The Grand Tour 2018 – part 3

Categories: News and Rail Trips and Visits.

I made my way to Hawes and after a good night’s sleep I borrowed instructions for one of the walks in the area and headed off. I had only gone a short distance and received a big shock.

I was walking down a road lined on both sides with high dry stone walls I came to an elevated section of road and was able to see over the wall; I thought I had finished with railways for the moment but it wasn’t to be. The elevated section turned out to be a bridge over a disused railway line. There before me was a time capsule from 1965. The railway came to Hawes in 1877 but closed in 1965, the line was taken away except for a steam locomotive and three carriages waiting at the station for passengers – unbelievable

Grand Tour, part 3. Photo: Ross Tonkin

I continued on through very pretty countryside admiring the river, the green grass, sheep, cattle, and daffodils as well as rolling hills in the distance. Apart from bleating lambs the only thing that broke the natural countryside sounds was the occasional jet fighter skimming over the hills, very fast and very low. I stopped at a café with the highest waterfall in the UK nearby. A lot of the walk was through farmers fields; dry stone walls, beautiful solid stone buildings, spring lambs and lots of stiles to negotiate.

I was walking through one farm that had walking staffs for sale. I had seen them on sale in the high street for £10, at the farmer’s gate they were only £3. I have my own staff now. I headed down some beautiful narrow lanes and followed the wooded stream going up one side, across a bridge and back down the other side. I decided to stop for a drink at the Simonstone Hall Hotel built in 1733.

After a drink I headed off through at least a dozen farmer’s fields, more inquisitive lambs everywhere. It wasn’t long before I was back in Hawes, after checking out the station and train I headed to a café for a late Wensley Dale cheese platter (cheese Grommet, cheese).

As I was on my walk I had seen a sign saying there was to be a sheep herding demonstration on Thursday at 6:30pm. As it was Thursday I decided to go along. It turned out that it was the first demo for the year and the farmer conducting it was a renowned sheep dog trial champion. He had 6 dogs that he showed us their amazing speed and skill. He used 2 dogs at a time and had a special whistle that he put between his teeth. The whistle had a number of different sounds, each dog responded to its own set of sounds including move forward, go left, go right, stop etc. It was very impressive, everyone was in awe for an hour and a half. After the demo I headed off to The Fountain Hotel for a meal and found a table next to the fire.     

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