The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday 27 November 2015

The Wrong Decision

On Wednesday afternoon a decision had to be made: to head for our originally intended destination of Malham Tarn (33 miles away) or to change plan based on the weather forecast and head for the seaside at Bridlington (90 miles away). Being 4pm by the time we got away, we opted to stick with Plan A and in the pitch dark some tiny lanes were negotiated to find ourselves a nice level parking spot with some unexpectedly good amenities (127 TV channels and 3G phone signal).

Peeking out of the blinds on Thursday morning to find that we were sitting within a mizzling cloud, I realised we had erred in our choice and should have listened to the almost unanimous opinions of various friends on Facebook, all bar one of whom had voted for Bridlington. Not to be defeated, we put all thoughts of ice creams and donkey rides out of our heads, killed some time drinking coffee and eating pastries, then set out on our intended walk, over Malham Lings, past Outside and around the Tarn.

The coffee and pastries interlude had allowed the cloud to lift a little, so we did have some limited views as we set out:


Cows, Colin, Cloud and Malham Tarn

Twenty minutes later we were back in the cloud and there we stayed for the rest of our 6.5-mile circuit, meaning that there’s very little I can say about it. We did regain a tiny bit of visibility when we dropped back down to Malham Tarn:


Another walk was pencilled in for today (Friday 27 November), and I got as far as putting my walking trousers on ready to set off. Then it started to rain, causing quite a harrumph, as today’s weather forecast was the best of the week and (last I saw) should have been fine and dry. “I’m not going out in that!” I declared, not just because I’m turning into a fair weather walker, but more because I can’t wear my contact lenses at the moment and I really can’t abide rain on my glasses.

So, we headed to Harrogate instead where the sun wasn’t shining either, but it was dry as we enjoyed a walk around the town. We must go back sometime and explore further. Tomorrow’s forecast is truly dreadful, but hopefully we’ll find the mettle to brave the wet for a stroll around Knaresborough*.

(*When Mick was a lad in ‘Alifax he had a car draw up next to him and the American occupants asked him for directions to a place they pronounced as Kuh-nah-res-buh-ruff. Mick was perplexed until finally they showed him the name in writing, whereupon he realised they were seeking Knaresborough. It was because of that short encounter all of those years ago that, in our house, Knaresborough is known as Kuh-nah-res-buh-ruff. I overheard some teenagers talking about the place today and it took me a few moments to remember that their pronunciation of the name was the correct one!)


  1. There you are you see, you could been sitting on the sea front having fish and chips with ice cream!!

  2. Malham Tarn is all delight on a summer's day. I fished there from a boat on occasions back in the Sixties - it contains a good stock of large brown trout.

    I was always intrigued by the OS map and its mastery of brevity - where the stream outlet disappears at the southern end it simply says "water sinks".

    Speleological speculation, understandably thought that the water would reappear at the foot of Malham Cove, but putting fluoroscene in the water proved this not to be so - where it does go to I never found out.

    1. The water comes out a bit downstream of Malham just by the Pennine Way. There seems to be some kind of underground crossover in the water courses.
      I voted for Bridlington by the way.....

  3. I got asked once “Which way to Am-bless-id-he. Yes you’ve guessed. Ambleside.