Wednesday 11th February
Nr Tadcaster to Wetherby 12.5 miles
I felt fully restored after one of my epic sleeps. If 12 hours sleep a night is good enough for Roger Federer, then it’s fine for me. Finishing early yesterday allowed me to catch up with my blog, do my washing, and have a cup of tea with Richard, lovely ex boss, who popped over from his office for a catch up.
With audiobook accompaniment I completed the final 4 miles of the not-so-pleasant footpath from York to Tadcaster. This ho hum little section even included me having to take my life in my hands and rush across the A64 dual carriageway. I don’t recommend this. The OS map was actually incorrect, as there is a safe crossing half a mile further east. Still, I survived.
Safely in Samuel Smith’s Tadcaster, I met Les and Sarah who had juggled their diaries in order to accompany me for the day. Everything looked up from then on. We left the plains and roaring traffic behind and followed the twisting River Wharfe as we moved slightly uphill, and out of the great flat expanse of the Vale of York. Houses suddenly changed from red brick to creamy limestone.
As is the way when accompanied by friends, the miles slipped by in great conversation and many laughs. And treat of treats, Les brought freshly baked madelines! He’s even left me with 4 for tomorrow. So very good.
Whilst we walked, limericks started to appear in the comments on my previous blog post. Thank you so much everyone! I read them aloud; they are brilliant.
Hidden gem of the day was coming across the hamlet of Newton Kyme. It has a marvellous hall and several gorgeous Georgian houses alongside it as support acts, with gardens full of aconites and snowdrops. The hall has a marvellous avenue and ha ha. We googled ha ha and found that it is a word that we have morphed from the French ‘Ah ha!’ The exclamation refers to the surprise of a hidden ditch at the end of the lawn.
Our cheery chatting party reached Wetherby and met up with Sarah’s Sam and junior hiker, Mariella, age 16 months. The well timed lunchtime arrival meant a long pub lunch was in order.
I’m in my first BandB of the trip. I find BandBs to be a bit of a lucky dip. There’s no real way of knowing what they’ll be like. But today I definitely got a winner: Wharfe House BandB in Wetherby. A super place to stay if you are in the area or driving north up the A1. Cosy, gorgeous design, and such a friendly welcome.
I’m excited to be in West Yorkshire, and to have crossed west of the A1. Progress!
Wetherby to Bramhope 12.7 miles
Longest day so far, and the hilliest. I appear to have survived. It’s good to be in rolling countryside. It was a cold, still, monochrome type of day. I loosley followed the Wharfe valley, first on its northern side, then crossing over by the Harewood estate, and heading west on the south of the river.
The sky was frequently dotted with red kites – a great sight.
At Bramhope I was rescued by Mike and Helen who are very kindly feeding and watering me tonight. Being given crumpets with real honey and a huge mug of tea on arrival was just so good it’s hard to explain. Small things!
Tomorrow will be a short day, as I’m feeling rather weary.
Bramhope to Menston 5.7 miles
Not the best of days. I enjoyed a short walk to Menston in the company of Mike. Alas no photos as the views over the Wharfe Valley were hidden by grey mist. An empty legged feeling grew steadily worse, and by the time I got the train into Leeds for an overnight stop, I felt really poorly. For the rest of the day I couldn’t eat and had a fever. Ughhh!
What a horrible night. I have picked up some kind of stomach bug. I feel too wobbly to walk so I’ve decided to temporarily break off from my walk and I’ve headed home to doctor Ian. At least I’ve got to about half way now, so I’ll have to look at this as a half time interval.
I hope to get going again asap.
Meanwhile thanks again for all the limericks.