Sunday, 9 June 2013

24. Land's End to John O'Groats. David Sansom and Robbie Brough have the best fish and chips in Hawes, their favourite town so far. Gordale Scar by Joseph Mallord William Turner. Tough going in the Yorkshire Dales on charity walk.

A. Malham.  B.  Horton.  C.  Hawes.  D.  Keld.  E. Hardraw
Yorkshire Dales, the Pennine Way

David Sansom and Rob Brough are en route to John O'Groats via the Yorkshire Dales on the Pennine Way . The maps show how remote the area is and why the boys had difficulty in finding supplies. The inset map shows how far they have come from Land's End in 39 days, and how the border with Scotland is not too many days away.

According to the Ramblers' Association the Pennine Way is  "one of Britain's best known and toughest" .It extends for 268 miles (431 km) from Edale in the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park to Kirk Yetholm, just over the Scottish border. The boys are experiencing the highest and hardest climbs of the walk so far, under the glare of the sun, which makes a change from the rain. 

Gordale Scar, near David and Rob's camp site, is a barren majestic gorge which inspired William Wordsworth*, John Ruskin, J M W Turner, J R R Tolkien, John Piper, Charles Kingsley and others.

David's back 

  Tracks in the Yorkshire Dales


Wensleydale cheese which D+R bought for their lunch has a unique flavour from the grasses, herbs and wild flowers grazed by cows on the limestone meadows.  The original recipe was brought to Wensleydale in 1150 by Cistercian monks from Roquefort, who made it until 1540 when Jervaulx, their monastery, was dissolved under Henry VIII.  Wensleydale Dairy Products is currently in negotiations with the EU to get Protected Designation of Origin for the famous cheese.
 View of Malham Beck and Tarn.
A steep climb for David and Rob with all their gear.

Malham Cove
Gordale Scar 

Gordale scar is a canyon in the dales with walls over 100 m high. A stream, Gordale Beck, with two waterfalls, runs down it.
Gordale Scar by John Piper, 1943
Gordale Scar c 1816. Tate Britain
by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775‑1851)

See his poem on Gordale below.

7 June Email from David Sansom

"Hi Mary,

Yesterday morning we woke up in Gordale Scar campsite, just outside the town of Malham. We realised that our long term fatigue has caught up with us a bit and it has taken us slightly longer to get going every morning. We made an effort to crack on, so that we don't fall into a gradual cycle of decline in terms of waking up, and went to the local youth hostel at 8.30 for breakfast, as we couldn't get any supplies the night before. However, the youth hostel decided to pack up serving half an hour before as they were empty. 

We were then told the corner shop only sold sweets and fizzy drinks and postcards...nothing of sustenance...the owner also 'opened when he felt like it'. 

We then went to the cafe and had to wait 45 minutes for it to open! So our early start effort really was ruined by a Yorkshire small village's economic incompetence. 

Churchyard inHorton-in-Ribblesdale 
with view of Pen-y-Ghent hill

We then walked up Malham Cove and along to Malham Tarn National Trust Reserve Centre. After walking along the moors and up Pen-y-Ghent hill we went down into Horton. The book said there was a was closed down. Luckily for us, some local had opened up a 'mobile shop'. Simple groceries you need out the back of a van....great. 

 Hawes is well-known for rope-making as well as cheese

We plodded along further for 6 more miles where we wild camped. After dinner we got into bed around 9. Asleep by 10. Up by 7. Walking by 8. We then walked along a Roman road which took us into Hawes, where we stopped for an incredible fish and chips and a quick stop at the Wensleydale cheese factory. Plenty of motorbikes for me to look at. 

All the best,


X  "

8 June Email from Robbie Brough.

"Hi Mary,

I'm afraid we haven't managed to link up with Emmaus communities in the north. We tried calling Leeds (Ali Ward is general manager I believe) and tweeting but we kept missing each other when we tried to call. 

The Pennine Way which we are following at the moment is very up and down and usually through deep valleys and high mountains where our phone signal is very temperamental and I'm afraid we've only had a few hours where we're able to communicate in the last few days. 

Cottages in Keld
Yesterday we walked from the moors outside Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Keld, which was 37 km. We stayed in Park Lodge Campsite in Keld which is a really beautiful town. The route took us over several packhorse tracks to Hawes (which we have decided is our favourite town so far). The town was full of bikers and bustling with activity. We invested (heavily) in about £14 worth of fish and chips! They really were the best we've had. 
Fine interior of the church of St Mary & St John
Hardraw, 1879
Hardraw Force: the  waterfall drops 100 feet from a rocky overhang
A brass band competition and other musical events are held here annually
After Hawes we walked a mile to Hardraw to the Green Dragon Inn which owns the land on which is the highest single fall waterfall in England. Although it was £2 each to see it was well worth it! Although not as big as you'd expect it was still impressive.  It was then 12 miles to get to Keld over Shunners Fell - the highest part of the walk so far and the most difficult climb. 

There was a fair climb up this morning to Tan Hill Inn (where we are now) England’s highest pub, 1732 ft above sea level. 

We were slightly let down by the Wensleydale factory as we were both craving some milk and they didn't sell it! Obviously all their milk goes into the cheese. However we've bought some Wensleydale for lunch today. 

Our projections for the next few days for mileage are to get to Middleton Teasdale tonight and then to Dufton the next day and then to Alston the day after that.

Our target on Virgin Giving is £25,000 (although we don't expect to make it!) 


David and Robbie are walking to John O'Groats and have raised £4,888.75 so far for Emmaus Oxford, a member of an international charity which houses and gives work to the homeless.

Donations for Emmaus Oxford please to:
Twitter: Trading Places @DRtradingplaces

*Gordale 1819 by William Wordsworth

At early dawn, or rather when the air
Glimmers with fading light and shadowy eve
Is busiest to confer and to bereave;
Then, pensive votary! let thy feet repair
To Gordale chasm, terrific as the lair
Where the young lions couch; for so, by leave
Of the propitious hour, thou mayst perceive
The local deity, with oozy hair
And mineral crown, beside his jagged urn
Recumbent: him thou mayst behold, who hides
His lineaments by day, yet there presides,
Teaching the docile waters how to turn,
Or, if need be, impediment to spurn,
And force their passage to the salt-sea tides!