The journey home was tedious, the end of Friday couldn’t come soon enough. Pod was packed and waiting at home, the fridge was on and stocked and all we needed were our clothes and a few groceries to cover the weekend.
We arrived home and were out of the car in the house and upstairs changing and packing without drawing breath. Goodbyes were said, Pod was hooked up to the car and we were on our way to the motorway within half an hour.
Traffic was heavy as expected but within 1 ½ hours we were passing Grassington and entering Wharfedale Caravan Club Site. The entrance was tree lined and once we’d driven through a static caravan area we came to the Club office.
Pod was unhooked and the decision was made to park her nose in. This had the awning looking down the full length of the road, at the far end behind trees the shower/toilet block stood.
These were tested later, bit dated but clean and the showers were hot.
Everything went up like clockwork. Our modification to the awning and our new canopy fitted well, just as we had planned (details on mods page). Awning now had a snug fit down the sides and the canopy had increased Pods footprint giving us more space in the awning.
Dinner was eaten under the canopy by lamp light followed by a really bad game of Scrabble before bed. Sometimes our vocabulary and extent of the English language puts us to shame.
Following morning we woke to a blue sky and a decent temperature in the mid 20’s. OS map was spread out on the table, again under the canopy and we scoured the Wharfedale area for a decent leg stretch.
A few were picked out but we decided to leave the car behind and walk from the site heading in the direction of Conistone and Kettlewell.
Once the backpacks were stuffed with sandwiches and a few sweet treats, the water bladders were filled and off we set on foot out of the main entrance to the site.
Just after leaving the main entrance we followed a footpath to the left and this took us through what can only be described as a static caravan village. Saying this we feel like we are insulting it for using such a term. It was immaculate, all the external walls painted to a flawless finish, the roads and gardens were spotless and blossoming, manicured to perfection.
As we walked past one of these show homes we spied a lady with a brown feather duster on her knees dusting what can be only described as a hatch which looked similar to a coal hole. You had to see it to believe it.
This path eventually took us to the top of a small hill and as we walked down to the main road we could see Grass Wood to the right, Chapel House Wood to the left and Conistone off in the distance.
As we hit the B6160 main road we discovered the lack of a pavement so we did what’s expected and walked on the wrong side of the road into the traffic. This was ok until we hit a bend or two. Nothing like staring into the eyes of the driver of a vehicle which is hurtling at 30mph+ in your direction to realise how lucky one of us was to be the smaller and be tucked in nicely behind the taller.
The road followed the River Wharfe and we eventually reached Conistone Bridge. We turned right onto it and this took us into Conistone, a tiny little village in which all the buildings must have been one farm once upon a time but had now all been renovated and turned into individual homes.
Veering left along Conistone Lane a short walk brought us to a footpath sign on the right pointing in the direction of the Dale Way, this was Scot Gate Lane.
Compared to what we’ve walked recently this on a steep scale for us was a 5, a stroll in the park ;). Half way up we turned and out stretched in front of us we could see Kilnsey Crag and its iconic limestone cliff.
As we reached the top we turned left and found ourselves on the Dale Way. We walked along the wide grassed path, past more limestone walls and grazing cattle with Conistone Pie not too far off to our right.
Each wall we climbed over had the obligatory stile but each also had one or two small gates held in place with amazingly strong springs, being careful to not let the gate snap back we took our time taking it in turns to climb over.
Highgate Layes Lane was now just in front of us so we decided to stop, find a small limestone wall to sit on and have lunch. We could hear occasional distant noise of traffic coming from the B road below but it couldn’t take the enjoyment away from the spectacular view down the valley towards Kettlewell and beyond.
Batteries recharged we headed down the Lane through a small wooded area. Half way along we were chatting away when one of us suddenly began flapping arms like a featherless baby bird and emitting a noise that can only be described as a constipated bee.
This, seconds later was followed by this baby bird attempting to take flight by hop skipping down the path leaving the other wondering what was happening when a 2inch black and yellow hornet flew past. Don’t know who was more terrified, the human attempting to take flight or the hornet who’d succeeded in this task and couldn’t get away fast enough.
After the fits of laughter and discussion about the actual size of this monster had subsided we continued down the hill on lookout for any other beasties, flying or otherwise.
At the bottom we again reached Conistone Lane and slowly walked into Kettlewell. As we walked in we could hear music and the village was buzzing (sorry) with families. Walking along the lanes we passed gardens, shops and the river, all were displaying colourfully dressed scarecrows in all types of guises. It then became clear we had discovered Kettlewells Scarecrow Festival.
The variety on display was excellent and it was lovely to see that every house, shop and garden had gone to the effort of creating a figure. They ranged from Dave Money Supermarket with the obligatory music to Bo-Peep in a field full of straw sheep ! Amazing.
Minus dodging the odd motorcyclist and flying cyclist the walk was quiet and took us along the length of the river passing horses with their foals and a very young bull who moved a few steps near whilst eyeing us wearily.
Once we reached Conistone we took the route back over the bridge and headed back down the B road, the traffic was much lighter and felt less like a rabbit caught in those frightful headlights.
Up the hill we went and through the toy town caravan village reaching Pod roughly six hours on from our start time. After hot showers and a meal the map was measured and we had covered a healthy 11 miles. So happy we had done it and discovered the scarecrow festival to boot, definitely a walk we would do again.