Alan writes. On Sunday I chose the easier option and did the B walk led by Helen Howell, even though we walked further than the A group.
We left the car park and crossed the railway line to take a path heading west across fields. A steady climb took us to an area of limestone pavement. Conditions were perfect with a beautiful sky and Pen-y-Ghent on the skyline. A lone tree sticking out of the limestone took my eye and I thought it would make a good photo. I headed towards it but the going was hard, hopping from rock to rock and I decided to return to the group before I got left behind. At a signpost we turned left to cross grass and limestone to meet a wall. We followed a path beside this to drop down to Austwick Beck. This made an ideal spot to stop for lunch, sitting on the bank in the sunshine.
We continued along a track to Wharfe and then had a short section of road walking before branching off to begin the steady climb towards Dry Rigg Quarry.
We followed a path round the quarry to reach Foredale and then dropped down to reach the river and the Ribble Way that we followed back to Horton in Ribblesdale. This section was very wet underfoot and to make it worse it started to rain. We had had a couple of short sharp hailstorms that were no problem, but this was a downpour. I made a quick change into waterproofs but I was quite wet when I got back to the village. Most of the group headed for the cafe but a few of us braved the weather to go the extra half a mile to the pub. The A party were already there and as they had only done 9 miles they had arrived there before it started to rain. No wonder they looked satisfied!!!
I had a pint of Theakston’s bitter which was superb and also was 46p cheaper than the Black Sheep. Gordon, our beer connoisseur of the day, sampled both and voted Theakston’s the best.