Tag Archives: Dales Way

The Dales Way – Kendal to Bowness on Windermere

June 17 – Today’s task is to get back to the place we left the trail, and complete the Dales Way by walking into Bowness (pronounced Bonus) on Windermere. Will we be able to get on the bus?

As it’s Sunday, there are even fewer buses than yesterday. (Everyone we talk to tells how the transportation services have gone downhill here since the government started requiring them to turn a profit. Austerity is not fun.) We get to the bus station early, and there are already people queued up to board. Luckily, this is a big old double-decker bus, and there is room for all.

Just joking – that is an antique bus on display. We rode in a nice modern one.

The Sunday bus takes us to Staveley, where we can reconnect with our trail. There’s absolutely nothing open on a Sunday morning in Staveley, so we just walked through the little town. Our Emma is interested that French fries are called chips here. Here’s a pic for you, Emma.

Pretty soon, we found the Dales Way marker and were back on the moor. Here’s a sign we hadn’t seen before:

That cow is definitely giving me the side eye!

The terrain is getting rockier.

We’re passed by a farmer giving his three dogs a ride on his ATV, steering with one hand and holding onto the dogs with the other.

By lunchtime we reached Bowness on Windermere.

Is this the lake? No, just a pond…

As we reached the top of the hill, the sun came out!

Our first glimpse of Lake Windermere:

We found the bench that marks the end of the Dales Way. This hike is done!

Walking down to the lake was sort of surreal. We are now officially in the Lake District, a very popular tourist destination in summer.

The lakeshore was packed with tourists, all Chinese. Not what we expected!

We celebrated by having a Chinese lunch, and we were the only non-Asians in the restaurant. We were handed an English menu, while everyone else ordered off one written in Mandarin. We spoke to several people, all from Shanghai. By the time lunch was over, it was raining again.

The Lake District is where Beatrix Potter spent her summers, and the Lake District National Park was created by her bequest. So there is a tribute to Peter Rabbit here.

Such a pretty lake.

Isn’t this a lovely house?

Lots of places for tourists to part with their money:

After a day of rest, we will start our next adventure: the Coast to Coast!

The Dales Way – Kettlewell to Swarthghyll Farm

We’re staying in Kettlewell at a little B & B above the Cottage Tea Room, where all the kids lined up to buy an ice cream cone after school. We have a beautiful view of the hillside from our bedroom window.

Once the tea shop closed at 5pm, we had the building to ourselves. Maybe we should go downstairs and have an ice cream? Maybe some cake? Tempting, but we resisted. The owner left us little glasses of sherry and chocolates to tide us over until supper.

We crossed the street to the pub and ordered a Mediterranean Vegetable Wellington. Turns out, a Wellington is anything baked in a puff pastry. Very tasty, although the chips and peas are becoming standard fare.

June 13 – Today we trek 12 miles. While downing our breakfast (full English for Jim, just eggs and veggies for me), our host tells us that today’s walk is the prettiest part of the Dales. We’ve been told this every day so far, and every day it’s been true!

Now, here is something you may not know. Kettlewell was the town used as the set to make the film Calendar Girls, in which a group of old English matrons decide to pose nude in a calendar to raise money. Here is the Kettlewell Garage, where the matrons got the idea after seeing a girlie calendar on the wall.

Would you like to see more sheep? Here’s one doing morning yoga – downward facing sheep position.

Here are some cows who did not want me crossing into their territory.

Lots of buttercups today.

By mid morning, we arrived at the chapel at Hubberholme, which is famous for its mice.

We ventured in, and looked high and low, but no mice did we see. Then Jim spotted one! Do you see it?

Here’s the close-up – tiny mice carved into the front of the pews!

Well, that was our excitement for the day.

We stopped to eat our lunch in front of an old lime kiln. Evidently, you fill the kiln with limestone, set a fire, come back in three days and shovel out your lime. Voila!

After more sheep, more cows, and many more gates and stiles, we came to the cross carved into stone in honor of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

This was our landmark to turn onto the road to Swarthghyll Farm.

We walked, then walked some more. Saw pretty flowers.

Walked some more. Where was this farm?

Finally, another sign, but still no farm!

Well, eventually a farmhouse did appear, and we found our walker’s cottage, with a kitchen, bedroom, living room and bath just for us. Our invisible hosts left our supper in the fridge with instructions on how to light the oven. A different kind of adventure!

The Dales Way – Burnsall to Kettlewell

So now we’ve reached Burnsall, a very small village with no shops or amenities, dominated by the 500 year old Red Lion Hotel, where we are staying.

There is a bridge here.624CF834-4BA6-4A15-86A3-7F34CABDAB91

And a church.9A5415AE-7645-47EE-B860-A56ED59243B6

After a refreshing and much needed shower, we went down to supper in a traditional English pub. Although this is definitely not a food blog, we are trying to experience and share info about traditional English dishes while we are here. If you are already acquainted with these dishes, my apologies.

Jim ordered shepherds pie (lamb, carrots and gravy under a fluffy mashed potato crust) with cabbage on the side.

I opted for the even more traditional haddock and chips, accompanied by a serving of mushy peas. After liberally applying salt, pepper, catsup and brown sauce, we pronounced all the food delicious. Everything you’ve heard about the blandness of English cuisine is, as far as we can tell so far, true.

June 11 – We walked around the tiny village of Burnsall this morning. The buildings are uniformly rectangular and made from the same brown stone, so the residents pour their energy into their front gardens.D4397C15-D1F0-49E2-AD9A-DFEE12A99CC8.jpeg

This morning was our first opportunity to order what is called “the full English” breakfast, which consists of (clockwise) eggs any style, fried mushrooms, black pudding (a sausage that tastes sort of like liverwurst), bacon (we would call it ham), fried tomato, fried toast, sausage and baked beans.  I’ve heard this meal also called “a fry-up”.26AE085B-E7BB-4CFA-B6EF-221630A31934We now understand why defibrillators are available here on every corner!CC00F776-9B9C-4FC9-9AA2-7AE9EF9D2900June 12 – This morning we proceed nine miles to Kettlewell, which our guidebook promises will be a pretty and pleasant walk.

We started by getting our daily dose of sheep and cows.

We crossed the River Wharfe one more time, over a bouncy suspension bridge.

Here’s another tree stump filled with coins. Maybe for good luck?

We left the river, and climbed up into the hills, where there are lots of stone walls. Yes, for every wall, there was a stile to climb over.

We walked through the village of Grassington, which has a little waterfall and an interesting carving.

So, as we were walking along, all the sheep in the field we were traversing started maa-ing and baa-ing. Dozens of sheep. Maybe a hundred sheep. Jim wondered if we upset them somehow. Next they all started running toward us. Oh no! Trampled to death by sheep? What a way to go! Over the horizon we heard the drone of a tractor, and here was the farmer, coming with the morning meal. The sheep ran right past us, continuing to make an unholy racket until the tractor stopped and the first handfuls of grain were thrown. Then blessed silence. Sheep!