~Hardraw and Hawes~
6th November 2011
It's Sunday; the sun is shining and the sky is blue. Hawes is a busy market town in Wensleydale, close to the River Ure and at the foot of Gayle Beck. Hardraw is a much smaller village to the north. This walk links the two.
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
The Cart House, Hardraw
I decided we should park on the roadside in Hardraw for this circular walk; it's free of charge and it allows for a quick cuppa after the journey from home. The Cart House only opens at weekends in November and only at Christmas in December. After refreshments, we pay our £2 (each) at The Green Dragon and go for a look at Hardraw Force, apparently the highest waterfall in England.
This is an exciting place, limestone sits upon sandstone and slate is also in evidence. Brass Bands play here in September. It's a shame that it costs £2 for the privilege of coming to take a look.
Signs tell visitors not to go behind the waterfall. Yes, there is a bigger drop of water in Gaping Gill, but that doesn't count.
As I said to Karen, rocks could come tumbling down at any moment, so let's not hang around!
Our walk started in a north-westerly direction up this lane in Hardraw and then over the fields to Bluebell Hill. After which we descend back down to the valley floor. Pry House sits in front of Knott, part of Widdale Fell.
A short section of the walk is on the A684 and passes Band Rigg with its irregular walls.
Appersett and Widdale Beck
After crossing Widdale Beck, we took the "B" road to Thorney Mire House, finding Appersett Viaduct on the way.
Enough room for one track, it last bore the weight of a train in 1959. This view is north-westerly and the line went as far as Garsdale Station, formerly known as Hawes Junction.
Appersett Viaduct and Stags Fell
Thorney Mire House
After passing the above, we turn to head east for Hawes. I found their website for accommodation, click the link for further information. I don't often give places like this a free plug, but it does look good and a little out of the way.
Our route passes through Spillian Green and off to Ashes (house), before the short distance up the road to Hawes.
Hawes Main Street
Laburnum Tree Cafe, Hawes
Market House, Hawes
Our walk continued, after lunch at the Laburnum Tree, through Hawes and then down to the "old" railway station in Hawes. I told Karen not to be silly when she said she could see a train through the trees on the way down the road. But she wasn't wrong....
Hawes Railway Station
What have we here? The last engine to run on the line was No.67345, but it was scrapped. This is a different engine pretending to be that last train and it is going nowhere, just yet. Ambitious plans by the Wensleydale Railway would see trains running again as far as Hawes and even beyond to Garsdale.
Leaving Hawes and heading for Sedbusk, Stag Fell is directly in front. Travellers to Muker in Swaledale, head up to Buttertubs on the left (north) side of Stag Fell.
Walkers need to use this bridge, so take care as motor vehicles assume precedence.
A small navigational error sent us on the wrong path and we missed Sedbusk by a whisker, nevermind, we'll have a look there next time. Time was moving on and we had to get back to Hardraw.
Trees have self-seeded into the old quarry.
Taken on the way home from Horton-in-Ribblesdale.
Walkers: Karen and me.
Time taken: 4hrs over a distance of 6 and a bit miles, includes our lunch stop in Hawes.
Route: Hardraw, Bluebell Hill, Appersett, Thorney Mire House, Ashes, Hawes, Haylands Bridge, Sedbusk (almost), westwards to Hardraw.
Weather and conditions: Sunny all day! No wind.
Greetings Count: We did see just a few other people outside of the villages and this walk, albeit the other way round and starting from Hawes is in the AA book of 50 Walks in Yorkshire Dales. On the whole, you are away from the hoardes.
Richard's Refreshment Review: The Cart House in Hardraw is well worth knowing about, but bear in mind their reduced opening times in winter. It is close to The Green Dragon pub - so two opportunities there. The Laburnum Cafe in Hawes is good, with polite, attentive staff. Research indicates that the latter establishment may be for sale - I could do that!