Post image for The Dales Way: Day 4- Ribblehead to Sedburgh

The Dales Way: Day 4- Ribblehead to Sedburgh

August 4, 2013 · 9 comments

Walked Friday June 14th 2013.

Distance walked: 16.6 miles

Those interested in The Dales Way might like to look up the Dales Way Association website.

All the photos were taken on an iphone 5 and subsequently cropped and adjusted for exposure, highlights and shadows and contrast in Photoshop.

The four of us walking today (me, Bob, Dave and Paul – Short in Stature, Light of Foot) had stayed last night at The Station Inn and an excellent place it was too in all respects bar one. The television screen in the bar. I hate these restless, noisy intrusions into the peace and quiet of drinking places and the nicer the place the more I feel pissed off at  them being imposed on me. Horrible. I liked their weather station though.

Sign outside the Station Inn, Ribblehead, photographed by Charles Hawes

Like many jokes, you only neeed to be told it once.

I had hoped that there might be a route over Blea Moor to regain our path but The Man With The Map insisted that there was none. The trudge back along the road was quickly done, though, and we were soon continuing the gentle climb across the moor to reach Dent Road.  The skies were a little threatening but we were still afforded a decent view.

View from above Gearstones on The Dales Way in North Yorkshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

I love a moody sky and this one definitely has Attitude

It seems surprising that for the next three miles we were required to walk on the road but the traffic was very light and it is always an advantage not to have to pay much attention to ones feet when there are engaging views around you.

View  from the Dent Road on The Dales Way, North Yorkshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

Moor moody weather. (ha ha). But no sheep.

The Dent Head Viaduct is, to my eye, a good example of how buildings can enhance a natural landscape, though I am sure there were those at the time of its building, who must have thought it a dreadful desecration.

Descending Dent Road to the Dent Head viaduct on The Dales Way, photographed by Charles hawes

I see now that we might have taken a different way via the equally impressive Artengill Viaduct

The road gave us a close up view of this wonderful structure….

View under the Dent Head Viaduct on The Dales way, photographed by Charles Hawes

Up close and personal with the Dent Head Viaduct. A thing of beauty.

…..and then took us past this mossy embankment within a little wood to drop by the upper reaches of the River Dee.

Moss covered stony bank on The Dent Road on The Dales Way, photogrphed by Charles Hawes

Moss Garden designed by God

The river’s limestone bed has been carved over the centuries by the action of its water and pebbles exploiting the natural jointing in the stone.

River Dee near Stone House on The Dales Way, photographed by Charles Hawes

It’s really only a trickle of water at this point.


The limestone bed of the River Dee near Stone House on The Dales Way, photographed by Charles Hawes

Not the best of pictures but you can make out the lines of the rock strata running lengthways

Pause for Paul to take a picture.

Paul in his characteristic taking picture pose.

At  Lea Yeat Bridge we left the road briefly only to regain it shortly afterwards where we were passed for the first time in the day by a young couple heading in the  opposite direction who were heavily laden with full camping gear.  All the bridges we passed over or by were works of beauty.

Lea Yeat Bridge over the River Dee on The Dales Way, photographed by Charles Hawes

I guess most stone bridges are attractive by virtue of their design requirements

The Dales Way leaves the Dee for a while at Little Town to pass through  gently sloping sheep-grazed fields and meadows of buttercup. I guess from the picture that we must have had some sharp showers though my memory is already hazy on this detail.

Near Little Town on The Dales Way, photographed by Charles Hawes

My walking buddies. Left to right Dave the Tractor, Bob The Map, Paul (short in Stature, Light of Foot)

Actually, I do remember that I kept having to stop often to stuff  my waterproofs back in my bag frequently as it wasn’t cold and despite the breathability of modern fabrics I still find that  I overheat quickly.

The path rejoins the Dee for another mile or so of buttercup meadows…..

Buttercup meadow on The Dales Way near Dent, photographed by Charles Hawes

All these buttercup meadows are very nice but I am getting a yearning for the hills.

…..before reaching Bridge End (actually crossing Deepdale Beck here).

Bridge at Bridge End over Deepdale Beck near Dent on The Dales Way, photographed by Charles Hawes

Are you getting bored with bridge pictures? This is the Bridge at Bridge End.

From here another short stretch by the Dee brought us near the pretty village of Dent, where Bob and Paul and I diverted  to stock up on carbohydrates and I had an ice-cream from the rather sweet little museum.

The Sedgwick Memorial Fountain in Dent Main Street, photographed by Charles Hawes

The Sedgwick Memorial Fountain in Dent Main Street. Sedgewick was a 19th century geologist of great import. I didn’t notice that it was a fountain.

Dave, meanwhile, had decided to stick by the river, necessitating a small confusion as to where exactly we were going to meet him again.  As the others munched on their sarnies I popped into St Andrews Church for a mosey around.

St Andrews church in Dent, photographed by Charles Hawes

I love the phenomenon of kneelers, which congregations produce for their faithful and which bring up childhood memories of sundays in the High Anglican church in Chislehurst in Kent where my brother and I were taken by our mother whist my father had a drink in a local pub.

Kneeler in St Andrews Church, Dent, North Yorkshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

 We found Dave somehow or other and re-assembled to carry on the very easy route by the Dee to Brackensgill, passing hedges festooned with dense webs from caterpillas the names of which Paul knew but which have failed to find sufficeint cells to remain in my brain.

Weird and wonderful

And then suddenly everything changed. We had to climb for a while and as we did so, the views over the surrounding hills and to the distant fells were so impressive that I felt almost as if I had been cheating myself ambling along by the river (Bob and I subsequently resolved that we would do High Dales Way another time).

View above Brackensgill from The Dales Way, photographed by Charles Hawes

I wanted to be up there with the birds.  In his book The Dales Way, Speakman says that here a geological change occurs and with it, he suggests, that the landscape begins to more resemble the Lake District which lies ahead.

View to Sedburgh and the Howgill Fells behind from The Dales Way, photographed by Charles Hawes

It’s always nice to be able to see your destination after a long days walk.

Ahead of us was Sedburgh and beyond, Howgill Fells and it was an easy descent through the little hamlet of Millthrop to the outskirts of Sedburgh.

The approach to Sedburgh on The Dales Way, photographed by Charles Hawes

Oh look, there’s me! What do you mean the door is more interesting? Thanks for the pic, Paul.

Walking into Sedburgh it was obvious that the town is dominated by its public school, whoose playing fields seem to circle the place. Lots of sporty looking young people were practicing in the cricket nets and tooing and frooing between tennis courts. It’s a most attrcative place.

And it was the parting of the ways. Dave needed to find his car and then make the drive back to Buckden where his bicycle awaited at the Buck Inn. And Paul needed to find his bed and breakfast. Bob and I were booked into The Dalesman Country Inn.  The heavens opened as Bob and I neared the pub.  Time to get inside.

We got together for an excellent meal at the Dalesman, indulging ourselves with pudding and the cheese board whilst  Paul told us about the very nice lady in his bed and brekfast and her very smelly dog.


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Wareham August 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm

One of your best. (is it having all those fellow travellers, do we think?) And true – you do over heat very quickly..

Spiders webs amazingly beautiful.

Moss garden too. Good old God.



Charles August 5, 2013 at 11:22 am

High praise indeed! Thanks love. Yes, God is good.


Paul Steer August 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Brown tail moth caterpillars (I think). Seeing those photographs and reading this brings back positive memories. I am so glad I joined you for this walk. Not being a whisky fan in the past, I really enjoyed the Oban malt at the end of the lovely meal at The Dalesman. I have become a convert. Bottoms up.


Charles August 5, 2013 at 11:24 am

Thanks Paul. I’ll try repeating it to myself and maybe some synapse will be formed. I’d forgotten about the Whiskey. We must make that a regular last drink.


Julia August 5, 2013 at 9:50 am

God does it best, of course. Do you chat as you walk or sing? The group walks are, I assume, very different to the solitary – as good but different? Have never done a group walk – just solitary or with a friend – so rather curious as to the ability to absorb (in a selfish manner). Great landscape pix as always – you’re very good at skies.


Charles August 5, 2013 at 11:28 am

Hello! Yes, s(he) is very good at gardening. Not so good with people. We sing incessantly. Hymns mostly. When we are not singing there is a lot of chat and then periods of quiet. I tend to forge ahead to find places that I can make a plausible turning off the path from and get lost, so I have quite a lot of my time on my own. I keep meaning to enter into a pact of silence with Paul but we have not cracked that one yet. Thanks re pics XX


Kevan tucker August 10, 2015 at 6:25 am

Enjoyed reading your blogs a lot
Did dales way 4 yrs ago with a mate in early sept in glorious sunshine
There is indeed a much more interesting walk from Ribblehead to Dentdale up over Blea Moor basically following the railway , which is actually better than the official. Route I think.


Charles August 10, 2015 at 8:48 am

Thanks Kevin. Do have a look at my High Dales Way walk as I did the route from near Ribblehead across the Moor and it was great.


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