Tuesday 15 July 2014 – Dent Station to Hawes to Hardraw Force to Sedbusk

After a relatively early night (apx 11pm …) we were disturbed by the dog barking at nothing, the poet’s throat spreading to his sinuses and a young man coming into “our” garden to take the wheelie bin out for the dustmen. Rufus didn’t like the man coming into the garden, and he didn’t like the dustmen much either.

We had breakfast (cereal and toast with juice and tea) and made a picnic (ham sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, apples, bananas, cherry cake and malt loaf …).

And then we drove up to the highest mainline railway station in England – Dent Station. It’s miles away from Dent, or even anywhere. But it does overlook beautiful Dentdale and it is surrounded by beautiful countryside. The old station house has been beautifully restored but is now a holiday home that can be rented for a snip at £750 per week (apx $1,275). But if that’s a little steep, the snow hut just down the track can be rented for £350 a week (apx $600).

We hung around to take some photographs before jumping in the car and heading over to nearby Garsdale Station … which also isn’t anywhere near anywhere, let alone Garsdale …

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Dent Station. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
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It overlooks beautiful Dentdale. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
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Diane. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
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See! England’s highest mainline station. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
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Ian – next to a no-smoking sign. He gave up smoking almost 3 months ago. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
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The old station house can be hired for £750 per week. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

We drove along a single-track road over the top of the dales where we spotted several birds – pipits and warblers mostly. One nice little spot was a wheatear, several in fact, who had lots of fun flying just out of photo-range and landing on fence posts in front of us. We also saw a shepherd with his dog working their sheep, with 3 transportation boxes waiting for them.

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The many different layers of Dentdale. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
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Sheep. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
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Dentdale – “come on in”. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

After driving through Garsdale, we arrived at Hawes, where it was market day and very busy. We parked up at the Dales Museum while we did a little shopping, and we made use of the facilities and changed into our walking boots.

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The Dales Museum, Hawes. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
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Hawes. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
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Bunting in Hawes. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
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The Dales Museum, Hawes. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

We set off UP THE HILL to Hardraw, a very tiny village with just the one pub. However, if you walk into the Green Dragon pub and pay what is billed as a “small” toll (£2.50 each, apx $4.25), you can continue on into the gardens and onto a small campsite. If you walk just a little bit further, you can visit the highest waterfall in England, Hardraw Force.

What a hidden gem. We took some more photographs and had most of our picnic. I checked emails. The poet painted – he really is a man of many talents. We had a lovely little break and the weather stayed fine despite rain being forecast.

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Hawes. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
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Hawes to Hardraw. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
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One of the more desirable bothies we saw. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
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Hardraw – Ian fell in taking this one … (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
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Diane and Ian, Hardraw Force.
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Perspective. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
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Hardraw Force. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
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The poet painting … well, drawing in this picture … (Picture: Diane parkin)

When it started to look a little black (“ovver Bill’s mother’s”, as they say around here), we continued on to the next stage of our walk, which was up ANOTHER HILL to the next village, Sedbusk, via several fields filled with loads of sheep.

Sedbusk is another lovely little dales village. The public footpath emerges right next to someone’s house, and they had left a bowl of water out for any passing dogs. We had a chat with the lady who lives there, while the dog had a big drink, and then we headed DOWNHILL (hurrah!), through many more fields of sheep, and landed back in Hawes.

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He told me there weren’t any more hills! (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
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Sedbusk. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
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In Sedbusk, with all that DOWNHILL to go. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
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Ancient packhorse bridge. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
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Random angler, on the River Ure. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

While we were out we saw lots of birds – blackbirds, swallows, sand martins, mistle thrushes, stonechats – as well as 2 fighter jets and 2 military helicopters. We drove back over the top of the dales so we could see the wheatears again, and still the promised rain didn’t come.

We were all very tired when we got back, even the dog fell fast asleep, and while we uploaded the pictures taken so far to the laptop, and I labelled them, the poet also cooked tea – bacon, eggs, sausages and (for him) tomatoes.

Since we got here we’d had very limited internet connection and mostly non-existent. But after tea we tried again and Ian, at least, managed to limp through to Facebook to add a status update. By this time, though, it was already 10pm and we were also watching a Sandra Bullock film on one of our 7 TV channels. But we called it a night and turned in.

Enjoy the pictures.