Grassington Walking Meet
Sat 12th Aug, 2017
Meet Leader: Lorna Marsland
Members Present: Christine Beeston, Jim and Sandy Gregson, Kate Harvey, Lorna Marsland, Iain McCallum, Phil Ramsbottom, Chris Thickett, Keith Williams
Guests: David Swindlehurst
Despite having to change the day to Saturday for family reasons, a good crowd of people presented themselves to be led around Yorkshire which was great, as was the weather which was not only dry but sunny too.
We set off from the car park in Grassington, following the Dales Way path in a northerly direction out of the village until we reached a fork in the path down to Conistone Dib, where we stopped for the obligatory coffee break as close to 11.00am as possible. At this point it became apparent that the group would split once Byfield Road had been reached. Team 1-Christine, Kate David and I, followed the intended route up to Capplestone Gate, along the edge and descending to join the Dalesway path as it meets the forest just before Kettlewell, returning along this path via Conistone Pie. Team 2 - Iain, Keith, ( and the Gregsons - for whom Kettlewell was too far) headed for The Kilnsey Arms to celebrate Keith’s birthday, and to be joined a while later by Chris and Phil who had detoured via Conistone Pie. For those of you not acquainted with it. Conistone Pie is a limestone outcrop on the Dalesway, looking like a giant Victoria sandwich and popular as a viewing platform for its panoramic views of Wharfdale.
Both teams had agreed to reconvene in Conistone at 1.30pm and Team 2 (minus Jim and Sandy who had wandered off on their own) had waited valiantly on some very uncomfortable benches amongst the detritus of recent tourists, for Team 1 to arrive. We had been delayed by the meet leader ignoring a stile and striding off confidently along the wrong path which had to be corrected later. Sadly this misplaced confidence induced other unsuspecting tourists to follow and they too had to cross a wire fence and scramble over rough grass to regain the correct path. The meet leader scuttled off, embarrassed.
Apologies offered and received, we continued along a SE path out of Conistone which contoured a typical limestone dry valley before descending into Bastow Wood, which was considerably wetter than the last time I visited it. However, once we crossed into Grassington Wood Nature Reserve the path improved and the vegetation became more interesting. It wasn’t far from here back into Grassington and to a favourite teashop which had 4 different gluten-free cakes- I was spoilt for choice! We had tea and cake (2 pieces for me I’m afraid!) and more conversation before venturing out to the longish drive home.
Thanks to all who came. The weather was kind, the views were stunning and the company was excellent. If distance from Manchester is an indication of likely attendance on a meet, as has been suggested, then there should have been no one but myself and David on it, as the forecast was not ideal. Maybe people came because it was a Saturday but whatever the reason, I appreciate the effort people made to turn out; it makes it worthwhile volunteering to be a meet leader.
Date: 12 August
Venue: Grassington car park (south of the village on the B6265)
Time: 9.30am for 9.45am start.
Distance 7-14 miles
As you will see the date of this meet has changed from Sunday to Saturday. Apologies for that but family commitments have forced me to make the change. I hope it will not inconvenience anyone too greatly.
As mentioned previously, the meet is in the Yorkshire Dales, starting at Grassington and following the Dalesway towards Conistone and returning via a different route. Alternatively it can be extended via Clapstone Gate and Swineber Scar depending on weather and the motivation/energy levels of the group. For those looking for liquid refreshments at lunchtime, the pub at Kilnsey is well within reach. So, something for everyone, a walk in God’s own county with wonderful scenery and plentiful teashops; what’s not to like!
Hope to see you there.