The Herriot's Way 2010

Day Zero: 8th April

Weather: Foggy on motorway, then clearing later

Route: Manchester to Aysgarth by the slow route.


As with all of my long walks I wish for good weather to see me through the days. The forecast for the week was promising and we hoped for the best. At only 52 miles long the Herriot's Way can be considered a short long walk, and the ascents are not too taxing on the old legs. The walk is based around the TV vet James Herriot and we pass through Askrigg where much of the series was shot - not that I can remember it as I never watched it in the first place. All I can recall of the series was that he seemed to have spent much of his time with his arm up a cow's backside - I'll try to avoid that over the next 4 days. We left early afternoon as the drive was only a couple of hours, and as we sped up the M6 we met a haar from the Lancashire coast floating inland - a sea-haar not a yee-ha. As we drove through Hawes the greyness lifted a little so there was hope for tomorrow. We arrived in Aysgarth in good time, located the B&B and parked opposite in the lay-by which provides free parking for the duration of the walk. Not only that but the B&B owner kept an eye out for us as well. We walked into the tea room and ordered up some tea and tea cakes, and when the owner found out we were staying the night, the tea was on the house - an excellent start to the trip.


 His dog wasn't too happy stopping


looking over to tomorrows route along Wensleydale 

Suitably refreshed we dumped our bags in the room ready for a little stroll down to the upper falls of the River Ure - no midges around here. I like Day Zero of a walk, as it gives time to settle down and anticipate the days to come, and of course with decent weather it's even better. No rain clouds on the horizon but it continued to be dull and a little chill, but we didn't mind as the falls were very impressive with plenty of water rushing down over them. I got up close and tried to shoot a few stringy water shots on the camera - still an experiment for me, but they turned out ok I think. We about turned and walked back to the B&B through fields and the narrow squeeze stiles that are a feature of the sheep pasture / meadows of  Wensleydale - a very beautiful part of Yorkshire. As we were walking back through the fields we met a lovely old man who started to tell us his life story about how he was sent to Java 60 years ago in the Navy and how they left him there for 4 years - and we think we live in exciting times! Back to the B&B for a quick cuppa and then down to the ??? Inn for an evening meal. All ready for the walk now, and packed bags ready for collection by Sherpa Van - they were very efficient but we had to make sure that the bags were ready to go by 9am at the latest.


The Upper Falls at Aysgarth


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