GLW2122 : My Socially Isolated Wet Left Foot

Tuesday 10th August 2021

Had I been “pinged”, it would have been mandatory.  As I hadn’t, then my self-isolation following an encounter with an infected person was simply precautionary.  Consequently, after 6 days and three negative Corvid tests, we felt comfortable about leaving the house for a stroll in an area in which we were very unlikely to encounter anybody.

I remembered GLW2003, a previous occasion when we took social distancing to the extreme.  I remember thinking at the time that there was another walk to be had from the Dragon House at Greenholme.  Today I wondered if St George had made a comeback- unlikely though it seemed as he had been a festival scarecrow.

Actually, there was a George.  And it was a George that had been there before but I hadn’t spotted him.  In fact he had been there many years- a GR postbox.  As there is no number on it, presumably George V is the king in question.

Anyway, we headed south- west, watching several buzzards circling and mewing.

We had been expecting to see several abandoned dwellings on our walk.  What was a bit of a surprise was that someone wants to develop Low Whinhowe.  Good luck to them, they will need deep pockets.

Further up, High Whinhowe is too far gone for anyone to contemplate restoration.

This being our first hilly outing for some time, I was not Margaret’s favourite person for taking her up the climb.  This was brought to a head or perhaps I should say from her head when her best wlking hat fell into a fresh cowpat!

However, once over the brow and on the ancient bridle path, her sunny disposition re-emerged and she actually admitted that she was enjoying the walk.  Quite right.  It’s a good ancient track with fine views, particularly over to the Breasthigh Pass.

The large barn that had seemed an eyesore on earlier visits has mellowed in somewhat but it still doesn’t enhance the scenery  However, as no doubt the farmer would tell us, you can’t eat the view.

We stopped at Bretherdale Beck for a coffee.  As you approach the beck, you can see the old ford and I cruelly kidded Margaret that we had to wade.  Then she spotted the old stone bridge and my bluff failed.  Of course I knew it was there because the map says both “Ford” and "FB".

On the other side of the stream is another abandoned house into which we could poke our noses.  The next one, which is adjacent to the offending barn, is now seriously fenced off so we didn’t try.

We were now on the return, heading east being watched by a menacing herdlet of cows.

At Bretherdale Hall we took the footpath down to the beck where the map says “Ford”.  It also says "FB".  I had no worries.  However, this time we couldn’t see a bridge.  Just stepping stones.  Had we visited a few days earlier the stream might have been low enough to make a successful crossing.  Today, the stones furthest away looked decidedly slippery and uninviting. A brief test on my part established that the nearby stones were also slippery and uninviting, as my wet left shoe, socks and foot will confirm. Still, my spirits remained high as this picture looking back u the valley confirms.

We retreated to the Nichol Hill road which was certainly a drier route and one which I suspect provides rather better views over to the hills beyond Orton.

Back at the car, St George hadn’t made a miraculous reappearance.  King George’s Post Box was still there of course but soon we weren’t.  Our objective had been achieved.  We had met no other person on our outing.  Social isolation factor- perfect.  We set off home reflecting on what had been another Great Little Walk, even though I was having to drive with one wet foot!

Don, Tuesday 10th August 2021

4.9 Miles, 630 feet

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