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Tue 23rd July 2019

Fremington Edge and Arkengarthdale

Fremington Edge and Arkengarthdale

Fremington Edge and Arkengarthdale - July 21st 2019

This was the first time Shepherds Walks had moved into the Yorkshire Dales for a day walk. As we gathered at Reeth market square on a fine morning with superb views of Swaledale and Arkengarthdale overlooked by the towering Fremington Edge everyone was excited and looking forward to a new and different sort of walk.

Mark welcomed everyone and outlined the route and asked Sue and Tony to be official photographers for the day! We began by crossing the river Swale via a suspension bridge and followed the river towards the picturesque village of Grinton. Then began the steady climb through the hamlet of Fremington on a well defined track to the steep limestone crag that is Fremington Edge.  A welcome coffee stop half way up gave Mark the opportunity to talk a little about Swaledale and its lead mining past and this industry’s impact on the countryside we now see. When we reached the summit of “the Edge” there followed a delightful level path for 3 miles or so before dropping down into Arkengarthdale. Over this part of the walk there was constant evidence of lead mining with many spoil heaps and the only disappointing aspect of this stretch was the stiff and chilly breeze.

Fortunately the weather on the return to Reeth was much calmer and warmer and the path which followed the Arkle Beck was simply delightful. The Reeth brass band was even playing as we approached our cars and some of us then enjoyed a wonderful and well deserved ice cream!

The general consensus from our walkers was that this was an area which affords wonderful walking opportunities and the request that Shepherds Walks returns here in 2020.

Mark

Tue 25th June 2019

The Cheviot - 2019

The Cheviot - 2019

The Cheviot

After the rains of the past week, it was with some relief that as we met at Langleeford for the start of today’s walk, it was a dry and bright morning with the summits of Hedgehope and Cheviot clearly visible.

Mark introduced himself to the group of 10 walkers (and one dog, Timber) and welcomed everyone. He outlined the walk but advised that we may have to change part of the route as a result of the recent rainfall as the descent back down the Harthope Valley may be too dangerous.

The ascent of Cold law quickly had everyone’s heart pumping and layers of clothing discarded but wonderful panoramic views were enjoyed. After walking over Broadhope we encountered the first bogs of the day leading up to Scald Hill and these continued until we reached the stiff climb up The Cheviot. Lunch was taken on a rocky outcrop half way up at which time the temperature dropped and the first hint of moisture in the air was felt.

Suitably refreshed, our group safely arrived at the summit – our objective for the day - where It was much colder, windier and wetter  After talking to walkers we met coming in the opposite direction, Mark decided (after taking a group consensus) to stick with the original route and descend down the Harthope valley following the burn. Whilst it was very wet underfoot the views down the valley and Hedgehope to our right were superb.

When the valley flattened out and we reached the first signs of human habitation and the farm track back to the cars, Mark thanked everyone for their company and complemented them on their fitness! 

Tue 28th May 2019

Hadrian's Wall - 2019

Hadrian's Wall - 2019

Hadrians Wall - Steel Rigg to Housesteads 26.5.2019


It was a grey and windy morning as the ten walkers (and one dog) met at Steel Rigg car park. Mark introduced himself and welcomed everyone and suggested that due to the adverse weather we do the walk in reverse – walking to Housesteads on the flat below the Whin Sill - in the hope that conditions would improve in the afternoon.

Whilst lovely views of the loughs and the wall above the crags were enjoyed, a strong wind and driving rain on our backs kept us moving at a brisk pace. Fortunately as we approached Housesteads the rain stopped and the sun appeared – a lone deer was also spotted in the fields just below the wall – and this seemed the opportune time to have lunch. Mark provided information regarding the Roman occupation of Northumberland and the construction of the wall.

With a stiff wind still blowing it was decided to return to our starting point by walking on the “low path” rather than the path that ran beside the wall and on top of the crags. This proved to be a wise decision. We had a brief stop at the iconic Sycamore Gap and Mark touched briefly on why only 10% of the wall remains today and also the Border Reivers.

Despite the far from perfect weather everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day. Mark thanked everyone and wished them a safe journey home.


Mark