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Kettlewell to Raisgill (the long way round)

Thursday 16th August 2007

9.5 miles walking

After an excellent breakfast at the Blue Bell Inn, I wrote postcards whilst Richard and Helen went off to photograph more scarecrows and to buy provisions for lunch.

We extended the walk today, but it was still quite short. We left Kettlewell by the river along what was obviously a glaciated valley,
close to the river when it meandered towards us. We passed the village of Starbottom and then left the Dales Way to go into the village of Buckden ('the village of the bucks'). We ate our lunch sitting on the bench on the village green then, just as it started to rain, we went into the village teashop for a cup of tea. The weather cleared while we were inside.

We climbed out of Buckden (off the route of the Dales Way), through Rakes Wood and onto Buckden Rake,
with super views first down to Hubberholme and then to Cray and beyond. We descended steeply to Cray then followed a clear path just above the trees (Todd's Wood and Hubberholme Wood) along to Scar House. Here we descended to Hubberholme, along a twisting concrete/stone track.

Hubberholme is a pretty little place with the Church of St Michael and All Angels and the George Inn. We had a snack and a drink sitting on rocks by the river, then continued our walk, back on the Dales Way. Unfortunately it started to rain soon after we left Hubberholme, but the countriside for the mile and a half to Yockenthwaite was very pretty, with lots of wildflowers.
We passed Low Raisgill Cottage on the opposite side of the river, then on to Yockenthwaite (an attractive farm with sheep being herded into pens) because we needed a bridge to get onto the road back the short distance to Low Raisgill Cottage.

Mrs Middleton was shaking a mat outside the cottage as we arrived; she has run the place by herself since her husband died suddenly in June. We had thought that we might be sharing a room with Helen, but there was a small single room available for Helen, so we had the triple room to ourselves.
The water was very peaty (Mrs Middleton blamed some work that the National Trust had done on adjacent land) so I had a rather odd-flavoured cup of tea and then a bath with distinctly brown water. Other than that it was a lovely B&B.

Mrs Middleton gave us a lift down to the George Inn in Hubberholme and we had a very pleasant meal, just slightly spoilt by a large and rather loud family group sitting next to us. The George Inn was busy, and people arriving after us had to wait a long time for their meal, so we were pleased that Mrs Middleton had advised us to go early.

Following day