This week I had a day in ‘The Dale that Died’ (allegedly) – Grisedale, just off Garsdale on the Yorkshire-Westmorland border. A TV film made in the 1970s and a book by Barry Cockroft labelled it The Dale that Died, but notice of its death was greatly exaggerated. Grisedale – or Grisdale as it used to be called but for some reason it gained an extra e during the 20th century – has not yet had its life support machine switched off.
I get the impression that the few people who live or have holiday cottages there would rather we all stayed away from this lonely dale. I don’t blame them – the Dales should have more places where cars and buses and kiss-me-quick-hatted-type tourists can’t venture.
The footpaths across Gris[e]dale’s boggy surrounding hills can be difficult to follow. On several occasions I was ankle deep in gunge while heading over from Garsdale Head to Blake Mire – an ancient farmstead bought a while back but to which only recently were the new owners allowed to build an access track (previously the only way to it was on foot). Wish I could have afforded it.
Not quite as isolated is Crummackdale where I ventured on another day, making my way up from the hamlet of Wharfe. I’d wanted to walk along the edge of Moughton Scar to capture the views across the limestone, but the cloudy weather put me off so I just did a circular walk using some of the old drovers’ paths.
I sat and watched a bird of prey for a while – I’m not going commit myself to saying what it was – probably a sparrowhawk – it didn’t get close enough for me to identify or photograph successfully – but its aerobatic display was impressive.
I had similar weather up in the Lakes on Monday. I’d fancied a drive through Great Langdale to snap the spectacular scenery but cloud came down and it turned out very grey – as it often does up there. I did have an enjoyable touristy-type walk from Elterwater to Skelwith Force though.
It was back home in Ribblesdale, where of course the sun really came out. The views lifted my spirits …
I also post a selection of photos during the week on Twitter which are not included here – look up @paulinribb