Leader : Bob King. Distance : 8 miles.
Left click route and profile to enlarge
A hour’s drive through he lovely lower dales found us parking up in an old favourite, Bainbridge, in its earlier incarnation an important Roman settlement (Virosidium) from where roads radiated to other strategic outposts.
The metrological fairies had promised us a fine day so with little more ado leader Bob soon had us booted up and on our way passing the tiny River Bain. How the Romans would have marvelled at the Archimedes Screw sitting in the river providing power to many of the dwellings.
Our route began due north as we tramped what is effectively the village main street until we reached the old Headmaster’s House and school, Yorebridge House, now like so many of its ilk in the Dales given over to hosting guests in its 5 star sumptuous surroundings. Here we turned left through one of the many slit stiles we were to encounter during our day and onto the grassy swathe that in its previous incarnation had been a bustling railway line. A pleasant stroll saw us open and close a plethora of metal gates en route (must have been hell for the train drivers) until we left the track just before a small farmstead and crossed the minor road heading to Hardraw from where we headed NW up over rough pasture climbing slightly as we went. On our way we happened upon a genuine artisan plying his trade in the repair of a drystone wall. It was interesting to note that the mason was of reasonably tender years.
About an hour into our journey a welcome somewhat delayed elevenses was called adjacent a defunct quarry whose stones and boulders conveniently provided ‘comfortable’ seating from which to enjoy our little repast and take in the view of lower Wensleydale, of which we never tire.
Soon though it was on and upwards again, although the incline was gentle and comfortable, until after a couple of miles or so we climbed the short paved lane to reach the hillside hamlet of Sedbusk where the majority of dwellings, many now holiday lets, enjoyed magnificent panoramic views of Wensleydale. Forget Majorca, forget Rome-stay at home.
Queen Victoria posted here
As if prepared for us there were two handily placed benches where we could enjoy the contents of our lunch boxes while simultaneously taking in the view. After a leisurely repast and a chat with some holidaymakers we set off again initially east along the banks of a small stream with tree roots making things just a little difficult. It was shortly after this that we began a long period of field walking with, as is the norm in the dales, each one surrounded by a drystone wall and the investable stile. Those responsible for the barriers however must have been kindly souls as most were gate stiles thus little inelegant scrambling over more complicated hurdles was needed. Continuing along the contours in a westerly direction our next point of call was the tiny hamlet of Litherskew clinging somewhat perilously to the hillside. The underfoot conditions remained comfortable and we made good progress passing Shore Cote before a slightly steeper climb took us to Skell Gill from where we descended gradually to pass Yoredale House again and back to Bainbridge itself. Mother nature let us down a little towards the end and waterproofs were donned for what was in reality only a brief drizzle.
A lovely walk in a lovely dale with convivial company.