Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Day one - Kettlewell

After packing the tent away I made a sandwich for later. Peanut butter, some of the beans left over from last night, and salad leaves. A bit of a strange combination but I eat what's easy to make when I am out, and as I don't take a cool box I substitute peanut butter for low fat spread.

It was about and hour and 45 minutes to Kettlewell, and the closer I got the more excited I became. I have decided I love the Yorkshire Dales, it's one of my most favourite places to be.

This map is not very clear, I couldn't fit the marked routes on the scanner so I photographed it. Perhaps it will enlarge if you click on it. If anyone is not sure where Kettlewell is, Skipton is on the A65 and due north is Rylestone, (Calendar Girls country), Grassington, and Kettlewell. It's in a deep valley and whichever way you walk you have to climb out of it. The pink line is the Sunday walk which was 12.45 miles, and yellow is Monday, 11.60 miles.

Lets start with a pic of the hostel. This is in the centre of the village, and doubles as a Post Office as well. The PO counter is also the hostel reception, and two ladies come in during the week to open up the Post Office.

On the ground floor is a large dining room, well equipped kitchen, and drying room. Upstairs is the lounge, bedrooms and showers. There is no TV or internet here. Nearby is the village store, and there are three pubs.

These cottages are opposite the hostel.

First port of call is St Marys Church which was built in 1883. The gardens are well looked after and tidy.

This is an interesting memorial, the names are all from one family. Setting the plaques onto a rock gives a natural look to the garden. Now that's interesting, I've just looked it up. Charles John Cutcliffe Hyne wrote The Lost Continent, The Story of Atlantis. He also wrote the Captain Kettle stories.

I decided to walk another section of the Dales Way, a 76 mile long distance footpath, from Ilkley to Lake Windermere. So this is where I start out, at the bridge over the River Wharfe.

As it's a sunny sunday morning there are lots of people out enjoying themselves. The kids love playing in the river, the path follows the left hand side of it.

I went through this gate and the path here is well worn. All the tree roots are showing above ground.

This is a view of the hill on my left. Several derelict stone farm buildings, and trees dotted about on the grassy slopes, with crumbly stone walls marking the field boundaries.

I came to this bridge which crosses the river to go to Starbotton. there are two very large squat pillars supporting the rickety bridge.

And a stile to get onto the bridge. I didn't cross it but carried on along the path alongside the river.

This is another bridge which I came across but the water has dried up completely. I don't know if that is because we haven't had any rain for ages or if the river has been diverted somewhere else.

This building looks very solid. I wondered why some of the stone slabs have been laid to stick out sideways instead of in line with the rest of them. I'm sure there must be a logical reason but I can't think of one.

As I reached Buckden it started drizzling so I looked around for somewhere to sit for a bite to eat. A helpfull local chappie came to my aid and proudly showed me the shelter that the whole village had raised money to build. It was perfect, he said no one knew it was there, and if I could write about it on a blog or web site it might help spread the word. So I have. He also showed me to a barn which had been converted into a mini museum and information centre. It had old photographs and details of past history of the village. Very interesting.

The rain had become heavier, but I decided to soldier on to Hubberholme. The church here is the resting place of the ashes of the writer and playwrite, J B Priestly.

Of particular interest here are the pews carved by Robert Thompson, some of them have his famouse mouse trademark carved into them. It took me ages to find them.

A bit further along the path and I came to Scar House where I turned right to come across, then right again to head back. The rain was now quite heavy and I could feel the wet coming through to my socks. The wind was quite strong as well. This is a typical Dales view.

I think I will put an offer in for this des res, look it even comes with it's own swimming pool, ha ha.

It really wasn't worth taking any more photo's. The rain was impairing visibility and I couldn't be bothered to get the camera out of my pocket while grappling with an umbrella which insisted on turning itself inside out every time I was off my guard.

I checked into the hostel at about 6.30pm to find I was sharing a room with another female of similar age. She was on day 12 of a backpacking holiday, by herself. She was carrying the full kit, tent, camping gear the lot, and she wasn't any bigger than me. She had been camping every night, but had descided to use the hostel to give herself a break. Later when we got chatting she told me she has a husband and family, and has completed several long distance paths. Amazing. Also staying was 26 guys, they were members of a cycling club. As I said before, you meet such a lot of interesting people. Dinner tonight was cous cous, sweetcorn, and tuna fish. More photo's tomorrow.


  1. Looks like a very interesting walk and lots of lovely scenery! I like the Yorkshire Dales too, though I have not really explored them - one day I will!

    Shame about the rain - it made my Sunday quite miserable!

    Looking forward to your next lot of photos!

  2. That's more like it Ilona. I remember Hubberholme from my childhood, is it a Norman church? I love the Mouseman mouse, I didn't realise there were carvings there.

    That area is really beautiful and I look forward to your next lot too.

  3. I think those sticking out stones are tie-stones? Of course I COULD be completely wrong.

  4. I loved the church! Now we all need to know what the sticking out stones were for.
    Jane x

  5. I almost married a man from the Dales - funny to think what my life would have been like in that beautiful place !
    I had forgotten about the little mice on the pews - the last I saw them was 45 years ago. Sweet little church - solid as a rock.
    Thanks for the pickys Ilona (was the hostel nice ?)

  6. It is all new to me here on the other side of the globe. I really enjoy your photo's and descriptions so Thank You!


  7. what great pics. love the mouse and love the sandwich pic. smart thinking...I could probably eat that myself, though it's hard to imagine how it would taste at the moment. you have single-handedly changed my perception of hostels, and I thank you for it, MQ!

  8. To give the church it's correct name, it's, The Church of St Michael and All Angels, and yes, it is a Norman church.

    Lizzie asks was the hostel nice. Yes it was. It's run by two guys who were very helpfull and friendly. I have found this with all the hostels, the wardens have a wealth of local knowledge which they are happy to share. They also don't push you to spend more money on extras like they do in hotels. Say you are self catering and have everything with you and they leave you alone.

    When you stay in a hostel it's like staying in your own home. Everything is easy going, very few rules and these are only to do with respecting your fellow travellers, and the obligatory health and safety requirements. You are left pretty much to your own devices, come and go as you please, there may be short periods of time during the day when the kitchen is closed for cleaning but that's about it.

    I have never stayed in a dirty hostel, a lot have been modernised, and those that are not quite up to date are always cleaned properly. You get fresh bed linen on arrival and make up your own bed. If you are early you get the choice of top or bottom bunk. There are no chores to do like the olden days. Most have a comfortable lounge where you can chill out in the evenings, or come back early if the weather is awful. There is usually stuff to read, magazines and books, and board games to keep you amused. Some have a drinks licence, a TV, and internet. Give it a whirl Dmarie, you will like it.

  9. I remember hostelling in the old days too, so it's a good comparison. My first trip was Edale when I was about 15 and I went with some people from the cycle club. It was very basic and I ended up either cleaning toilets or scrubbing something as a chore. The next time was somewhere in Shropshire when a friend of my Mum and Dad's took me. Chores again.

    I'm not sure if I would prefer to do a chore or pay a little extra. I suppose paying someone to do it means that more people are using the hostels, as there have been so many of them closed down now.

  10. The dry river bed is quite common up in the dales due to the limestone, the river runs 'underneath' the stones - a fair bit down mind, but when there has been enough rain to raise the water table, then the rivers run full. A lovely area, we walk there a lot and it was nice to to photos of place I know on another blog :)

  11. Fab photos Ilona, I especially loved the river and bridge pics.
    That little carved mouse, how clever of you to find it.
    I was most interested in your sandwich, I would not thought of combining the peanut butter like that, but may well try it now!

  12. Oh I am dying with envy, all that lovely scenery! I have read many a James Herriot story where he waxes lyrical on the Yorkshire Dales, what gorgeous countryside you have there.


  13. Great photos, I love the rickety bridge.

  14. Not long back, I visited a church in Balsall Common, near Coventry and spent a happy afternoon looking for Robert Thompson's mice. Lovely. I do appreciate looking at all the photos of the places you visit - especially when I can't get there myself.

    Jo - sorry - Blogger is playing up for me again

  15. Iona, I really appreciate all that you post about Hostels, especially those I haven't tried.

    Kettlewell YH looks great and so do the Yorkshire Dales. Definitely somewhere to put on my list.

    Sft x

  16. Sorry I meant Ilona, not Iona (she's a little girl I teach!)

    Sft x

  17. Hi Ilona

    I used to take my boys to Scargill House in Kettlewell for our holidays. I once bought a little book there and it said the name Kettlewell was Viking for bubbling water. Perhaps that's where our word for kettle comes from!


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