Pennine Way – Day 12 – Hawes to Horton-in-Ribblesdale (or Track, Flags, Flags, Bridge, Peaks)

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Perfect walking weather

Having found the Hawes laundrette last night our start was slightly delayed by our having to use it. I had expected to have to set 2 hours aside for a wash and dry but we were done in under an hour. For some reason rather than this leading me to be at the shop for its opening time of 0930 and getting all of our admin completed for 1030 we were instead not away until 1115. Dad, however, finally had two sticks of his own which allowed me to return to having two sticks of my own. Whatever I may have thought before we set out I am satisfied that ski poles make a long distance walk much, much easier.

Flags, roman style.
Flags, roman style.

The road out of Hawes was beautiful. I assume, Romans had laid out humongous flags that made the track out of the town a very easy walk. Having left so late we stopped for lunch quite quickly and I really do have no idea what these markings are on the hill opposite where we stopped for lunch.

Funny Walls

Hawes falls away very quickly and before you know it you are out on the West Cam Road. It is astonishing to me just how different the locations of Roman settlements must have been from their modern counterparts. I can not imagine what the cost must have been to build this road between two (or more) places which one assumes no longer exists.

The road to nowhere

In actual fact on the section above we are supposedly heading towards a farmhouse of some description, though we actually came off the path before we got to see it. For a breif moment we overtook only our second group of walkers (they were completing the dales way) who advised us that if we were having trouble with Midge bites we should use Avon’s skin-so-soft. Of course not being within 300 miles of my Avon representative (my sister) this wasn’t a huge amount of use.

No photo filters.

We passed a small group of what I assumed (or hoped) were soldiers as they had set up some sort of camouflaged tent with a very large radio antenna. We would later discover that there was something going on called the Lanyard trophy which had booked up all the camping in Horton-in-Ribblesdale. I think they had lovely weather for it anyway.

Really, I wish I knew how I’d done that.

Which does bring me to an interesting question. If Horton is called Horton-in-Ribblesdale and Middleton is called Middleton-in-Teasdale why is Hawes not called Hawes-in-Swaledale. I assume that the lack of a ‘ton’ at the end of the name implies it was not named by anglo saxons but if anything the land looks more fertile than the others so it would seem odd for it to have been left fallow.

An actively maintained bridge?

With less than six miles to go we stopped for our final snack of the day by this idyllic bridge. It looked far too well maintained for it to be original but the track was far too green to be being actively used by a farmer. Perhaps it was maintained by the parks service. Whatever the case it was very beautifully done and as there were not many flies made probably the most idyllic stopping place that we have had so far on the walk.

Almost there

Horton was the limit of our trip when we attempted to go South-to-North back in 2005 and so was the point at which it would have been most legitimate to pack the whole thing in. I made it very clear to dad that I was indifferent to carrying on and he admitted that the previous evening he had gone to bed expecting that today would be our last walk. Of course as we had accommodation booked in Horton the decision would not need be made until the morning after by which time we will have had a shower and a nights rest. My suspicion is that if we don’t immediately pack it in upon arrival then we will continue.

The first view of Horton

We were overtaken by a couple of people who were out running (I assume on the Three peaks) and I must say that I can think of nothing that would interest me less than running on such uneven terrain. Sadly I had not properly researched Horton and had booked us into the Golden Line (admittedly very nice) but not as close to the path as the Crown. This led to a certain level of disappointment when we arrived and my map was showing me that the building was a public house and then it was but it was not ours! Given that I remember walking past it on the way to the Railway station back in 2005 perhaps it is just more evidence of quite how woefully lost we used to get back before GPS.

The final approach

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