Lady Anne’s Way (LAW) Part One

Skipton to Barden Tower

Not my most successful day. Started with the alarm not going off. I set off from Skipton after forking out £4.50 to park the car at 9.20. The first thing I came to was a woman and 2 lurchers, one of whom had just killed a rabbit, not a good start to the day. I followed the route crossing the bypass and the golf course and tried to imagine LA doing same and failed.
The route takes you round the backs of Embsay and Eastby but I just wanted to get away from settlements with their dog crap, litter, barking dogs and cars etc. The route is generally ok just a few bits out of date like disused rly which is in use by Embsay steam railway and the Mason’s Arms in Eastby which is not open all day and is sadly shut forever.
Skipton parish church, next to Skip Castle
It was very hot and humid. I got out of Eastby going along Bark Lane, passing over a stream with a duck and baby duck, so sweet. Then I had to cross a field. The occupants didn’t want me in there and came running towards me so I nipped back over the wall. I tried to find a quick way round the young frisky bullocks but in the end had to quit LAW and go up to the road, they kept watching me even though I was the other side of the wall from them. I had to climb over some walls and fences and it was quite steep, I saw some live rabbits quite close to. It was so hot I felt quite unwell and knew I would not make it to either Hebden or Grassington, I’d also developed sausage fingers, I think these are to do with heat and hydration. I was reminded of when I’d walked in Switzerland in terrible heat and had sausage fingers. I stopped for lunch just inside the National Park and put a plaster on my blister and watched the Embsay steam train chuffing along.
Embsay steam train
Lunch spot
I headed for Barden Tower picking up the route again. It felt much easier once the pressure was off although still very sweaty and sticky. I had a chat with a Ranger about bus times and he told me how even with access land rights the Duke of Devonshire who owns all Barden does not allow dogs and the Rangers have to enforce this on weekends when the Duke’s men are not at work. I stopped at the tower and had a drink (fizzy water with ice and lime for £1.90) outside at the Priest’s House which is posh resto and not the caffy where the book says you can get a Lady Anne Special, which sounds very fruity to me! I didn’t sit at the table with candles etc. Maybe I was a bit too dirty and sweaty anyway I had my drink but did not feel they wanted me to linger. I went to the loo, this involved getting the key, walking across the grassy expanse to a door in wall so everyone knew where you were going by now and then down some very wet and slippery steps into Lady Anne’s privvy which was v wet and damp. I walked around tower as that’s all you can do and then back up the horrible busy road to the bus stop getting yelled at on the way from a van. Then I sat sitting on my map at the bus stop with no seat for 50 minutes waiting for the bus at 3.05 which turned up at 3.12 so having made me anxious again.
Barden Tower
The ancient bus then went back up the hill in first gear and dumped me out in Skipton twenty minutes later.
I shoved my bag back in the car, took a photo of the castle, didn’t go in for £6.50 but went to M&S for some water. In the car, drank my old bottle of water which was hot and fizzy, hmm.
Skipton Castle – Henceforth
Then drove home. I listened to a Dick Kingsmith story on R4Extra called The Queen’s Nose where the moral of the story was “be careful what you wish for”. Yesterday I had made a joke with Chris about wishing it was hotter. I got my wish alright, the temp in the car was 28.5 degrees C.
I’ve decided this walk needs chunking up into smaller segments, I need to sort out my alarm clock and I am not good walking in the heat, especially when I’m pushing myself hard.


Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.