Pennine Way – Garsgrave – Hardraw Part I

River Aire below Newfield Bridge

I started walking the Pennine Way in sections some time ago and before I started this blog.  After quite a break walking in other areas of the UK, I have decided to complete this rest of the Way.  By the end of this trip I will getting close to the halfway point of walking the Way.  For this recent trip I will post over several episodes and at some point will post up my earlier sections.

Day 1 Friday 3rd June: Garsgrave to Malham

I arrived at Garside by train around  half past one in the afternoon and stepped out in brilliant sunshine. It was pretty warm as I walked into the village around 26C and I was off walking after quite a long period way from the hills.

Today’s walk would be an easy 7 mile afternoon walk up to Malham and my route would take me through the gentle rolling landscape of the Aire valley. I took the road out of the village and crossed the Leeds to Liverpool canal and soon I was in open countryside.

Leeds to Liverpool Canal

A sign to the left took me up hill for a short distance across a series of fields with cows and sheep lazing around in the hot afternoon sun.

Looking across the Aire Valley

A series of gates, ladder stiles and a kissing gate lead me to a huge field being cut for hay.  There is nothing like the sweet smell of freshly cut grass drying in a warm breeze.

Grass cut for hay

After climbing for a while, I cross a field moving down hill until reaching a road and walking a short distance to cross a small wooden pedestrian bridge across the river Aire.

Aire River

After a short while I found myself  walking through fields of wild flowers and as the sun beat down, may pace slowed and I stopped more and more just to soak up the beautiful english countryside.  I was in no hurry and engaged in slackpacking.   Anyone who is from the UK will know that it is important to seize the moment when good weather appears, as you never know how long it will last. With cries from the curlews and lapwings and the buzz of bumblebees skipping between flowers it was a perfect early summer scene from an English landscape.

Wild flower meadows near Hanlith Hall

Here I was meandering along, beautiful weather, beautiful countryside and the stress and strains of day-to-day life melting away!

The path ended in a wall stile next to the large and recently renovated Hanlith Hall.   A steep pull up a country lane for a few hundred metres and I was back walking in pasture.  As I climbed to the top of the second field, my objective for the day came  into view – Malham Cove and over to the right was Goredale Scar.

Looking towards the village of Malham and the cove

Gordale Scar

I walked steeply down the path and onto a level stretch heading into Malham village.  Presently I arrived in the High Street and was greeted by children running up down the path and jumping in and out the stream.

It was hot and I saw the welcoming sight of the  Buck Inn pub.  I dumped my pack by one of the outside tables that lined the main street and headed to the bar.  It was an easy choice what to drink – Timothy Taylor Landlord Bitter, a favourite of mine often drank when I am in the Dales.

I took the pint outside flopped down and made short work of the pint.  The campsite for the night was just up the road near the Cove and I walked the short distance, checked in and in a few minutes tent was up and a bit of sun bathing was to be had lying on my mat in the warm  evening sun .

The view from my tent door

Dinner over, I took a stroll around the village before retiring to bed.

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13 Responses to Pennine Way – Garsgrave – Hardraw Part I

  1. Very readable, Mark. Made me feel like getting the rucksack out and setting off, though it was perhaps the bit about the Buck Inn that clinched it 🙂

  2. swanscot says:

    Lovely photos to accompany your travelogue. I like the Malham area and especially the geology of the limestone pavement itself.

  3. AlanR says:

    That is probably one of the nicest sections of the PW for me. Although the next couple of days are good too this bit is my favourite. Even though the heights are nothing much the scenery is spectacular and doubly so with the weather you had.
    Love the pics.

    • Alan, I agree with you. I have walked much of this area, following bits of the PW where it crossed my route. It is one of the nicest areas to walk I know. Thank you for your remarks on the photos. I am just a bit of a point and shoot sort of chap – but I am pleased with this batch, they came out well.
      Mark

  4. GeoffC says:

    That’s one of the sections of the PW where we have only walked a few bits, you might be persuading me to become a section hiker and fill in the gaps as I mentioned on another post. Very pleasant walking there and a great account and pictures.
    I’ll work out just how much of the PW I’ve done soon, it must be a high percentage – trouble is, if I walk the remaining bits of the PW, can I really claim I’ve ‘done the PW’?. Hmmm… not sure.

  5. Geoff, maybe it would feel a bit better (or more correct) if when walking long distance footpaths in sections that this was walked in the correct order from start to finish. I am trying to do this and have achieved this apart from one section – Ponden – Gargarve. I will be looking to do the section from Hardraw to Dufton next – probably in July.
    Thanks for your kind remarks
    Mark

  6. Martin Rye says:

    Pennine Way is a personal favourite of mine. Lanscape is varied and at places stunning. That section is a fine one. The last climb up the lane gives a fine view. Brings back some memories.

  7. surfnslide says:

    I have a particular fondness for Malham and it’s pubs. My memory returns to a lovely October day in my University years, a round trip round trip up Gordale scar and back via the tarn and cove. Several beers in the sunshine and a game of “total football” on the green in walking boots. Happy days!

  8. Philpot says:

    Hi Mark
    Great blog again, do you recall which campsite you stayed at please?

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