As ever, we got together with a gaggle of old friends for the weekend before Christmas. After several years at Chapel-le-Dale, this year we moved, but only a little way up the road to Gearstones Lodge. Here’s the lodge…
I’ll take a moment to say that, if you are after simple, comfortable and spacious accommodation in a fantastic location for a largish group at a good price, then this place is going to be very hard to beat.
The first time we booked accommodation for a weekend before Christmas, A was just a baby and spent most of the weekend happily rocking furiously or sleeping in the only warm room at Slaidburn hostel. Now here she is, in the first photo, practically all grown up. It’s not the best photo of either A or Pen-y-ghent, which is hidden in the cloud behind, but I’ve included because it’s a very typical A pose: she doesn’t want me to take her photo, but is tolerating my antics with a bemused look which tells me just how little she appreciates it.
Here she is again. We were all hunkered down behind the wall seeking some shelter from the wind and rain. We’d parked in Horton-in-Ribblesdale and were climbing Pen-y-ghent with the intention of continuing back to Gearstones afterwards.
A and J.
As often happens, somebody had stopped to change a layer or swig some water and somebody else had taken that as a queue for a lunch stop. We have a lot of lunch stops when walking together. I think there may even have been more scoffing underway when I caught up with the rest of the party at the top of Pen-y-ghent, having lagged behind a little, as is my wont. Certainly, an ‘official’ lunch stop was declared in the sheltered hollow…
Around the opening of Hunt Pot.
From there we diverted slightly from the most direct route to take a look at the highly impressive Hull Pot…
Usually, the streambed above the pot is dry, but one compensation of the weather being so wet was the opportunity it afforded to see the falls cascading over the edge of the pot.
And that’s it for my photos of that day. We still had quite a long way to walk, but it was very overcast at first, then dark for the last hour or so and anyway, I was busy chinwagging.
The ground we covered from Pen-y-ghent back to Gearstones did look very interesting, when we could still see it, and I look forward to going back to have another look in more conducive conditions.
Andy has helpfully included a map of our route in his post and there are more photos too.
And for photos from Pen-y-ghent in better weather, here are two previous posts of my own: here and here.
Back at the hostel, we dried out over cups of tea then enjoyed some top-notch grub and no doubt lots of silly anecdotes.
I’ve finished a number of walks in the dark this winter, which is just how winter walks should finish, and which gives me a handy excuse to include this…
‘It Might Get Dark’ by White Denim, which has something of Marc Bolan about it. I’ve heard White Denim quite a bit since I started listening to Radio 6. They’re touring the UK in February…..