The Journey Begins and Continues....

At the Start Bridge and us Down we go First glimpse of Ribblehead Horton in sight Limestone Pavement Lonely grave Looking towards Ingleborough Looking towards Pen y Ghent Peter in the water Ribblehead view Snap Time
Sunday May 31st, Start 9.00am finish 5.00pm. 20 miles

Ribble Way – Part 1 – Horton-in-Ribblesdale to river source

14 brave participants

We dubbed this walk “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” as we had an even male/female split. Sadly the suggestion that we all throw our car keys in the middle to select a partner for the day was dismissed! The weather was scorching, what a beautiful day, hardly a cloud in the sky but a gentle breeze blowing. As the Ribble Way is a 72 mile trek, Hilary added an eight mile loop on to this section to get 4x20 mile walks for our Sunday schedule. We left Horton-in-Ribblesdale by the Pennine Way and looped round the delightfully and appropriately named Fair Bottom Hill. After a photo-shoot at the accepted source of the river; a trickle of water emanating from behind some rocks, we began the trail in earnest. And what a delight it was! The comment was made, “if we are following a river shouldn’t the walk be all downhill?” but there were one or two little testing inclines. Eight hours on we arrived back at the cars and took advantage of the very welcome refreshments on offer at the Crown. Sadly on the day Judith lost her watch and Geoff his new sunglasses. The Bravery Award on the day undoubtedly went to Louise (broken toe) and Geoff (fractured arm) who completed the walk just a week after sustaining their injuries.

RIBBLE WAY – Stage 2 – Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Gisburn. Sunday June 28th. Start 9.00am, finish 5.30pm 20 miles

16 sweat-drenched exhausted walkers!

What a day! In soaring temperatures when you have had to drink every drop of water you managed to carry with you it is perhaps not too good an idea to be following a river! But sadly that was the case and the day became a real test of character.

We started with the first shock sighting of Hilary’s black eye shiner, the result of a losing battle fought earlier in the week with a Bolton lamppost. Everyone was full of sympathy and compassion for all of two minutes and then poor Hilary had her leg pulled for the rest of the day.

Undoubtedly in booking Pendle Community Transport for this walk we have unearthed another little gem. Alex, our driver for the three sections they are to support us on, never stopped laughing from the moment he picked us up to dropping us off. The minibus was perfect.

The first three hours of the walk were memorable indeed as it really is a beautiful river trek from Horton-Ribblesdale down to Settle. We took our morning coffee break on the rocks by the breathtaking Stainforth Waterfalls. All credit to Viv and Barbara here who took time out to tidy the place up a bit after some uncaring idiots had left all sorts of debris around from their barbeque! Well done ladies.

Someone had pointed out on the first section that as we are following a river from its source to the coast the walk must all be downhill. None of it. This river must flow uphill as we certainly encountered a few climbs, not very welcome on such a hot day. Thank goodness for a kind farmer near Paythorne who filled all our water bottles from a pipe from an underground spring. Pure nectar!

The very last leg into Gisburn saw us investigate a possible alternative Ribble Way route for the Lancashire Countryside Service. The current official route is along a very busy – and dangerous - A road. This has to be changed and we took a “new” bridleway through Gisburn Park and into the village. It seems to be the prefect answer.

Yet another superb walk. Well done Terry and his brother-in-law who capped a busy walking week having completed the Cleveland Way before joining us.

And well done June for admirable walk-leadership!
Along the river bank Extra water from the farm Gisburn bound and view of Pendle Hiding the railway Lovely church Morning coffee Save the post from Hilary! The group assembles