16/04/16 Grassington Circular ‘A’ Ken Armstrong ‘B’ Pat Gardner

54 members set out for the Yorkshire Dales travelling through sleet and hail showers. We stopped for coffee in Ripon. As we approached Grassington we could see huge marques in a field for a fell race day but fortunately their cars weren’t parked in the National Parks car park. The weather was cool and dry as the ‘A’ party, 22 in number, set off walking up the main street to reach a walled track leading to grassy fields. Various wall stiles were crossed on the undulating

track and we stopped for lunch at Scar Cove sitting in sunshine with lovely views across the valley. We descended to the tiny picturesque hamlet of Conistone and ascended through Conistone Dib, a narrow dry gorge created by post glacial floodwater. It was a steep ascent over rocky outcrops and loose stones with a short scramble through Gurling Trough to reach an area of spectacular limestone scenery. After a fruit stop we headed back to Grassington following the Dales Way long distance trail. Being on the tops there was more of a wind chill factor and at one point quite a heavy shower of hail fell but it didn’t last too long. We descended from the tops to emerge at the top of the main street in Grassington. Unfortunately all the cafes had closed by the time we returned. 29 members set out on the ‘B’ walk after lunch and followed the first part of the ‘A’ walk returning to Grassington on a lower path after climbing through Conistone Dib. On our journey home we spotted in a field a circle of sheep. A farmer had laid food on the ground. While the ewes were eating all of the lambs were together within the circle running around and playing together. Snow was lying on the higher ground as we travelled to Ripon but disappeared once we had descended to lower ground. Flowers: dog violet, lesser celandine, primrose and wild strawberry Other: curlews and lapwings.

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