~Dent Station to Hawes~
28th July 2012
Another walk from the Settle & Carlisle Railway.
Arten Gill Viaduct
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
Hellifield South Junction
Here comes the 09:40 service for Carlisle. In 20 minutes time a steam charter train will approach from East Lancashire (right) and enthusiasts are gathering on the platform. The steam engine will take on water here.
Dent Railway Station
Thirty six minutes later and the walk can start. The train isn't lopsided or running with broken springs, the railway has an angle of "cant", or camber, designed to allow for high speed running around curves thus minimising the effect of lateral forces.
The plan is to get above Arten Gill Viaduct before the steam train arrives. Quite a few other passengers caught the Dentdale Explorer Bus, which has stops in Dent, Sedbergh and reaches Kendal.
Arten Gill Viaduct
The Sportsmans Inn, Cowgill
Catch the bus, walk from Dent to Sedbergh, bus it back? These local bus services offer allsorts of walk opportunities. Hawes isn't quite so far away if you go the way I'm going. The Sportsmans Inn might be worth a try one day. Their website makes the claim that they are "a pub that sells food, not a restaurant that sells beer".
Izzy The Dog
...is with me today.
Arten Gill Viaduct on the Settle to Carlisle Railway
Houses in Arten Gill
We walked under the viaduct and then climbed directly up the hillside for a vantage point above the railway line.
The Train Approaches
From my chosen spot, I could see the train as it emerged from Blea Moor Tunnel.
LMS Princess Coronation Class 46233 "Duchess of Sutherland"
The same engine as last week. Does that make it boring? Don't think so; it's a different viaduct. I'm as interested in the railway architecture as much as the engine, hence the semi-zoomed photo, allowing for plenty of stonework to enter the lens.
Leaving The Viaduct
"I'm a walker that takes photos, not a photographer that goes for walks", that's my excuse!
Higher up on the flank of Great Knoutberry Hill, above Stonehouse Brow, you get a big view of Upper Dentdale. A freight train enters Blea Moor Tunnel. The walk resumes with a stretch along the old coal road, heading east to rejoin the Arten Gill / Hawes drovers' route.
The Coal Road
Soon enough my weather luck ran out and an extended period of showery rain started.
This is not a walk that will qualify for "Richard's Top Ten Dales Walks" when such is published. Pity the ancient drovers! However, I am determined to reach Hawes and we press on, at least the rain is coming from the west and is not too heavy.
Hazel House, Widdale Foot
The stone says 1856. Research on the internet reveals little of the history of the chapel, there seems to be more interest in the telephone kiosk. Churches and chapels signify the prescence of community, but there's really no evidence of a lost community either. The next two miles, or so, are on the roadside. I left the direct route for Hawes and took the quieter way to Appersett.
Some "team builders" were abseiling off the viaduct, Izzy finds a convenient place to rest her chin.
Looking across the fields to Stags Fell. Hardraw Force is in there somewhere.
Disused Wensleydale Railway Line
The Wensleydale Railway Association would like to reopen the line to Garsdale, visit their website to see what it's all about.
The Crown, Hawes
Hawes is always busy at summer weekends. My challenge was to find somewhere dog-friendly and The Crown sufficed. In the event, we sat outside, but "well-behaved" dogs are welcome inside. Any car parked on the nearside is parked in contravention of the regulations. It seems that the bigger the vehicle, the more likely it is to park illegally.
The Little White Bus
The presumption all along was that the bus would bring us back to the railway line at Garsdale Station. We had quite a long wait in Hawes, but the bus ran on time and it cost just £3 for the journey back to the line. Return train at 17:27hrs.
Garsdale Railway Station
Walkers: Me and Izzy The Dog.
Time taken: 5hrs 10mins from Dent Station to Hawes, over a distance of about 11 miles.
Route: Dent Station, Cowgill, Arten Gill, Coal Road, Drovers' Route to Widdale, Lanacan Lane, Appersett, Hawes.
Weather and Conditions: Sunny intervals, declining to steady rain and then brightening up again in Hawes.
Greetings Count: I met one chap where the coal road meets the drovers' route and that was it for the walk over as far as Appersett.
Richard's Refreshment Review: Not much to report, I had a shandy at The Crown in Hawes, where about a third of all premises offer some form of food or drink.
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2012 ©