‘A’ Ken Armstrong ‘B’ Pat Gardner & Mary Lou Davinson
The second walk of the season and our first outing began with an overcast sky and a cool temperature. The first walk was cancelled due to heavy snow. 48 travelled to the Yorkshire Dales via a circuitous route to Barnard Castle where the snow lining the road was still quite deep. The journey on the A66 over Bowes Moor was picturesque as clear blue skies appeared with snow lying all around. The coffee stop was in Kirkby Stephen. A good road led us to Sedbergh where we passed an old bus travelling in the opposite direction. The views of the snow capped hills were really stunning. Sedbergh is a small ancient market town with a narrow main street of shops. It was a tight squeeze to get the coach turned in the one way system but Billy the coach driver did an admirable job. 23 members set out on the ‘A’ walk today and after lunch, 20 set out on the ‘B’ walk in lovely afternoon sunshine. We started with an uphill climb on Howgill Lane then a level walk with tremendous views all around including Lowgill viaduct in the distance. We turned onto a stony track to High Branthwaite and picked up the Dales Way long distance footpath (Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere). Lovely grassy paths, surprisingly dry and dusty were followed to the River Lune where we sat alongside the tall pillars of the Lune viaduct. It was very pleasant and tranquil as we watched half a dozen grey wagtails flitting about the rocks in the river. More fields were crossed to reach the busy A684. We walked a short distance to visit St Gregory’s church. The church was built in the 1860’s by Miss Frances Upton of Ingmire Hall and remained in the family’s ownership until 1918. The church was declared redundant in 1984 and is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. The stained glass windows are unusual in that most of them depict scenes of nature as opposed to the religious themes adopted by most churches. The remainder of the walk was on the main road back to Sedbergh. The finale to the day was watching a wedding in the parish church. The bride and groom were led along the church path by the bagpipes before walking along the main street to their reception.
Flowers: celandine, coltsfoot, dogs mercury and snowdrop.
Other: pheasant, heard song thrush, toad and grey waytails.
Photo c. K.Nevin