Post 241: 19 March 2018, The Inn Way – Yorkshire Dales – Grassington to Conistone
It was with some anticipation that we embarked on our second Inn Way, but this time instead of the North York Moors it was the Yorkshire Dales.
In view of the forecast of icy roads early on we delayed our departure until 8.00am. Our intended route was blocked first by a road accident and then cars coming off the A64. We therefore carried onto the A1 and followed the sat nav to Wetherby. Big mistake as it then took us towards Harrogate and a huge jam. We turned round and went through Knaresborough to get onto the Pateley Bridge road B6265. Sat navs have their limitations and we often find our local knowledge is better at avoiding jams.
Now Sid the Yorkshireman has allergies to traffic jams and this was a disaster given that we were going to the Yorkshire Dales, which he regarded as the far side of the World. He became, to put it mildly, somewhat negative. He was losing walking time. At this point it was decided to certify him as a grumpy old man.
I was overjoyed with the views before us and stopped the car to take some photographs – more delays.By this time I needed a comfort break and we followed a sign for toilets to I think Dacre Banks. It took a while to find the toilets as they were not very well signed – more delays. They served my purpose, but Carol and Steve thought they were some of the worst toilets they had come across. However, they looked okay from the outside once you had found them!
According to a new book Rebel Prince about Prince Charles he has a fondness for “premium comfort” lavatory paper. For once I have complete support for Prince Charles as after Blue Planet II my wife cancelled our luxury not recyclable quilted Sainsbury’s toilet paper and replaced it with something that simply didn’t work. It was grounds for divorce, but fortunately she saw reason and we now have super strong Premium Bamboo toilet paper from ‘Who gives a crap’. As a keen environmentalist Charles would approve.
According to the firm: “It is like wiping with clouds. Made with 100% forest friendly bamboo, has no inks, dyes or scents. 50% of profits help build toilets for those in need”. Perhaps Dacre Parish Council should get some?!!!
By this time Sid the Yorkshireman was having a nervous breakdown, but all was not lost as outside the toilets there was a pump and sign!
Speeding onto Grassington, with roads free of ice, we arrived at just after 10.00am – over two hours of travelling, twice the norm. Fortunately, we got the last free car parking space in Grassington as otherwise we would have had to get the men in white coats for Sid the Yorkshireman to take him away – he doesn’t like paying for parking. Most people spend over £700 a year on car parking. Sid the Yorkshireman probably pays about £7 per annum. It was unheard of to have our banana and coffee break in the car but we did. It was then onto the start of the walk further down the main street.
Now as you can see Sid the Yorkshireman has a ‘new’ hat on, which he thought he had lost but found it again (there is theme here). He brought this on the walk in case the Russians invade and so with that hat on they will think he is on their side.
Fortunately, I had my infamous ‘1991’ hat on which will go down well when the Americans come to rescue us. This has been lost and found more times than I have had hot dinners, such is life when you are of bus pass age. The great thing about walking in winter in the Dales is that it is very quiet. In summer the main street would be packed.
Leaving Grassington there was still some ice about.
The buds on the trees were still being held back by first The Beast from the East and then the Mini Beast. Now it is not for me to put forward conspiracy theories, but I have read that it is possible to control climates and is it a coincidence that the bad weather comes from the East? Now Russia just happens to also be in the East. Hmm….
Near Town End Farm there was some confusion as, since the guide book has been published, the farm has expanded and the path redirected. However, our route was quite picturesque being snow lined.
We joined the correct path along the edge of Grass Wood.
We then emerged onto a clearer track with superb views of Kilnsey Crag.
We dropped down to Conistone and found benches in the centre for lunch in the warm sun. Lovely.
At this point we left The Inn Way to find our way back to the car. We followed he path to Bell Scar and Dib. This was quite dramatic with snow coming down on top of us and big icicles and narrow passageways.
We eventually emerged to more open ground Before being confined again as we joined The Dales Way
The Dales Way was my first proper long-distance walk, which I completed in 1990 and now I was on it again 28 years later not feeling a day older!
This was proved when we went into ‘snow play’ and became snow angels.
Eventually, we got a grip and continued our walk.The RAF had received reports of strange folks in the area and buzzed us. Some of the stiles were interesting. And there were some stunning expansive views. We arrived back in Grassington, which even if you are not religious had a poignant message in God’s own County of Yorkshire.
It took only an hour and 15 minutes to get back home and Sid the Yorkshireman was a lot happier and you never know, on this walk, he may come to love the Dales as I do, not just the North York Moors?
Miles Walked 7.3
Calories Burnt 3,300
PS We are on The Inn Way and forgot to take photographs of the Inns. Oops!