Lockdown Walks


 

Lockdown Walk. Report from Gordon Stone.

 

With a plan to enter next year’s A Foot In Two Dales 50 mile challenge event, I decided it would be good use of one our days whilst on holiday at Marrick near Reeth to recce some of the route. The weather was fine although much cooler than the soaring temperature of the previous day as Julie dropped me off in the picturesque village of Redmire which is checkpoint 1 on the event. From here I took a route of quiet road, path, busy road, empty country lane (Thoresby Lane) and finally footpath as I descended to the River Ure to cross it over some big stepping stones. 

 

Climbing from the south bank I reached the busy A684 for a left turn for about 400m along the road to Temple Farm before  a stiff climb to reach the actual route of AFI2D on High Lane. I was now on the finishing section of the route which I would expecting be traversing in darkness come July. Having reached the ridge, the next 5 miles is relatively flat, at first along a bridleway (High Lane) before quiet road and eventually across the racehorse-riding gallops of Middleham Low Moor. I would think the long grass of the gallops may be quite sapping if wet so the access road may be easier on the event. It did have magnificent views.

 

The small town of Middleham provided a useful lunch stop. I missed out the start/finish link to Harmby from Middleham Bridge but joined the outward section of stage 1 as it progressed to the edge of Leyburn by way of Low Wood Lane. This appears to have recently been “improved” making it horrendous to walk on. Hopefully the crushed rock used will have bedded in better by July.

Reaching the A684 out of Leyburn there is a footpath shielded from the road by a hedge. I made the error of following this and by the time I was able to cross the road I was long past the path I should have turned up. Not to be outdone I could see options a little further on which would get me back on route. However, this was clearly little used and I had to battle through nettles to reach better conditions underfoot on the grassy path that heads east from Leyburn on the ridge above Leyburn Shawl Plantation. The path is very popular especially as the afternoon was warming up. Eventually the pleasant village of Preston-under-Scar was reached. here the route takes a tricky little avoidance of the village’s main street which adds nothing. A little more road walking is then required before taking the footpath at GR SE061963 (for which the sign in the photo cannot be seen from the road) down to cross the Wensleydale Railway line and back into Redmire to meet up with Julie and India (black labrador) who had done their own much shorter route taking in Bolton Castle. 

Overall the route was 13.3 miles with 1630ft of ascent.

 

Best regards

 

Gordon