After a welcome rest day in Hawes and lovely hospitality from everyone at the Old Board Inn – a definite recommend for a stopover in Hawes – it was back on The Way again.
New walking trainers on board were tested with a wet start in full wet gear and were to be tested all day.
The long drag out of Hawes, passed Hardraw and up to Great Shunner Fell was made with fleeting showers, summiting the highest point on route so far in good time in cloud but with dry feet!
The descent to Thwaite via a flagged path and drovers road was wet and swift.
With good time made a pleasant stop was made at Keartons for tea and biscuits just as the heavens opened with the heaviest shower of the day arrived – perfect timing!
After the rain subsided the trek continued on a wonderful traverse over to Keld with stunning views down the valley.
Keld was to be our original stop however with the predicted poor weather forecast it was a wise decision to transfer from camping at Keld to a warm room at the Tan Hill Inn – the highest pub in Great Britain at 1732ft – a further 4 miles along the Way.
Continuing in consistent rain the Tan Hill Inn was welcome respite after our highest one day mileage clocked in with 17 miles – a day of highest highs – and dry feet!
It seemed strange this morning to break with the usual routine of fuelling up walkers style.
Filling of water bottles, filling rucksack with snack bars, fruit or anything else that could be had from the breakfast offering.
A full english breakfast felt a real treat with lashings of toast and cups of tea.
Conditions outside weren’t condusive to walking anyway so a trip to the kit shop Cunninghams was in order.
Harv tried out every lightweight walking shoe in the shoe more than once under the knowledgeable guidance of sherpa Ian who had joined us along with Harv’s parents and daughters.
New shoes were purchased and I bought a map case to replace my other one that had began to expire.
The girls were becoming restless so we had lunch before taking them to see Gromit and Shaun the Sheep at the Wensleydale creamery. There’s a museum and you can see the cheese being made but I opted for sampling in the shop where you can buy a multitude of different flavoured cheeses – yummy!
A sit in the sun and cooler before we were left alone once more. Laundry was sorted and accomadation for the next two days was changed from camping to b&b’s because the forecast for the following week has been given out rather wet.
A rather good fish & chip shop was recommended so it was rather difficult to miss the opportunity and they were delicious.
Hopefully good preparation for our extended 18 mile walking day tomorrow because of our change of stay tomorrow evening although fortuitously at the Tan Hill Inn.
Our restful day continued into the evening with a relaxing pint of Black Sheep before adjourning for the day at the Old Board Inn which we can recommend in terms of comfort, dining and hospitality.
By Paul Courtney.