CLAPHAM, AUSTWICK & FEIZOR

 


Summary

Date - 28th December 2014 Distance - 7.5miles
Ascent -
680ft
Map - OL2/OL41 Start point - National Park car park, Clapham (SD 7460 6921)

 

Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk

 

Preface

It was Christmas morning and Little Eric was sitting looking out of the window with a mournful expression on his face, as Allen and Southey walked into the room.

"Cheer up pal it's Christmas", said Southey, giving him a hug.

Seeing this had no effect, and with concern in his voice, Allen said, "whatever is the matter Little Eric."

"Oh it's just that with Dad and Uncle Brian having been away with Fletcher and pals to Armathwaite Hall, and then poor weather and other commitments, it is a few weeks since we got out for a walk."

"I see", replied Allen. "Well let's have a look at the diary", he went on, picking up the iPad.

Southey was looking over his shoulder and said, "there's nothing down for the weekend, and if the weather is OK, I am sure that Dad will be eager to get out, like us all."

Allen quickly brought up the Met Office app, and after a few seconds said, "Sunday looks to be a fine clear day after a frosty start."

Now with a more cheerful expression on his face, Little Eric exclaimed, "great."

"So where to go", mused Southey, but further thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of Shaun, Grizzly and Tetley, with the tea and cakes.

"Lovely", cried Allen. "I'm gasping for a cuppa"

He and Southey went off to get the mugs and plates. Southey then helped Shaun pouring the tea and soon we all had steaming mugs in paw.

"There is some shortbread that I have made and mincemeat slice that Little Eric had made", said Grizzly in answer to Allen's questioning look. "Mind you best not to have too much as we do not want to spoil our Hug Christmas lunch."

"Quite" agreed Tetley, rubbing his tummy in anticipation.

"We were just considering going for a walk on Sunday, and were about to discuss where", said Allen, adding "this shortbread is to die for Grizzly."

"Thanks pal", he replied.

"It will certainly be good to get out", agreed Shaun. "I don't think Dad will want to go to the Lakes, so perhaps we could think about going Yorkshire way instead."

"Mmm", agreed Tetley, "and for Dad's sake, where he can go to Elaine's at Feizor for a cuppa afterwards."

There was quiet for a minute or so, then Grizzly, piped up, "I know we have done this before, but how about starting from Clapham, and walking via Austwick to Feizor and then going via Wharf and back along Thwaite Lane?"

"Yes, why not", said Allen.

"Ooh, fine by me", cried Southey. "I for one have not done this before."

"Right", said Allen, draining his mug, "I'll go and see what Dad thinks."

Tetley said, "you had better pour him another mug of tea, Shaun, you know what a tea belly he is."

"Too true", replied Shaun, filling Allen's mug from the flask.

When Allen returned he had a smile on his face. "Dad is basically happy with the idea, although from Feizor instead of going over to Wharf, he had suggested that having come across the fields we go back to Austwick along the bridleway as we have not walked that path at least before."

"Sounds just great to me", called out Little Eric, now with a wide grin on his face.

 

The Walk

Sunday dawned with clear skies and a sunny winter day was in prospect. Getting his kit together Dad took this out to the car. "There has been a frost, which has frozen the rain onto the car windows, so it will take a bit of clearing before we can set off."

"We'll sit inside then, until you are ready", replied Tetley.

"Fine Lads", agreed Dad.

Even with the use of a scraper, deicer, and having the engine on it took quite a while. When Dad finally came in he said, "it was the frozen rain that had turned to solid ice that was the real problem."

We quickly ran out to the car, calling goodbye to Uncle Brian and Gladly who were busy with Daily Telegraph crossword.

Dad drove carefully in case of ice on the roads, but they had been gritted. The route was so familiar to Dad being the way he and Uncle Brian go to Feizor every Monday.

Arriving at Clapham we crossed the bridge over the beck then went left to the National Park car park. Dad was soon ready, and with us safely tucked in the rucksack, he strode across the car park to the gate in the fence, signed Austwick 1.5 miles. It was about 10:30.

This led through the farmyard to another gate, where Dad had to stand on thin ice to open it. This cracked under his weight his boot sinking into the cow muck below!

"Well that's made a mess of your boots", laughed Tetley.

Here the route stretched out before us across the pasture to another gate then climbing slightly alongside the fence.

In one field were a group of large sheep, that once Dad had passed started following closely.

"Must be Shaun", said Allen.

The one at the front was following very closely, and we thought might even butt Dad. "They think I have got food, I guess", said Dad, as we finally left them behind at the stone step stile in the wall of the field.

"Huh", grunted Allen, "I think you encouraged them so that we would not have a sheep picture free story."

"As if I would?", replied Shaun innocently.

Through one field the path ran along a shelf passing these trees. Southey commented, "I think they make a nice picture with the bare branches stark against the blue sky."

Finally after further stiles in the walls the path dropped down to pass between houses and reach the road at Austwick, by this signpost.

"The distance is different to that on the signpost at Clapham", called out Southey.

"We know", replied Shaun. "I wondered if you would notice. Well spotted, pal."

"So which is correct, Dad?", asked Southey.

"Checking the GPS, Dad replied , "this one."

Turning left we walked down the lane and through the village past the green with its market cross.

"Which way now?", asked Southey.

"Along the road signed to Settle", replied Shaun.

At the end of the village this brought us to Austwick Bridge over Austwick Beck. "Wow", exclaimed Little Eric, looking left. "That will make a lovely shot of the beck deep blue under the sky, and backed by Moughton (locally pronounced Moot'n) behind."

"We've had a great days climbing that with Uncle Bob" remarked Allen.

"That's right", agreed Tetley. First in 2008 then again in 2011.

"My how time flies by", replied Grizzly. "It does not seem to be that long ago.

"So where do we go now?", asked Southey once again, as this was new territory for him.

"We take the signed lane just on the left that is called Wood Lane. We go as far as the first bend and then climb the stile right and on across the field to another stile onto Wood Lane once again."

Southey looked rather quizzical, so Shaun said, "Look, I will show you on the map. The lane does a wide loop, and by taking the stiles we cut off the corner."

"Ahh, I see."

Climbing this stile onto the lane, we met a lady with her dogs who Dad had seen at Elaine's in the past. There was a brief chat, her last remark being "I may see you later", as she was walking the lane, while we crossed the stile opposite to take the route over the fields via the ladder and step stiles to Feizor (pronounced Fayzer).

Initially the route climbed steeply up the first field and from the top we had this lovely view looking back to Austwick village.

Approaching the last field Dad spotted Elaine's husband, Jonathan in his digger, Dad giving him a wave. "Right I'm going to have a pot of tea at the tearooms."

"Why are we not surprised", responded Tetley.

If you are wondering why the sky is suddenly so cloudy in this picture, it is because Dad forgot to take a picture today, and instead this was taken when he went with Uncle Brian, the following day. We guess that it was because Dad was so eager to get his tea, that he forgot. Still, we have no room to talk as we are all pretty much tea bellies!

Dad called a cheery "hello", and Elaine was pleasantly surprise to see him. He was looked after by Megan who brought his tea, and he also had a nice chat to Sheila, who Dad had not seen for a while. Good to see to that the cafe was busy and that there were lots of reserved tables too. No surprise with the excellent food on offer.

"Please will you take our picture", asked Allen.

"Of course", replied Dad.

We were a bit reluctant to leave, but were cheered when Dad said, "we'll be back here again after the walk."

Outside Dad walked towards the barn, Shaun calling out, "we should be going right along the road."

"I know", replied Dad, "but I want to try and get a picture of the donkeys, as after all they are named after Uncle Brian and me."

l-r Brian & Gerry

So now we walked along the road crossing the ford, and at the farm, took the walled Hale Lane going right, which would eventually bring us back to the stiles where we had met the lady with her dogs.

"Well this at least is new ground for us all", remarked Grizzly.

After a short distance, Allen said, "I think the view looking back to Feizor with Pot Scar behind, will make a nice shot."

By way of clarification this shows the upper part of the hamlet, with the barn behind the tearooms being on the extreme right.

Strolling on Tetley said, "there is one of the many field barns that are such a feature of the Dales landscape."

Looking up from the map Shaun said, "it is called Meldings Barn."

At the beginning of the lane the stream that crosses the ford was running through the fields, but then it suddenly disappeared underground as is quite common, only to reappear further on quite suddenly and then cross the lane, this little bridge helping walkers across.

Soon now we reached the stiles, climbing the one left and crossing the field to Wood Lane and walking to the road, then going right over Austwick Bridge.

Shaun was looking at the map again, and said, "we have to get to Town Head in Austwick, so by way of a change we will get to that road if we take the footpath going to the right just here."

"That's fine, lad", agreed Dad. "It will be another section of new ground."

Climbing the step stile, the path then led across the field to this gated step stile.

Looking ahead, we saw four walkers coming in the opposite direction, and soon Dad recgonised them as Pat and Leo with two friends. Pat and Leo go regularly to Elaine's and over time have become friends to Uncle Brian and Dad. So there was a stop for a bit of a chat. They were heading for Feizor by the route we had just walked, and indeed we saw them there later. We waved a paw to them as Dad set off again.

Reaching the road it was right, to then take the left fork climbing to Town Head. Soon we came to a gate in the wall on the left. "That's the way", instructed Shaun.

Keeping by the wall on the left we climbed to another stile, and seeing the state of the ladderstile with no treads, Little Eric said, "oh heck."

"It's OK", replied Grizzly, "there is a stone step stile just to the right."

Then going diagonally right over next field, soon we were climbing the stile to Thwaite Lane, where turning left was to be our route back to Clapham.

Away to the right was the impressive Robin Proctor's Scar, that behind rises to Norber. "That's got to be worth a picture", cried Little Eric.

The track climbed gently, with away to the right the lightly snow girt Little Ingleborough rising to the flat topped summit of Ingleborough.

Eventually we reached the brow on the track, where at the left side is this copse of trees. "How apt", laughed Shaun, "it is called Summit Clump!"

Fairly soon now we came to a junction with a track coming in from the right that we had walked along in the past. Our way was straight ahead descending quite steeply to pass through the tunnels to Clapham.

Here we caught up with a walking group and a lady kindly let Dad pass, but then commented on us to another member of the party. So Dad explained about our walks and told them our names.

This prompted the other lady to say. "I have a friend from Yorkshire who has three cats that are called Harry, Bela and Fonte!!"

"That's wonderful", replied Dad, letting out a laugh.

Leaving the walkers by the church, we turned left and soon reached the car park. Within this is the interesting Clapham Millennium Stone.

In the top part is depicted John de Clapham, the owner of the castle, Dame Alice Ketyll a witch with dead cockerels and on the right the Church of St James.

To the left side at the top are 12th Century Monks, Buddleja, and Arnold Brown with the candlestick to illuminate the caves. To the lower part of the panel, is the Village Hall, Dalesman Gate and Hallgarth.

To the right side is a cave rescuer, Ingleborough Hall and the Reginald Farrer Memorial with in the lower part The Reading Room.

At the bottom is depicted Miss Hazard's Ducks and the School Entrance.

Finally in then centre are The Three Bridges over the Beck.

At the car we quickly jumped out of the rucksack and settled in the car while Dad got his boots etc. off. Then it was off to Elaine's again, sitting at the same table for two we had had earlier. Leo Pat and friends were sitting at the next table. Dad had a nice sausage bap and warming pot of tea.

Wanting to say goodbye to Elaine he found her in the store room that is a sectioned off part of the workshop, but boy was it cold in here! They had a nice chat and lots of laughs. So then it was off home after a really nice walk.

"Thanks for a lovely day", said Little Eric.

"Hear, hear", we all said, Southey adding, "and thanks for taking me to a new area, and widening my experience."

Now Dad and Uncle Brian go every Monday to Elaine's unless they are away at Armathwaite Hall or the like, and without fail Dad takes some of our pals. The following day was no exception. A good time was had as always, and on the way home it was necessary to call in a Lidl for some supplies. They publish leaflets each week and here are our pals Jacques, Oto with Moonbeam and choir bear Henry, looking at what is on offer.

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