Pennine Way – Day 14 – Malham to East Marton (or Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain)

Does walking the Pennine Way look hard to you? Well why not sponsor me here.

To the rescue
To the rescue

Knowing that Hannah was coming to visit I had been able to book accommodation outside the immediate vicinity of Malham. However, never being wholly satisfied that Hannah won’t get a last minute High Court injunction I’d had to book somewhere on the path (6 miles away in Gargrave) we had a great evening in a lovely room at the Mason’s Arms and she was able to drive me back to meet dad in Malham for a decent start around 10 am.

Cow goes moo, sheep goes baa
Cow goes moo, sheep goes baa

Today was a rest day of sorts and it absolutely threw it down. We only had ten limes to do and so thus needing less water than might normally be the case and having to wear our waterproofs due to the deluge I decided to leave my rucsack in the car with Hannah. A lead my father seemed happy to follow.

The end of the BGFA
The end of the BGFA

It briefly stopped raining as we reached the BGFA limit. I assume this has something to do with a fishing association. It being a Saturday on fairly flat terrain but with nice views up at Malham we expected to see a number of other walkers though the number we saw was quite unexpectedly large! We would later pass a church hall with a LDWA sign in front of it near Gargrave so I assume that it was the “Long Distance Walkers Association” and that they all came from there.

We spin cotton.
We spin cotton.

What I found really odd though was that they all had their own maps and didn’t seem to be following each other which, for such a large group, seemed quite redundant. I suppose there would always be the risk that the person you happened to follow would not be part of your group and you would end up off in the middle of nowhere but that seems highly unlikely.

Can you see the path.
Can you see the path.

I was, however, once again very happy for GPS for we fell off the path several times as there was often a requirement to get from one side of a field to another with little to no information to guide you, or worse a false friend like this which was a completely different path that was clearly followed by many of the other not using a GPS.

A rising lock lifts all boats.
A rising lock lifts all boats.

We arrived at East Marton in time for a delicious lunch though sadly Hannah had not grabbed us a table by the fire and so we ate it without really drying out. However, the staff were kind enough to let us put our boots out to dry in front of the fire. Of course this would prove to be unnecessary.

Uh-oh
Uh-oh

Trying to find somewhere to stay for a Saturday night in so tourist friendly a part of the world as Malham with only a days notice is not very sensible and in fact is likely to leave you unable to find anywhere. Fortunately as Hannah was staying I was prepared to splash out on a little bit of luxury and Ponden Hall was found.

Have we stumbled into a palace?
Have we stumbled into a palace?

The rooms were huge and my and Hannah’s room even had a “box bed” which made it feel much more like a sitting room than a bedroom. Both rooms had delightful wood burners and the owners were very friendly even lending Hannah and I a chess board on which Hannah beat me. When we arrived they even invited us down to eat some cake and have a chat – really a most delightful place to spend the rest of our rest day.

Has, has Hannah won?
Has, has Hannah won?

Does walking the Pennine Way look hard to you? Well why not sponsor me here.

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