A grand day out!

Lorna and I have been in the Dales this weekend - luckily one of our friends' family owns a bunkbarn at Chapel-le-Dale, near Ingleton. We have just got back from a weekend of food, drinking, walking, and (for me) a nice long run on Saturday. It was one of the best training runs I've had for a while...

The plan was to recce part of a longer route I'm hoping to have a crack at next summer. I did the recce bit on the way out, then looped back round to head home. I ended up with 9 tops and 58km in about 7 and a half hours. Here's where I went...


From the bunkbarn I ran up the road for a hundred yards or so, then up Ingleborough. As you will notice on the map above, I've made a mistake and drawn the first three hills in the wrong order, but you get the idea. The climb was fantastic, it was cold an frosty with a lot of frozen patches, but the sun was warm and it was a beautiful morning on the summit. It took about 30 mins from leaving to the trig. From there I cut back the way I had come, then followed the fence to Simon Fell, then Lords Seat. I managed to slip on a patch of ice on the way down Ingleborough and had a bloody knee for the rest of the day but apart from that I was having an amazing day.
Looking back up to Ingleborough
From Lords Seat I cut across to join the 3 Peaks race path down to Horton. Through the village and out t'other side towards Pen-y-Ghent. It was getting busy with walkers now, and throughout the day it became very obvious that to many people, there are only three hills in the Yorkshire Dales! I saw hardly anyone on the "lesser" fells. From Horton I headed up towards Pen-y-Ghent but cut up to Plover Hill. The run along the edge of the wall was longer and harder than it looked, the terrain was boggy and tricky, but eventually I got to the stile and turned around.

360' from Plover Hill
From P-y-G I ran down to the road, on a fairly questionable route which had me clambering over fences, walls and rivers and took aaaages! Next I climbed up Fountains Fell, feeling quite knackered now as it was a steep one after the Pennine Way turned off. I climbed on following the wall to the top of Fountains Fell, then dropped down slightly, then a final (for now) climb up to the last summit of my recce part of the day - Darnbrook Fell.

Darnbrook Fell Trig
From the trig I dropped down north on more trackless boggy stuff, till eventually coming out at Halton Gill. From there I started to head back to the bunkbarn, running along the river through Foxup, then up to contour along the edge of Pen-y-Ghent for quite a long way. This was another really nice section, the sun was still shining and I got some decent running in. Eventually I reached the route towards the Ribblehead viaduct, it was really really boggy on the way up and I fell in up to my waist once. It took me quite a long time to get out, and I nearly lost my shoes in the process!

Eventually I reached the road near Ribblehead viaduct, which I always think is an amazing thing. I ran on up past the viaduct where there was a cave rescue training exercise going on, helicopters and everything! I didn't follow the normal route up Whernside, but went up the really steep side, then turned right onto the main path to the top.

Looking back to Ingleborough from the way up Whernside
I squeezed through the gap in the wall, touched my final trig for the day, turned around and headed off back down, via High Pike. I was now looking forward to the Steak and Ale pie I had ordered in the pub later... I really enjoyed the run down though, it was quiet now, the wind had died down and the sun was starting to set. I ran down through the farm, onto the road and up to Chapel-le-Dale.

All in all a fantastic run, I learnt a lot during my recce and had one of the best days I've had for a long time. And the pie was amazing :)

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