Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Walking Yorkshire - Arncliffe Monk's Road to Malham

If you live in an ugly part of the world (Buffalo, Croyden, Lancashire etc) then I'm sorry but this is Yorkshire at its worst. The start of the Priest's Road is half path/half bubbling beck with views of West Moor to the right and Blue Scar to the left. After three punishing weeks of 7 day double shifts in the kitchen I felt my heart lift and the weariness drop away from me as this lovely view presented itself.

Looking up Littondale from the Monk's Road. As I havn't done any walking for a month since completing Scafell Pike, I was expecting to struggle a little, but being on your feet all day at work seems to have its compensations and despite the heat the walking was easy.

Looking back down into Arncliffe.

The steep slope down to Cowside Beck. Now sometimes I set off walking with a definite aim in mind, a point to strike out for and achieve, and on other days I'm a bit more "Ooh what's that ? I'll walk over and have a look." Today was the latter sort, I left the path shortly after this shot and went for a wander over the top of Clowder, negotiating dumb and clumsy white cattle and barbed wire fences along the way.

On Great Clowder following the sheep tracks and tumbledown walls. The tallest part of the hill here is named, with typical Yorkshire bluntness, Height.

The view from the ridge at the delightfully named Scab Hill with Middle House Farm and Malham Tarn behind it. Time for lunch, I was roasting/boiling in the heat now, the abandoned buildings at Middle House itself looked an inviting place to stop so I scrambled down Scab Hill and made for the shade of the trees.

Middle House. I stopped here for a break in the shade, it was a little piece of pastoral heaven with nothing to disturb me but the mild buzzing of bees and the soft exhalations of cattle from the next field. The only things exhibiting any energy were the swallows and martins swooping and wheeling in search of food.

I made good time on the walk back to Arncliffe, and I'd half had it in mind to climb Hawkswick Moor to see the view over the ridge into Kettlewell, but...

A pint of beer perchance. It would appear from the barman's demeanor that I have intruded upon his otherwise peaceful day, I glance around the tiny bar and can't see any pump heads, what's going on here then. I ask for a pint of bitter, the barman nods curtly and bobs down behind the bar where two casks rest on a gantry, he opens the tap and beer flows into a ceramic jug, he then pours the beer from a height into a glass to give it a head, how quaint.

I now further antagonise the barman by asking him what sort of beer it is, he rolls his eyes and thumps his hand down on the bar towels, oh right, it's Tim Taylor's then is it. Arncliffe continues to demonstrate its welcoming nature to strangers outside, where Bob the village xenophobe is telling a nice American couple what a nasty and dangerous country they live in. I try to move the conversation along by telling them that I think their hometown (San Francisco) is a wonderful city, Tim the xenophobe now becomes Bob the homophobe and launches into a diatribe against the gay boys that want to touch him (seriously mate, take a look in the mirror, no gay man in the world desires a twenty stone, sweaty, unshaven bigot for a partner).

Left with the choice of murdering Bob or leaving, I leave. I'm really sorry for the American couple, we're not all like that around here. I went to the village church for a while, then drove slowly back home, stopping to marvel at the nutters climbing Kilnsey Crag. It was a good day out, I don't know how long it will be until another day off, so it's good not to have wasted this one day.


  1. Squirt7:11 pm

    Think YS might be trying to get you to blog back Auntie M, with the location reference at the beginning of this blog?!

  2. The Lurker10:53 am

    Beautiful photos