340 degrees NNW of Skipton

John ,John, Norman, Andy, Helen, Karen,Val, Vera, Colin(Friends from Skipton),2 from the ‘Nidderdale group’(Apologies for no names).
Windy, showers, drifting mist but warm.
Thankfully everybody managed to get a spot at the restricted parking place so as soon as Val and I arrived we were off.
Our first objective is the little prominent peak of Sharp Haw(or ‘Shapa’ as its locally known). This is a super little hill at the back of Skipton. Its the last high ground before the ‘Aire Gap’ and normally the views are really good….on a clear day you can see all the way up Wharfedale with Buckden Pike dominating the skyline…..not today though. All we were afforded was claggy cloud rolling down the valley…..where we were heading.
We all flew up and down the summit and descended into Flashby. I informed everyone that this was going to be a walk of two halves….This first section comprised of following the banks ‘Eshton beck’ towards Rylstone.. we then picked up green lanes and low level paths to Linton. Here I explained to my adoring acolytes that the manor house at the top of the village was the prototype of Castle Howard over towards Malton.
Our next objective was the small hamlet of ‘Thorpe’..again never missing an opportunity to spout I explained to those near how the Hamlet was overlooked by the Romans as they surged up the country and was then known as the ‘Forgotten Hamlet’.

This then brought the second half of the walk and the stiff climb onto Barden Moor.
Lunch was had in the shelter of various bits of grassed over mining spoil with grand views over Wharfedale, Grassington and Burnsall…it actually stopped raining while we ate.
A little bit of fun was to be had now in the shape of some soggy ‘heather bashing’…Thankfully we regain a good path before it got to ‘interesting’…All the hard work was now completed and we made good progress along the high level path to the Cracoe War memorial. The cloud in Wharfedale had cleared and we had far reaching views up to Buckden Pike.
As we approached the war memorial Andy enquired as to whether there were any more trig points on the walk….I told him no…..then suddenly Karen and Andy stated racing to the Pinnacle. Apparently they have started doing this when approaching trig points and this was a good alternative…..Andy has far too much energy and must stop having a ‘Haribo lunch’.
Having passed Rylstone cross(after obligatory scrambling and photo taking) we soon picked up the bridleway to Bolton Priory. Veterans of the Trollers trot are familiar with this path and conversation turned to whether next year’s event will be run. We turned off the track and now headed across open ground to Embsay Crag..We were going to have a break here but we were hit with yet another weather front that was probably the worst of the day. A quick scramble down this brought us to the banks of the reservoir at Embsay….all that was left was a last couple of miles tramping through fields….one of which was full of ripening wheat that was rather good to walk through(on the path of course).Crossing the final fields we were afforded a superb view of ‘Shapa’..the hill we initially climbed.
Finally Val and I have a place 2 mins stroll from the end of the walk so a few called in for a cuppa before heading home.
Once again a super walk and despite the squally showers the weather was never that miserable.
22 miles in about 7 ½ hours total.

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