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Ski Club of Manchester, Late Summer Walk 9th September 2018, Clapham Circular

Walk: Leader David Miller
Reporter: Barry Lewis

Those of us who had spent the evening after the Saturday walk enjoying a pleasant meal and a glass or two at the New Inn, Clapham - Dave and Vanessa Miller, Steve Wardle, Brian and Catherine Beardsell and Jonquil and myself - were joined by Roy Dearden and Chris Fildes on the Sunday morning for the second day's walking. This time we were undertaking a more low level route through some of the surrounding villages and hamlets.

We were soon out of the Clapham and heading across fields in the direction of Austwick, a pleasant village with a surprising number people out and about enjoying the rain free morning, a blessed relief after the previous day. Resisting the temptations of the pub and cafes we continued along what appeared to be ancient, roughly paved packhorse routes winding between stone walls. The route took us round the south and east sides of Oxenbar, Feizor and Wharfe Woods. Feizor is the home of Elaine's Cafe, a well known and well regarded venue by those familiar with the area, and Dave led us in to get a table and coffee just before the rush started with cycling and walking groups amongst the many seeking a Sunday lunch. This proved an excellent move on his part as within minutes heavy rain was pouring down.

After almost an hour we were asked, very pleasantly, to move on to make way for a large party reservation. Fortuitously this coincided with the end of the only rainfall we saw that day. A later stop for lunch, this time in the fresh air, enabled us to enjoy Steve's generous provision of Eccles cakes all round.

Continuing on in the direction of Wharfe we joined the Pennine Bridleway which runs 205 miles from Middleton Top near Wirksworth in the White Peak to Ravenstonedale on the edge of the Howgill fells. Completed in 2012 it provides a way open to cyclists and horse riders as well as walkers. This Way was to lead us back to Clapham and through the tunnels which we had passed through at the beginning of our walk on Saturday. The originally planned route would have taken us further north to the village of Norber but as everybody had to travel that evening an early finish seemed in order and we were back in Clapham about 3.30pm in the sunshine, having covered about 8 miles and 1000 feet of ascent. An excellent day was had by all, including our four canine companions.

Yet again many thanks to Dave and Vanessa for organising, as always, an excellent weekend's walking.

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