Day 16 .... May 12 .... Skipton to Ilkley .... 12 miles

Today is my last day of walking. Instead of continuing to the start of the DHW at Saltaire, I am stopping in Ilkley to catch the train into Leeds where I will meet a fellow walker for a couple of pints, stay the night and take an early train into Kings Cross and the tube to Heathrow for my flight to San Francisco.

To start the day, I have a continental breakfast of orange juice, cereal, toast and coffee. Its a long walk out of town on Short Bank Road, through trees up over the quarries to begin a long straight trek across the moor on “Rombalds Way” or the Roman Road. It's seven miles to Addingham where I took the alternate DHW route through town instead of the bypass route. My previous time in Addingham was on the Dales Way which also bypassed town center, so I decided it was time to see what it looked like. I was not disappointed - a very nice looking main street with fine old buildings and a pub that made me want to stay awhile, particularly since it was advertising Jazz Night.

Pub In Addingham - Jazz On Wednesday

I turned out of town to cross the motorway to Addingham Moorside, then uphill onto Addingham High Moor. On Moorside, I met three different groups of people walking the Dales High Way; a group of four, 50 to 60 years old, another group of four, 60 to 70 years old, and a couple about 75 years old walking it for their second time. Everyone was having a great time, in high spirits, loving every mile of it.

Entryway To Addingham High Moor

Climbing up to the High Moor, I saw a strange sight perched on a high rock ledge. Is it a bird, is it a plane, is it an antenna calling to aliens in outer space? On reaching the ridge top, I see it is a sculpture of an animal or large bird made of heavy wire or willow wood. Later, I find out it is called the “Hound of Windgate Nick”. No one seems to know who made it or put it there. I have no idea what Windgate Nick is, perhaps the crag it sits on.

The "Hound Of Windgate Nick" On the Addingham Crags

Noonstone On The Addingham Escarpment

Its a long walk along the high escarpment with wonderful views, but cloudy and rainy weather limit photo opportunities. Passed by a huge glacial boulder called the Noon Stone, then an iron fence around a boulder called the Swastika Stone for its ancient markings. I don’t know if it's the Swastika curse but, after passing the stone, I felt a twinge in my right knee which had me limping for the next few hours.

Just past the reservoir, I cut down to a gate that leads into Ilkley by way of Panorama Ave, passing Darwin Garden on the way to the train station. I could have stayed on the moor path for another ¾ mile before dropping onto Panorama Ave, but the avenue was lined with interesting houses if you like that sort of thing. Today's walk of 11 ½ mi took 5 hrs, a bit longer than expected. The train dropped me in Leeds by 3 pm.

I just want to mention how well the DHW guide book served me. Details and directions were outstanding once I got used to walking "backwards." I am anxious now to try it in the "forward" direction. Hats off to Chris and Tony for a job well done.

Leeds Kirkgate Market

I cleaned up at the Novotel and walked (just a slight limp now) to Kirkgate Market and the Corn Palace, more sightseeing down Briggate St and back to the hotel in time to meet fellow walker Pete Stott, who I got to know on the walkers forum. We had a lively chat, shared walk experiences and several pints of ale at the Victorian Pub and left it with the idea of trying to arrange a day’s walk together next year. I had a quick bite to eat and went back to the hotel to take advantage of my uncommonly luxurious room and get ready for the train to London and my flight to San Francisco.

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