Thursday 27 January 2022

Treasure Trails

 Treasure Trails - the fun way to explore for all the family.

Have you discovered Treasure Trails yet? Its a different way to explore a destination, to hear the back story of a place by solving clues and following the trail.  I recently spent a very enjoyable couple of hours with friends in Goathland on the North York Moors.  I am no stranger to Goathland but I soon found myself down tracks & paths I didn't know existed, discovering points of interest and seeing the place with fresh eyes. 

The guides cost £9.99 each and can be downloaded onto your computer as a PDF to print off yourself or you can have a hard copy posted to your home.  Personally I would recommend the latter; a quality product, professionally presented.  Allow a week for your chosen trail to arrive in the post.  If you are short of time choose the PDF version.

There are hundreds of Treasure Trails for almost every town, city & large village in the country.  If you are staying at Pry House Farm B&B or Hillcrest Cottage look for Kirkby Stephen, Hawes, Richmond and Barnard Castle.  It's another way to enjoy your stay.  Have fun!  

Tuesday 18 January 2022

Outhgill in Cumbria & Pendragon Castle

 Outhgill in Mallerstang & Pendragon Castle

Enjoy this short (approx 2.5 mile) circular walk from Outhgill, only a few miles south of Nateby.  This is a valley walk with the magnificent Mallerstang edge soaring above on one side and Wild Boar Fell on the other.  The walking is easy with only a couple of short climbs however as with all walks the going underfoot can be muddy so waterproof walking boots are advised and for extra safety a stick or walking poles are handy.  As this walk is neither strenuous or long it is ideal for all members of the family.

Park in the pretty hamlet of Outhgill on the B6259.  Walk north along the road (towards Kirkby Stephen) for approx 450 metres looking out on the right hand side of the road for a fingerpost marked Public Footpath Castlethwaite.

Pass through the metal field gate, walk along the track a short way looking out for a small wooden gate on the left. Go through the wooden gate.  The path takes you uphill through a wooded area on the edge of a stream / ghyll.  

Above you, to the left, find the tree house and a garden store with and unusual window (see photo below) and you are on the right track.  Turn left following the boundary of the garden to a stile.  Once over the stile follow the edge of the undulating field until you meet a wire fence.  

Follow the wire fence uphill to a second stile (see photo below).

Climb over the stile and walk STRAIGHT AHEAD.  Do not go downhill at this point.  Beyond, you will see a couple of cottages.  As you approach you will see the waymarkers on a post and on the gate showing that you are on the right path.

Pass throught the gate (above) and walk along the path / track as it turns left around the house and heads down hill, over a cattle grid and towards the road. Turn right onto the B6259 towards Pendragon Castle.

(Looking back at the cattle grid and the cluster of cottages you have walked by).

 Pendragon Castle According to legend, Pendragon Castle was built by Uther Pendragon, father of King Arthur in the 5th century and may have been the place of his death.  However, this story is part of the legend of King Arthur with no evidence to support it.  Another noteable owner of Pendragon Castle was Sir Hugh de Morville, one of the knights who murdered Sir Thomas Beckett in 1170.  The last person to own, care & reside at Pendragon Castle was Lady Anne Clifford (1590-1676) a noblewoman and restorer of the five castles she owned in the north of England, including Pendragon.  Pendragon had been left a ruin following attack by the Scots however Lady Anne restored the castle adding a brewhouse, stables and bakery and was a regular visitor until her death.  Her successor had no use for Pendragon Castle and stripped it of everything of value including the lead from the roof which heralded the castle's demise.

Having explored Pendragon Castle follow the narrow road down the side of the castle to the bridge spanning the River Eden.

Immediately over the bridge take the footpath on the left marked by a fingerpost - Public Footpath Shoregill.

rough pasture can be a bit boggy!

The footpath on this side of the valley is more distinct and easy to follow.  The path takes you across wooden footbridges, over stone stiles, wooden stiles, squeeze stiles and gates as well as through rough pastures and fields supporting stock. 

Follow the path until you come to the hamlet of Shoregill.

   The footpath / track passes through two white metal gates close to the rear and side of Shoregill House.  Follow the track over the bridge and take the footpath on the left following the river downstream.  This leads through fields to St Mary's Mallerstang and the main road. Turn left back to the start of your walk.

 This walk is an ideal introduction to walking in the dales for children.  Who doesn't like a castle or a stream or a picnic?  See a shepherd and his faithful dog at work or catch a glimpse of a train steaming along the Settle to Carlisle railway line that cuts through the hillside on the west side of the valley.

When you are finished pop back along to the Black Bull in Nateby for a well deserved meal & drink or to one of the many cafes in Kirkby Stephen. Enjoy & have fun!