(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.
But it was beautiful. 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.
Almost immediately, I stopped and fished out my Yaktrax again (as I was to do several more times today).
I was following what is normally a busy path but the ice made it unusable for long stretches and I barely saw a soul.
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.
These few miles away from the Wharfe are a highlight of the Dales Way – thanks guys.
As I scrunched through snow
(followed by THAT man)
I was captivated by the views and scenery
all around me.
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. A part of me simply had to tell you that).
I prolonged this section as much as I could;
regularly stopping and then slowly walking on again.
I have rarely seen a more lovely,
Today alone was vindication for travelling up to Yorkshire in February to walk an 80 mile path.
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.
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.
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. May it was his ploy to drive me from my room and have me sit in the bar, by the fire, supping beer.
If it was, it worked.