Day 1 – Settle to Cragg Hill Farm, 7 miles
Mainly sunny but a very brief heavy shower half way – cafe lunch – lovely, peaceful site
Day 2 – Cragg Hill Farm to Ribblehead, 8 miles
Threatened rain all day but in the end not too bad – camped behind the Station Inn – dinner in the pub.
Day 3 – Ribblehead to Garsdale Head, 12 miles
Hot – crossed Blea Moor, along the length of the train tunnel – interesting to see spoil heaps and air shafts – dropped down to the Dent road then climbed up again under the Arten Gill Viaduct – bit of a road descent to Garsdale – walked under Dandry Mire Viaduct – camped at a farm where Pebbles and I had previously camped, when we walked the Pennine Bridleway – the farmer remembered Pebbles and her panniers.
Day 4 – Garsdale Head to Kirkby Stephen, 11 miles
Pretty warm again – longish stretch of moorland taking in Hell Gill Bridge, then dropped down to The Thrang – passed Pendragon Castle – mixture of fields and tracks into Kirkby Stephen – B&B for the night at the King’s Arms.
Day 5 – Kirkby Stephen to Appleby
For various reasons, I needed a rest day – instead of walking to Appleby we caught the train – easy afternoon having lunch by the river and eating cake – stocked up with four more days’ worth of food at the Co-op – B&B at the Tufton Arms – excellent evening meal at the Crown and Cushion.
Day 6 – Appleby to Kirkby Thore, 7 miles
The route starts to become more agricultural and flat – some fields ok to walk in, some overgrown, muddy and with hidden ditches – also some pleasant tracks and a few roads – bumped into Nick Marston, who’d very kindly come out to meet us, bearing home made cake and chocolate marzipan! – camped in a larger site which was mainly residential, but everyone really friendly – watched a starling murmeration.
Day 7 – Kirkby Thore to Little Salkeld, 12.5 miles
Land becoming more rolling today with lots of pointless ups and downs – morning coffee in a NT cafe – some rain but hotter and drier in the afternoon – paid a ridiculous amount (£20 each) to camp in what was essentially someone’s back garden – they did have a nice dog though, but also had a cat which peed on my inner.
Day 8 – Little Salkeld to Armathwaite, 11 miles
More ups and downs today – a fair bit of road, some of it to avoid yucky fields – very warm and muggy – went past Long Meg and her Daughters – very pleasant spot for lunch, by the river in Kirkoswald – spent the night on a Camping Club site with composting toilets.
Day 9 – Armathwaite to Carlisle, 12 miles
Hot and muggy – started out pleasant walking along the River Eden, which quickly turned into miles of hideousness – picked up some quiet roads instead, to avoid some of it – last section into Carlisle was again along the river, but very pleasant this time – B&B at the Cumbria Park Hotel.
Day 10 – Carlisle to Settle
It had to be done, the train ride back to Settle – ice cream served on the train, too! – and I was so excited to be riding over Ribblehead Viaduct, I filmed that bit then discovered the video hadn’t worked – welcoming committee to meet us in Settle – and many thanks to Geoff for driving Dale and I up to Settle and back.