Monday, January 21, 2008

Day 11 - Dent to Settle

With the exception of day 8 (Cross Fell) the final day sees probably the greatest divergence from Wainwright's original as nearly all of his walking was on road and a more pleasant and direct route from Ingleton exists via footpaths and bridleways that run some way to the north of his route.

Having said that the first part of the day follows the minor road from Dent heading toward Kingsdale with the final 21 miles to cover. The only alternative to exiting Dentdale via this quiet road are hill paths that are considered unnecessarily difficult on a final day that has seen 179 miles walked in the previous nine days. The road is pleasant enough as it climbs up Deepdale and Whernside lies off to the left.

The road continues to climb until the highest point is reached looking down the straight valley in front, Kingsdale. To either side of the watershed is White Side Pasture to one side and Black Side Pasture to the other - where do these names derive?

There are some strange names also in Kingsdale and thr old map shows "Yordas Wood" and "Braida Garth". Somehow these names don't seem of Yorkshire origin and any information about the history of Kingsdale would be interesting.

The routes have followed one another for the longest of any section with the previous 10 days - 3 pages have seen the routes follow the same course. Finally the road walking for the new route is over, when the way turns left toward the falls path down to Ingleton. Suddenly, the days of solitude will be broken amongst the crowds around Thornton Force and down the Swilla Burn. Wainwright was alone in descending the burn on that Wednesday in 1938 but it is unlikely that he would be if he was ab le to revisit now. It is busy with a large car park -opened in 1885 the croweds would arrive by train to the station at Ingleton; not any more as all that is left in the viaduct that towers over the town. The walk has seen many disused railways and this one is the last that is encountered at close quarters -the old line ran as a branch from Clapham Station but it was finally closed down in 1967.

From Ingleton the routes follow the old Clapham road as far as "Yarlsber" (another odd name that is surely not of Yorkshire origin?) where they part and do not coincide again until Settle some 9 miles away. Wainwright himself stated that there was "...little to say of the walk from Ingleton to Settle."

Wainwright, for some reason, verred southwards at Newby Cote to Clapham Station and followed yet more road when he could have carried through lovely Clapham village with the Croft Cafe that was delightful and, I heard, was a favourite haunt of Alan Bennet (I may be wrong, please if someone could confirm?).

The next picturesque village is Austwick - I recall a story about these parts of a headless German pilot in WWII but I do not know of the details so if anyone provide the details I would be pleased.
Other than that I know nothing of Austwick and would be interested in any detail. The path leads soouth east from the village towards Feizor (another odd name or it is me?).

Finally, the last leg of 65 (if I have counted correctly) leads from Feizor as straight as a die to Stackhouse which is very close to the path that was the first leg of day 1 and turning south it follows a path to join the old route for the last time on the old road out of Settle before the bypass opened.
The final few hundred yards are shared as the Ribble is crossed and Settle entered and the journey is at an end.

200 miles lies behind and for all Wainwright's grumblings he had it in him to write his account and make some effort toward publication, if only he knew that it would be 40-odd years before anyone else would read his words.
For anyine who has something to add to this modern revisit I thank you for your contribution of putting some detail into my sketch - I have provided the bone but it is nothing without flesh.
Thank you again and let's hope that we see our work again one day and that we don't have to wait as long as Wainwright.

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