Walked 16th June 2013
All the photographs were taken on an iphone 5 and were then cropped, adjusted for exposure, shadows and highlights and contrast and sharpened and re-sized.
For those interested in walking The Dales Way you might like to visit the Dales Way Association website.
This last day’s walk was going to be a bit of a breeze- it was the onward journey home that was going to be the demanding bit. So Bob and I were up for breakfast as early as possible (8am) and were the sole occupants of the breakfast room at The Shakespere Inn in Kendal. Our cheery host was one of those “it might be alright now but it’s going to rain” type of blokes but the breakfast was OK. It was an easy two mile walk out of Kendal and Paul was at our rendezvous back in Burneside when we got there.
The Dales Way follows the River Kent and along the road briefly before arriving at the very smart gated community formed by the “conversion” of a mill at Cowan Head. A good spot if you play golf as a course is on the other side of the river.
The path gently climbed by the river where we passed a couple who appeared to be photographing something of great interest but I could not make out what it was so I asked. “Mayflies, they have very distinctive tails”. And then I saw them. Lots of them. But I didn’t take a picture. Sorry.
We skirted the village of Staveley where Beady Eyed Bob kept us to the right route from where there was a gentle rise again though open fields (we really ought to have had a look in the Church as there is a window designed by Burne-Jones and executed by William Morris – both artists whose work I admire greatly) until we reached a quiet lane. There was no traffic from cars but we saw several other walkers all heading in our direction. The Dales Wayers were beginning to coalesce.
Although there were views back towards the hills, there was no sighting of the Lake District ahead of us. We continued to climb amongst some pasture and craggy outcrops and I found very little that moved me to stop and photograph but here’s another shot of Paul’s taken further back.
I think perhaps the end of the journey was rather occupying my mind.
At any event, at some coarse gravelled farm track, when I was ahead and out of sight of the others, I took a wrong turn and found myself on a metalled road heading downhill.
After about a quarter of a mile I became uneasy and suspected that I might have gone wrong so I turned around retraced my steps to find, 10 minutes later, Bob and Paul walking towards me. I had indeed gone wrong and I had also left a farm gate open and this clue had led them to realise my mistake and hot-foot after me. Bob managed to get us back to our intended path with only a small detour. And a mild rebuke.
I think this might be where I went wrong. Thanks to Paul for the evidence.
We eventually reached the very busy B5284 which we walked by for a few hundred yards before heading off past an impressive property called Cleabarrow . Frustratingly there was still no vista of Lakeland views, so I was reduced to snapping the large pond by Home Farm.
Climbing again from Home farm we reached the brow of a hill and finally we were looking down on Windermere.
The official end of The Dales Way- appears to be a seat constructed of stone with a plaque stating “For those who walk The Dales Way”. So Paul and I sat whist Bob took a pic and then we swapped around until sufficient photographs were taken and we gave way to the next finishing party.
We had a at least a couple of hours before our bags were likely to be delivered to a Bed and Breakfast at Bowmere so we strolled down to the lake and had a much deserved and very relaxed sit and an ice-cream. (I should have mentioned before that our bags had been transferred between our destinations each day by The Sherpa Van Project and they had done a great job throughout.)
Bowmere was absolutely packed with tourists of all shapes sizes and ethnic origins and they provided great entertainment until we thought that we had better walk the mile and a half up the road to check on the bags.
They hadn’t arrived so that prompted retiring to a nearby cafe for coffee and cake(as you do). When the bags did arrive I got my car from the nearby street where I had left it a week before whist Bob and Paul changed out of their boots. It was a strange drive then. First port of call was The Station Inn at Ribblehead, where Paul had left his car and then a beautiful drive to Ilkley where Bob had left his.
It felt odd to be in the car, odder still to be driving at speed by the countryside we had been very slowly passing through for the last 6 days. It was also daunting a prospect to then drive from Ilkley back to my home in Monmouthshire. TomTom was particularly vicious in the early part, taking me through the middle of Leeds. I got back home about 10pm. And collapsed after a hug with Anne with a glass of wine. Or two.