To avoid a repetition of yesterday’s cock-up, we decided to do a valley walk today, along the footpath from Ivelet Bridge to Grinton. (We visited Grinton yesterday).
We awoke to sunshine and clear blue sky. At nine, Dad and I set off in the car to Thwaite, six miles away, to buy a 1:25000 Ordnance Survey map of the Swale valley for our walk. We got back at about nine-thirty and soon we set off along the familiar path to Ivelet Bridge from Gunnerside.
At the Bridge, we walked along the opposite side of the Swale to Gunnerside, and it was a change to be walking through summer sun instead of cold, wet rain.
We took to the road at Satron and continued so for a bit until we reached Dubbing Garth Lane, directly opposite Gunnerside. This was a walled and well-defined track with hedges of wild flowers, which attracted hundreds of butterflies (mainly Small Tortoisehells, although some Painted Ladys) and it was superb walking along this track in the sun.
Eventually we met up with the river again and we stopped to have our dinner opposite a small caravan site (near Harkerside Beck). It was while we were sat here that, at about 12.25 p.m., three U.S. A-10 fighters blasted past really low (the last one so low that I could see the two pilots).
We carried on at our easy pace all day – along a little road to Low Lane, a neglected, overgrown stretch of the Corpse Way, where corpses were carried from upper Swaledale to Grinton Church (before 1580).
We crossed the river after looking at Maiden Castle and an old Roman fording place with stepping stones, and soon headed up from the road to Kearton, a minute farming hamlet. It clouded in and became quite brooding as we walked along the hill tops towards Gunnerside – through Blades and past the Dead House and many old mine workings.
We were intending to continue the walk along the valley and down into Gunnerside Gill but the skies opened and soon we were soaking wet. We abandoned our plan and dropped down into the village itself.
The walk ended up being approximately ten miles long and I quite enjoyed it.