Rock and Water – Day 5

Rock and Water – Day 5

After breakfast we are walking, not driving, out of the village. Weather is cloudy but dry. I do like scrambled egg with smoked salmon for breakfast – yum, yum!

We set off along one of the numerous footpaths around here heading north parallel with Scandal Beck (a beck in Yorkshire speak is a stream) intending to go as far as Smardale Viaduct and returning via the old disused railway track which has been converted into a footpath.

We hadn't gone very far when we saw this lovely group of Meadow Cranesbill (blue) and Meadowsweet (white) and a little further on there was a view of part of the village including the church tower.

We were walking uphill, not a particularly steep incline, and we could see some reddish brown cows on the brow. As we got higher and nearer we could see that there were also plenty of calves and we were going to have to disturb them because our route took us right through them. The cows and calves that were laying down stood up as we approached and moved to the side. We didn't want to come between a cow and its calf as the mothers can get a little uppity under those conditions and will sometimes charge.

Just as we were nearing the far side of the herd I noticed a very muscular beast staring at us and that was when I realised that it was a huge bull. It watched us for a while then lost interest. I couldn't help wondering which of us would be able to run the fastest.

Coming down the other side of the hill we had a good view of Smardale Bridge; a 17th century packhorse bridge.

Just beyond the bridge we reached a junction where various paths meet and turned east for a very short distance until we reached another path which continues along Scandal Beck towards Smardale Gill Viaduct (not to be confused with Smardale Viaduct).

We took that path and after a short time caught a view of Smardale Gill Viaduct.

As we made our way along the path above the beck we saw this butterfly; a fritilliary of some sort. As soon as I had taken a picture it flew away so I wouldn't like to say, with any certainty, precisely which species it was.

This is the path we've been walking on, in single file as it's not very wide, looking back the way we've come. You can see the old disused railway track over on the right.

The path has been climbing slowly for some time and we are nearly level with the top of the viaduct with the beck now a long way down.

We finally reach the old railway track and walk along the track towards Kirkby Stephen looking at the flora and fauna on the way. I managed to sneak up on this butterfly, a Common or Holly Blue, before I frightened it away.

We turned round and started back along the railway track, across the old viaduct and on towards Smardale Bridge. But before we left the railway track we saw a lot of orchids of which this is just one.

Then a final look back as we set off towards Ravenstonedale.

That was a nice day's walk. Tomorrow we go home.  :bawl: :bawl:

2 thoughts on “Rock and Water – Day 5

  1. What a wonderful trip. Very interesting countryside. It appears that the weather held for you :banana:


  2. Ah, but we haven't quite finished yet. :smile: We didn't get as much rain as we expected but we didn't get much sun. The countryside looks even better in the sun. :cry:


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