DISTANCE 7.2 MILES
WEATHER COOL START THEN SUNNY
START / FINISH ROADSIDE PARKING AT MUKER
Once again I knew todays wander was going to be one of those walks that stay with you for a while , to start with the weather was promising to be just right , cool to start with then according to the weather people bighting up as the day goes’ on . Arty leg was behaving himself and I had suffered no real problems with my knee from my previous walk the day before so I was in a very happy mood as I was busy cooking breakfast.
I had already talked to Yvonne about where I was going today and being the hack that she is she declined to join me using the excuses that she had “forgotten” her boots but on the good side it meant that I wouldn’t be bringing Flynn or Munchy with me today , don’t get me wrong I love having all the boys with me but I know that both Flynn & Munchy don’t like big walks and to be honest I had been out walking with them every day and I think that they where both worn out and needed a chill out day staying on the farm along with Yvonne the hack and there new best friend “snoopy” the farm dog who came out every day to see them.
Bob of course is completely different I wouldn’t dare go out without him; in fact he never left my side once I was up, and he knew that I was going out some place and he was coming with me regardless.
Breakfast (and very nice it was too… full English cooked to perfection by me) was dished up and eaten and once again I did the decent thing and left Yvonne with the dirty dishes much to her dismay.
Gear was thrown into the car, Bob jumped in and off we went, my destination for today was Muker and to redo a walk that I have done in the past with one or two small tweaks, the first one being I wanted to get off the main path and take in a small detour up and around Swinner Gill something that I have always wanted to do but never had the right circumstances to do before, this off course would bring me out at Crackpot Hall where if all goes to plan I will drop back down and join back up with the main path . Then if all was going well I would cross over the river swale near Keld and then head back to Muker along the high level route (Pennine way) again a section that I haven’t walked before. Good plan I thought, I discussed it with Bob who gave it his full approval as long as there was lots of tasty treats to be eaten along the way , I duly informed him that I had packed loads of food and treats so all was well till we got to Muker .
Being the tight fisted person that I am rather than park and pay (what pay!!!) I decided to park up on the roadside (like every one does) gear was sorted and off we went, the only trouble was Bob had to go on his lead for the small walk along the road and threw the village ……………..Bob wasn’t impressed but after a few people stopped and made a fuss of him he soon forgot what he was miffed about then we entered the Hay meadows and I let Bob off his lead and off he went , Bob simply loved these meadows and spent ages running backwards and forwards along the grassy path stopping even now and then to roll over onto his back and have a good wiggle around he was having a whale of a time .
I knew before we set off that the hay meadows wouldn’t be at there best yet, but there was still an abundance of colour and they where very pleasant to walk across plus on the surrounding hill side the bluebells where still out in force giving the whole valley a lovely look and feel to it .
We met up and chatted to a few other people that where wandering along, Bob of course went to say hello to a few other dog’s that where with there owners, I couldn’t help but notice that most dogs where kept on a lead but then not knowing anything about the dogs I chose not to ask why, one walker who had his dog on the lead did mention that he daren’t let his dog off because of the sheep that where scattered around the valley.
Bob of course had proven to me on numinous occasions that he wasn’t bothered by sheep or more importantly that he wouldn’t bother them , we had come to an good working agreement where he would range off in all directions but if there was any sheep around he would stick close to me and more often than not if he was in front and saw a sheep he would simply sit and wait for me to catch up and then walk at heel till we where well past them , I am happy with this because it means that I don’t have to bother calling him back and putting on the lead every time there are livestock around and it shows that all the training I have done with him right from when he was a puppy is paying off. And of course Bob is happy about it, I know he doesn’t like going on the lead.
Our route (see map above) took us to where we would leave the main path and do a short but ridiculously steep climb up and into the very steep Swinner Gill, I will admit that I found the first few steps up hard, very hard and had spots appearing in front of my eyes, so it was a case of stopping to admire the view till my lungs started to work again ……………..I repeated this system many many times till the pathway levelled off and I was on the very narrow path that run around Swinners Gill , even though I found it extremely hard work getting there I was so glad that I did it , its …..Well………….err!! Something and it offers’ some completely different views. Well worth the effort even though it would hurt if I fell off , Bob of course was busy running up and down as if it was nothing , we followed the small path round and out of the gill and headed up to the old ruin of Crackpot hall where it was time for a well deserved sit down and rest , I had cake and water , bob had treats and water ………….and some cake (I sometimes think that I spoil this dog) , it was here that we received some terrible news , it was part of my plan to stop off at the farm tea room at Keld for a coffee and something nice as a treat but I was informed by a passing walker that it was closed for the day ……………..HOW COULD THEY ??? Still there was nothing that I could do about it and I guess my rather over expanding waistline would thank me for it sometime later and so we packed up our gear and continued with our walk , our route took us back down to what I call the main footpath and we headed towards Keld where we would cross over the river but not before we stopped and took a few photos of Catrake force , Bob of course had a paddle and a drink , I often wonder why I bother carrying a water bottle and bowl for him . Then it was over the bridge and link up with the Pennine way, on the spur of the moment we did a small detour back down to the river to see Kisdon Force then it was back up to the Pennine way , this is the first time that I have walked along here and I have to say I found the path a lot smaller and rugged than what I expected , I think most folk use the lower path back through the hay meadows but I wanted to do the “higher” level path and that is what we did , I have to say that the views where amazing and the amount of wildlife and flowers where very impressive , yes its well worth the extra bit of effort …………….but saying that the whole valley is something special , the rocky path slowly wound its way around the side of Kisdon eventually turning into a lush grassy path before it joined up with a small metallic road that dropped us down to Muker . A brilliant days walking, we did about 7.2 miles (Bob want you all to know that he did at least treble that) and as normal a few photo’s (that don’t do this lovley valley justice)
Bob just been let off his lead and can’t wait to get to run
Looking back along the Hay meadows (a bit early yet to see them at there best)
Bob running off, he loves it here
Bob waiting for me at the bridge
The bridge over the river Swale
Looking up the valley where we will be heading
Looking up at the hillside lots of Bluebells out
On the main footpath looking towards Swinners Gill
Just left the main path and heading up the Gill
Looking down at some old ruins (really I am getting my breath back it’s quite steep)
More or less on the small path that runs around the Gill, Naturally Bob is waiting for me
A few more photos as we make our way along the Gill
We drop down here to cross over to the other side
Small waterfall (sorry don’t know its name)
Looking further up Swinners Gill (sadly I wont be going that way today)
Looking back down the Gill and my route
Bob running back to let me know that the path is fine
The view back down the valley
Looking down the gill, it’s quite steep in places
Bob on the path waiting for me to catch up
Again looking back at our path out of the Gill
Looking down the valley as we leave the Gill, it was well worth the small detour
Bluebells with the odd white one
A bit further along again looking back down the valley
First sighting of Crackpot Hall
Bob sniffing around
Looking over part of the ruin
Part of the old fire place?
Now back on the main path looking down over the scree at the river
A bit further along looking back down the river
The lower part of the falls
Wild Garlic growing in the wood
Looking across to the other side
Now on the Pennine way (high level route?) Bob ranging off in front to explore
Looking across at Crackpot Hall
Bob in his I’m a smart dog pose
Primula growing on the Hillside
Bob leading the way along the path
Bob running back to let me know things are fine further along
Looking down and across towards Swinners Gill
Bob having a look
The path heading alongside the hill it’s a bit rocky in places not what I expected
Looking down at the Gill
Bob running back to see if I’m alright
Deer walking in the Bluebells
Looking across at Swinners Gill
Same again but from a bit further along
The “arty & Bob “photo
Bob looking at me as if I’m stupid or something
The last bit of the rocky section then its all grassy paths
Looking down at the hay meadows and towards Muker
Well according to the post we are right where we should be (always nice to know)
Last sit down in the meadows before we get into the car, time to finish off all our tasty treats
Day after thoughts
After a good nights sleep I woke up expecting to ache in a few places simply because the high level path back was a lot more difficult than what I thought it would be …….but saying that it was nothing to get excited about and if the truth is known I enjoyed every step of this walk and much to my happy supprise I was fine.
ABOUT ME YORKY DALES WALKS 2015