Thursday, 15 July 2010

A-Walking: Hawes Highlights

Our three expeditions this week (Sunday, 11th July) each took place in the Wensleydale area of North Yorkshire. The A-Walk set off from Hawes, the B-Walk started at Aysgarth Falls and the C-Walk commenced at {SD 995 888} on the A684 road - just west of Aysgarth. All three walks finished at Hawes.

After leaving Hawes {SD 875 898}, the intent of the A-Walk was to visit Hardraw, Great Shunner Fell, Cotterdale, High Dyke and Appersett before arriving at our final destination back in Hawes.

We left our drop-off point at about 11.40 am. There were eight people in the group: JB, JPB, PB, KF, CH, AM, LM and JT. We welcomed a new member (JT) to our group. JB led the walk.

From the car park near the old railway station in Hawes we followed the Pennine Way (PW) (see the picture below) in a northerly direction to reach Haylands Bridge {SD 876 904}.

Leaving Hawes
We used the bridge to cross the River Ure and continued along Brunt Acres Road until we reached {SD 877 905}. We then turned left and crossed the fields in a north-westerly direction to reach Hardraw {SD 867 912}. After crossing Hardraw Beck, we turned right and followed the PW uphill to Hollin Hill {SD 865 916}. Now turning onto a north-westerly bearing, we had a good climb up over Bluebell Hill {SD 860 918}. to reach the junction of the PW with Hearne Coal Road {SD 857 921}.

Staying on the PW, we continued climbing to reach a rock outcrop near Hearne Top {SD 847 931}. We decided to stop here for lunch - in order to take advantage of the rocks to shelter from the wind and rain that had now set in. The weather conditions had changed considerably since leaving home!

After our short lunch break, we continued climbing along the route of the PW in order to reach Black Hill Moss {SD 842 945}. As we went north we saw extensive evidence of mining and encountered numerous peat bogs of the type shown below.

Peat Bogs
Continuing our northerly trek, we climbed up to Crag End Beacon {SD 843 955} and maintained our bearing of 6° until we reached Hearne Head {SD 844 966}. We now had our final climb up onto the summit of Great Shunner Fell {SD 848 972} - our first highlight of the day!

Great Shunner Fell
We searched around for evidence of the trig point on the top - but could not find it - even though the wind shelter was clearly visible (see the above picture).

From the summit we back-tracked along the PW in a southerly direction until we reached Crag End Beacon (again!). We now turned right onto a westerly bearing and descended over the rough moorland that made up East Side in order to reach an old mining track at {SD 837 954} near a disused pit.

Turning left, we followed this track to its junction with a second track at {SD 836 948}. We now turned right and followed this more well-defined track downhill. After some zig-zagging through East Side Wood we eventually reached the footbridge over East Gill {SD 832 943} where we stopped for a short tea break.

Bridge over East Gill
From our tea-stop location, we headed south to the small village of Cotterdale {SD 832 938}. We now followed the public footpath in a west-north-westerly direction and crossed West Gill using the stepping stones at {SD 827 940}.

Once we had crossed the stream, we started the second major climb of the day. This took us on a westerly bearing through the woods towards Dry Gill Head {SD 816 942} and onwards to Johnston Gill {SD 810 943} which we crossed with the aid of a footbridge and stepping stones. From here we made a gradual descent to High Dyke {SD 802 942}. This was the second highlight of the day! There were some magnificant views of Wild Boar Fell, Swarth Fell and East Baugh Fell from here.

Now turning onto a south-westerly bearing we followed the route of the public footpath along The High Way until we reached Cotter Clints {SD 822 930}. Just after this we started our descent towards Cotter Riggs {SD 837 923} and joined the A684 road at {SD 842 920}. We followed the road to the small village of Appersett {SD 858 907}.

Widdale Beck
After crossing Widdale Beck using the road bridge (see the above picture), we continued along the road to its junction with the B6255 road at {SD 868 898} near Pike Hill. Staying with the A684 road, we walked in an easterly direction through Hawes to reach the car park from where we had started and in which our coach was now waiting to take us back to Teesside.

Many thanks to JB for organising such an interesting and exciting adventure for us today. Despite the road walking at the end, we had a really great time. Use the buttons below to see where we went, how we did and some of the photos.




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