Day 4: Sat April 23 Ribblehead to Sedbergh

I woke to a sunny day but a disappointing breakfast and terrible coffee. Where did last night’s chef go? The gent’s room in the pub has a marvelous view of the famous Ribblehead Viaduct. Best loo view in England! Just as advertised!


Ribblehead Viaduct

I rejoined the Dales Way, taking a track steeply uphill. This is the last high area before the Lake District. Again, the path is wet and boggy. A farmer was trying to divert water off the hillside so it runs into his pond, not his house. He said he was having success, but with much hard work. It was four miles to the Dent Head Viaduct, smaller than Ribblehead, but with classic lines. Under it, an old stone packhorse bridge was covered in brilliant green moss highlighted by sun rays. I was mesmerized.


Dent Head Viaduct


The old Packhorse Bridge under the Dent Head Viaduct

I then followed a narrow tarmac road along the River Dee, passing an elegant YHA, crossed pastures, farms, forests, becks and gills and, of course, wooden footbridges. The footbridges are V-shaped things, about a foot wide at the bottom plank, two feet wide at the top of the rails, a very compact and efficient design. Daffodils are planted everywhere brightening the landscape. At the lovely village of Dent, I stopped at a cafe for hot tea with an absolutely luscious walnut slice. This was lunch!

It is lambing time in Yorkshire and every mother sheep has two little ones. They are everywhere, covering the hillsides, two little tykes following their mother’s milk around. They also play, and stray, and lose their mother. Then, when hungry, they rush up to the nearest teat and try to feed, only to get batted away emphatically. “I have enough to take care of without you”.


Looking for Mother’s milk

Still following the Dee, crossing it and up and over high hills, then all of a sudden Sedbergh is spread out below. This was a 16 mile day and my ankles are hurting again. Sedbergh is a three pub village with many shops and a choice of B&Bs. Mine is friendly but only one bath for three rooms although I seem to be the only roomer. This is my first B&B without a wash basin in the room - certainly makes a difference in convenience.

I ate at the famous Dalesman pub with the Saturday night crowd of tourists, quite friendly. I had Dalesman Bitters, meat lasagna and a large salad, quite good. This is the first time that I tried Karen’s tip to ask for a larger salad in lieu of chips. It actually works!

My B&B hosts are something else, a bit maniacal, but somehow lovable. Sandra is a nonstop talker, very effusive, loved everything she saw on a trip to the states, Elvis, Vegas, cowboys and Indians. Keith is a cornet player in the town band, runs around swinging his arms and singing songs, loves Fred and Ginger movies. We stayed up talking in front of a roaring fireplace.

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