Saturday, January 19, 2008

Day 2 - Buckden to Muker

Day 2 starts at Buckden and travels northerly along the bridleway from the car park at the north end of Buckden. Wainwright started the day by walking back to Hubberholme but I have no desire to cover the same ground again. The path proceeds high on the south side of the valley opposite Cray to meet with the road to Bishopdale where the route then follows a green lane over Kidstones Fell. Wainwright thought little of Cray - any details of Cray to balance this lowly view would be useful.

Walking on this delightful path is joy unbounded as noted by Wainwright as the route follows the green lane and arrives at Stalling Busk along this Roman road (also as noted by Wainwright). On the way to Stalling Busk the track skirts the hill named on the map as Fairy How - where that name comes from would be interesting.

Following the valley past Semer Water the way turns to follow the quiet river Bain, England's shortest river, to Bainbridge. The Rose and Crown is worth a visit to see the Bainbridge horn which in years gone by was sounded each evening to bring the foresters home when Wensleydale was largely forested. What is the P A Institution noted on the map?

Leaving Bainbridge a short walk arrives at the village of Askrigg that was once the capital of the dale. Askrigg has been made famous in more recent times through the filming of the Herriott vet stories. The railway that operated as Wainwight passed was closed in 1964 and when I passed in 1998 plans were then afoot to re-open the line.

After Askrigg there follows a 5 mile walk over to Muker with little civilisation between. The route follows Wainwright's for the main part as the road is very quiet.

The route runs over Oxnop Pasture and Swaledale opens up in front and turning west Muker is the next village and the end of day 2. Wainwright stayed with the Harkers who I believe now can be found in the graveyard. Any details of them would be very interesting.

Day 2 has passed mainly through open country except for the 2 brushes with civilisation at Bainbridge and Askrigg. Any details of that country life would be useful as would any memories of the villages en route and especially the visitors' book referred to be Wainwright at the Harkers' house in Muker - might someone have kept that book after all the intervening years?