Gargrave 22-10-2017 Leader Tom

Gargrave 22-10-2017  Leader Tom

On Saturday night, the weather forecast for Gargrave was dire. By Sunday morning, it had improved marginally, but there were still 6 people who couldn’t find anything better to do than turn up for a 9 mile walk. All 6 were ready to go half an hour before the advertised start time of 10.15, and although one of our number wanted to set off early, the Chairman stamped her foot and said “No!”.  In the event, it was twenty past 10 before we set off….!

It was raining and the wind was howling as we left the car park and it continued like that as we followed the Pennine Way along Mark House Lane until it left the road and climbed slowly up Harrows Hill and across Eshton Moor. As far as the underfoot conditions were concerned, it was the wettest walk we’d been on for months, even years, and our progress at times was painfully slow. We found a sheltered spot for our elevenses (or half elevenses as our Chairman was quick to point out), and then crossed the River Aire which was a raging torrent in places. We spotted someone taking photos, so Rosemary went to find out why – some publicity magazine apparently (you’d have thought they’d have chosen a better day!).   The Pennine Way now followed the river until we reached our turn point at Airton, and we walked up the road to Kiln Hill and into Calton. We knew there was an old barn not far ahead and that gave us a nice shelter for our lunch stop.

The weather was improving and we’d seen the last of the rain; we passed Cowper Cote and reached the road just before Winterburn. We turned south to reach Friars Head and shortly after, we left the road and joined the path alongside Eshton Beck which was in spate with some spectacular standing waves.  After crossing the beck at Brockabank Bridge, we made our way across more very wet fields to cross the road just before Eshton. The path then took us through Gambsers Wood to the Eshton Road and then on to the Leeds-Liverpool canal towpath and back to the car park.

Having decided to go to Delicious for tea, we only just made it before closing time. We walked in over the newly mopped floor, but the friendly staff at our favourite eatery took our order.  A lovely finish to what turned out to be a very enjoyable walk.

Gill’s comment: this was a beautiful and varied walk and while we bemoaned the lack of autumn colour, we were thrilled to see amazing fungi. There is a photo of a snail…..if I mention ‘The Magic Roundabout’, perhaps someone can guess the link between the pic and the weather!


(Write up Tom, pics Gill)

Slideshow below, but if you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here.


  1. rosemary

    A walk which incorporated a variety of scenery and plenty of interest. It was atmospheric due to the wind and volume of water that was flowing in the River Aire. Thanks Tom for leading in difficult conditions and Gill for capturing the day in the photos.

  2. Well, I bet Roy enjoyed it! Good write up, Tom, and excellent pics in the circs, Gill.

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