Sun 3rd Oct, 1999

Yorkshire Dales Walk

Members present: Margaret Baldock, Linda Crossley, Jim Gregson, Sandy Gregson, Graham Harkness, Sheena Hendrie, Alan (L) Jones, lain McCallum, Neville McMillan, Lorna Marsland, Lester Payne, Brian Taylor, Jim Taylor, Peter Walker, Frank Williams, Margaret Williams, Keith Williams, Dave Wylie. (18)

Guests present: Richard Walker.


6am. awakened by the sound of rain hammering on the roof - a portent for the day? Arrived at Malham Tarn shortly after 9am to be greeted by low cloud and flooded car park. Graham, Neville and Sheena had already arrived, Graham having spent the night in his vehicle at Malham. By the time we set off at 9.45am, the cloud had started to lift. After a quick swing round the tarn we soon reached Malham Tarn House, once a shooting lodge and now field study centre. Following the Pennine Way we climbed steadily up hill passing Tennant Gill before stopping below Fountains Fell for a quick bite and a drink. The day continued to improve and by the time we reached the summit of Fountains Fell (668m) all the tops were clear. In the distance, the Howgills could be seen bathed in sunshine. The summit plateau of the Fell, which takes its name from Fountains Abbey, is badly scarred by the remains of old bell pits from which coal was extracted in the 18th and 19th centuries. From the summit we followed the ridge in a NW direction crossing a number of peat hags before gaining the top of Darnbrook Fell (624m). A rapid descent following a quad track soon brought the party onto a fine green road which traversed the hillside above Pen-y-Ghent Gill. Close to Litton Frank found us a good spot for lunch alongside the river. A rather soporific spot - warmed by the sun with the sound of the river tumbling over the rocky shelves along its bed.

After lunch we followed the river to Arncliffe. A very wet way. Many of the fields were flooded and one of the lanes which had turned into a stream had be waded as we approached Arncliffe. The short stop for drinks at the old village Inn proved most welcome. Following the Monk's Road we slowly climbed out of Littondale up the fell side, crossing the limestone pavement at Dew Bottoms and thence by way of Middle House farm, Great Close and so back to Malham Tarn. (Distance 15 miles - Neville and Peter claim it was 17.5 miles!)

By the time we reached Malham all the tea shops had closed but a pub. was found where we could quench our thirst with tea and coffee. A most enjoyable day. Good to see Jim Taylor back on the hills. Many thanks for your support.

Iain McCallum

Meet Promo:

I hope you will join me on this fine walk through the Dales. It has plenty of variety and there are many points of interest. It also incorporates a section of the Pennine Way. Distance about 15 miles.

Route: Malham Tarn - Tennant Gill - Fountains Fell - Litton - Arncliffe - Monk's Road - Dew Bottoms - Middle House Farm - Malham Tarn.

Meet at 9.30 for a 9.45am. start - in the car park near to where the stream from Malham Tarn crosses the road (GR 894 658).

Best maps OS Outdoor - Leisure Sheets 10 & 30.

Refreshments are available from pubs in both Litton and Anicliffe.

Iain McCallum

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