Tag Archives: Middleton

Pennine Way – Day 10 – Middleton to Tan Hill (or Mist, Mist, Mist, Mist, Mist)

Think this walk looks hard? Why not sponsor me here. I am raising money for my old scout group and donations can be made here.

Yesterday was a long day and when we first arrived in Middleton I was a little apprehensive that it might be the last day. It was such a hot day I ran out of water and with it being over twenty miles when the first ten were over the usual ‘only six miles to go’ was replaced with an. ‘Eeek we are not even half way!’

This mist is not rising.
We were away at a sensible time as today was another long (though not quite as long) day coming in at a little over 17 miles. However, with no where that I can find to break this journey there are no ways to get that distance down. Today was thus the first real test of the GPS and there is no doubt that it really excelled itself. Apart from a few tens of meters right at the start we were on the path all the way to Tan Hill.

Half way there.
Due to Tan Hill’s position as the highest pub in England the walk today certainly felt mainly up hill. Perhaps the only problem with using GPS in the way that we have is that it creates a very strong insentive to follow the blue line on the GPS rather than letting local circumstances override. We learned this lesson the hard way over the top of Greenhead and for future walks I have thus been trying to plot the route to use the black dotted line that indicates a path over the green dotted line (or diamonds) that indicate a right of way.

It’s not lifting
As we approached the top of our first hill we clearly came across our first set of South to Northers of the day. They were clearly quite a large group and had followed a path rather than the right of way (probably very sensible without GPS) and so they were about 100 meters away to us to our left when they passed. I wish I had a photo because they really looked like ghosts in the Mist.

It’s almost a view
We met a youngish camper who was hoping to complete the route in 19 days who told us that the half way point was nearing. My GPS had told me it was much closer to Middleton but as he had a book I assume he is probably more likely to be right plus my count includes coming off and on at Trows farm and the spur to the top of the Cheviot (even though we did not do it!) so perhaps he is right.

Will this be excluded in the prenup?
As the end of the day approached we met a couple of runners and I was at first a little concerned as surely if they had only got this far from Tan Hill today then they would never make it to Middleton. It turned out they weren’t from Tan Hill they had come from Hawes! Though they had stopped for a pint at Tan Hill and stayed long enough to be warned (and warn us) off the bog for the final approach into Tan Hill. They were planning to complete the route in 10 days. Thats a Marathon a day! astonishing really. Dad was most impressed by their T-Shirts and the fact that they “had” to eat 4000 calories a day just for the running. I imagine they will make it since they were already ahead of target.

Still not quite a view,
This walk crosses a lot of grouse moor and there were clearly many people out shooting today. As we approached one road my heart rose a little as I thought that what I could see was clearly a burger van. I was confused though as there was only a dirt track on my map and I there didn’t seem to be any body about. Perhaps it was abandoned? Turned out to be for those out shooting and though we didn’t ask, I imagine was thus no taking open payment.

Are we in Malham?
The shooting party did however seem to have a lot of dogs and one of them seemed overly aggressive. I do wonder what the legal situation is with kicking an aggressive dog in the face? Do you have to wait for it to bite you before you can strike? Who knows. The final approach involves going under a road (since we were not going on the Bowes loop) and we later recommended this a potential bivvying spot to a couple of Eastern Europeans we met only a couple of miles away from the pub.

I can see ... nothing
I can see … nothing
Having missed out the bog section and taking the 500m hit of extra road we arrived at the Tan Hill. I had thought it compared very well with Youth Hostels at £25 for two people to bunk but it transpired this was only for one person. Originally I tried to book a twin room but these were all booked so I asked to book into the bunk house instead. I don’t know why the owner thought I wanted a twin room when there was only one of me but only one bunk was booked. Fortunately we were able to upgrade to a twin room and after some hearty food a peaceful nights sleep was had.

Invisible at 250m
Think this walk looks hard? Why not sponsor me. I am raising money for my old scout group and donations can be made here.

Pennine Way – Day 9 – Dufton to Middleton (or UP, down, down, waterfall, down)

0901-pennine-way-still -misty
Who is that tall golfer?

Thanks really must go out to our exceptionally kind host Anne Perry at Mid Town Farmohouse in Long Marton. I imagine that she will quickly get a sale (and that the new owners will not be running a bed and breakfast) so if you want to enjoy the best hospitality in Cumbria you had better book quick. Consequently we were away from Dufton by 0730 having had a very filling and breakfast and a lift from Long Marton back to Dufton.

Out of the mist.

Great Dun Fell Radar station is above the cloud line for two thrids of the year and as we were going almost as high I suspect that it is no surprise that we rose above the clouds. In the distance the Lake District was clearly visible and the weather was delightful or at least it would have been if I hadn’t kept sitting on my drinking spout and wasting water.

Into the mist?
Into the mist?

As we approached the summit of our journey (the day was skewed towards a steep climb at the start followed by 15 miles of steady decline) I was briefly concerned that we would be entering the cloud line again which at the time seemed like it would be a great labour but actually with hindsight some cloud cover would have been really useful.

Man-made cave?
Man-made cave?

As we approached the top we found this man made cave. I wondered if it might be a lime kiln but inside it appears not to be covered in soot. It required a little extra climb to go and have a look at it which I wasn’t wholly convinced was effort that was really worth it but dad seemed keen so we went to have a look.

Out of the frypan and into the cauldron.
Out of the frypan and into the cauldron.

The highpoint of todays trip was a waterfall known as Cauldron’s snout. The climb down the side of which was very difficult and seemed rather treacherous. My altitude graph gave the impression that the resultant walk into Middleton would be a delightfully easy stroll along the river. Unfortunately I hadn’t factored in the many requirements to scramble over sections of stones which proved to be difficult, slow and probably dangerous. In a previous post I said that crossing the road at Greenhead had probably been the most dangerous thing we have done so far and while this is likely true climbing down here was surely the second most dangerous.

High Force isn't very impressive
High Force isn’t very impressive

Do people really come here for this?

Once we’d scrambled over three separate sets of stones and calmed a fisherman by assuring him that there was no fishermen further upstream nicking all his fish the path became quite well maintained. I had hoped that this would continue all the way into Middleton but it turned out to only be a nice path up until the car park to allow you to see the waterfall that was actually High Force.

Ahh, this is High Force
Ahh, this is High Force

On the way to highforce at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon we met a small group near to Langdon Beck who wanted to know how far it was to Dufton because they had accommodation booked there. They seemed to be optimistic of finding a tax to take them to Dufton (there is a pub in Langdon Beck so they have a chance) I tried to encourage them to stop at the Langdon Beck Guesthouse as they had 14 miles ahead of them and had only managed 6 miles in 6 hours. I hope I was successful. The end of our nice path was clearly marked with a delightful set of sheep statues which my father kindly agreed to model.

The path is ending.

Fortunately I was essentially right and though this path ended as we approached Middleton proper the amount that had been spent on the path clearly began to increase and eventually we arrived at the best path yet. Not only was it flagged but there were trees to provide shade.

Contender for best path on the Pennine Way?

The end was now in sight and for those with a nervous disposition you should look away now, We arrived at the B&B in time for an evening meal but had not been sure that we would so had cancelled it. This was probably a mistake but given how tired we were going to bed was the only sensible choice. I did, however, have time to snap a picture of my blisters. If I can work out what the difference is between the days that the blisters all go wrong and the days when it goes well perhaps I can stop it going wrong.

Not the worst, not the best.
Not the worst, not the best.