The Dales Way: Day 2 – Burnsall to Cray

(12th February 2012 – 15 miles)

The weather was no different:  snow hadn’t melted, cloud-mist hadn’t lifted, the sun wasn’t shining and it was still very cold.

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Burnsall Bridge

But it was beautiful nonetheless .  After another fat-soaked breakfast (and a fruit salad that I wanted to pour into my rucksack and take away with me), I set off on my second day along Wharfedale.

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Almost immediately, I stopped and fished out my Yaktrax again (as I was to do several more times today).

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I was following what is normally a busy path but the ice made it unusable for long stretches and I barely saw a soul.

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Beyond Grassington, the path leaves the river (a right-of-way along the riverbank was opposed by landowners and fishermen – thanks guys) and climbs quite steeply onto limestone.

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These few miles away from the Wharfe are a highlight of the Dales Way – thanks guys.

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As I scrunched through snow

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(followed by THAT man)

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I was captivated by the views and scenery

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all around me.

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Unlike the Coast to Coast (which I walked in March 2013), the DW is very well signed though you’ll still need a guide-book.  (But this signpost is wrong – the distance between Grassington and Kettlewell is six and a half miles).

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I prolonged this section as much as I could;

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regularly stopping and then slowly walking on again.

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I have rarely seen a more lovely,

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breathtaking landscape.

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Today alone was vindication for travelling up to Yorkshire in February to walk an 80 mile path.

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When the path finally began its descent back to the river, disappointment slowed me down even more.  I didn’t want to leave that high, brittle landscape … but a marvellous steak and ale pie at The Racehorses Hotel in Kettlewell was good recompense.

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After lunch, I rejoined the Wharfe for the last few miles of the day.  Buckden (usually considered a natural end to day 2) used to have three pubs; but the last of these had closed shortly before my trip.  (The Buck Inn has since reopened).  I had a further mile’s traipse, up the road to Cray and my bed.

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The White Lion is an old, unspoilt pub but it was comparatively pricey at £57.50.  And whilst my room was OK, the landlord seemed reluctant to heat it.  That may have been a ploy to drive me from my room and have me sit in the bar, by the fire, supping his beer.

If it was, it worked.

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6 thoughts on “The Dales Way: Day 2 – Burnsall to Cray

  1. Lovely photographs and descriptions, I feel I am on this journey with you, except with very dry feet and a glass of wine in hand whilst I read. The scenery is spectacular.

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