Sunday, 1 May 2011

Windy Whernside

Glorious sunshine, got to take advantage. Packed a picnic and set off to walk up Whernside - walk 23 from the Walks in Limestone Country book by Wainwright if you are interested. Started out from the Station Inn at Ribblehead and walked past the famous viaduct. We counted the arches and there are 24 of them if you are interested in that kind of stuff.

Ribblehead Viaduct is impressive. Built in the late 1800s by hundreds of men who lived in a sort of shanty town there. There's nothing much there now apart from the pub and a few farms dotted about. 2 trains crossed it while we were walking past, one in each direction. Then a bit further up a third train passed and we waved at the passengers like some kind of refugees from the Railway Children! I am pleased to tell you that most of the people on board waved back too! Life is good and simple pleasures are hard to beat.

As you see from the photos, it was a fine and sunny day. Really lovely in fact. Brilliant blue sky, not a cloud to be seen and really sharp and clear. We are in for spectacular views today we felt. It was a bit windy but hey, that's ok, kept us nice and cool. Could have got a bit hot otherwise.

Did I tell you that it was windy? Really windy. Really, really, really, really windy. I mean, it was seriously blustery. We're talking Marcel Marceau walking into the wind blustery.

I'm having a sort of Yorkshire Dales facial exfoliation by means of wind and grit in the above photo. Just check out the hair!
 Younger daughter looks like a troll doll!
Sally looking a bit windswept.
Nick doing a Marcel Marceau.

It was SOOOOOOOO WINDY. I have never experienced anything like it. It was so funny,  a bit scary, exhilarating and a bit bonkers all at the same time. We were laughing our heads off. As was everyone else out walking.

And it was seriously busy up there. So many people out walking. Lots of them taking advantage of the fine weather and lots of them doing the Three Peaks walks (Whernside, Pen-y-Ghent and Ingleborough).  It was so crowded when we reached the summit and took the traditional trig point pic. It was heaving in fact, so I'm glad we'd taken advantage of a sheltered spot slightly earlier on for our sarnies and pies.
It was too windy to take lots of pictures of the views up there which is a shame because it was fabulous. Just impossible to keep the camera steady enough in the gale force winds. Did get a shot of the viaduct from near the summit though. How small it looks from this height...
...but how impressive when we got back there again!
As it was now afternoon, there was an impressive shadow to be seen at our starting point.
Called in at the Station Inn for a well deserved sit down and refreshments.  Noticed the following advanced weather forecasting system kindly provided by said establishment.
Please note that the stone is, in fact, swinging!