Wharfedale Wanders. Day 4: Beautiful Langthropdale.

(Buckden, North Yorkshire)

29 September 2022

I woke up at 8am and, unusually, went back to sleep. I woke again a couple of hours later to the sound of rain and children playing (more of that later) and decided that the best thing to do was stay in bed and read a book. Andrew slept on…

The weather was forecast to dry up later, and so after a leisurely brunch burrito and coffee, we got ready to go out for a short (yes, I promise) walk. We drove three miles up the dale, passing Hubberholme and finding somewhere to park just after the bridge at Yockenthwaite.

Leaving the car, we crossed the grade II listed bridge, built in the early 18th century, and set off along the Dales Way on the north/east side of the River Wharfe.

Soon after setting off we passed a lime kiln, used to burn limestone for spreading on the fields to ‘sweeten the grass’.

It wasn’t long before the path was almost level with the river, which took on the classic limestone river profile, water gently cascading. The sun had come out, the water sparkled and I spent some happy minutes taking photos and enjoying the burbling sound of the water. I just managed to restrain myself from paddling…just…

Dragging myself away from the water, we ambled on and passed Yockenthwaite stone circle, possibly the base of a medieval burial ground, followed by the entrance (a very small gap) to a Yockenthwaite cave. Listening outside the entrance, you can hear a waterfall somewhere inside.

The walk continued up the valley, the scenery beautiful, the sun warm, the sheep nibbling away at the grass in the hay meadows. I recall this valley quite fondly from our bike ride across the Dales Way in 2011 although I wasn’t sure if that was because, after riding through this idyllic landscape, the road turned steeply upwards, at 16%!

Today we turned back at Deepdale, crossing the river and walking back down the road, passing more Swaledale sheep in and around the river.

On our way back to the cottage we stopped at Hubberholme to visit the church again to hunt for the mice. At first we didn’t spot any, until eventually I saw one on the choir pew. After that, we spotted another on the congregation’s pews and then, once e we had our eye in, we started seeing lots of them. We also noted the original church ‘safe’ – an old wooden trunk with three separate locks, and the pulpit which was made of recycled wood from other residences -including panels from 1641!

Back at the cottage we had coffee and chocolate muffins and relaxed, enjoying our cottage, which offers me the chance to tell you more about where we are staying. Mullions Nook is a barn conversion, only done in 2021. However, the barn is built into the wall of Buckden House, the Manor House built in the mid 1700s. Buckden House today is used as an outdoor education centre, which explains the sounds of children this morning. That said, we haven’t heard much, and we haven’t actually seen any of them at all.

Last night we ran out of hot water, much to my disappointment mid-shower. It seemed that the water was only heated during certain times, but we managed to figure it out and today we had plenty of hot water for our showers. Once we were freshly scrubbed we headed out to the pub for dinner, a lovely vegan shepherd’s pie for me, and fish and chips for Andrew.

Now it’s time to relax, watch more West Wing, and enjoy our evening.

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