Dales Way – Day 4

Hubberholme to Cowgill (Dent) – 16 miles

At breakfast we met up with two other walkers who had arrived late in the evening; they were planning to walk some of the hills in the area before heading home to Manchester.

We had a wholesome breakfast as I knew the day was to be a long walk over Cam Fell to Cowgill where we were to be taxied to Dent, our next accommodation. We collected our packed lunches and were soon on our way, but didn’t stop to look around the adjacent church

(St Michael’s & All Angels) as we had visited it the last time we were in the area. The sky was overcast and it was cool so wet weather gear was used, just in case. The trail was quiet yet again as we followed the river

towards Beckermonds,

our final river crossing.

As we walked along the only person we saw was a postman delivering mail to a remote cottage. At Beckermonds,

(a place we stayed the first time we walked the Dales Way and the point where Steve had to leave) we decided to take a break as the weather had improved slightly. It was here we saw a farmer putting bird houses in the trees. As we rested three ladies walked by; they were also doing the Dales Way.

Once rested we set off for the first steep climb of the walk. Luckily it was only for quarter of a mile but on road

so we had to keep a look out for vehicles as there is no pavement.

We arrived at the small hamlet of Oughtershaw. Leaving the road to walk across Cam Fell we met the three ladies we’d seen a short while before. They were having lunch and on chatting with them we discovered they were from Ireland. Steve actually knew the places they were from so the conversation lasted longer than expected.

Now following the beck towards Cam Houses, which is probably the wildest part of the walk

with only a small section of road, the rest is a tractor path, we came across the first farm, Nethergill Farm with a welcoming sign

for Teas and Coffee, so we called in for refreshments. It turned out to also be an education centre for school parties/walkers etc and there were pictures/posters

of what to see whilst in the area. As we were making tea a couple of walkers arrived, so we chatted and found they were also on the Dales Way just heading to the Ribblehead Viaduct and their B&B. Finishing our drinks, and leaving money in the honesty box, we set off across the rest of the moor towards Cam Houses and to where the Dales Way joins the Pennine Way.

Arriving at Cam Houses,

probably the remotest houses in the area, we climbed up the hill through what was a forest the last time I was here; now all the trees had been forested/cut down ready for distribution.

We continued climbing up what can only be described as a steep bank until we arrived at the sign post showing the Pennine Way & Dales Way.

We turned left on to a track big enough for the lorries, walking towards the B6255 and the view of the famous Ribblehead Viaduct. The track was pretty boring

although we did have clear views of the surrounding hills. A couple of times we had to step aside to allow lorries to pass with their heavy loads, and as they passed they just left huge dust clouds which was horrible.

Eventually we arrived at Gayle Beck and the B6255 leading to Hawes. It was here we decided to stop for lunch. As the weather was cool and breezy now no sooner had we had lunch then we were off again looking for the sign to Winshaw and High Gayle farms up on the hillsides. This proved a little demanding as there was so much mud on the path, making the climb difficult. Eventually we got on to a level section of the path and following it towards Black Rake Road, -now on tarmac- walking down a long steep hill to Dent Head Viaduct

and continuing along the road till we reached the Sportsman Inn,

where we met the three Irish ladies who had just arrived. It was from here we were to be transported by taxi to Dent for our overnight accommodation and the arrangements were that we would be met at 4pm. We arrived at 3:55pm, (phew)

just in time, as the taxi appeared.

Now loaded up, we were taken to Dent village to our accommodation. On the way our driver was giving us his own version of a guided tour of the area, pointing out various landmarks such as Whernside Manor, and imparting historical information about slavery in the area. Upon arrival at Dent and our accommodation.

We had a well deserved pint after our 16 mile hike. After we had freshened up and booked a table for our meal, we took a stroll around the village prior to going for dinner and enjoying a pint or two before heading to our rooms for a good nights sleep.

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