Tag Archives: Tan Hill

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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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.