Leader : Ian Bagshaw. Distance : 6 miles.
Ian reports :-
A Walk from Masham with Gillian.
Good weather was forecast and as the day progressed we were not disappointed.
Eleven of us met at ED Walker homes and a further two members joined us in Masham Market Place. Gillian is very experienced with arranging walks in the Yorkshire Dales and she soon had us making our way out of the eastern corner of the Market Square and we almost immediately joined the pathway following the River Ure and which some of us remember well as being part of the Uredale Way. Springtime so there were plenty of lambs frisking around in the warm sun and racing for their Mothers having been frightened by strange objects with packs on their backs and with two legs. There was plenty of cheerful banter and in no time we arrived at a fisherman’s hut where our leader had planned that we would have elevenses. The hut was open and welcoming and there was a supply of Whiskey bottles on the back shelf – Dave Wade assured us that they were empty – well they certainly are now. We luxuriated in the Spring sunshine and enjoyed the water rippling over the stony river bottom.
All to soon we were on our way and made a gentle ascent through a beautiful wood full of Spring flowers – Cowslips, Violets, Primroses, Ragged Robin. It was a bit cold as we left the wood but we carried on until we came parallel with Clifton Castle – Lord and Lady Downshire – Georgian manor House built on the site of an old castle – imposing yes that is the word. Keith Wilson thought it was ou of his price range !
At this point we turned South to High Mains Farm. In the field here was a sheep that did not look well and a passing retired doctor thought that it might be having problems with lambing. One of the party knocked on the door of the farmhouse and alerted the farmer who shortly afterwards went off on his buggy. (in the direction of the sheep).
Getting really warm now and thoughts of lunch were on most peoples minds. Gillian did a slick turn down to the left and we were in Marfield Pit Nature reserve. Ducks, Heron, Swans, Geese and lots of them – well only one Heron. Lunch passed far too fast and we were on our way again soon to reach a field on the other side of which was the well known silhouette of Masham Church Spire.
Our route took us down a narrow road and past The Black Sheep Brewery and Museum. We might have stopped here but ice creams seemed to be a more popular idea.
Finally some of us took our cars to Masham Golf Course where we were able to check on the health of the Copper Beech planted to the memory of Bob Thompson and we sat on the seat bearing the plaque to Bob and Sheila. The Tree is looking good – planted by Bill, Bob and Brian.
Apricot and Ginger Ice Cream takes some beating so does todays memorable walk. 5 miles.