Wharfedale Wanders. Day 2: Utahhiker back in training.

(Buckden, North Yorkshire)

27 September 2022

Part of the aim of this week is to have some R&R and, in that spirit, we didn’t set an alarm clock and we didn’t exactly leap out of bed. I woke up just after 8am and we eventually got up around nine. By the time we had showered and dressed and I’d explored the kitchen sufficiently to cook breakfast burritos (a now traditional holiday hiking breakfast), and decided where we would go, it was after 1130. But that was fine.

We put our rucksacks in the car and drove to Buckden car park, a total distance of 0.37 miles. Clearly we didn’t need to drive, but the car park has a PodPoint in it, where we can charge the car up again. We arrived at the car park and yes, the PodPoint was there and, even better, it was not in use. We parked, plugged in and then hit the first snag. You need to use an app on your phone to confirm the charging (and pay for it). Andrew had the app downloaded, having used it before, but he didn’t have any phone signal at all. Luckily, I’m on a different network, and did have 3G, so Andrew used my phone as a hotspot and we soon had the car charging up.

After that we set off up the hill. And up. And then up a bit more. It was fairly steep, but steady, and we slowly made out way up to the top. I’d started with a long sleeved shirt on, but soon warmed up and took that off, despite the cold wind. It’s been a long time since we did a proper hike and I felt like I was back in training for our longer holidays!

At the top the path levelled out as we followed the contour of the hill across Buckden Rake, believed to be along the line of a Roman road. Without the climbing, and exposed to the wind, it was a bit chilly and so I stopped to put the long sleeved shirt back in again.

We turned off the main trail and headed down the hillside to Cray, where we crossed Cray Gill on since stepping stones, before heading up and along the opposite hillside. The path threaded its way through numerous fields and gates, including a field of cows who stopped eating long enough to peer at us. The rain briefly threatened, enough that I put stopped once more to put my coat on, but it didn’t last long and I was soon too warm again and had to stop and take it off.

We stopped somewhere above Todd’s Wood for our sandwiches, and again above Scar House, where we sat on exposed limestone rocks for flapjack and tea.

From there it was a very steep descent down to Hubberholme, where we paused at St Michael’s and all angels church to look around. The gravestones dated back a long time. Inside, parts of the church were even older. There is a very old roof loft, and a bell which dates back to 1601. I didn’t appreciate until after we left, but the pews were also made by the Mouseman, so if we get chance to pop back I might have another look, this time to spot sone mice.

Leaving Hubberholme we walked along the road for a short while, before following the Dales Way alongside the river, all the way back to Buckden.

We checked on the car, but it was still charging, so we left it there and went back ‘home’ for a drink and a cookie, followed by showers, before once more frequenting the Buck Inn. Today I’d worked up enough of an appetite for the cheese pie, while Andrew opted for fish and chips. Suitably replenished we retrieved the now fully charged car and returned home once more, this time probably for the evening. We did mention perhaps popping out to see if we could see Jupiter, but as I write, the rain is pattering gently on the skylights of our roof. Ah well. We did very well for weather today. Many times the rain coming down the Dale added to the scenic beauty, but apart from a passing glance, it avoided us every time. We will see what tomorrow brings.

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