That’s one of the disadvantages of B&Bs – unlike hostels, they tend not to have internet access, at least not for guests, so I haven’t been able to make any updates as I’ve passed through Yorkshire.

Anyway, it’s been an interesting week as I’ve steered down the eastern edge of the Pennines, passing over a few dales on the way. Of course, when you pass through the dales from north to south, you make it slightly harder for yourself in that you have to constantly go up and down hills to get through them, rather than the nice valley walks I had coming through South Tynedale and Teesdale.

Oh yes, Teesdale was where I left you last, heading out of Alston and to the highest point of the trip so far (and likely overall unless I get seriously lost coming through the Peaks in the next few days) as I hit 600m above sea level while still following the road. From there it was down to Langdon Beck and England’s most eco-friendly hostel at Langdon Beck, with nice views over Teesdale and nice people staying there – and thanks for your donations, folks!

It was south-east from there, steering well away from the Pennine Way at last as I passed through Barnard Castle and then on to Richmond on two days that were pretty pleasant but didn’t yield much to write about, except that village pubs in Yorkshire have a disturbing tendency to be closed at lunchtime, which is annoying. And then on Saturday, coming out of Richmond it rained and I took a wrong turn, resulting in me having to take a long diversion around Catterick Garrison and ending up in Bedale instead of Masham, as I’d planned. Then – possibly as a result of the soaking I got on Saturday, or maybe just because of the curry I had that evening – I ended up with an unplanned rest day on Sunday because of a stomach ache.

I got back on the road on Monday, and made it through Masham – weeping that I’d missed the chance to spend the night in the home of the Theakston and Black Sheep breweries – to Pateley Bridge, which is a nice little village, though one that’s probably not too frequently visited by walkers due to the rather steep sides of the Nidderdale valley it nestles in. I’m beginning to think that descents are worse than ascents, though, especially at the end of the day when your legs are tired and don’t want the rather taxing job of supporting your weight on a precarious downhill balance.

The descents have been much nicer since then, though – Tuesday took me over the moors to Ilkley, going past the listening station at Menwith Hill that’s clearly nothing to worry about in any way as it’s so inconsequential the Ordnance Survey don’t mark it on their maps. Though that may be because they were too busy sniggering at the name Blubberhouses which is right next to it.

Wednesday took me over Ilkley Moor, without a hat, but with the hood of my jacket up as it was raining again. Well, not actually raining, just that persistent Pennine drizzle that’s far too apathetic to be proper rain, but still manages to soak you. I was thinking about walking all the way to Hebden Bridge then, and having a day off, but decided that it made more sense to finish earlier at Haworth, go to Hebden Bridge today and have what amounted to two half-days. As they’re being followed by a day that’ll be mostly on the canal to Littleborough, it’s almost a holiday in itself.

Anyway, here’s the plan for the next week, vaguely following the Pennine Bridleway for the first four days:
Friday 8th: Hebden Bridge to Littleborough
Saturday 9th: Littleborough to Glossop
Sunday 10th: Glossop to Buxton
Monday 11th: Buxton to Hartington
Tuesday 12th: Hartington to Uttoxeter
Wednesday 13th: Uttoxeter to Lichfield
Thursday 14th: Lichfield to Birmingham
Friday 15th: Birmingham to Redditch

Yes, I’ll be back in proper Midland civilization very soon…