with their performance and headed into Muker to find 'The Farmers Arms'.


The walkers were disappointed when the barrel of 'Black Sheep' ran out, but were relieved to find out that the landlord had put another barrel aside.

They celebrated with chips to accompany their ale.


When 2 of the walkers failed to complete the walk.  Tom and Ed were whisked away by Michael (Tom's son) and his girlfriend to allegedly visit waterfalls!!!   The remaining walkers completed the walk, in the drizzle, visiting yet more splendid bridges.

Chip Score:    4 large bowls of mediocre chips.

Weather:     Damp most of the day with drizzle after lunch!!!

Walkers:    Paul (leader), Ed, Tom, Colin, Alan and John

EAST WITTON WALK Saturday 12th August

Eight walkers arrived in the village and gathered outside the bus shelter, where Cliff's superb sausage, bacon and egg butties were handed out to the grateful walkers.

The walkers set off in a southerly direction, knowing that there would be few bridges from which to gain strength.    There were, however, rumours of a farm in the locality, that is dedicated to the manufacture and sale of unusual and cold substances and the walkers vowed to locate this.

Cunningly the walkers gained as much height as possible, in order to survey the countryside in search of bridges and unusual farms.

The walkers were disappointed with their first bridge find, but did agree that it did meet their strict bridge criteria.

Longingly the walkers gazed at the giant river cleverly knowing that there must a bridge soon.


A diversion took the walkers to Lord Bailey of Thoralby's private seat where his pleasure can be seen,

The walkers were ecstatic to discover their first proper bridge, but were not certain whether the stepping stones could also be counted !!!       Alan agreed to consult the strict rulebook and report back at a future date.


The cunning walkers, from an elevated position, quickly recognised a farm as being different from the others and made their way to the entrance, where its secrets were soon established.  It was, of course, the home of Brymor Real Diary Ice Cream!!!



The walkers, pleased with their discovery, headed to celebrate at the Coverbridge Inn, knowing that one last bridge needed to crossed, but had decided that a photo stop was not necessary.

The walkers celebrated in usual style in the beer garden of the Coverbridge inn with generous individual bowls of high quality chips.

Chip Score:    8 large individual bowls of excellent chips.

Weather:     Mostly sunshine in the morning, but a downpour whilst sheltering in the pub!!

Walkers:    Paul (leader), Ed, Tom, Colin, Cliff, Andy, Alan and John

FEARBY CROSS WALK - Saturday 9th September 

Seven walkers arrived at Fearby Cross in poor weather conditions.  However, Cliff's, well loaded, bacon, egg & sausage butties greatly lifted their spirits.

All the walkers, except Tom, carried out their careful preparations for the difficult tasks ahead of them, before setting off in a southerly direction.

Although apprehensive, the walkers received a sign that all would be well.  They were greatly relieved.

Several bridges, in rapid succession, further cheered the walkers.

Crossing another bridge by Masham Golf Course, a local passer by assisted by walkers by capturing a group photo.

The walkers stopped to admire the graceful River Ure as it flowed towards Masham.

As the walkers enjoyed their excellent 'Hawes' pork pies, they prepared a makeshift throne for Lord Bailey of Thoralby.   However they were anxious to build a more fitting and permanent structure in honour of his lordship.

Quickly the walkers constructed a Palace in honour of his lordship.  Clearly Lord Bailey was suitably impressed.

Entering Masham, the walkers chose to pass the Black Sheep brewery, with their sights set on their lunchtime destination - 'The Bruce Arms'


When pints of 'Black Sheep' purchased at the Bruce Arms proved disappointing.  The walkers chose to leave the establishment and great discussions were heard as to where they should obtain their lunchtime entertainment.

Cunningly the walkers headed to the Black Sheep Visitor Centre, where they knew the ale would be to their liking.

The walkers celebrated their walk with Black Sheep and three bowls of perfect chips.


Leaving Masham, the walkers find time to find one last bridge as they head the last few miles back to Fearby Cross,

The walkers were pleased with their performance, despite the damp walking conditions, but were secretly looking to Tom & Ed's barbeque walk in just 2 week's time.


Chip Score:    3 bowls of good quality chips.

Weather:     Damp conditions with showers (heavy at times) during the day.

Walkers:    Paul (leader), Ed, Tom, Cliff, Simon, Alan and John

Tom & Ed's Barbecue Walk - Saturday 23rd September 

Six of the seven participants, plus Neil in his bottle, were dropped off by anxious wives in the village of Gilling West at the entrance to St Agatha's Church.  Tom had courageously given up his walking to help prepare a bbq banquet for the walkers at the end of the "Five Closed Pubs Walk"

After the customary group photo, Cliff's excellent bacon butties were eagerly consumed.


  It was rumoured that five pubs would be passed on this walk at a time of day when all would be closed.  Would the walkers be able to cope with such pressure?

Luckily many bridges were quickly encountered which kept the "Pub Issue" at the back of the walkers minds.

The walkers stopped briefly in the little village of Whashton, where Neil supervised the consumption of Mars Bar crispies.



Due to the remoteness of the village. Cliff installed a defibrillator in a suitable location, much to the appreciation of the locals.

Soon the walkers arrived in the centre of Kirby Hill where they proceeded with much trepidation.



As the thirsty walkers were leaving the village, only John and Cliff showed signs of despair when passing the closed Shoulder of Mutton. 

Onwards the walkers trudged, looked on by many of the locals who were giving encouragement, wherever possible.

The walkers paused on a bridge in front of Lord Bailey of Thoralby's summer residence.

The walkers risked their lives whilst crossing a private bridge, clearly marked "DANGER OF DEATH - KEEP OFF"

Just one more bridge was successfully crossed as the walkers arrived back in Gilling West, before being collected by Tom's private taxi and swiftly transported to his estate, where Tom and Ed had prepared a BBQ banquet for their delight.

The walkers feasted upon Barbequed food, salads and a barrel of Black Sheep Ale until a later hour.   All agreed that it was indeed a splendid walk and barbecue.

Beer Score:    a superb barrel of excellent quality Black Sheep Ale.

BBQ Score:     (score awarded as no chips were served).

Weather:     Grey and damp during the day.

Walkers:     Paul (leader), Ed, Cliff, John, Alan and Simon.      (plus Tom in a taxi)

PLUMPTON WALK - Saturday 14th October 

Eight walkers arrived at the remote location of Loxley Farm, near Plumpton at 8:45am where Cliff shared his excellent egg and bacon butties, before setting off in a southerly direction into the unknown countryside.   Thanks were passed to Eric for allowing their vehicles to be parked and for looking after them during the day.  The walkers entered the dark forest of Braham Wood with trepidation heading for Throstle Nest Farm.

Using their incredible navigational skills, Little Ribston was reached in record time and the walkers were seen on the Lodge Bridge as they entered the Ribston Hall estate.

Celebrations were planned by the locals as the walkers reached the village of Goldsborough, but Colin can be seen here cunningly suggesting a left turn shortcut towards a mill, to avoid the reception party, due to their shy and modest nature.

On arrival at the Goldsborough Mill the walkers were concerned that the giant archimedean screw hydro turbine was not turning.  Using their incredible diagnostic skills the walkers realised that the turbine had been jammed by debris and set about carrying out repairs.


The walkers posed for a quick photo having completed the repairs, which resulted in the locals once again having electricity to light their homes.  The locals were eternally grateful to the walkers!!

Following the River Nidd, the walkers were surprised to find an idyllic location for their Pork Pie and Mars Bar Crispie stop.

The walkers enjoyed their brief stop before heading off into yet more unknown and undiscovered forests.


As the route through Birkham Wood became impassable, the cunning walkers constructed a pathway through the trees.  They were proud of their work

The pathways became difficult as the walkers continued, wondering whether they would ever find the village of Follifoot for their planned lunchtime festivities.

Paul had to again consult his maps to ensure that they were taking the right route, but the location of Follifoot remained unclear!!

The last sign of civilisation was seen as the walkers crossed the Wetherby Road, as their desparate search for Follifoot continued!!

John was convinced that the village of Follifoot had been hidden beneath a bridge, but he turned out to be incorrect!!

Paul knew all the time that Follifoot was in front of them and soon they were celebrating in the Radcliffe Arms with Sam Smith's Old Brewery Bitter and bowls of steaming chips

The journey back to their cars at Loxley Farm proved uneventful and they arrived in good time


Chip Score:     Three large bowls of very acceptable  good value chips.

Weather:     A very warm day for October with sun at times.

Walkers:     Paul (leader), Colin, Ed, Cliff, Simon, John, Alan and Sean

HEBDEN WALK - Saturday 25th November 

Just five walkers arrived in the village of Hebden and instinctively made their way to the 'Old School Tea Room', which had agreed to open half an hour early for them.  Coffee and bacon butties were served to the hungry walkers by a tall and attractive eastern European waitress.

After leaving Hebden, the walkers made their way towards Burnsall,  They stopped at the suspension bridge to gather strength, before heading northwest, following the river on the Dales Way, towards Grassington.

The walkers showed little fear as they crossed the fast flowing river at Linton Falls, before heading away into unknown areas.

The conditions turned tough as they trudged their way across the snow covered fields, with only the occasional bridge to lift their spirits.

The walkers took the opportunity to stop in the village of Thorpe, where many of them enjoyed their excellent Pork Pie rations.


After crossing more bridges, the terrain became more difficult, heading up into the hills.

As the walkers approached their lunchtime stop at Burnsall they encountered a succession of difficult and tall styles.  However, the highly intelligent walkers made short work of them.

On arrival at the Red Lion in Burnsall, the walkers lost no time in settling into the bar, choosing Boltmaker ale and obtaining 3 large bowls of nourishing chips.

After leaving Burnsall the walkers quickly located the shortest route back to Hebden, where they found time to again visit the 'Old School Tea Room'.  Unlike their first visit, the tea room was packed with sightseers eager to catch a glimpse of the famous walkers.  However, much to their dismay only two seats were available.

All agreed that the walk was very successful and vowed to meet again for their traditional Christmas walk on the 29th December.


Chip Score:     Three large bowls of very acceptable good value chips at 3 per bowl.

Weather:     A cold and still winter's day with clear skies earlier, but a little rain at the end.

Walkers:     Paul (leader), Cliff, Andy, Alan and Sean


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