Pennine Way Week 2 (Oops Not So Fast)

Pennine Way, Week 2: Heptonstall to  Thornton-in-Craven


Day 5: Heptonstall to Ickornshaw (okay these names…)

15 miles was the goal today. I am still building back up and testing the limits of readjusting back into normal boots.  If you have flopped between barefoot shoes and positive drop shoes you know what I mean. Moving along, the temps warmed up overnight and there was only low chances of rain on the radar so I started with the wets stowed. Swung into May’s shop for some flapjacks and headed North. Like usual, when starting in a town you go UP once back on the trail.  The big highlight of the walk today, and it was about 6-7 miles in is Top Withins. This is  the area where Emily Bronte was inspired to write Wuthering Heights. It is not a bad spot to stop for a snack, but you will share it with a cast of others.  

After here you continue on rolling along and head back into farm country. I much prefer the open lands (what we call public lands) vs the farmland walks. The animals (mostly sheep) just really muck up the soil and mud, and it makes for some hard on the ankles walking   The open areas with the stone pathways, while equally hard on the feet trying to dodge tussocks, and bog holes its just not as unstable. Also had the theme song from Last of the Summer Wine playing through my head most of the day.  I stayed at the pitch up at Winterhouse Farm Camp and BnB.

Day 6: Ickornshaw to Thornton-in-Craven

morning rainbowToday the hope was to make it Cargrave, its a nice enough walk out of Ickornshaw, there was even this weird orange thing in the sky, I had not seen it in so long, I forgot what it was    The weather today was supposed to be pleasant for the duration. I had picked up some information of a possible wild camp in the area of Pinhaw Beacon, and barring a bit more knowledge of the area, in hindsight this would have been a good spot to push for (about 2 hours past Ickornshaw). Ickornshaw and Cowling were both the idyllic Yorkshire villages.  At least they are what I always think of when it comes to villages in Yorkshire.  

A lot of pasture lands this morning so the ‘mankle’ was really getting unhappy, and it was starting to load the knee wrong too. Once I got down into Thornton I just sat there for a few minutes and listened to how things felt, and decided that the best thing was to not continue on.

The decision to not move on…

is always a hard one, I was barely a week in, only covered about 70 miles, but as I called out, the softness had been wreaking havoc on the ankle and was starting to load the knee wrong.  It was not related to pack weight as my load out is well within what I carry on normal terrain. However I will note and call out as others do that listening to your body is one of the keys to success, and making the TGO is higher on my priority than finishing the Pennine at this time. I will come back at some point and finish, but possibly after a PCT, or GR10 walk, and definitely later in the year.

Next up, Scotland’s TGO challenge in May, so I am not going away for long.   

I will leave you with a few last parting images from the Yorkshire Countryside.




Today was a lot of rolling hills with the majority of the hard up/down happening between miles 10-12.

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