Tuesday, 21 July 2009

A-Walking: The Gunnerside Gallop

"I galloped, they galloped, we galloped all eight!" 1

Sometimes, A-walks are often described as being something of a gallop! Of course, that's not really true - even though we do walk fairly fast. However, we had to go at quite a pace today because of the reduced walking time that was forced upon us (see the pink
"Amendments to Route" button at the end of this posting for more details).

Today's expedition (19th July, 2009) took us from the delightful Swaledale village of Healaugh {SE 018 990} in a northerly direction to Great Punchard Gill and then back on a southerly trek (via Jingle Pot Edge) to Gunnerside {SD 951 982}. Healaugh is located about 1.3 miles west of Reeth on the B6270 road.

Photograph of Healaugh Village.
We set off from the village at about 13.00 pm. There were 8 people in the group: JB, PB, RB, CH, JH, KF, JY and PY. PB led the walk.

We left Healaugh on an uphill, north-westerly bearing, following a minor road that took us first to Thirns and then to a track junction at {SE 008 997}. From here we took the right-hand track and headed for the relatively low ground between Cringley Hill and Calver Hill. At {NZ 004 009} we picked up a track that we followed in a north-easterly direction in order to join a minor road near Arkle Town {NZ 009 016}. We crossed Arkle Beck using the foot-bridge at {NZ 010 021} and then followed the river in a north-westerly direction to reach the small village of Langthwaite {NZ 005 025} - see the picture below.

Photograph of Langthwaite Village.
We continued to follow the course of the river up through Arkengarthdale until we reached the tiny village of Whaw {NY 982 045}. We used Whaw Bridge in order to cross Arkle Beck and then headed west (via Whaw Bents) to reach Great Punchard Gill - our destination now being the old disused Punchard Coal Level at {NY 946 042}. From here, we headed south over Punchard Moor to reach a path junction at {NY 951 030}. At this point we changed our bearing to head in a SW direction to pick up a track at {NY 957 014}. Turning right along this, we passed the Old Gang Mines on our left as we headed west towards Gunnerside Gill.

After crossing the gill at {NY 938 021} we turned left and headed in a southerly direction towards Lownathwaite Lead Mines and then Botcher Gill Gate {NY 934 006}. Just after this point we were confronted with our final climb of the day. This took us up onto Jingle Pot Edge {SD 933 996}. From here we had some terrific views. Now heading in a SW direction, from here it was down hill all the way to the end of the walk at the small village of Gunnerside {SD 933 996} - a place that I have often visited in the days when I used to compete in the Swaledale Marathon (see the 'Memories' button below).

Photograph of Gunnerside Village.
Despite the reduced walking time, we managed to get in a reasonable walk and also arrived back in time for refreshments at the Kings Head. Use the buttons below to obtain more details of our expedition.


1Adapted from Robert Browning - "How they carried the Good News from Ghent to Aix."



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