Post 253: 4 May 2018, The Inn Way, Yorkshire Dales, Castle Bolton to West Burton
The walk from Castle Bolton didn’t get off to a good start as, on behalf of Geordie Caz (they are an item) , Sid the Yorkshireman had to pay another £3 in parking fees. Twice in a week is a world record for Sid. However, he consoled himself in that the toilets were free, saving himself 20p on the going rate for the Dales.
He took out his frustrations by shutting the car doors on my maps, although didn’t admit to it. We hadn’t expected to meet wild boars at the start of the walk, but they were behind a fence.
We hadn’t walked more than a couple of miles when we came across a monkey puzzle, llamas, peacocks, snoring pigs (worse than me), donkeys and guinea fowl. I thought I was in a zoo instead of the Yorkshire Dales!
We arrived at Carperby and the Wheatsheaf pub, which has fond memories for me as it is where I had a couple of pints of Guinness on a walk to celebrate early retirement, some years back. It is also the place where James Herriot stayed for his honeymoon in 1941. He said: “Our bedroom, with its brass bedstead, looked out over the the old roofs of the village across the Ure to the hills beyond, and I still feel that wherever Helen and I might have spent our honeymoon we could not have found greater beauty”. How romantic is that!
However, Sid the Yorkshireman was in raptures about something else and the romance escaped him. He remembered that there was a lump of rust in someones garden which he had asked the occupants to let him see on our last visit. It was a rare ancient tractor that had seen better days!
Dragging Sid the Yorkshireman away from his ‘find’ we arrived at the former Aysgarth Station and the Freeholder’s Wood. This is a remnant of the ancient woodland that once covered Wensleydale and villagers of Carberby still have the right to gather wood; hence the name Freeholder’s Wood.
Then it was on to the delightful world-renowned higher Aysgarth Falls on the River Ure for a superb location for our coffee and banana break next to the falls.
There is also an Information Centre and Cafe there, overseen by a fox. My North of England Way coast to coast route (published in 1997) passes through here and just further on from the falls at Hollins House the 100 miles from Ravenglass on the west coast is reached leaving only another 100 miles to walk to Scarborough on the east coast. I still have some copies left for £6 including p&p should anyone fancy a bit of exercise. Of great interest were three toilets for sale for offers in the region of £8,000. We later heard from a farmer that they they were sold for £14,000! The toilets include fishing rights. The mind boggles. Sid the Yorkshireman started to think that 20p for using toilets in the Dales was not such a bad price after all.
We continued to the St Andrew’s Church, which dates mainly from 1866, although some remnants of the original late 12th century church remain in the lower part of the tower. The Rood Screen and Vicar’s Stall taken from Rievaulx Abbey in 1536 are a delight to see.
We descended to beautiful Bishopdale, slightly affected by a farmer spraying slurry in the field were walking through. Then onto West Burton, which many say is the most beautiful in England. There are even carvings in the pavements!
It would be difficult to argue against the claim on a day like this day. However, the best was yet to come and, as as we left the village, we came across West Burton Falls, also known as Cauldron Force, on the Walden Beck. This was our lunch spot and one of the best ever as we admired the fall accompanied by a grey wagtail. A young couple with a dog went in the water, one accidentally, and got soaked. They are just behind the trees. There are few more romantic locations and of course William Turner recognised this with his sketches. It was hard to leave such a place, leave the Inn way and find a route back to the car. The waterfalls appearance changed with the changing light, giving it a ‘chameleon’ effect. A family must have been so entranced by the place as they left some start-right shoes and trendy socks. Why don’t I get sock like those?! Much more fun than mine. If you know who they belong to they are still on a bench near the falls. In the autumn salmon swim up to the falls.
It was time to leave as a garlic lined path led to some fabulous expanse views. The path brought us to Sorrelsykes Park. According to a former farmer owner we met, three folly’s on the limestone escarpment were built partly to gather up stone lying on the ground in the area. They are now listed.
The first and largest is known as the ‘Rocket Ship’ and was constructed around 1860. The second is little more than a small gateway constructed from two cones with an arch in-between. The third folly is the ‘Pepper Pot’ which, with its large smoke hole spinning top like structure, was reputably built around 1921 and was used for curing bacon.
There is reported however to be a fourth folly which is a sham ruin, beyond the barn just below the edge of next limestone terrace. We missed it.
The former farmer indicated to us that a Lady Montague owned Sorrelsykes Park and that she was a lady of the night and ran a brothels in London.
There is a Yorkshire saying in the area that:
“Before you know a stranger you must summer him and winter him and summer him again”.
Continuing to Egley we passed thorough more garlic adorned woodsand crossed Hestholholme Bridge over Bishopdale Beck. Sid the Yorkshireman debated whether it was time for an early bath. We then came upon our third waterfalls, this time again on the River Ure. Our fourth falls were the Lower Falls. We then went passed St Andrew’s Church again and passed the imposing Yore Mill. This mill was built in 1788 and is a fine example of an early water-power mill complex located as it is beside the strong running River Ure. The flour, cotton and woolmill was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the 1850s. It ceased production in the 1950s.
I was looking forward to Sid the Yorkshireman’s birthday treat he had promised me from early April and instead of a pint decided to have a Yorkshire Dales ice-cream instead, until we found that the cafe had run out! He was delighted as he thought he had got away with no expense for another week. However, the Information Centre further on had some and I was not to be denied for yet another week.
We then reached our fifth waterfalls of the day – Middle FallsAll that remained was a 3 mile walk past High Thoresby to Bolton Cattle. The end of one of the best walks I have ever done.
On the way home the Ethics Committee decided to make its first award of a Yorkshire Passport to my German walking friend, Victoria for showing such dedication to walking with me for 10 days in England, in particular Yorkshire, and soon to be walking with me for a further 10 days in Bavaria.
This is a must sought after award and includes a unique hat to be worn and hand clappers for when attending next years compelling Tour de Yorkshire cycle race. At the same time it was decided that Dan, who once persuaded Victoria and myself to venture into Lancashire, should not be awarded a Yorkshire Passport. It rained there on the same day it was sunny in Yorkshire, we got stuck in mud at an agricultural show and I had a fainting attack due to dehydration!
According to Geordie Caz’s Mapmywalk:
Miles Walked 11.8
My fit-bit Alta HR decided to go off on a walk on its own at the Tour de Yorkshire (my second one – a design fault with the straps) and was lost. I await my new Fit-bit Blaze (with a 25% discount), which has a different strap.