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Home arrow News arrow Meet Reports arrow Yorkshire Dales Meet: 6-8 March 2009

Yorkshire Dales Meet: 6-8 March 2009

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Contributed by Ian Stuart   

The accommodation was the Quaker Hostel at Airton, a tiny village a few km south of Malham.  A pleasant small bunkhouse that had been refurbished since our last visit, and now divided into 3 small 4 or 6 person bedrooms.  With a problem-free drive up, everyone arrived early enough for a few bottles of beer in the hut Friday evening (there being no pubs in Airton).


As the turnout for this meet was quite small, we decided all to walk together, and as we'd all done variations on the usual Pennine Way, Malham Cove, Gordale Scar circuit on previous visits here, we decided to drive over to Wensleydale to do a route from Aysgarth.  Weather was dry but threatened rain, and was cold and windy high up, so a lowish level route suited the conditions well.  After taking in the Upper Falls at Aysgarth, we followed paths up to Castle Bolton (impressive, shut; lot of lapwings en route) then a short steep ascent up to Redmire Scar (good views, cold) before descending slightly for a lunch stop.  After lunch, with rain looking even more likely, we dropped into Wensleydale past Bolton Hall (newer version of Castle Bolton), and crossed the River Ure at Lord's Bridge.  (The Ure is the main river here, so should it be called River Wensley, or should Wensleydale be called Uredale ?).  The return route was along the south bank of the Ure - pleasantly varied, waterfalls, oystercatchers.  At the end we diverted to view the Middle and Lower Falls at Aysgarth, then, with rain looking yet more likely, we went for a coffee in Aysgarth Mill (huge old industrial 19C watermill, now a tea-shop).  It rained heavily on the drive back through Wharfedale.

We decided to go to Gargrave Sat evening; when we got there the pub was shut and the other pub had screens the size of football pitches, luckily the Bollywood Brasserie sold us a really good curry and some Kingfisher so it all worked out well.  Then we went back to the hut so the drivers could have a bottle of beer.

Sunday - walked straight out of the hut but not along the Pennine Way, instead followed paths east to the Winterburn Reservoir, then looped back over The Weets summit, 414m.  Fine views from the top (lunch), including an unusual and impressive view down into Gordale Scar.  Finally back to the hut, coffee, away about 2.30pm.

A very agreeable weekend.

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