Day 15 .... May 11 .... Malham to Skipton .... 14 miles

Another breakfast of smoked salmon and eggs, a break from sausage and bacon. Talked with two guys walking the Pennine Way, a Brit and an Australian from Perth. I left with an apple and a banana for lunch, generously provided on the breakfast bar.

I was off by 8:50 and walked the 1½ miles to Janet’s Foss. Foss is the old Norse word for waterfall, Janet means the local fairy queen who typically lives in a cave behind the falls. Its a wonderful, hidden, intimate spot, boulders strategically placed by Janet to guard the pool, water from the falls streaming over the rocks surrounding the pool and into the beck threading through trees. The trail along the beck is lined with wild garlic giving off a heady smell, its stems a pungent taste. This is a very feminine place, almost erotic.

Trail To Janet's Foss Featuring Wild Garlic

Janet's Foss Featuring A Meditative Solitude

A half mile off the DHW brought me to Gordale Scar, a narrow, rough cleft in towering limestone walls with two waterfalls, a magnificent sight revealed suddenly as I turned a corner. The visual effect is truly stunning, more so because the earth colors of the rock walls were enhanced by wetness from rain. Gordale Scar has a decidedly masculine quality. This place and Janet’s Foss are so different, yet fit together so well as a single site to be visited less than a mile apart. Not to be missed!

First Look At Gordale Scar

Closer Look Of Waterfalls At Gordale Scar

From Gordale, it's an unwelcome trudge up a narrow, steep tarmac road to a turnoff onto a short track to Weets Top. At the summit is a standing stone. I turned around and, half hidden behind a stone wall, I found the trig point, the true summit at 414 m. I don't know the story behind the standing stone but it looks quite elegant.

Standing Stone On Weets Top

There is a long track across the moor, a popular bike trail, several cyclists passed me, to Moore Lane which leads into Hetton. This section of the walk is best spent in meditation, nuff said. In Hetton, I passed the Angel Inn which seems like a good place to overnight if you want to vary your day distances.

Out of Hetton, I crossed pastures and followed becks to Flasby where the DHW turned east to climb up Sharp Haw and another trig point. This is a nice little climb with some boggy areas to maneuver across. From the trig point, there are good views of Skipton to the south and Gargrave to the west.

Approaching Trig Point On Sharp Haw

Overlooking Skipton

It's a gentle tedious descent to Tarn House Farm, across the motorway, then over pastures, through a golf course and up and down a hill to the edge of Skipton city center.

Entering Skipton The Back Way

It was rather a shock to climb over the stone wall stile to suddenly be within two blocks of High Street, the center of town with grand government buildings and a variety of store fronts. To add chaos confronting a lonely walker, today is market day with numerous vender booths lining High Street on both sides. I always enjoy the market days, even if I don’t buy anything.

I went to the Unicorn Hotel, dumped my backpack, and made my scheduled phone call to Cathryn. I stopped at the library for a half hour of internet time - must keep communicating with demanding friends and relatives - made a ritual stop at the market for snacks, and back to the hotel to clean up. The room is large, a huge bed, good amenities, with a definite hotel feeling. Faucet water is labeled Not For Drinking - they supply bottled water in room.

The strange thing about Skipton is an apparent dearth of B&Bs within the town - even the list from the TIC only show them in outlying places. What is a walker to do? Perhaps more research is in order.

I found the Wooley Sheep pub only a block from the hotel. It's a little different from most pubs in that a waitress seats you at a table and takes your order, more upscale than a scruffy walker expects. I had a pint of Timothy Taylor Bitter and a crab linguini dish with watercress sprinkled on top. Both are excellent and I love having the pungent watercress with the pasta, a new presentation for me since I first found it at the Golden Lion in Settle. Is this a regional foodie tradition or is it something sweeping Britain, from France perhaps?

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