Hey there reader,
A week ago my wife, @highwings and I, headed off to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales to attempt the "Three Peaks challenge". That's a 26-mile hike around the dales, taking in the 3 highest peaks in Yorkshire for a total of 2000m of climbing. However, things didn't work out as expected and we ended up having to cancel that due to impending thunderstorms in the area. We didn't really fancy being at the highest point for miles with lightning raining down on us, so we decided to do a smaller, 8 mile or so, hike around the lower dales.
We started in a small village called Austwick which was about a 20-minute drive from where we were staying in Ingleton. We parked up in the village centre and made our way up the main street until we came to this really quaint stepladder over the drystone wall.
Once over the drystone wall, we headed across some lovely open fields that were full of cows and sheep. It's quite cool that most of the fields in Yorkshire are free to roam, so you can just walk anywhere you want. We tried to follow the route we had downloaded from viewranger.com though. Better to be safe than sorry. It's quite easy to get lost here.
We trekked across this field, heading slightly round to the right and climbing up onto this smallish limestone peak. I think its a good couple of hundred meters to the top of it.
All across Yorkshire, you find these lovely drystone walls. They have no mortar between the rocks; it is just the weight of the rocks and the friction between them that holds them up. The trees around here don't care about that, you often find them growing in, on and through the walls. This one was particularly cool.
A lot of the rock deposit up here is also due to glacial melt and you can find a number of rocks strewn around that are deposited millions of year ago and are still hanging around.
One of the other common natural wonders up in the dales are the limestone pavements. Upon a lot of the peaks, there are these amazing floors made up of cracked up limestone. The gaps in the limestone are from the water that has run through them and it creates a really cool crazy paving effect. They are both fun and scary to walk on, one false move and your ankle can easily break in two.
Of course, the views from up here are exquisite.
Once we had navigated around the dale and fell, we started to make our way back down. There was an ominous look about the clouds in front of us and we started to see rain falling in the distance. This was not a good thing at all. (You can see the bands of rain in the distance in this image)
Then we got absolutely drenched (gloominess added for effect). We were not happy bunnies at this point.
The storm didn't last and you dry out quite quickly if you are wearing the right gear (don't wear jeans when you are hiking, you will be soaking for hours).
On the way back down we came across this lovely little stream type thing.
According to the sign by the side of this small pool, farmers used to wash their sheep in this body of water before sheep dip was created. Maybe we would have gone for a swim but we had only just dried out from the rain!!
We carried on back down towards Austwick, and just over three hours after setting off, got back into the village in which we started, aching, wet, but nevertheless, very happy with the morning's hike.
If you do fancy doing this route, it is available to download here
And a map of the track we took is below.
One small note. We definitely made the right decision not to do the three peaks challenge. Later in the day, when we would have been up a mountain, this happened and we witnessed one of the most violent storms I have ever seen.
All images were taken with an iPhone and processed using Aurora HDR
Thanks for reading