Pennine Way – Day 11 – Tan Hill to Hawes (or Path, Mist, Track, Hill, Laundry)

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Leaving Tan Hill Doesn’t Look so Bad

Inside the Tan Hill there are many pictures that suggest that arriving at Tan Hill is considered to be a moment of great relief, and I am sure it is. However, arriving on this track can be nothing in comparison to arriving through a bog so deep that people have reportedly fallen in it up to their necks. Don’t get me wrong the journey from Hawes is not easy but I think the journey from Middleton is harder and that the South-to-Northers doth protest to much.

Let’s hope we don’t fall in a bog.

Having walked through an incredibly thick mist yesterday today’s much better weather was a great relief. It was possible to see a little farther than yesterday and it was arguably perfect walking weather, if not perfect viewing weather. Unfortunately we got going on a path and as can happen the path was of such high quality that when the little footpath came off it to the side we kept going and ended up climbing up a rather steep bit of someone’s drive. Very frustrating!

Distance measured in fifths!

Seemingly for very little reason the path goes round the wrong side of a hill to get from very near Keld to the Tiny village of Thwaite. The distance in meters is probably not so great and neither is the ascent the problem is that on the way up the path is appalling and on some parts of North Gang Scar we did not go very fast at all. I was rather envious of those we could see at the bottom of the valley on what looked like a beautiful flat level track to Mucker.

Stop running.

Eventually we reached the top and thus could begin our descent at which point the path seemed to change from a horrible little niggly thing in to a big wide beautiful track. Having been slightly late of at breakfast though I’m not 100% sure that dad even saw this waterfall (which was surely the whole point of all the walking) as having been given both my sticks he seemed to have taken to a kind of half run down hill which I am sure can not have been good for his knees one bit.

Not exactly cauldron’s snout.

It isn’t really a fair comparison but given the high visibilty we had on the day we went up cross fell and the enormity of Cauldron’s Snout I doubt very much if anything we see in the rest of the trip is really very likely to compare.

Doesn’t look so big from here

Hawes is hidden behind a hill which is actually very high (even for the Pennine Way) but for some reason even though you start off at a similar elevation it just doesn’t look anything like as imposing as Crossfell.

Thwaite, so small it’s hidden by this hill.

We met several walkers today who relayed news of a delightful little Tea Room in Thwaite. If only we had been able to walk a bit faster. Our average pace was quite a bit below two miles per hour and thus desperately keen to avoid being stuck out in the moors at night I was always very reluctant to stop anywhere for more than the minimum possible amount of time and so sadly we had to give it a miss.

Have you had a trip or fall anywhere?

We did, however, receive very exciting reports of beautiful flags all the way up Great Shunner Fell and they proved to be every word true. The final descent into Hawes was even described as “like a bowling green” which I think was a very slight exaggeration but even so it really was a delightful walk.

Flags, Flags, Flags!

Some of the Carins on the way up the fell were a little on the high side for me and I am quite sure my dad leaned against this one which struck me as a rather dangerous thing to do as it genuinely looks like it is about to fall over. I can imagine, however, that in thick mist having a taller Cairn can be a great advantage.


Rather surprisingly the Pennine Way is a little short of OS declared view points and Great Shunner Fell is in fact the only one that is officially declared. Sadly it was far too misty for us to get a trully impressive view. My pictures have not done Crossfell justice but it is very hard to imagine that the view from here could really be superior but perhaps it is. Since I don’t know what the criteria are I suppose I should not really judge them too harshly, perhaps accessiility is one of the criteria?

1110-pennine-way-the-view-from the-summit
We made it to the top.

On our final descent into Hawes for the first time on our trip so far which actually overtook someone. Sadly, for our ego at least, they were simply lost. I’m not sure why they were so worried as they were on the only path off the hill and it was going to where they wanted to go but they kept stopping and seemed very worried. We advised them to follow the Acorns to Hawes which they did successfully.

Like a Bowling Green

Much to my shock the YHA in Hawes does not have laundry facilities but it does cook a very good three course evening meal for less than a tenner. It took me a little while to find it with map provided by the tourist board but the laundrette was real but sadly would not be open until tomorrow morning.

Is that a laundrette I see before me?

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