Line Dancer

An early start was the order of the day for the group's inaugural walk and several group members had put their apologies in early.So it was that 5 intrepid walkers rubbed the sleep from their eyes as they waited for the 0715 train from Settle to Dent.A nearby passenger was seconded to take a group photo and then it was all aboard for our first expedition.

The weather forecast had not been great (gales and heavy rain forecast by 0900) and the dawn broke to reveal a red sky,an ominous sign.We rattled across the Ribblehead Viaduct and through Blea Moor tunnel and in next to no time disembarked at Dent station.The wind had already increased and shelter was sought in station waiting room where suitable attire was donned.Lynn got the day off to a flier by breaking the zip on her rucsac and running repairs were made with a bootlace!

The 22 mile walk commenced with a wander along the flanks of Great Knoutberry Hill with excellent views along the valley towards Dent.Photo opportunities were taken above Arten Gill viaduct and the route continued to eventually pick up the Ribble Way at Newby Head.Good views of Ingleborough but Pen y Ghent shrouded in mist.A stop at Gayle Beck brought on the first rain and this remained with us for the rest of the day.Fortunately the cloud remained high which meant that we still retained some reasonable views.

The prospect of a warming mug of tea at the Pen y Ghent cafe in Horton in Ribblesdale kept us going and we were not disappointed - an oasis in the inclement weather.Surprisingly nobody suggested getting the train back from Horton to Settle.

A detour across some treacherous stepping stones meant we avoided the special treat of the sewage works and without too many detours from the path made it to Stainforth.The Ribble was in spate making the waterfall a wonderful sight.There followed a gentle riverside stroll into Settle arriving just over 8 hours after leaving Dent Station.

In spite of walking into the wind and rain for most of the day,everyone agreed that the walk was highly enjoyable.

Some lessons learnt:
1) If doing a linear walk arrange for the wind & rain to be behind you
2) If following a period of heavy rain,head for the waterfalls - it will be worth it
3) After the wet summer of 2008 proper boots are the order of the day

Settle Station Tea Shop