On the last day of our little holiday in Settle, the weather forecast was predicting rain in the afternoon – the first proper rain we’d experienced during the week. However, it was sunny when I got up in the morning, so I decided on a last walk – a short walk around the Ribble to Langcliffe and back.
I passed the mill and then took a quiet minor road which led up to the B6479 just a short distance north of our holiday cottage. A few minutes later and I was back inside heading for the kettle! The weather had remained reasonably fine – overcast but interspersed with some periods of sunshine. A nice final walk of about 3 miles.
In the afternoon we wandered into Settle and did a little mooching and shopping. The rain arrived a little later than forecast and we were back indoors before it really got gong. Time to relax and do a little reading before a final meal.
Sunday morning I was up early and greeted by what promised to be a fine day. After a leisurely breakfast I mad up some sandwiches and a flask of coffee and got ready for a walk up on the hills. No need to drive anywhere to start the walk as I was able to set out from the front door.
A few months ago I’d seen Alistair Campbell (not my favourite person) walking in this area on a Winter Walk on TV. Watching this had inspired me to do some walking around here and when we were thinking of where we might stay for a short break, Settle came to mind. I’d seen a circular route from Settle on the Discovering Britain Website (the downloadable booklet describing the walk includes some very interesting information by a local) and had originally thought I’d follow that. However, on the day I decided to extend the walk, heading towards Malham and then looping back towards Langcliffe on the Pendle Bridleway. I could have extended further by popping into Malham, but a quick calculation suggested I’d have trouble getting back before sunset and didn’t want to get stuck in the dark on unfamiliar moors. Going into Malham was certainly doable but I’ll have to save that for another time when longer days would allow me to linger for a while.
I had to walk into Settle and then head up through the streets on to the old Langcliffe Road, before turning off onto the moor.
About 10 minutes before I arrived I got a phone call. It was J asking how long I’d be and did I want her to make a brew for when I got back. Did I? Silly question 🤣. And that was good timing!
To help transition to my life of (hopefully) increased leisure (i.e. working part time) we decided that it would be a good idea to get away for a break. We decided to take a week’s break in Settle on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales which, although is less than 1 1/2 hours drive from home, would provide a good change of pace and scenery. We hired a former mill worker’s cottage on the edge of the small town for a week and kept our fingers crossed that the weather would be favourable and not like just a couple of weeks before when we were faced by three named storms in close succession! I’m glad to say things worked out well for us and I managed to get out for a wander from the doorstep every day only going out in the car the once, on a grey day to drive up to Ribblehead and on to Hawes . We even had a night out at a concert in the old Victoria Hall- the first time I’ve been in the audience at a show for over two years.
We arrived on a bright, sunny, but cold, afternoon and parked up ready to explore the small town. It’s a small town centre, but has a number of independent shops (including a good little independent bookshop, Limestone Books) and plenty of interesting old buildings.
It’s an old town having it’s market charter granted in 1249. Historically it was a centre of the cotton industry but only on a small scale and went into decline with the growth of the industry in Lancashire. It has a railway station linking it to the industrial towns of West Yorkshire but is also the starting point for the very scenic Settle to Carlisle line. Today, with it’s proximity to the Three Peaks and some beautiful limestone country, it’s a popular tourist spot. Luckily, being out of season, it was quite quiet during or stay.
After exploring the town and popping in to one of the local cafes for a brew, we drove over to the Booths supermarket on the edge of the town to stock up with supplies for the week. It was only a few minutes drive then over to our home for the week. We unloaded, settled in and spent an easy evening making ourselves feel at home. the weather looked promising the next day and I had a route planned out!
During our day trip over to the Yorkshire Dales, we called into Settle, a pleasant little town, on the way back from Pen-y-Ghent. Over the summer months they’re holding a “flowerpot festival” where local shops, businesses and even some residents have created characters from flowerpots of various sizes. There were some really imaginative creations dotted around the town centre.