Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Onward and Upward!
















Continuing our Sunday journey, after looking round the old lead mine at Grinton we carried on into Swaledale to the little town of Reeth. Reeth stands at the junction of Swaledale and Arkengarthdale and is always a busy place even in Winter. There was no obvious parking place so we turned right into Arkengarthdale - a very spectacular dale and the gateway really to high country. Journeying through Arkengarthdale and going North you can quickly hop from Yorkshire Dales to Teesdale and on to Weardale and the borders - there is very little habitation up here.This is really high and wild country. We stopped for me to take a couple of photographs I have put on to day - one of the octagonal Gunpowder House. This is near to several lead mine workings. They needed gunpowder for blasting out the rock and they needed it to be kept safe and dry, so the powder house was always built well away from the mine. This one is well preserved as you can see. Quite close to the powder house is a row of what used to be lead-miners' cottages. You can see that they have now all been gentrified but they are typical of the cottages the old lead miners lived in years ago.

Soon we were in really high, wild country. There was a very strong wind blowing and getting out of the car to take a photograph was hard as you could hardly stand up! Beyond the little row of cottages there is absolutely nothing but wild moorland - you will see that it is very brown - in fact it doesn't look unlike desert. In the Summer there will be a little more green but as we are above the tree line there is nothing to break up the wild expanse. In the far distance is the A66 Trans-Pennine route through from Durham to the Lake District.

Finally we came to the Tan Hill Pub - the highest pub in England at 1732feet above sea level.Again, this pub is always busy as it is directly on the Pennine Way long distance footpath. If you are reading this Bob (The English Gardener) I am sure it is a familiar scene to you. The post in the foreground of the photograph is a snow marker, which marks the road if the snow is too deep for it to be seen. The orange vehicle is their means of transport in Winter. Over this last Winter, when there has been more snow than usual, the landlady from the pub and two friends got stuck in their snow vehicle and had to be rescued by helicopter - that is how bleak it is up here.we turned left at the pub and made our way down hill back to Swaledale and "civilisation".Tomorrow I'll show you the River Swale and one of its bridges - then we shall be back home.

27 comments:

jinksy said...

A wild and wonderful land, and no mistake. I feel quite windblown in sympathy...

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

I just can't get over the expansiveness of the land—the utter "wildness" of its appearance. What I wouldn't give to spend some time rambling about up there! What are midsummer temperatures like?

Great post—again, I'm there.

The Weaver of Grass said...

It was hard to stand up, Jinksy.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Scribe - in midsummer it can be lovely up there and there are some footpaths you can follow - but the weather can change from lovely to bleak at the blink of an eye!

Teresa said...

Sure do enjoy "walking" with you on these treks. The scenery is breathtaking. Thanks!

RE: the snow marker.... how tall is it? Looks quite tall... that's some serious snow!

Poet in Residence said...

Grizzled, in summer it can be pleasantly warm on the fells - perhaps 20°C or more.

willow said...

Wow! You can really see the wind blowing the grass in your picture! Beautiful shot. I love the little octagonal gunpower house, too. Reeth is such a charming romantic sounding name.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Teresa - about eight feel tall, the snow markers - they have to stick out of the top of the drifts and it is often windy up there so the snow blows into drifts.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Teresa - the little gunpowder houe is very well-preserved.

Heather said...

I could almost feel the wind just looking at those photos - it's good to know there are still some wild expanses left in the UK, they have a stark beauty all their own. I love the look of the Gunpowder House. I took your advice and looked at Saskia's website and am in awe of her amazing work. No wonder she has won so many prestigious awards, and her use of colour is enviable. I shall visit again and hope some of her skill rubs off! See you tomorrow.

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

Really wild country, to be sure. Good that there's a pub en-route! The Landlady must be made of stern stuff!

HelenMHunt said...

That looks really beautiful.

UKBob said...

Hi Weaver, I stayed the night at Tan Hill last July. To answer The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself I can tell you even in July it can be a desperate place. It was like summer when I arrived and like winter when I left. That snow cat thing that they have always amuses me because getting snowed in at a pub seems like getting stuck in heaven - why would you want to leave? Bob

Cathy said...

That landscape is amazing. I can't imagine the wind. Your photos are great.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

What a lovely wild-looking place, Weaver! I can imagine the atmosphere - it must be exhilarating.

Cloudia said...

This is a fascinating journey through a wild and strangely powerful land! Thank you so much for sharing it with us from so very far away! Aloha from Waikiki-

Arija said...

Glad you breved the blustering gales to take the photos...it is rather bare and barren country, but so beautiful. I do like the octagonal powder house.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Very wild up there, Jinksy

The Weaver of Grass said...

Heather - glad you enjoyed Saskiaa's web site - her work is so inspiring, isn't it?

The Weaver of Grass said...

Derrick - I keep looking across to the Hambleton Hills near Thirsk and hoping that the weather is being kind to you. Yesterday it was lovely and today squally so hope you are enjoying your break.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Bob - they did get well and truly stuck on their way to get some provisions during this last winter - and had to be rescued by helicopter. Fantastic place isn't it? Last Spring they had a tame lamb that used toknock on the door to be let in.

The Weaver of Grass said...

To everyone - thanks for the comments - glad you liked the photos.

BT said...

What a beautiful 'tour' this has been. I've had some catching up to do! Wonderful, bleak photos. I did wonder what the orange vehicle was. I thought I was the only person to have an orange vehicle! The little octagonal house looks so cute. I always thought the pub at the top on the way to Buxton was the highest in England! Can't remember its name now, how stupid of me, but I'm sure you'll know it.

BT said...

Drink in Britains second highest pub Take a high moorland drink in the Cat and Fiddle pub high on the moors on the Derbyshire/Cheshire border.

Quote from a walking guide. The Cat and Fiddle of course! So, it's the 2nd highest! Ah well, close.

Reader Wil said...

Again a very impressive tour in your country! I like your photos!

The Solitary Walker said...

When I visited the Tan Hill Inn on my Pennine Way walk a few years ago, I found to my surprise several lambs in the bar - recovering from difficult births by a roaring fire - and outside a wily sheep nosed inside my rucksack and nearly went off with my sandwiches...

Janice Thomson said...

Wild but wonderful. Enjoy touring with you to all these different and scenic places Weaver.